Category:124 Quality Control / Quality Assurance (QC/QA)
- 1 124.1 Quality Control / Quality Assurance for Project Estimates
- 2 124.2 Quality Control / Quality Assurance for Contract Ready Plans
- 3 124.3 Quality Assurance Review for Right of Way Activities
124.1 Quality Control / Quality Assurance for Project Estimates
124.1.1 Quality Control
The district engineer is responsible for establishing the quality control procedures that their district will use to maintain consistency and accuracy of the project estimates and the appropriate documentation of project estimate files. The district engineer has the discretion to establish the quality control procedures that best complement their organization structure and staff. It is recommended these procedures be formally documented in written form and made available to those responsible for preparing the estimates.
One method the district engineer may choose is the establishment of a district Cost Estimate Quality Control Review Team. An example of the staff that might be included on this team are: the district’s transportation planning coordinator, design engineer, right of way manager, transportation project managers, and other personnel deemed necessary. This team could develop the quality control procedures and conduct quality assurance reviews as necessary to ensure the procedures are being incorporated into the preparation of estimates and documentation of estimate files.
The establishment of the district quality control procedures is intended to ensure the best possible estimate is obtained for each project and that documentation supporting the estimate is included in the project estimate file. The only requirement for the district quality control procedures is that it must require that the Project Estimate Record Sheet be included in each project estimate file. The Project Manager is responsible for completing and/or updating the Project Estimate Record Sheet on a yearly basis or at project milestones.
124.1.2 Quality Assurance
The district engineer is also responsible for establishing procedures for conducting quality assurance reviews of project estimates and compliance with the district’s estimating procedures. The quality assurance review is necessary to ensure accurate estimates are produced and district staff is following established quality control procedures. Regardless of the method used, it is not necessary to audit each estimate in detail. Review of an appropriate number of randomly selected estimate files will ensure that the district’s procedures are followed for the appropriate preparation, updating and documentation of project estimates.
Any recommendations resulting from the quality assurance review will be provided to the district engineer and district staff. The district’s estimating procedures should be modified as necessary to achieve the goal of accurate and well documented project estimates.
124.2 Quality Control / Quality Assurance for Contract Ready Plans
Quality Control / Quality Assurance (QC/QA) is used to assure that the individual districts have a process to produce quality contract ready plans. This process is initiated and developed at the district level and coordinated by Central Office staff with minimum oversight. Each district design team will submit final design plans to QC/QA teams for review. These reviews will promote the development of the most accurate plans and specifications possible. A goal of this process is to produce the most consistent plans that reflect the policies and practices outlined in the Engineering Policy Guide and MoDOT Standard Specifications. The primary goal of this process is to reduce avoidable additional costs, during construction, by eliminating unnecessary change orders.
124.2.2 Quality Control / Quality Assurance
There does not appear to be a clear distinction between quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) in the majority of its applications in MoDOT. Therefore, these practices will be referred to as QC/QA. Where these terms are used individually, QC will refer to checks, plan reviews or statistical samples to verify that work was done properly. QA will refer to the entire program for verifying the QC process is followed. This program is a means to develop and establish a review process that is clear, uniform, timely and trackable. This is accomplished by a series of reviews during various stages of the plan development process. Many of these reviews take place during the Conceptual Study and Preliminary Plans phases of plan development. The specific processes and necessary checklists are available. This particular part of the Quality Control / Quality Assurance process will deal exclusively with the review and reporting on the final design plans just prior to the Plans, Specifications and Estimate (PS & E) submittal.
124.2.3 Post-Construction Review Procedures
Post-construction reviews will be performed as standard practice on most projects. The opportunity to assess how well the project meet its’ original purpose and need as well as any constructability issues has the potential to impact MoDOT design practices and criteria on both a district and a statewide level. Written procedures outlining the process for post-construction reviews are described in MoDOT Post Construction Review Procedures. When the decision has been made on the part of the project manager after consultation with the resident engineer that a post construction review is appropriate on a given project then these procedures will be followed. The procedures contain the steps to project selection, time of review, assembling the post-construction review team, defining the review focus, and the preparation of the team. Questions and guidance concerning post-construction reviews should be directed to the Design or Construction and Materials, technical support engineer responsible for that district.
