Anitech’s Guide on Quality Management System in Construction Industry

17/02/2023by minal.metkari0Read: 6 minutes

Implementation of a robust quality management system in the Australian construction industry is responsible for the sector generating a revenue of over 360 billion dollars (9% of the country’s GDP) and an anticipated increase at a 2.4% yearly pace.

Quality Management in Construction Industry

Quality Management System in Construction Industry is a systematic approach to managing an organization’s processes and procedures in order to meet the needs and expectations of customers and other stakeholders.

The goal of a QMS is to ensure that the construction processes are efficient, effective, and consistent, leading to a higher level of customer satisfaction and improved overall performance of the organization.

Implementing a QMS in the construction industry can bring several benefits, such as improved customer satisfaction, increased efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced reputation.

Guidelines for Implementing Quality Management System for Construction

Here are the guidelines for planning and implementing a robust quality management system for the construction industry. Contractors should refer to these under the guidance of experienced consultants like the ones from Anitech.

1. Scope

Published by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the quality management system guidelines for Construction are aligned with the requirements of AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 Quality management systems.

Furthermore, these are specific to construction procurement only and are applicable to the NSW Government’s contracts and projects as well as other private sector projects in financing and investment.

The various project and contract activities may include specifying project requirements in detail; concept and option development; project management; designing of the framework and its construction; maintenance of assets and operation; and decommissioning.

The guidelines should be read and applied in conjunction with NSW Government Procurement Policy Framework which includes:

  • Environmental management guidelines
  • Work Health & Safety management guidelines.

These guidelines are published by (document number DOC/19/1282980).

2. Purpose

Contractors should follow these principles when establishing and executing their quality management system (QMS), as well as when developing site-specific QMPs that include inspection and test plans (ITPs). The goal is to:

  • establish basic quality standards for all government construction projects;
  • offer a consistent approach to planning and implementing quality systems; and
  • boost productivity and efficiency.
  • make methods for continuous improvement easier to implement
  • show adherence to relevant quality standards.

3. Application

When bidding on government construction contracts worth more than $1 million, contractors must have an independently certified quality management system that complies with AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 Quality management systems – Requirements.

All contractors working on NSW Government construction projects must commit to a systematic quality management strategy and fulfil recognised quality standards.

The risk assessment should be carried out in line with the NSW Treasury’s Internal Audit and Risk Management Policy for the NSW Public Sector (TPP15-03).

If work is completed under an agency’s QMS and QMP, the necessity for a QMS/QMP for project and contract management service providers may be reduced or eliminated. This is most typically used for individual contractor/personnel secondment and client-side engagements.

4. Specification of Requirements

Agencies must include all known quality management needs to ensure that potential contractors are aware of all project-specific requirements, including the extent of monitoring and auditing operations:

  • as part of the request for tender and tender documentation
  • Contractual terms between the agency, the contractor, and linked suppliers.
a) Tenders

As noted in the Application section, requirements must be specified in the request for tender and contract papers.

Tenderers should pick contractors from a prequalification scheme, procurement list, or panel of contractors who have already supplied evidence of current certification for contracts requiring a certified QMS.

Potential contractors may be asked to supply the following information to validate the acceptability of the QMS during the tender process:

  • proof of current certification (if not already provided for prequalification)
  • a description of their quality management system
  • additional paperwork to indicate their capacity to satisfy applicable conditions.

The requirements for consultant QMPs should be tailored to the service to be delivered as needed.

b) Contract Requirements

Contract terms would generally comprise, at a minimum:

  • Before applicable work begins, the contractor or its suppliers must prepare a QMP or ITPs and certify their conformance.
  • examining and revising the QMP or ITPs
  • planning and carrying out its reviews, audits, inspections, witnessing, and monitoring of the QMS (where applicable), QMP, or ITPs implementation
  • Controlling nonconforming services or goods and implementing necessary remedial and preventative measures
  • presenting proof of compliance with payment claim conditions
  • creating and preserving quality records
  • providing access to the worksites, information, documents, records, explanations, employees and accommodation essential for any second-party audits or assessments.

Appendices B, C, and D provide further guidance regarding the documentation requirements for QMPs.

5. Quality management system (QMS)

a) Compliance

A QMS offers a structure for documentation and processes, allowing product and service delivery to be regulated and managed to consistently fulfil the established criteria.

The depth and detail of a contractor’s QMS documentation and processes would be defined by:

  • the items and services
  • contractor practices and traits
  • its clients’ expectations
  • the needs of its workforce and its own contractors.

Planning and implementing a QMS involves:

  • identifying the areas of risk and analysing the degree (probability and effect) of products and services that do not meet the stipulated standards
  • creating systems, strategies, and procedures for risk and opportunity management
  • identifying and delivering resources, as well as delegating duties in accordance with the plans and processes
  • putting the plans and processes into action
  • monitoring, auditing, and improving plan and process implementation

The QMS should be reviewed and improved on a regular basis.

b) Evidence of Acceptability

QMS documentation must comply with requirements of AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 Quality management systems – Requirements.

Where required, the contractor must provide formal JAS- ANZ certification of their quality system (or equivalent) as evidence of compliance.

6. Quality Management Plan (QMP)

a) Compliance

A Quality Management Plan (QMP) is a plan established by the contractor for a specific project or contract.

Using suitable quality management techniques to design and implement the project assures compliance with contract requirements and controls quality risks.

Throughout the life of the project or contract, the QMP is utilised and updated on a regular basis.

A QMP should normally comprise the following items:

  • project or contract goals and scope of work
  • Timelines for projects and contracts
  • resources, such as management structure and employees, as well as their required training
  • duties and authority in the workplace
  • Construction and design risk will be addressed through process controls.
  • Deliverables linked to quality processes, ITPs, and associated checklists.

It would also involve procedures for:

  • measurement and analysis of construction and design outputs and inputs.
  • Monitoring and auditing procedures are being implemented.
  • control mechanisms for purchased goods and subcontracted work.
  • discovering nonconformities and putting remedial and preventative measures in place
  • Record Management and document Control are two related concepts.
b) Evaluation Criteria

The identified tender assessment criteria would be used to assess a potential contractor’s quality management capacity. Criteria that might be used include:

  • Quality Management System’s status.
  • Quality control is used on current and/or recent similar contracts.
  • Evaluation of previous QMPs or ITPs.

A bidding procedure may not involve the consideration of QMPs, design plans, or ITPs if:

  • Potential contractors’ respective talents are known, or
  • It is estimated that they will have no effect on the tender evaluation outcome (such as with low-risk contracts).

Where alternative, appropriate, and relevant process control is in place, the agency may accept a contractor:

  • There are just a few possible contractors that have a QMS.
  • A Quality Management System (QMS) is deemed unnecessary given the risks associated with the proposed contract’s form and character.
  • For items, suitable product test certifications from an appropriate testing facility are presented, or
  • A suitable QMP covering the supply of consulting services is supplied.
c) Contractor Performance

At the commencement of the contract, the contractor’s QMP or ITP should be checked for compliance with the standards.

Subsequent reviews, inspections, audits, and surveillance operations and witness  would be planned, trained and equipped, and carried out to appropriately monitor the QMS, QMP, and ITP implementation.

The following factors should be examined when determining the necessity for third-party reviews and audits:

  • the degree of risk associated with the deal
  • the contractor’s performance
  • the outcomes of any first-party assessments and audits.

To evaluate the results of a review or an audit:

  • Take into account any contractor feedback.
  • Check that the contractor has performed the necessary remedial action.

If this evaluation shows that the implementation of a QMS, QMP, or ITP was not sufficient, do additional auditing/reviewing and other similar actions to ensure conformance.

Confirmation of the contractor’s acceptable completion of audits, reviews, inspections, and testing (as well as the corrective action required to fulfil contract criteria) is to be collected and appraised progressively when providing progress payments for completed work.

The contractor’s success in satisfying quality standards should be reviewed and incorporated in regular performance reports created for and addressed by the contract.

7. Maintenance of Records

Agencies should keep track on their service providers’ quality performance. Records should contain the following information:

  • QMP – Quality Management Performance
  • Reports on Quality Management System’s review
  • QMP review and performance reports
  • comments by contractors on review and performance assessment findings related registers.

If you want Anitech’s experienced QMS consultants to assist you in strategising and planning a robust quality management system at your Construction company, feel free to contact us!

You can also ring us at 1300 802 163 or email info@anitechgroup.com.

Our team will be happy to help!


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