For every piece of work your business does, you need to be sure it’s done correctly and to the highest standard, throughout the entirety of the process. Every project manager knows that this can be a difficult task.
However, following an Inspection and Test Plan (ITP) will ensure quality is systematically put under the microscope throughout critical stages of your project. ITPs specify a clear set of processes that can be easily followed, giving you confidence that your team will get the job right every time.
Below we outline the function of an ITP and why it matters to your business.
What is an Inspection and Test Plan?
Also known as quality inspection plans, ITPs set out critical points at various stages within a process for scheduled inspections and verifications. This is to ensure the job is progressing as it should be, and that your quality assurance procedure is sound.
ITPs are commonly used to adhere to the ISO 9001 standard for quality management.
ITPs are usually prepared by a quality engineer, who tests materials and surveys the processes used. Their results are then reviewed by a quality manager and construction manager, before being approved by the project manager and submitted to the head engineer.
Although they seem similar, ITPs aren’t the same as checklists. Your ITP is a plan of when, what and how you will conduct inspections to ensure your product or service is meeting requirements. A checklist may be a key tool you decide to use at these points.
Why Does Your Business Need to Use ITPs?
Your ITP is a key ingredient of your quality management system. It is evidence that your business has performed to particular standards throughout the process, and this could prove vital should legal issues arise. This means that records must be clear and be stored in a safe place.
Because work is checked regularly and required to adhere to particular standards, the end product will be significantly better than if no ITP was used. In addition to satisfying your quality management process, it’s a safeguard against making big mistakes which will cost you time, money and your reputation.
Consider your business is waterproofing a building. If you don’t regularly test the standard of your work as you go, you could finish the job only to find the building leaks. This means you’ll have to do the whole job again. And this is an unnecessary cost, especially when completing an ITP is so simple.
Now think of a fire-proofing job. If you didn’t do an ITP and that building catches fire, your business could be liable for damages, and this could send your business bankrupt. However, if you did complete an ITP, you have a record of all the checks you’ve made along the way, perhaps allowing you to prove your business isn’t at fault in the case of terrible circumstances arising.
ITPs will also help you improve your processes, allowing you to find ways of improving productivity and efficiency.
In short, ITPs are becoming a vital ingredient in a quality management system. By providing a clear plan of when, what and how inspections will be conducted, you can ensure your work is being completed to the highest possible standard, as well as providing your business with evidence to safeguard potential against lawsuits.
To get in touch with a Compliance Council compliance consultant, or for more information on reaching ISO 9001 compliance, leave us a message below.
To get your own ITP template, download our free Templates Toolkit by clicking here: