How to Plan Quality Control in Construction?

How to Plan Quality Control in Construction?

Failing to plan is planning to fail. It is essential in construction to planning every step to follow the planned schedule and avoid overruns. Quality is the central parameter of the project management triangle, and hence planning to control quality is a must for project success.

Planning without action is futile, but action without planning is fatal. Follow this through till the end to be equipped with the basics of making an effective quality control plan.

What is quality control Construction?

There are two major aspects of quality management. One is quality control and the other is quality assurance. Although sounding similar, they have a different meaning and are two diverse aspects of quality management

Quality Control (QC) is the process of fulfilling the predefined quality standards or requirements. On the contrary, Quality Assurance (QA) is focused on providing confidence or assurance that the predefined quality standards and requirements are met.

The following table further simplifies the difference between QA and QC.

QA and QC in Construction.png

What is quality control plan in construction project?

A construction quality plan is a document that contains details on how to manage quality on a specific construction project. This is a bible for all the quality management related aspects on a construction site.

This plan can either be prepared by the client or like in most cases, is prepared by the consultant or contractor.

It contains all the information regarding the quality standards, approval, inspection activities, etc.

Following are the contents of a quality plan in construction project:

Project QC/QA Organization:

This section includes the responsibilities and authorities of the people involved in QA/QC of the construction project. It defines the hierarchy of the organization.

Submittals:

It outlines aspects like submittal schedule, process review, and acceptance criteria, and storage standards.

Performance Monitoring Requirements:

This is an important segment, that includes all the required standards that are to be fulfilled in the construction project.

Inspection And Verification Activities:

Inspection intervals, testing, quality audits, acceptance criteria, and compliances are the aspects which are covered under this section of inspection and verification activities.

Construction Deficiencies:

This part of the quality plan contains detail regarding deficiency identification and control, non-conformance report (NCR), deficiency corrections, and preventive measures.

Documentation:

It involves the process of documenting quality-related works on a construction site. It covers activities like daily record keeping, drawing records, inspection reports, and testing results.

Approvals:

This segment reads out the approvals or certification required (if any), for the particular construction project.

Field Changes:

This includes the process for catering Changes in construction processes or design plans and specifications, and the authorities who can give these changes.

Best Resources for Quality Control Plans

ISO 9000 standards of quality management is a good resource to look to when creating quality standards. Although this document is not specifically meant for construction sector, good references can be made and similar information can be extracted for making a quality control plan for a construction project.

Another resourceful reference is the series of quality control requirements by United States Army Corp Engineers. It offers construction quality management training, and all the material is available online which helps people to use these tools to create their own quality control plan.

How to Write a Construction Quality Control Plan?

Drafting an efficient quality control plan is essential for the smooth progress of the construction project. Ensuring that everyone agrees and wholly understands this plan is very crucial for a quality manager of the project. After considering all the administrative and planning aspects of the project, the quality plan becomes easy to be articulated.

1. Organizational chart and documentation

Deciding who will do what is the first step in the process of writing a QA/QC plan. Assigning hierarchy to the team makes it clear and easy to trace all the activities. Parallel to the organogram, each teammate’s resume and certification are to be documented to specify the qualification of the person involved.

2. Set the responsibilities

After assigning the positions in the department, it is essential to outline the responsibilities and authorities of the people involved. Preparation, approval, implementation, auditing, documenting, verifying, etc. are some general responsibilities that are to be taken up by the quality team.

3. Defining work

Clearly setting out the scope of work for the contractor as well as the consultants in terms of quality is another task that has to compile in the quality plan by a quality control manager. This can also include developing QA/Qc checklists for each kind of works that the contractor has to execute.

4. Phases of inspection

This section of the quality plan highlights the different phase of inspection, that may include, a quick meeting prior to the execution of certain works to revise the specifications and standard requirements, initial inspections, interim inspections, and testing, following inspections, and in case of deficiencies, a re-examination of corrected work.

5. Quality control testing and verifications

This section covers the testing, verification, submittals, tracking, and weekly logs. It includes administration of the testing and its results, schedule of testing, documentation, and records, non-conformances, procedures for submittals, and tracking of deficiencies along with the record of its rectification, in a construction project.

Conclusion

Quality control is essential in delivering products of services that meet customer expectations. And planning this quality control is even more essential for the project's success and building a strong reputation in the construction industry because quality always sets one apart. Always remember that quality is the best business plan.

To summarise the essence of the quality control plan in a single quote is to believe that, “An hour of planning can save you ten hours of doing”. Make time for a good plan because half the war is won in the general’s tent.

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