US Army Corps of Engineers
Huntington District

Quality Control/Quality Assurance

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ECP 3.2  Quality Control / Quality Assurance (LRH)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

1.0  Purpose

2.0  Applicability

3.0  References

4.0  Related Procedures

5.0  Responsibilities

6.0  Definitions

7.0  Procedures

7.1  N/A

7.2  Quality Plans

7.3  Quality Control for In-House Products & Services

7.4  Quality Assurance for Contractor's Products & Services

8.0  Records

9.0  Approval and Revision History

 

APPENDICES

 A – Sample Statement of Technical Review (ATR)

B – Contractor Quality Control Plans

C –N/A

D – Sample Statement of Technical Review (QA)


1.0  PURPOSE 

This procedure describes the responsibilities for providing Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) on civil works engineering and design projects.

 

2.0  APPLICABILITY 

This procedure applies to all engineering activities of the Engineering & Construction Division having responsibility for the preparation of engineering products. 

 

3.0  REFERENCES 

                 EC 1165-2-209 Water Resource Policies and Authorities – Civil Works Review Policy

             

4.0  RELATED PROCEDURES

 a.        ECP 3.21 ETA, DDR and P&S

            b.       ECP 3.32 Flood Warning Systems

c.      ECP 3.34 Support for Others (SFO)

d.       ECP 3.31 Cost Engineering

e.        ECP 3.35 Early Release of Design Product

f.       ECP 3.23 BCOE


5.0  RESPONSIBILITIES

Engineering & Construction Division 
  • Responsible for the development of and adherence to QC/QA Plans for all engineering product deliverables.

Chief, Engineering & Construction Division 

  • Responsible for the quality of engineering services and products produced within Engineering & Construction Division or as the result of contractors.
  • Responsible for resolving impasses between the Branch's.
  • Final responsible for resolving impasses between the PDT and the Agency Technical Review (ATR) Team and Independent External Peer Review (IEPR) Team

Engineering & Construction Division Branch Chiefs 

  • Responsible for resolving impasses between the PDT and the Agency Technical Review Team (ATRT), within their areas of responsibility.

PDT Members

  • Responsible for total product quality.
  • Responsible and accountable for project design.
  • Ensures District Quality Control (DQC): quality production, internal quality checks and reviews, PDT reviews.
  • Assists the Lead Engineer (LE) in identifying the disciplines required for the ATR.
  • Responds to all ATR comments in DrChecks.
  • Make all agreed upon changes to the design documents.
  • Participates in ATR Conferences, if required.

Agency Technical Review (ATR) Members

  • Responsible for reviewing the product for proper application of clearly established criteria, regulations, laws, codes, principals and professional procedures.
  • Participate in in-progress, and end-product reviews with the PDT.
  • Review the product deliverables for conformity to previously approved plans and reports, technical product accuracy and adequacy, functionality of unproved and unique design features or assumptions, assumptions and criteria.
  • Enters comments into Dr Checks in accordance with WI 3.2.3 DrChecks (ProjNet).
  • Participates in ATR Conferences, if required.

ATR Leader.

  • Coordinates all activities associated with the agency technical review.
  • Determines the need for attendance of ATR members at meetings during development of a technical product.
  • Coordinates review activities with the LE.
  • Responsible for an overall comprehensive macro review of the product ensuring that all disciplines intertwine into a complete total project.
  • Participates if an ATR Conference is required.

Contract Compliance Team Members

·        Responsible for verifying that the A-E's product meets the requirements of the Scope-of-Services.

·        Responsible for verifying that the concepts and overall assumptions of the Contractor are justifiable.

  • Serves as an extension of the QA team.
  • Reviews the processes associated with obtaining a quality product.
  • Reviews concepts and overall assumptions used by the Contractor.
  • Verifies that products received meet the requirements of the Scope-of-Services.
  • Reports defective work to QA team.
  • Consults with Contractor to clarify and resolve issues without directing the Contractor.
  • Minimizes direct input regarding the details of the Contractor's design.


Quality Assurance Team Members

  • Responsible for providing oversight of the quality control processes to ensure their effectiveness in the production of quality A-E products.
  • Reviews Contractor QCP.
  • Directs contract compliance review of product.
  • Reviews Contractor's QC correspondence and ensures that design comps, calculations, and drawings are checked.
  • Signs quality assurance certification sheet.