124.2.4 Quality Control Process
Each district is expected to develop an individual final plan review process specifically designed to reflect present MoDOT policies and the practices of their own district. This procedure will include specific directions detailing their review process, responsibilities, and timetables along with specific items that a designer could follow during the final stages of plan development. The following are examples of checklists and Quality Control documents that have been developed and can be easily tailored to a district’s specific needs and practices.
124.2.5 Quality Assurance Work Plan
The ultimate goal for this program is that every project on the monthly bid-opening schedule is subject to this independent "in house" review. These reviews will be performed by district design staff, which will report their findings to the project manager and Design Team prior to the final PS & E submittal of contract plans. Central office staff will provide QA by conducting periodic district QC reviews.
It is recognized that differing structures and personnel in each district do not lend themselves to a statewide QC/QA plan that rigidly defines roles of who does what. However, the following guidelines and timeframes should be followed.
QC / QA reviews will be conducted on all projects regardless of contract size or cost. The individual designer is responsible to compile all final design plans along with the supporting data and forward the plans through the transportation project designer (TPD) to the district’s Quality Control / Quality Assurance review team. The necessary supporting data will include the Job Special Provisions, the Estimate and Incidental Supporting Data (i.e. the Work Day Study and other items listed on the District Final Design Checklist (Form D-12)). The plans and supporting data will be delivered to the Review Team at least 4 weeks prior to PS & E submittal. The Team will report its findings to the designer, within 2 weeks, by providing a marked up set of plans, checked Job Special Provisions and Estimate. A written memo, detailing specific findings and recommendations, will accompany this report. This memo shall also be addressed to the designer or consultant along with the TPD and project manager (PM) who are ultimately responsible for the project. After collaboration with the TPD and PM, the designer will make the necessary adjustments to the plans and supporting data before PS & E submittal.
Goals of a QC/QA policy include:
- 1. Provide general guidelines and best practices but allow the individual district flexibility.
- 2. Accomplish consistency and uniformity of plans.
- 3. Place responsibility for quality at the lowest level.
- 4. Establish district procedure that new employees can follow to deliver a consistent end product.
- 5. Reduce plan errors and omissions.
- 6. Emphasize checking at major milestones (i.e. preliminary plan stage, R/W plan stage).
Each district will develop and manage its own individual QC/QA Review Process. This process could be patterned after established programs from another district and the policies and practices spelled out in other articles of the Engineering Policy Guide. The project development engineer in each district will be responsible for plan quality and consistency and for implementing district QC/QA procedures. The project development support engineer, of the Value Engineering / Quality Assurance section in the Design Division, will oversee the operations of all district’s QC/QA process. They will offer guidance and promote dialog between the individual district review teams. The Design Division technical support engineer will audit the district’s process and track production levels. They will gather detailed information about past change orders, make conclusions, and provide recommendations about corrective measures. They will report their findings to the State Design Engineer who may wish to offer corrective input or needed training to individual districts that appear to need additional support.
The Value Engineering/Quality Assurance (VE/QA) section, in the Design Division, is responsible for ensuring that best management practices are incorporated into design policy as needed. The VE/QA section will function as the clearinghouse for data gathered from design plans, tracking and review of change orders, and post construction reviews. They will manage the Value Engineering program and the Quality Control / Quality Assurance efforts.
124.3 Quality Assurance Review for Right of Way Activities
The Central Office right of way staff members coordinate periodic reviews of district office operating procedures to promote and ensure quality assurance of the acquisition process, reality asset activities and compliance with The Uniform Act. Detailed procedures for this review are contained in an article entitled Quality Assurance Reviews.