One of the standard practices for capital project owners in public and private sectors is outsourcing the design development scope of work to a qualified design consultant, also known as Architect/Engineer (A/E). The design development scope of work will usually include concept design (unless another Architect carried this out), schematic design, design development, construction documents, and sometimes site supervision. Usually, design consultants will be invited to submit their prequalification for the project owner to shortlist those to be invited to bid for the design development scope of work.
The book Quality Auditing in Construction Projects, by Abdul Razzak Rumane, published by Routledge, UK, details quality audit skills and processes for the capital project delivery, including those for the design consultant selection. The audit checklists included in the book detail the audit methodologies for assessing the selection of designer. For example, the book detailed the quality audit process for the bidding and tendering process to select the designer (A/E) to design the construction project. The main objectives of performing this quality audit are to;
- Evaluate and assess process compliance with the organizational strategic policies and procedure
- Assess conformance to QMS and processes meet established quality system requirements
- Verify that all the major activities adequately performed and managed
- Examine that key risk factors are analyzed and managed to meet business requirements
- Check proper functioning and implementation of a project management system
Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb enables the project owner to manage all processes that need to be performed during the capital project delivery life cycle stages and perform the quality audit needed to ensure conformance to the Quality Management System (QMS). One of the required documents to perform the quality audit is the checklists used for each processor group of interrelated processes. For example, for selecting the design consultant, a checklist will be created using PMWeb custom form builder. The checklist will have two sections. The first is the items to be assessed, while the second is for the interview questions. For the questions section, the auditor needs to confirm whether the item required to be performed carried out or not by responding Yes or No and provide comments, if any. For the interview section, for each pre-defined question, there will be a field to capture the response and another area for comments, if any.
The attachment tab for the quality audit checklist will be used to attach all supportive documents for the audit, which should be uploaded and stored in the relevant QMS Audit folder in the PMWeb document management repository. In addition, links to related PMWeb records as well as imported MS Outlook email will be added.
The quality audit checklist form workflow will ensure that the form is reviewed and approved by the right project team members. The workflow will identify all needed steps, each step’s duration, responsibility for each step, actions taken for each step, and sequence for performing those steps. PMWeb also allows adding conditions to the workflow steps to incorporate the approval authority levels.