WHY COMPANIES ARE LOOKING FOR ISO CERTIFICATION
This post is mainly for those who are working as QC Engineers and others who would like to learn about how could make a good profile with a Quality Control function
Quality Assurance and Quality Control became a highly essential part of any organization all over the world, at present. Since customer satisfaction of a product or performance of a service is the result of the degree of effectiveness of the Quality Management system of any company, hence most organizations are keen to be certified for ISO 9000 requirements, a worthy effort to prove the credibility of a firm to the outside world.
With the increase in the awareness level of customers, it becomes important to remain highly competitive in the market to win their confidence thereby achieving one of the most important objectives of the ISO 9000 Management system known as customer satisfaction. (Mention clause). Due to the same reason the role of Quality control Engineers and/or Inspectors also have a huge role to play – be it the construction industry any others.
THE IMPORTANCE OF QC ENGINEERS IN SITE
Every ISO certified company has defined roles and responsibilities for key personals based on the designation which becomes easy for them to discharge their duties. The construction industry is so huge with different sectors like buildings, highways, bridges, metro rails, tunneling, and all of these are interconnected with other trades like Structural, Architectural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC. To perform the role of QA/QC for multiple activities to perfection companies are looking for efficient and talented personals who mostly remain in demand is on a higher side than the supply in the job market, which makes it highly competitive.
Here are some tips/information which may find relevant and useful if one adopts them.
1. UNDERSTAND THE ORGANIZATION AND HIERARCHY
It is important to learn the way the organization functions and one must go through the Quality Policy, Quality Objectives of the company immediately after joining. Organizational structure showing whom to report and downline members for whom one is responsible are part of QMS. These are quick ready reckoners showing the company’s overall structure.
2. UNDESTAND JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
A good QC Engineer must know his/her responsibilities. Without a proper understanding of what to do or what not to do, life is never going to be easy in the project sites. Many construction projects are complex, many activities interlinked, and need to be coordinated between these different works and/or trades to keep the planned schedule. Being in a department where the common perception of people that the quality checking activities are normally may hampering the progress, it is essential for QC Engineers to be responsible in order to plan, organize and complete the work in the most efficient manner in a proactive way keeping the progress of work too in the mind.
3. STUDY PROJECT QUALITY PLAN
Many projects/Contractors certified for ISO 900 Quality Management System have separate Project Quality Plan (PQP) prepared exclusively for each project. The PQP is a summary of details showing how the contractor is planned to perform the project to comply with quality requirements as per specification, clients’ requirements, and other applicable and regulatory requirements. This will also have different quality formats proposed to be used in the project. Generally, the PQP shall be submitted formally for the approval of the consultant/client.
4. REFER SPECIFICATION
Specifications can be the heart and liver of any project. A building or as a matter of fact any construction project must have a project specification. A common practice in India for many projects is found to be without a project-specific one but still the contract ensures a clause stating that the construction will be executed as per respective Indian standards (IS Codes) or CPWD specifications. Every work on the project will be guided by the clauses and sections detailed in the specification. A QC Engineer’s primary responsibility to check whether any specification – a project-specific one available or not. If yes, get the soft copy or get it from the document controller or project Manager for few days to refer to since it is not advisable to have a separate copy for each one and study the important clauses and other details that would have the life throughout the projects.
5. STUDY DRAWINGS
It is next to impossible to determine how many drawings a project may use. Depends on the size, complexity, and nature of projects the number and type of drawings become more in terms of numbers and difficulty. One of the QC Engineers most important responsibilities is to get information and/or copies of the latest revision of approved drawing – usually stamped with Good for construction (GFC)- and ensuring that other people related to the work are using the same in the office as well as in the site, especially contractors.
6. CHECK INSPECTION AND TEST PLAN AVAILABLE
Inspection Test Plan (ITPs) are a guiding light for anyone working in QC Dept. It is a simple document with a lot of information precisely.
ITPs are documents that show a comprehensive testing plan with relevant details of inspections to be carried out, the frequency, the type of inspections, the acceptance criteria. Please refer. The format of preparing ITP may be part of PQP. And the contractor is responsible to prepare ITPs for different activities and obtain approval. In India, ITPs are not yet common or popular among the contractors as it is supposed to be except with the big and reputed ones and in many cases, clients and/or PMCs are equipped with these plans and provides the contractor to implement the same.
7. GO THROUGH METHOD STATEMENT
The document showing how an activity is carried out on site explaining each and every stage from start to finish, the resources planned to use, related Safety precautions, quality documents are all explained in Method Statements. This too falls on the contractor to provide one. By referring to this document QC Engineers shall get a keen understanding of how a particular activity is planned to execute.
8. MAKE ROUTINE SITE VISIT
Spending some time for a site visit every day and making it a routine is one of the best proactive approaches a QC Engineer could develop for himself. Getting familiar with the ongoing works and conveying points that must be taken care of for the same, advising the site team to rectify if any deviation from the approved details had observed would make the further process of inspection in a much better frame. This will also help to grow confidence in the contractor’s site team which may be helpful in reducing the errors and mistakes in the longer run.
9. PLAN YOUR INSPECTIONS
The primary perspective for everyone concerned with a project is maintaining the progress and it should be definitely so. QC Engineer shall organize the inspections so that it moves with the flow of the project and does not cause any unnecessary delay due to the same. Time management is essential when there are a number of inspections on any day to keep everything addressed. A healthy relationship with the site ream and proper coordination with them can make the day’s work easy.
These are not a completed list, but a short list of things a QC Engineer can learn to be proactive in the site. Signing off the checklists and closing of Inspections, proper logging, raising NCRs and other observations that needed to be recorded, assisting the auditors during auditing are some of the other jobs a QC Engineer is supposed to perform.
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