Lead Engineer (LE)

  • Responsible for product development.
  • Responsible for ensuring overall product quality.
  • Develops Quality Control Plan (QCP) early in the project design.
  • Recommends the appropriate disciplines needed for the ATR.
  • Ensures quality product through internal quality checks and reviews.
  • Initiates in-progress and end-product agency technical reviews.
  • Serves as POC for the ATR leader.
  • Keeps the ATR abreast of project schedules.
  • Assigns PDT member action for each ATR comment.
  • Determines if an ATR Conference is required.
  • Schedules and leads ATR Conference when required.
  • Documents all meetings between the PDT and the ATRT and will keep a record of issues, concerns, and decisions.
  • Verifies that all ATR comments have been resolved and incorporated into the product
  • Responsible for obtaining all required Statements of Technical Review.
  • Serves as QA Leader.
  • Develops Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) immediately following contract/work order award.
  • Coordinates Contract Compliance Reviews.
  • Serves as POC with Contractor.

6.0    DEFINITIONS

a.  Lead Engineer (LE).  A member of the Project PDT from the Engineering and Construction Division that oversees technical development of a product (referred to as the Project Engineer/Architect in the RBP).

b.  Agency Technical Review (ATR).  Formally Independent Technical Review (ITR).

c.  See General Definitions.

 

7.0  PROCEDURES


7.1  N/A


7.2  Quality Plans

(1)  Quality Control Plans.  The District will prepare a QCP for projects that are performed by in-house resources.  The QCP can be very simple or elaborate depending on the risk, complexity, and cost of the product.  Refer to WI 3.2.1 QCP / QAP.


(2)  Quality Assurance Plans.  The District will prepare a QAP for projects that are performed by contractor resources.  Refer to WI 3.2.1 QCP / QAP.


(3)  Combined In-House / Contractor Resources.  An overall QCP may be developed for projects that are performed by both in-house and contractor resources.  This plan serves as both the QCP and QAP.


(4)  Generic Quality Control Plans.  Programs where the products are of a routine, recurring nature Generic QCP's may be prepared or the Quality Control requirements may be written directly into the programs procedure.  Risk, complexity, cost, and visibility will be the criteria used to determine if a generic QCP is required.  Currently Quality Control requirements have been written directly into the following procedures:  ECP 3.25 Floodproofing, ECP 3.51 Periodic Inspections, ECP 3.52 Bridge Inspections, 3.56 Operation 5-Part Memos.


(5)  Planning Studies.  While Planning Division (PD) has the lead on Reconnaissance and Feasibility Reports, a separate QCP/QAP for all engineering products (e.g. ETA's) will be developed by Engineering & Construction Division (EC), to describe the quality process within EC.


7.3  Quality Control for In – House Designs

The quality control process is an appropriate risk-based evaluation of engineering and design products to ensure that they fully meet the prescribed requirements and expectations of our sponsors and customers and comply with laws, regulations, and sound technical practices of the disciplines involved.  Quality will be built into the design process by the PDT.  The PDT will be responsible and accountable for product design.

(1)  District Quality Control (DQC)


(a) Quality Production.  Throughout the design process the PDT is assigned the responsibility for the production of a quality product.  The goal of the PDT is to provide quality engineering and design services and carry out the right actions the first time.  PDT members must take pride in their work, ownership of the design, and an interest in the overall quality of the product.  A thorough understanding of the work is required, and the work must be assigned to the appropriate design professionals.  The PDT will identify the appropriate design criteria to meet the customer's needs.  Specialized training or outside consultants will be obtained when required.  The design will be undertaken with full communication between PDT members to ensure product compatibility.


(b)  Internal Quality Checks and Reviews.  Each member of the PDT will ensure a quality product in their functional area through internal design checks, reviews, and interaction with the ATR.  Only quality products will be released for use by other PDT members.


(c)  Design Checks.  A design check is a detailed evaluation of the engineering analysis and contract documents prepared by each engineering discipline as an extension of the design process.  All checked drawings, computations, quantity estimates, and analyses will be annotated to show the initials of the designer and the checker and the date of action.  The checker will be qualified to originate the design that they check.  Design checklists may be developed by each engineering discipline to strengthen the design process.  A design check will include a comprehensive evaluation of at least the following.


  • correct application of methods
  • adequacy of basic data and assumptions
  • correctness of calculations
  • quantity estimates
  • completeness of documentation
  • testing, modeling, assumptions, calculations, text, and graphic presentations in all documents are complete, satisfy appropriate design criteria, and utilize sound engineering practice
  • compliance with guidance, standards, regulations, and laws
  • biddability, constructibility, operability, and environmental issues

(d)  PDT Reviews.  Throughout the design process the PDT will conduct PDT Reviews of the product at various stages of development.


(i)  Reviewers.  Once a comment is made regarding the design, it is the reviewer's responsibility to "follow up" with the Lead Engineer or PDT member to ensure satisfaction with their response.  If the reviewer is not satisfied with their response, the reviewer will bring the issue to the attention of his/her Section or Branch Chief for resolution.


