In order for a construction company or a construction project to function properly, internal processes and procedures that will set up the frame of its basic operational activities are almost always required .
ISO:9001 – 2008 clearly specifies which Procedures need to be documented in order to fulfill the standard’s minimum requirements.
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These are the following 6:
- Control of Documents
- Control of Records
- Internal Audits
- Control of Nonconforming product (NCRs)
- Corrective Actions
- Preventive Actions (it might be included in the Corrective Actions Procedure as well)
Taking into acount the complexity of (especially) the bigger infrastructure projects like Commercial Buildings, Hotels, Marine Projects, Highways, Tunneling, Rail or Airports , it’s quite difficult to set up a Quality Management System only with these 6 procedures.
Even if you manage to do so, in the beginning, it is almost certain that you will probably be asked by your Client or Client’s representatives to demonstrate how many of the other processes work in the Project. This is to make him (the Client) sure that everything is working as it should be or there might even be a specific clause in the Contract obliging you to document them.
So, some of the most common aditional procedures/processes that you might need to issue for a Project are:
- Procurement and Logistics Procedure (commercial sensitive)
- Codification of Documents and Drawings (it might be included in the Doc.Control procedure)
- Design Procedure (extremely critical procedure in which you specify how the Deisgn of the project is being undertaken-in case of a Design-Build contract mainly)
- Subcontracting Procedure (also very critical in order to demonstrate that you manage properly your subcontractors)
- Temporary Works Procedure (safety sensitive for all the temporary works that exist on site and the way their design and construction are managed)
- Management of Plant & Equipment (along with maintenance plans and inspection regimes)
- Handover, As-Built and Completion Procedure (useful so that you finally handover all of the records to the Client on time)
- Inspection and Quality Control Procedure (specifying the basic framework of the inspections that performed on site)
- Surveying and Setting out Procedure
- Material Approvals (specifying how the permanent materials will be inspected and approved by the Client)
- Reporting Procedure (describing the format and the frequency of the reports required by the contract)
- Cost Control Procedure
- Administration & Correspondence
- Calibration Procedure
- Assessing Client satisfaction
- Request for Information Procedure (RFI)
- Design Field Change Procedure (for changing parts of the design on site because of several restrictions)
- Training Procedure
The list can literally be endless and it can of course be adjusted according to the needs and the contractual requirements.
There are of course numerous other procedures for Health, Safety, Environment, HR, Accounting but we are only dealing with the Quality stuff here.
However, the simplest you keep your system, the easier will be for the people who are going to implement it (that’s a big discussion for another post…). Otherwise you end up having a system that no one is following, no one has ever read in the Project and it only exists in order to make the external auditors and your Clients happy .
Is that really what you want as Quality professional in construction ?
Do we really want to create a bureaucratic Quality Management system which is just adding one more headache to the Engineers and the Project Managers?
The best single advice is (as for almost everything in life): keep it simple!
But this is where it becomes tricky and harder than most of the people think.
As Leonardo Da Vinci said hundreds of years ago:
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.