Want to know how to assure your client that your electrical project is safe and follows contractual requirements? Incorporate an electrical contractor quality control plan into your operations to ensure that your client can use the building. Businesses that use a construction quality control plan for their projects can ensure that quality issues won’t happen. There are some similar elements to every quality control plan, but many factors are dependent upon the exact specifications of the individual project and trade.
In terms of quality control, electricians will use an electrical contractor quality control plan to reduce the chances of injury in the field. Several locations contain all of the necessary information for construction industry quality standards as well as applicable building codes. Using that information is an excellent starting point for a construction quality control plan.
In this guide, you will know the importance of a quality control plan and how to write one for an electrical contractor to help outline ways to mitigate risk.
What is Quality Control & Why is it Important?
Quality control is part of quality management. Quality management ensures that anything installed will be usable and safe for a client. It also measures the quality of a unit against the established standards to determine whether something is up to par. To ensure quality, companies use a variety of evaluation tests and inspections. Quality control managers work on more than just the material level. Inspectors or quality control officers can test quality at various levels of completion as well. Contractors can use this to ensure their work will pass inspection in the end and avoid expensive rework.
The success of any electrical project has two key factors: completion of installation on schedule as per contract document and the quality of the installation as per standard. A failed project does not lead to achieving business goals and could lead to more losses. Contractors should always ensure they are using quality materials. Using quality materials prevents later rework and can help ensure that the materials weren’t faulty, to begin with. It also can prevent expensive lawsuits due to any issues because of inferior quality materials.
If there are issues with the product or project, it is on the subcontractor to fix the problem; this is the main issue of inspection. At this level, the repairs are more expensive because usually an entire section must be rebuilt. To prevent this, subcontractors should have some intel of a construction quality control plan or quality management plan in place.
Best Resources for an Electrical Contractor Quality Control Plan
Fortunately, there are many online tools and platforms to help quality control managers build their own specified construction quality control plan.
One of the most common quality control standards guidelines is the FTA Quality Assurance and Quality Control Guidelines. The guideline lays out everything from the definition of quality control to building a plan and implementing the plan. Many of the principles apply to other fields other than mass transit construction, given the 15 elements of quality management aren’t specific to heavy civil construction. However, some building specs would require readers to substitute some with their unique building code specifications.
Another familiar series of quality control requirements are the USACE Quality Control Requirements. The United States Army Corp Engineers not only offer Construction Quality Management training, but they also have all of their resources online. Their online materials allow people to follow along or use the tools to create their construction quality management plan and implement it in their workplace.
The ISO9000 standard of quality management systems is another tool that quality control managers can use to create their rules. The system’s intent is not specifically for a construction quality control plan; however, it is possible to use it to enhance the development of a program. The series has many tips on evidence-based decision making, a tool that is helpful in construction.
First Time Quality Plans, is a fantastic resource that gives you an example of an electrical contractor quality control plan. In addition to this resource, it is crucial to implement cloud-based construction project management software. This type of electrical contractor software allows seamless integration for subcontractors. There is electrical PM software, specially designed for electrical contractors that subcontractors can access on the go, from a mobile device or laptop. It eliminates error and improves productivity because you can hold all documents (submittals, change orders, issue tracking, drawings, and more) in one centralized location.
These standards are a great starting point for any quality control plan. Whoever prepares the quality control plan, usually the quality manager must also take into consideration the client’s input and unique pieces to develop the best strategy.
How to Write an Electrical Contractor Quality Control Plan
When starting a construction quality control plan, whoever writes it must have a section for signatures of the participants. This shows that everyone read and agreed to the plan. There should also be a space for information on the project; that way, it’s easier to ensure it ends up in the right project folders. However, once the administrative parts are taken care of, the quality control plan is easier to write.
Step 1: Use Organizational Chart and Documentation
The first part of a construction quality control plan will be an organizational chart. This allows the company to determine who is responsible for what. Having a page that shows the process and flow makes it easier to remember. It’s also a great reference page in case anyone forgets who is in charge of different tasks. Work tasks are all quality controlled, meaning each is subject to a number of inspections; before, during, and after the project is over.
Along with the organizational chart should be documentation of resumes or certifications. This page specifies the qualifications of each member on the chart. For complicated projects, or projects that need certain qualifications, this page certifies that. Everyone involved can feel secure in the qualifications of the laborers to the quality control managers.
Step 2: Set the Responsibilities
The next section of a construction quality control plan should specify the responsibilities of the quality control manager. It should also guarantee certain rights or powers to the quality control manager. The responsibilities form lists out each of the individual duties so that they can reference it at any moment. General responsibilities include preparing, approving, and implementing the construction quality control plan as well as maintaining documents, verifying materials, etc..
However, the details and responsibilities should be clearly presented, so there is no confusion between team members. There should also be a Stop Work Authorization Letter. This letter, signed by the owner or stakeholders, gives the quality control manager the ability to stop work that is noncompliant to the standards, or with materials that don’t pass the test.
Step 3: Define Work
The next portion of a construction quality control plan should specify the work. Quality control managers write all the defining features of the project. Contractors fill in how they will complete the work as well as their primary point of contact. Now the quality control manager can easily reach them if something is amiss.
The primary objective is to fulfill customer contract expectations. To ensure this, you must clearly define with the customer the requirements for each contract before it is approved. The PM must ensure that the information in the contract clearly spells out the expectations and necessary details regarding the construction. Building specifications must also be clearly defined, not only for the results but they are necessary for the process. Building specs apply to environmental work conditions, materials, qualified personnel and subcontractors, suppliers, and work steps.
Step 4: Specify the Phases of Inspection
There should be a section in the construction quality control plan that specifies the phases for inspection. Often times, there are preparatory meetings before constructing certain elements to discuss specifications, crew, and more. Each inspection goes over the scope of the project and the related specifications. There is usually an initial inspection, which verifies inspection and testing, establishes workmanship level, and verifies it, as well as re-examines work. Finally, there is a follow-up inspection. Follow-up inspections ultimately ensure that the final product is up to code and follows quality control procedures. The quality control manager will ask contractors to replace any materials or parts that need to be.
The purpose of electrical inspections is to verify that the installation, done by the electrical contractor, meets the minimum requirements by state & federal codes. Furthermore, it’s purpose is to protect the client and anyone who will be on-premises from electrocution or fire. Final inspections determine whether the project is usable because it checks the finished product before the occupancy permit can be issued, and it gets presented to the client. For more information on electrical contractor inspection standards, refer to OSHA, from the US Department of Labor.
Read our Complete Construction Site Inspection Checklist to learn how to prevent hazards and conflict during building.
Step 5: Implement Quality Control Testing and Verifications
The final section of the construction quality control plan has to cover a lot of ground. This section overviews testing, verification, submittals, tracking, and weekly logs. It lays out the tests that will be administered, the time frame the quality control manager must give before the test, what happens when a test fails, how the records will be stored, and the procedures around it. Additionally, it should also include a schedule of agencies that will test and inspect the field. They will inspect the estimated date and the real date.
This section also informs people of the procedures for submittals. This helps determine what should happen if the submittal isn’t approved, along with what happens if it is approved. It should also include where submittals will be kept. Finally, there should be a section on tracking issues. This section is used to define what deficiencies and issues there are, as well as what the quality control manager will do if they find them. The establishment of the procedure helps keep everything running smoothly.
Say there is a problem in the installation of wiring, it is important to have a plan that can help control the situation. Your quality control plan should specifically discuss what you will do if something is to go wrong and how you will control these nonconformances.
Along with these sections, there should be sample documents of the weekly log (which the quality control manager should keep), the weekly punch list, and the prep meeting checklist. Quality control managers should include these templates since it makes it easier to find them. They also show everyone what the proposed documents are so they can better work with them.
Quality control plans are crucial to ensure productivity and overall safety on electrical construction projects for all parties.