(ii)  Lead Engineers. Comments must never be disregarded.  It is the Lead Engineer's responsibility to address all comments in one of two ways:


  • Concur and make the necessary corrections or
  •  Do not concur and state the reason for nonconcurance.

(2)  Agency Technical Review.  The ATR process involves a continual evaluation of the adequacy of project design and formulation as the project progresses and a final evaluation of the completed product.  ATR is managed and performed outside of the home district.  ATR teams will be comprised of senior USACE personnel, preferably recognized subject matter experts with the appropriate technical expertise such as regional technical specialists (RTS), and may be supplemented by outside experts as appropriate.  To assure independence, the leader of the ATR team shall be from outside the home MSC.  ATR comments will be made using DrChecks.  After these reviews, if unresolved comments exist, an ATR Conference will be conducted between the PDT and the ATR to resolve the outstanding issues.  After the ATR Conference, any remaining, unresolved comments will be resolved by the functional Branch Chief of the responsible element.  The Chief, Engineering & Construction Division, if required, will make final resolution of all technical issues.  Significant concerns and the explanation of the resolution of any unresolved ATR comments will be described in the Certification of Agency Technical Review.  ATR will ensure that:


  • the concepts, assumptions, features, methods, analyses, and details are appropriate, fully coordinated, and correct
  • an appropriate range of feasible alternatives was evaluated
  •  the problems, opportunities, and issues are properly defined and scoped
  • the analytic methods used are appropriate and yield reliable results
  • the results and recommendations are reasonable, within policy guidelines, and supported by the presentation
  • any deviations from policy, guidance, and standards are appropriately identified and have been properly documented and approved
  • the products are biddable, constructible, operable, environmentally sound, and cost effective
  • the products meet the customers' requirements as described in the Project Management Plan.

(a)  Macro Review.  The ATR Leader is responsible for an overall comprehensive macro review of the product ensuring that all disciplines intertwine into a complete total project.  For large complex projects, this may require additional reviewers.  This responsibility includes an overall review of all documents (i.e. Plans & Specifications) to identify gaps, contradictions, and inconsistencies.  The intent is to minimize questions during advertisement, contract amendments, contract modifications, and unnecessary cost and schedule increases.


(b)  Functional Review.  Members of the ATRT are responsible for reviewing the product as defined in the QCP.  ATRT members will review, as a minimum, their functional areas and areas where their discipline intertwines with other disciplines.  ATRT members are encouraged to make appropriate comments on anything, anytime, regardless of the functional area.


(c)  ATR Milestones.  Refer to ECP 3.21 ETA,DDR & P&S for mandatory in-progress reviews. Each technical product will have an end-product ATR.  Below are the recommended time frames for an end-product ATR for Plans and Specifications:


 

                             P&S  -  End-Product ATR



   Recommended Time Requirements - Weeks







Complexity





High

Medium

Low

ATR

4

4

*

Resolve Comments

3

2

*

Revise P&S

4

2

*

Backcheck P&S

1

1

*

Reproduce P&S

2

2

*

 

*  To be determined by the Lead Engineer.

 

The ATRT will have sufficient time and funding to complete a thorough review.  Any ATR member who did not have ample time and funding to complete a thorough review will notify the ATR Leader that the review is not complete.  The ATR Leader will work through the Lead Engineer for additional time and funding.

 

(3)  Customer Involvement.  The customer and sponsor will be asked to participate on the ATRT when appropriate.

 

(4)  Final Product Verification.  The PDT, the ATR, and the Chief, Engineering & Construction Division will sign the Statements of Technical Review (ATR) (see Appendix A) prior to product release from Engineering & Construction Division.  No product will be released from Engineering and Construction Division before the Statements of Technical Review are signed.  Product release is defined in the follow manner:  (1) Engineering Technical Appendix (ETA) - delivering the ETA to Planning Branch for inclusion in the Feasibility Report; (2) P&S to be advertised as a construction contract- delivering the plans and specifications to Contracting Division for Solicitation for Bids/Proposals; (3) P&S to be a work order on an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract – delivering the plans and specifications to Construction Management and Field Support Branch prior to the start of negotiations with the IDIQ Contractor.

 

7.4 Quality Assurance for Contractor's Designs

 

Quality Assurance Process.  The QA process involves a management review of the Contractor's QC programs and processes and a contract compliance review on the Contractor's work.  Engineering & Construction Division and the Contractor will establish and maintain an "Owner-Client" relationship.  The Contractor is contractually required to perform QC.

