The quality of materials and standard of workmanship might be controlled by the contractor on site by implementing a quality plan. The plan establishes the resources required and associated documents (lists, purchasing documentation, machinery, equipment, etc.) and the control activities (verification of compliance with specifications, validation of specific processes, monitoring of activities, inspections and tests). These activities can be defined through inspection, testing plans, action plans and where applicable specific tests (for example, load tests for structures).
The project quality plan (PQP) is the contractor’s everyday tool to ensure meeting the performance standards specified in the contract documents. The efficient management of PQP by the contractor’s personnel has a great impact on both the performance of the contract and the owner’s quality assurance surveillance of the contractor’s performance.
According to Chung (1999): “A quality plan is a document setting out the specific quality activities and resources pertaining to a particular contract or project. Its contents are drawn from the company’s quality system, the contract and related documents” (p. 45).
Chung further states that the quality plan is virtually a quality manual tailor-made for the project. The client, or the architect/engineer acting as his or her representative, may indicate in the contract what the quality plan must include and which items are subject to mutual agreement. For example, it is often specified that the inspection and test plans, which invariably form part of the quality plan, are to be approved by the architect/engineer before use.
The PQP is the documentation of the contractor’s process for delivering the level of construction quality required by the contract. It is a framework for the contractor’s process for achieving quality construction. The PQP does not endeavor to repeat or summarize contract requirements. It describes the process that the contractor will use to ensure compliance with the contract requirements. The quality plan is virtually a manual tailor-made for the project and is based on the contract requirements.
Based on contract requirements, the contractor prepares his quality plan and submits it to the consultant for approval. This plan is followed by the contractor to maintain project quality.