Agency Inspection and Monitoring of Quality Control Plans for Use in Administering Quality Assurance Specifications

Project Details









Construction projects, Contractors, Inspection, Literature reviews, Quality assurance (QA), Quality control (QC), State departments of transportation, Surveys

Project description

Modern quality assurance (QA) specifications promoted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recognize the state departments of transportation’s (DOT’s) responsibility for monitoring the contractor’s quality control (QC) activities, conducting agency inspection, and conducting acceptance sampling and testing. Research and training focused on acceptance sampling and testing is currently available, and national, regional, and state certification programs have been developed to support this effort. Research and training on monitoring the contractor’s QA/QC and appropriate methods of DOT inspection are more limited. QA/QC plans are usually written by contractors and approved by DOTs, based on DOT requirements and specifications. Well-developed, proactive QA/QC plans should be used to solve problems, but often they are boilerplate or are developed only to be used to meet agency QA/QC specification requirements. Based on the historical quality of QA/QC plans submitted, some DOTs have even stopped requiring QA/QC plans to be submitted. Research has confirmed the importance of QA/QC and inspection in transportation projects, and further research is needed in the areas of contractor QA/QC, including adequate level of inspection. The objective of this synthesis is to document the various QA/QC plans and manuals used by DOTs and how QA/QC plans are reviewed and inspected to achieve project specifications. Information gathered includes (but is not limited to): QA/QC plans and manuals used by DOTs; input of DOTs into QA/QC plans; requirements of contractors regarding QA/QC plans; DOT compliance review and inspection of QA/QC plans; DOT monitoring of contractor implementation of QA/QC plans; and incentives that DOTs are using to achieve effective QA/QC. Information will be collected through literature review, a survey of DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.