Project Verification extends beyond an audit role to provide ongoing verification of the project based on surveillance and regular audits, and in some cases formal sign-off of the works. Project Verification may also encompass design and durability verification. Currently AQUAS is involved on verification projects for the Lane Cove Tunnel (valued at $1.1 billion) and the Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush Pacific Highway Upgrade. Other project verifier roles AQUAS has been engaged in include the Bulahdelah to Coolongolook Deviation, the AGSO project in Canberra and the Parallel Runway project at Sydney Airport.
What Services can AQUAS offer as Project Verifier?
The following describes the services AQUAS can provide at each stage of the project:
Note: Process rather than Construction
Project Development Stage - Development of the Project Specification
The effective use of a verification system requires the documentation of the requirements in the project specification. This includes the requirements to be documented in the Project Quality Plan, as well as the obligation to submit conformance reports with each progress claim. AQUAS has developed project specifications incorporating verification requirements for both civil and building construction projects.
Design Stage - Conduct of design consultant audits
For the those projects that include a design component AQUAS can establish a process of design audit to review the effectiveness of the Project Design Plans established by the Head Consultant and sub-consultants. This will ensure that there is an effective planning and design review process so that design issues are considered and included in the drawings and specification for the project. This can also include the establishment of a design verification programme to provide a higher degree of confidence of the design development process.
Pre-Construction - Selection of the Contractor
The effectiveness of a quality system implemented on a project requires the commitment of the organisation and individuals to be engaged for a project. With our considerable audit history AQUAS can develop an effective appraisal protocol to assist in the tender selection process and provide advice on the effectiveness of the tenderers proposed quality system for a project.
Review of the Contractor's Project Quality Plan Documentation
AQUAS will review the Contractors Project Quality Plan at the commencement of the project, and provide a written report for issue to the Contractor and Project Manager.
In addition to this, we shall review Inspection and Test Plan documentation submitted by the Contractor through the course of the project, and advise of any comments we believe are appropriate. These reviews shall be completed within five days of receipt of the document.
It may be appropriate to discuss the Contractors quality system documentation to identify potential inclusions to assist in the operation of the project quality systems. Through our involvement in both civil and building projects we have a detailed understanding of how quality systems can be applied within the construction industry.
Our approach to the implementation of Project Verification systems includes facilitation of the management system process to ensure that an appropriate quality system is implemented at all levels of the project.
During Construction - Conduct of Initial Systems Audit
A full systems audit of the operation of the Contractors quality system should be conducted at the early stages of a project to determine the suitability and effectiveness of this system for the control of site works. This audit will confirm the findings of the desk top assessment and agree the action required for compliance by the Contractor. The audit will focus on the process used for sub-contractor selection, control of sub-contractor activities and the additional process control measures applied by the Contractor, as well as the operation of the Contractors quality system.
Conduct of Monthly Audits
To assist the Project Manager in the management of the project, we would recommend the conduct of regular monthly audits to both confirm the implementation of the stated requirements of the Project Quality Plan and to confirm that there is objective evidence to demonstrate conformance with the requirements of the specification for all works completed. At each audit the Contractor will be required to present a summary of those records for which full conformance can be demonstrated, along with a statement signed by the Management Representative confirming that all works comply with the stated requirements of the specification.
We will establish a system to review those aspects of the works included in the Contractors Progress Claim and certify to the Project Manager that the works claimed are in accordance with the agreed project specfication. This process requires a review of a random sample of records for completed section of the work to ensure that all inspection and tests identified have been completed, and that the results of this process conform with the specified requirements. Detailed checklists shall be prepared for this activity.
The audit process would include a review of a sample of sub-contractor quality system documentation and a report on the conformance records identified for each building element reviewed,
This review process could be conducted in conjunction with the Project Managers assessment of the progress of the works. Any issues identified to AQUAS prior to the audit will be examined and a written assessment made of the application of the quality system to the issues raised. AQUAS will audit a percentage of the Quality Records for the completed Works to determine if there is evidence of conformance. Any Works which have a “nonconformity” identified as outstanding would be identified and agreement reached with the Contractor of the action to be taken to rectify the outstanding issues.
A written report would be prepared in the period immediately following the on-site audit and the required number of copies of the Report would be made available for distribution by the Project Manager. The format of these reports shall be agreed at the commencement of the assignment, however we present the format of reports prepared for a similar project.
Conduct of sub-contractor audits
It may be appropriate to consider the conduct of audits of major sub-contractors involved in the project. This would include a detailed assessment of the sub-contractors quality system, and the preparation of a summary report. While not a full assessment, this audit would focus on key elements of the sub-contractors quality system and would provide a more detailed assessment than could be achieved than the brief overview proposed during follow up audits of the Contractor. These audits would be conducted concurrent with the monthly site audits
"Monitoring" of the works is undertaken using a series of checklists developed for each type of work. In accordance with the quality assurance philosophy of examining or testing a random sample of products to ensure compliance of all products, a representative sample/number (percentage) of activities are monitored, with that sample percentage determined by a range of factors including the nature of the works, the number of nonconformances detected by the Contractor, the "criticality" of the works, whether the works are subsequently covered over, etc. This 'monitoring percentage' is regularly assessed for its adequacy as part of the Project Verifier’s management review process.
In our role of Project Verifier, AQUAS will certify to the Project Manager that there is objective evidence of conformance for the works submitted as complete in period since the conduct of the previous audit.