Quality management is a key component of overall construction project management. Without the correct quality control measures in place, standards can quickly slip, especially when working with contractors and large-scale construction projects.
In Australia, construction projects are required to meet strict standards regarding the quality of materials used and the workmanship involved in building and construction projects. Quality management helps ensure that all aspects of a project are completed according to safety regulations and industry best practices and that the final result complies with Australian standards.
What is construction quality management?
Quality management in construction involves the establishment of standards, procedures and protocols to ensure that a project is being built according to the required specifications. This includes ensuring that all materials used are of the highest quality and that the workmanship is up to standard.
This can include activities such as:
- risk assessment,
- quality assurance and control,
- testing and validation.
Quality management also closely monitors project progress to ensure tasks are completed on time and up to the required expectations.
What is a construction quality management plan?
A quality management plan (QMP) is a set of quality control processes specific to a particular project, site or contract. This ensures that all elements of the construction project are completed in line with the contract and to the agreed-upon quality standards.
The importance of quality management in construction
It’s crucial for project managers, contractors and subcontractors in Australia to be familiar with quality management systems and processes as they’re often required to adhere to them to complete a project successfully. This means that all involved parties must understand the project’s requirements and how best to achieve them.
- Increasing productivity on-site
- Ensuring your contract is fulfilled on time
- Meeting and exceeding client expectations
- Ensure consistently high-quality results
- Minimising operational redundancies
- Improving efficiency
- Reducing the risk of human error
Quality management systems and construction
A quality management system is the most important element in ensuring consistent, high-quality output for your construction company. It helps ensure that all regulatory requirements are met while also providing a framework to ensure that every project is built according to the required standards.
ISO 9001: Quality Management Systems
ISO 9001 is the International Organisation for Standardisation’s agreed-upon standard for quality management systems. The 9000 series is the most popular in the ISO collection, with thousands of construction companies adopting the standard across the globe.
Quality management system software
Quality management system software keeps track of quality management documents, compliance information, standard processes and procedures, team training and certifications and other important information.
It can also provide insight reports on KPIs along with reminders to help you keep up with compliance and training schedules.
Here is a demonstration of cloud-based quality management system software Mango in action.
Examples of quality management in the construction industry
1. Establishing project specifications and setting quality benchmarks.
2. Conducting inspections of materials and workmanship throughout the construction process.
3. Documenting any changes to the specifications or discrepancies in the finished product.
4. Ensuring proper safety protocols are followed during construction, including appropriate PPE requirements for all employees.
5. Utilizing advanced testing methods to ensure the quality of materials and workmanship meets industry standards.
6. Creating a proper system for documenting non-conformance issues during the construction process.
7. Developing corrective action plans in response to any identified problems with quality assurance or control.
8. Implementing a system for monitoring progress on a construction project to ensure tasks are completed on time and up to the required expectations.
9. Maintaining records of any materials used, materials tested, and results of tests conducted during the construction process.
10. Regularly reviewing quality management processes and making improvements where necessary
Australian construction quality standards
There are some national construction quality standards which must be followed.
The National Construction Code
State and territory construction quality guidelines
Each state and territory also has its own construction quality legislation. Construction companies must familiarise themselves with the suitable guidelines and standards for the states and territories in which they work.
New South Wales
Quality management in the construction industry is essential for developing and delivering successful projects. By implementing a comprehensive system of quality assurance and control, construction companies are able to guarantee they’re providing their clients with an end product that meets the highest standards.