Quality Management System Design & Implementation

quality management

Are your quality systems “up to scratch”? Are you faking it to keep your certification, while explaining quality failures as being somebody else’s fault? Have you been thinking that you really do need to do something about formalising your existing quality management approach, but are scared off by horror stories of “over-the-top” paperwork?

Charles Nelson, LFRAIA, AIA, AECPM, is recognised internationally as an authority on the application of ISO 9001 QM systems for design practices. He’s written the only three books in print on the subject, delivered hundreds of workshops on QM across three continents, and has helped over 200 Australian design firms become certified.

Charles’ QMS clients include the largest real estate developer in Japan, the second largest water services provider in the US, and scores of small, medium-size and large design practices and contractors. To get it ‘right first time’, (or second time) with the least hassle, paperwork and red tape possible, there is only one ‘best’ source.

A good way to start is to get Charles’ latest book: Managing Quality in Architecture, 2nd Ed. (Routledge, 2017) Review it. Get your questions together, then have a free, no-obligation chat with Charles about what you want to do: cnelson@psmj.com.


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You Asked...

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  1. We have a lot of quality control built into the way we design. Why do we need another whole layer of checking on whether we did it right?


    Question 1 answer:

    Every design practice practices some level of quality control – they’d be out of business fast if they didn’t. Yet, way too many projects in pretty good firms still run into quality issues that create delay, rework and extra cost. Why? It’s often the things you aren’t focusing on that “fall through the cracks” and create the problems.

    Sure, there is some cost to a good quality system. But if it’s designed right, the time and money it SAVES more than cover the cost.

  2. What's the difference between "QA-QC" and "QMS"?


    Question 2 answer:

    “QA-QC” means Quality Assurance and Quality Control. It’s an obsolete term, even though still commonly used in the US. A QMS – or Quality Management System – includes QA (Assurance to the Client) and QC.

    It also includes the critically important Quality Planning function as well as after-completion checking, Quality Verification. Leave those out, and you’ve only got half the picture.

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