Recommended Minimum Qualifications for Transportation Project Quality Roles
management is a critical part of the successful delivery of transportation
projects. Owner agencies, designers, contractors and material suppliers all
require certain key quality roles to assure that the final product meets requirements.
Typical roles include quality assurance engineers/managers; project resident
engineers; project quality managers; design quality managers; construction
quality managers and quality control managers. These roles can vary depending
on project delivery method used or by agency organizational structure. People
filling these roles must have relevant design and construction education and
experience, but also require a minimum level of understanding of quality
Currently, there are
no national guidelines for minimum qualifications for personnel filling quality
roles on public transportation projects. Several certification programs exist,
Transportation Training and Certification Program (NETTCP) Quality Assurance
Management for Contractors certification developed by the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (USAEC) and U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC).
American Society for
Quality Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, Quality
Engineer, and Quality Auditor.
ISO Lead Auditor.
However, most agencies do not require certification
for quality roles, instead relying on minimum educational and experience levels
that may or may not include quality management training or experience.
Increased knowledge of quality management principles will lead to improved
outcomes on transportation projects, including less rework, extended facility
life, reduced operating costs, and fewer traffic delays.
minimum qualifications for design and construction quality management roles on
public transportation projects.
Ineffective quality management in the transportation
project delivery process can lead to project delays and cost escalation due to
constructability problems, rework, and disputes, as well as reduced service
life and increased maintenance costs of completed facilities. Published reports
have estimated that rework due to inadequate quality on construction projects
can amount to seven to eleven percent of total project cost. Given the total
cost of delivering public transportation projects in the United States,
improved quality management in design and construction could result in millions
of dollars in annual savings to taxpayers.
reports and articles discuss quality management approaches on transportation
projects (many specific to design-build contracting). However, none discuss in
detail the qualifications needed to effectively conduct various quality roles.
and Molenaar, K.: “Fundamental Project Quality Assurance Organizations in
Highway Design and Construction” – ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering,
Gransberg, D., Molenaar, K.: “Analysis of
Owner's Design and Construction Quality Management Approaches In Design/Build
Projects” – American Society of Civil Engineers, 2004.
Baabak Ashuri, Ph. D., Yashovardhan Jallan, Jung Hyun Lee:
“Materials Quality Management for Alternative Project Delivery” - Georgia Department
of Transportation, May 2018.
Ghada M. Gad, Simon A. Adamtey, Douglas D.
Gransberg: “Trends in Quality Management Approaches to Design–Build
Transportation Projects” - Transportation Research Record: Journal of the
Transportation Research Board, No. 2504, Transportation Research Board,
Washington, D.C., 2015, pp. 87–92.
Gransberg, D., and K. Molenaar: “Analysis of Owner’s
Design and Construction Quality Management Approaches in Design/Build Projects”
- Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2004, pp. 162–168.
Gransberg, D., Datin, J., and Molenaar, K. (2008).
NCHRP Synthesis 376: Quality Assurance in Design-Build Projects, Transportation
Research Board, Washington, DC.
Task 1 – Literature review.
Include public transportation agency specifications related to quality
management for design and construction.
Task 2 – Survey
of public transportation agencies to determine current requirements for quality
management roles (including agency, designer and contractor roles), for both
traditional delivery and alternative delivery projects.
Task 3 - Identify
existing training/certification programs for quality management related to
transportation project delivery, or other related industry sectors. Review the
prerequisites, course content, intended audience guidelines, examination
process, and recertification requirements.
Task 4 – Develop
suggested minimum qualifications for various quality management roles,
including education, certification, and experience requirements. Consider both
traditional and alternative project delivery methods.
Task 5 – Publish a guide for agencies to use to
develop minimum qualification/certification requirements for various quality
management roles on transportation projects.
Implementation of the guidelines will be
accomplished through presentations at the AASHTO Committee on Materials and
Pavements, AASHTO Committee on Construction, and through presentation at
various regional and national meetings and conferences (including the TRB
annual meeting), as well as a TRB webinar. State DOT materials engineers,
construction engineer and QA engineers will be key personnel to lead
implementation of the guidelines by means of revised specifications. This will
involve partnering efforts with the contracting and consulting community as
well as material producer organizations.
Potential challenges will be similar to those
encountered when organizations worked to improve safety; it may require a shift
in cultural beliefs for agencies and industry to invest in additional education
and/or certification of their staff. Inconsistent terminology related to QA
will present challenges by inhibiting effective communication at the national
The AASHTO Committee on Materials and Pavements (specifically technical subcommittee 5c, Quality Assurance and Environmental) will be instrumental in the implementation effort:
Curt Turgeon, Minnesota DOT, Chair of TS 5c
Tel.: (651) 366-5535
|Sponsoring Committee:||AKC30, Quality Assurance Management
|Research Period:||12 - 24 months|
|RNS Developer:||Rick Bradbury, Director of Materials Testing and Exploration, Maine Department of Transportation|
|Source Info:||Rick Bradbury, Director of Materials Testing and Exploration, Maine Department of Transportation|
Tel: (207) 624-3482
Elizabeth Kraft, National Quality Director, Atkins
Tel: (720) 352-4216
|Index Terms:||Quality assurance, Specialized training, Certification, Project management, |
Education and Training