The management of quality assurance is a unit topic which is relevant to all other units in this series as the concepts contained within our guidance can be applied universally throughout all the differing roles and responsibilities that a construction manager has. For instance, setting the correct standards, communicating the correct standard, managing, recording, implementing, policing, acting on feedback, encouraging, promoting and penalising and eradicating poor performance can be applied to H&S, environmental management, setting up site, procurement, training and the safe management of plant.
I believe, and it is my experience, that quality assurance happens both formally, informally and then again formally. The quality standards of works can be gained from understanding the NOS, SOW, ACOPS, manufacturers recommendations, legal build and environmental requirements, local authority building control and best building practice etc.
After agreeing the project contractual required standards, it is a managers role to monitor that which he has specified and a manager achieves this both formally and informal with site inspections. When the informal approach fails to achieve that which is required, formal procedures and practices are used such as issuing non conforming notices, but in most construction fields, standard company procedures also apply such as snagging and completed work hand over inspections and commissioning / testing.
To prove my point, please review the following typical questions found in the learning outcomes of this Unit:
- Describe where and how quality standards for given projects can be defined.
- Explain how quality standards can be identified and interpreted.
- Explain ways that quality standards can be passed on to people responsible for implementing them before starting work on a contract.
- Explain how responsibilities can be specified to individuals having to maintain quality standards, and who those individual may be for given projects.
- Give reasons why the responsibilities which individuals have for maintaining quality standards need to be specified.
- Explain methods that allows for the production of site quality plans or procedures in accordance with the quality standards.
- Describe types of systems and methods that can be implemented to check quality standards.
- Explain how systems for inspecting and controlling the quality of work and record the outcomes should be set up.
- Give reasons why systems for inspecting and controlling the quality of work and records of the outcomes need to be set up.
- Explain methods that checks that work conforms to design requirements and the specified quality standards.
- Describe ways that identifies and records work that fails to meet the requirements and specified quality standards.
- Explain how to implement corrective action where work fails to meet the requirements and specified quality standards.
- Explain methods and techniques that can be used to inform decision-makers about significant variations in quality standards that may affect programme, safety implications and the finish to the product.
- Explain how solutions, which decision-makers need to make about significant variations in quality standards and advice on the actions they need to take, can be recommended.
- Explain ways of recommending improvements to decision-makers, and why recommendations should be made.
- Explain how conflicts between quality standards can be identified.
- Describe how conflicting quality standards can be referred to decision-makers for resolution.
The Solution. In order to better enable the seasoned professional to complete this Unit, Controlling Project Progress against agreed Quality Standards in the Workplace, Rivasure has produced a comprehensive online Audio Podcast Course. This Unit is one of many online courses aimed at covering all of the key units contained within the Level 6 Construction Management NVQ Qualification. This series of Audio Podcast Unit Courses lays a solid foundation for each specific subject matter. Each Audio Podcast addresses each knowledge question, unpacking each one in detail and providing relevant and specific guidance.
In this Unit the learning outcomes are as follows;
- Identify and interpret quality standards from available information, and pass them to people responsible for their implementation before they start work.
- Specify clearly and unambiguously the responsibilities which individuals have for maintaining quality standards.
- Set up systems to inspect and control the quality of the work.
- Regularly check that work conforms to the design requirements and the specified quality standards.
- Identify work which fails to meet the requirements and specified quality standards and implement corrective action.
- Inform decision-makers about significant variations of quality standards and recommend solutions they need to make and actions they need to take.
- Identify conflicts between quality standards and refer them to decision makers for resolution.
- Identify improvements from feedback received and recommend them to decision-makers.
- Agree amendments to the project quality standards and record them accurately.
A learning outcome sets out what a candidate can expect to learn and do as a result of their learning. This Audio Podcast mentoring series is excellent resource for NVQ candidates and management learners studying how to control project progress against agreed quality standards in the workplace.