Quality - Inspection - Construction
What is Quality?
Quality is a measure of distinction or a state of being free from defects, deficiencies, and substantial deviations, brought about by the firm and consistent adherence to measurable and tolerable standards to attain uniformity of output that fulfills specific customer requirements.
According to International Organisation for Standardization (ISO), Quality is “The totality of characteristics of an entity that bear on its ability to satisfy stated needs”
As per Project Management Body of Knowledge, i.e., PMBOK’s Philosophy, Quality must be planned in and not inspected in. Prevention is more important than inspection.
These are actions aimed at checking, testing or measuring of products and to share the results to the requirements to authorise compliance. Quality inspection is very much concerned on post construction check on products or activities. Therefore it doesn’t have direct impact over construction process. The role of Quality Engineer or Manager is to differentiate products or activities and will not allow any kind of substandard quality with respect to the specification and standards.
1. Identification of the Quality issue ( Root cause analysis)
2. Provision of information to respective in charges or Project managers (Information for taking corrective actions)
3. Elimination of the issue by Managers (Preventive measures to be taken care for not to reoccur the issue)
That means, quality inspection is to determine whether the construction activity is proceeding as per the specifications and standards or not. This involves testing, checking, and measuring at each and every stage of work. This detailed procedure is called Auditing, Walkthroughs, site inspection, Reviews, documents and Non conformity reports. Strictly these inspections will be carried out as per Inspection and Test plans (ITPS) of the construction projects.
Quality Assurance or QA is the process of identifying or determining all the quality requirements for a project, classifying prevailing quality documents such as specifications, codes, etc. that are significant to the quality requirements of the project and making them accessible for use, preparation of new project specific quality documents such as Project Specific Quality Plan (PSQP) or Project Quality Plan (PQP) or Quality Assurance Plan (QAP), Inspection Test Plans (ITP), Job Procedures (JP), Project Specifications etc. that would provide the necessary structure or procedures for ensuring that the planned or targeted quality requirements or quality goals for the project are completed in timely and an organized manner.
Two Important Principles included in QA are :
“Fit for purpose”, the product should be suitable for the planned purpose; and “Right First Time”, mistakes should be eliminated. The Project Quality Plan (PQP) or Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) is the most elegant quality document in a project site. Preferably, it provides the complete structure or comprehensive procedures for achieving the target quality for all phases involving the project like scope, planning, design, development, execution, procurement, records and document control etc. A sample of PQP for Quality Inspection and Test plan for all construction works at project site is given below.
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