What is an Inspection & Test Plan (ITP)
An Inspection & Test Plan (ITP) is an industry term used to describe the quality assurance tool employed in construction projects to define the process for managing quality control and assurance of a specific element of the construction activities. As an essential component of a project’s Quality Management System (QMS), this comprehensive document must include ample information on an activity’s requirements, an outline of the methods that will be utilised, concerned parties and their respective responsibilities, as well as the evidentiary documentation required to substantiate compliance.
It’s better to call the ITP, ‘assurance Plan’
Moreover, it must be detailed enough to cover all the risks associated with the activity in question. When conceived effectively, an ITP may also enhance communication, help with setting the right expectations and encourage positive collaboration among the project team. Contrary to what the terms inspection and test may imply, the ITP is not only intended for the inspection and testing of the finished product. Quite the contrary, it so much more than that. As a matter of fact, to do justice to its capabilities, the terminology ‘Assurance Plan’ would have been more appropriate.
The advantages of ITP; Modality warranty-related
All in all, the ITP is a highly useful tool that should be used to reprise the following activities:
- Activities that consist of verifying the compliance of works, such as testing, documentation verification, and inspection of works
- Activities that are meant to be performed to establish compliance, such as third-party witness inspections and tests for confirmation of satisfactory completion, and evidentiary documentation.
The ITP may include any quality assurance-related activity no matter what stage of the delivery it is at. For instance, an ITP may contain a provision which indicates that a special category of works may only be undertaken by qualified workers and include specifics on how that requirement will be verified or inspected at the beginning of every task. Hence, the term ‘inspection’ does not only refer to actual construction work but may also denote documentation, a piece of equipment, or credentials that require inspection.
5 outlines of ITP; For those that want indications
Moreover, a key component of the ITP is the clear indication of the nature of the evidence that must be produced to demonstrate that the requirement has in fact been inspected and met, as well as its storage location for future use or for it to be included in the document package submitted with every project upon completion. In short, the ITP offers a rundown of the five Ws (who, what, when, where, and why) and the how pertaining to the quality of an element of the works, as follows:
- It states What the requirements are
- It goes through the inspection and tests that are to be undertaken and explains How and Where compliance requirements will be verified
- It explains the means through which compliance with requirements will be established. Who will be in charge of the verification of works and their compliance? Also, what documentation must be produced to demonstrate compliance and where will it be filed for future reference?
- It specifies When inspections and testing must be completed and why?
The elaboration of an ITP must include more details
The extent of the details included in the ITP will be at the discretion of the person in charge of its elaboration and will be conditioned by various elements, the main one being the nature of the activity. However, the amount of detail included must take into account all the elements that are applicable to the scope of works and be pertinent to the assurances the ITP intends to plan for. More often than not, the quantity of details is commensurate with the level of risk involved. The more complex the activity, the more detail must be included in the ITP.
The elaboration of an ITP does not have to be a complicated matter. It must however be carefully thought-out and planned to ensure its effectiveness. However complex it may seem, the production of an effective ITP becomes quite straightforward when it is approached in a systematic and methodical fashion. A common strategy used for the elaboration of an ITP is the utilisation of a checklist, which can be a handy tool to ensure that the totality of the requirements set out in the ITP have been fulfilled. By including specific details of the requirements on a checklist and referring to it progressively, it becomes easier to prevent repetition and ensure no requirements have been omitted.
Better to be safe than sorry; trivial elements in the ITP
In closing, the time investment and efforts devoted to the production of an ITP could prove vital in the effective detection, prevention and mitigation of quality incidents which could otherwise be detrimental to the proper execution of a project. The few extra minutes devoted to incorporating an additional element to the ITP, as trivial as it may have seemed initially, could very well end up being the reason for saving a significant amount of time and money, without which project profitability would have most likely taken a big hit. So, the moral of the story here is that it’s better to be safe than sorry.