When a quality system is applied to a product as complex and unique as construction, a specific quality plan must be drafted by applying the company’s quality management system to the specific project. The plan must be drafted by the contractor before the start of the construction works and will be reviewed throughout its execution.
The quality plan is applicable to the materials, work units and services that have been specifically chosen by the construction company in order to comply with the quality requirements stipulated in the contract. The quality plan is drafted for the construction works when a preventive strategy is needed to guarantee the construction quality, even though there might also be a quality manual, in compliance with the ISO 9001 standard requirements.
The construction company determines the need to prepare execution documents, work instructions, inspection regimes, process files, action plans, etc., for the execution and control of processes, depending on the complexity of the activity, the qualifications of the personnel and the experience of the team. The plan establishes the resources required and associated documents (lists, purchasing documentation, machinery, equipment, etc.).
The control activities (verification of compliance with specifications, validation of specific processes, monitoring of activities, inspections and tests), which the units, materials or services undergo must also be established. These activities can be defined through inspection, testing plans, action plans and where applicable specific tests (for example, load tests for structures).
Quality control (QC) is the part of quality management that ensures products and service comply with requirements. It is a work method that facilitates the measurement of the quality characteristics of a unit, compares them with the established standards, and analyses the differences between the results obtained and the desired results in order to make decisions which will correct any differences.