Quality Assurance and Quality Control
Due to the level of escalated risks involved in construction and engineering projects, one has to ensure that quality assurance and control are strictly complied to. In case a construction project is compromised by external elements it raises the risk of its delayed completion thus having an impact on the general performance of the construction. It is important to note that one has to design an internal quality assurance system so as to ensure the final product relayed to the consumer is of quality. A number of constructors and engineers have benefited from the adoption and implementation of a quality assurance system.
The adoption of the aforementioned system creates uniformity in the services rendered by the engineer or constructor. An effective quality assurance system plays a vital role in a contractor’s project. The adoption of the aforementioned system ensures that there are no hiccups in a construction project. The ISO 9000 standard falls within the realms of an effective quality assurance system in the field of engineering and construction. The ISO 9000 standard has been adopted by various countries globally. The quality assurance system adopted encompasses both external and internal elements (Chung, 88).
With regard to the internal aspect of the quality assurance, it focuses on activities which are geared towards refining the poise of the construction organization thus achieving the quality envisioned. The internal quality system being referred to above is coined as the quality management system. A construction company’s profits and product quality may be improved if it efficaciously implements the quality management system. Alternatively, the external management system places its focal point on the client. The quality management system enhances the assurance of the client on the contractor’s quality system. The external aspect of the quality system in this context is referred to as the system of quality assurance.
The aforementioned program can prove to be successful only if the topmost executive in the firm assumes all the accountability of construing and executing the project. The successful implementation of the quality assurance system by a contractor ensures that his/her customers have heightened confidence in the contractor’s service delivery. A good example would be the successful adoption and implementation of the internal and external aspects of the quality assurance system in Saudi Arabia which has led to the eventual growth in the construction and engineering sector.
The ISO 9000 standard is designed to establish a universal principal quality assurance and control system which is pertinent to various economic and industrial sectors. The aforementioned standard system demonstrates the contractor’s commitment to adhere to his/her client’s quality requests. The underpinning of the ISO 9000 standard system is the American National Standards Institute. However, the adoption and implementation of the ISO 9000 standard in the engineering and construction plane are not as universal as in the manufacturing sector.
The varying understandings made of the ISO 9000 standard is attributed to its generic nature. Furthermore, the actual interpretation and implementation of the ISO 9000 standards may be distinct from one nation to the next. The rationale behind the implementation of the ISO 9000 standards is multifold. First and foremost the quality system acts to scale to higher heights the quality of operations of a construction or engineering company. Secondly, it works to ensure that the client’s desires are met through the product. Finally, the ISO 9000 standard ensures that the competition within the construction industry is healthy. Therefore the overall perception of the ISO 9000 standards varies from one company to another based on the aforementioned rationale.
The Research Methodology
The methodology of this doctoral study will comprise empirical research. Empirical research is considered to be a means of acquiring knowledge and information through either direct or indirect experience. Empirical evidence can be represented and analyzed either qualitatively or quantitatively. The representation of evidence through qualitative or quantitative form, a researcher gets to answer the empirical questions, which should be depicted in a clear manner and be answerable by the evidence collected by the researcher. The design of the research being conducted varies by field and the problem question being investigated. Most researchers choose to combine both forms of analysis namely qualitative and quantitative so as to get to improve the mode of answering questions which cannot be studied in other settings.
A researcher conducting the research needs to develop a theory regarding the question being investigated. The second step is that the researcher will propose a hypothesis from the theory of the investigated question. Thirdly, some predictions are made in relation to the hypothesis and which can be tested using experiments developed by the researcher. The empirical research has a cycle that guides one on the steps to follow to come up with valid results. The cycle starts with, observation, then induction, deduction, testing and finally the evaluation (Hughes & Charles, 15).
The first part of the research is observation, at this stage; the researcher collects and organizes the information that will be used to come up with a hypothesis. The second stage of the empirical cycle is induction, at this stage, the researcher tries to formulate hypothesis according to the data they had collected. The next step of the cycle is the deduction stage. Here the researcher deducts the possible consequences of the hypothesis made. The deductions are done using testable predictions. The fourth stage of the empirical cycle is the testing stage. At this stage, the hypothesis is tested using new empirical material.
The final stage of the empirical research is the evaluation stage; here the researcher evaluates the results of the research (outcome). Using the empirical research method will benefit to help and support in refining and validating the Quality Control and Assurance objectives and deliverables in the form of procedures, acceptance criteria, and lesson learned databases through real-time case studies of the projects executed successfully in terms of time, cost and scope (Tang, 11).
Various studies conducted by different scholars support the assertion that quality assurance and control plays a vital role in the construction and engineering sector. Abdulaziz A. Bubshait and Tawﬁq H. Al-Atiq conclude that the rationale behind the execution of quality assurance systems is to improve on construction projects quality thus nourishing the client’s desires (Abdulaziz A. Bubshait & Tawﬁq H. Al-Atiq, 1999). Analogous results were portrayed in a research conducted by Sarosh H. Lodi, Syed M. Ahmed, Rizwan U. Farooqui and Muhammad Saqib (2008). The authors revealed in their scholarly work that quality assurance and control assumes a vital role in the projects of contractors.
They expounded that the failure of a contractor to comply with the quality assurance systems compromises his/her construction or engineering operations. Lack of compliance jeopardizes constructors or engineers project thus incurring losses or personal injuries. The authors conclude by stating that virtuous project managers interpret and execute the quality standard systems in the operations of the construction or engineering projects.
The adoption and implementation of quality control and assurance in the construction sector act for the benefit of the client. The quality assurance system ensures that the client’s investment in the construction project is safeguarded from various forms of risk. Furthermore, the positive implementation of the quality assurance system equips the client with poise on the contractor’s ability to satisfy his/her desires.
Chung, H W. Understanding Quality Assurance in Construction: A Practical Guide to Iso 9000 for Contractors. London: E & FN Spon, 2002. Print.
Hughes, Charles S. State Construction Quality Assurance Programs. Washington, D.C: Transportation Research Board, 2005. Print.
Tang, S L. Construction Quality Management. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2005. Print.
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