 

For Work Orders greater than $40,000, the Contractor will be required to submit a Contractor QCP in accordance with Appendix B.  The Lead Engineer will establish a Contract Compliance Team.  The Contract Compliance Team will be composed of members representing the required functional elements and will be tasked by the QA Team, at different stages of the contract, to perform a contract compliance review.  A contract compliance review is process oriented, is not product oriented, and is not an ATR.

 

(1)  Contractor Quality Control.  The A-E is responsible for Quality Control.  The A-E's Quality Control program will include as a minimum:

 

  • Contractor Quality Control Plan (Refer to Appendix B)
  • Quality staff performing the work
  • Design Checks and Reviews throughout the design process as described in this procedure
  • Technical Review conducted by senior, technically qualified professionals, who have not been directly involved with product development  as detailed in this procedure
  • Respond to all QA review comments using DrChecks

(2)  Agency Technical Review (ATR).  The A-E is considered an extension of the PDT and ATR shall be conducted in accordance with paragraph 7.3(2) above.

 (3)  Final Product Verification.  Prior to product release from Engineering & Construction Division members of the QA Team will sign the Statement of Technical Review (QA) for each component of design that is performed by contractors (Refer to Appendix D).  Product release is defined in the follow manner:  (1) Engineering Technical Appendix (ETA) - delivering the ETA to Planning Branch for inclusion in the Feasibility Report; (2) P&S to be advertised as a construction contract- delivering the plans and specifications to Contracting Division for Solicitation for Bids/Proposals; (3) P&S to be a work order on an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract – delivering the plans and specifications to Construction Management and Field Support Branch prior to the start of negotiations with the IDIQ Contractor.

 

8.0  RECORDS

 

8.1  In – House Products

 

            (1)  QC Plan.

(2)  Statements of Technical Review

            (3)  ATR comments and responses will be documented in DrChecks.

(4)  PDT comments will be kept by the LE until the revisions have been made to the documents.

 

8.2  Contractor Products

 

(1)  QA Plan: 

(2)  Contractor QC Plan.  

(3)  Statements of Technical Review

(4)  A-E's QA comments and responses will be documented in DrChecks

 

9.0  APPROVAL AND REVISION HISTORY

 

 

Champion:







William A. Miller

Chief, Quality Management Section

Approved by:







Margaret W. Wilson

Management Representative

 

No changes can be made to this document without the concurrence of the Champion.  Any change must be approved by the Management Representative.

 

 

Date

Issue #

Rev. #

Description

8 Nov 01

1

0

Original Release

21 Aug 02

1

1

 Paragraph 8 was revised to state that the original QCP's, QAP's, and Statements of Technical Review will be sent to EC-MQ and then electronically stored in Projectwise.

 15 Oct 02

1

2

 Revised the requirements of the Quality Control Plan (QCP), Quality Assurance Plan (QAP), and Contractor Quality Control Plan (QCP).  Revised the WI 3.2.1.

11 Jan 03

1

3

Removed the requirement for Seamless Interaction between the PDT and the ITRT.  Minor editorial changes.

13 Aug 03

1

4

Para 7.3(5) Revised to allow Editorial comments to be hand carried to the LE.

6 Oct 03

1

5

Para 7.4. Contractor QCP's are only required for Work Orders greater than $40,000.  The Contractor QCP will be approved by EC-MQ.  EC-MQ will notify the COR so that a formal letter can be sent to the contractor.  Para 8.1. PDT comments will be kept by the LE until the revisions have been made to the documents.

11 Aug 05

1

6

Para 7.2.(4) Revised too reflect that the Generic QCP's for ECP 3.25 Floodproofing, ECP 3.51 Periodic Inspections, ECP 3.52 Bridge Inspections, 3.56 Operation 5-Part Memos. Have been eliminated and the requirement written directly into those procedures.

30 Nov 06

1

7

Paragraphs 7.4, 8.1, and 8.2.  Changed EC-MQ to EC-Q.

25 Sep 07 

2

0

Revised to supplement Regional Business Process (RBP) #2644, QC/QA Procedures for Study/Design Phase.  Appendices A, C, and D have been revised.

12 Jan 09

2

1

Revised for new definitions: Agency Technical Review (ATR) formerly ITR.

Revised Chief EC Responsibilities to include final impasse resolution.

Revised paragraph 7.3(1)c to include quantity estimates.

Revised Appendices A, B, C, & D replacing ITR with ATR.

10 May 10

3

0

Revised to incorporate the ATR requirements in EC 1165-2-209 Water Resource Policies and Authorities – Civil Works Review Policy.

Revised Appendices A, B, & D.

Removed Appendix C and Flowchart.