The Core Elements of an Effective Quality Control Plan

effective-quality-control-planQuality control plans are tedious, time-consuming, and frankly confusing to those with shallow experience drafting them. However, they’re an integral part of the QA/QC and overall construction process since they lay the foundation for other phases of the project to follow. Get our tips on building out an effective quality control plan, and reach out to us at G3 Quality if you require navigation throughout the planning process.


Quality Personnel Responsibilities 

The first step in assuring that you have an effective quality plan is confirming that every member involved in the project is familiar with their duties as they relate to three areas:

  • Quality standards to follow, as well as applicable laws, regulations, codes, and material specifications,
  • Requirements within the contract and the customer’s desires,
  • Prompt communication of any issues for quick resolution.

While the quality management team typically has their duties outlined from the start, your plan should still list out details of their training and responsibilities for the project at hand. In general, company standards are expected to be included in training prior to a contract’s signing, though listing training in a project’s requirements and expectations is typically required nonetheless. 


Qualifications of Personnel, Contractors, & Suppliers

While your company policy should already contain general requirements for personnel, contractor, and supplier qualifications, a project may demand more specific requirements. for experience, level of expertise, a clean track record, or certain materials that haven’t been called for in other projects. If your project calls for any distinct requirements, these should be included in your quality control plan and strictly enforced. These standards apply to any third-party members of the project as well, such as subcontractors, third-party testers, and more. 


Periodic Quality Training

If you’re not offering quality training for your personnel frequently, it’s highly recommended – and mandatory on a periodic basis. If you’re training personnel in the duties for a specific project, be sure to draft instructions for this training in your quality plan, and set up training sessions before the project starts, and occasionally throughout the course of the project. 

At G3, our field inspectors and technicians are trained for specializations in a number of inspection and testing services:

  • Compaction Control
  • Inertial Pavement Profiling
  • Pavement Coring
  • Magnetic Imaging Scanning for Dowel Bar Alignment
  • Source Inspection and Testing
  • Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Plant Inspection and Testing
  • Onsite Mobile Laboratories

Furthermore, each of our inspectors and techs are Caltrans, ACI, CWI, AWS, and ICC-certified for flexibility across a number of project types.


Meeting Quality Standards

An effective quality control plan is expected to contain any relevant laws, codes, regulations, and standards for materials which tend to change depending on a project’s location. The specific goals and objectives of the project should also be listed as they relate to these quality standards, along with any quality concerns for the project. 

When developing quality standards for a project, our quality management teams put a central focus on local, state, or federal project standards, requirements, and specifications. This lays the foundation for subsequent services, such as source inspection and materials preauthorization. At G3, we also carry out materials integration into quality plans, internal quality management, and much more to assure compliance across the board.


Policies & Procedures for Inspections

In the QA/QC world, regular inspections and tests are the foundation of quality. These procedures ensure that quality goals listed in your plan are being met at each phase of the project. Make sure that you clearly explain when inspections and tests will take place, the standards to be met when inspections and tests are carried out, how they’ll be conducted, and what entails a “passing” score. Keeping these details in order will save confusion planning out inspections or tests in the future. 


Mitigating Defects

Sometimes, when defects are revealed in an inspection or test report, there are certain corrections that need to be made. To mitigate these failures, your quality control plan should clearly spell out the steps to resolve any defects. There are three options typically incorporated in an effective quality control plan

  • Replace: Remove any items that aren’t up to standards, and replace it with new construction that’s up to the requirements at hand.
  • Repair: Repair the defect until it meets quality standards and requirements.
  • Accept: Decide to accept the defect either as-is, or with a minor correction.

However, it’s important to note that any accepted defects need to be cleared by the customer in writing to avoid any liability issues. 


Documentation & Records

Keeping project documents and records of every step of the project is also necessary, firstly to inform future quality standards, and secondly to supply evidence that you’ve been following your quality plan throughout the course of the project. 

To keep everything cohesive, have your quality control plan specify the kind of reports and documents to prepare, as well as whose job it will be to provide them and the information to be included. To be thorough, consider specifying how documents will be stored and in what format. 


End-of-Project Inspection & Post-Project Eval 

The last stage of your quality plan describes the backend of the project. These details concern any procedures for final inspections and corrections of defects. When listing actions to mitigate defects, these processes and procedures should match those implemented during the course of the project. 

You’ll also need to conduct a post project evaluation of your quality procedures and how they held up throughout the project. List anything that went wrong for future reference, and see any mistakes as learning opportunities for projects down the line. Identifying why and how defects occurred will help to further shape your quality procedures, and if anything, QA/QC revolves around the process of learning and improving. 


Shape an Effective Quality Control Plan with G3

At G3, quality management is at the center of our specializations. If you’re struggling to start or structure your quality control plan for a current project, the QA/QC experts at G3 Quality are here to lend a hand. Reach out to our offices for guidance on your quality control plan, so that your project kicks off without a hitch.

We are an elite team of engineers and professionals who provide world-class quality management, pavement engineering, materials design, construction inspection, and testing on infrastructure projects throughout California and the western United States. To learn more about how G3 Quality can contribute knowledge, expertise, consulting, and professional services to your project, contact us.