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Quality Assurance

Samir G. Khoury, Ph.D., P.G.

This course introduces and describes the principles of Quality Assurance (QA) and the elements of a formal Quality Assurance Program. The concepts presented are applicable to projects and activities ranging from the design and construction of large and small buildings and structures, systems, subsystems, the manufacturing of components or complete products to providing professional services such as the implementation of site assessments and environmental and hazardous waste investigations. As such, the principles and concepts presented here are equally useful to all types of engineers, constructors, architects, contractors, building inspectors, surveyors and environmental and geological scientists. The payback of a well designed QA program includes:
  • delivering higher quality products and services,
  • reducing the time and money wasted in re-performing activities or correcting errors,
  • enhancing your professional reputation for delivering quality work on schedule and within budget,
  • minimizing crisis management and the associated stress,
  • potential reduction in loss time accidents or injuries, and
  • enhanced protection from the damaging effects of lawsuits and litigation.
This course addresses the 18 QA categories (criteria) that are formally identified in the Code of Federal Regulations. For each of the 18 criteria, the following questions are discussed: "What does this criterion address?", "Why is this criterion important?", and "How is this criterion implemented?". The following is the course outline:

  • Introduction
  • Components of a Formal QA Program
    • Criterion #1: Organization
    • Criterion #2: Quality Assurance Program
    • Criterion #3: Design Controls
    • Criterion #4: Procurement Document Control
    • Criterion #5: Instructions, Procedures and Drawings
    • Criterion #6: Document Control
    • Criterion #7: Control of Purchased Material, Equipment and Services
    • Criterion #8: Identification and Control of Materials, Parts and Components
    • Criterion #9: Control of Processes
    • Criterion #10: Inspection
    • Criterion #11: Test Control
    • Criterion #12: Control of Measuring and Test Equipment
    • Criterion #13: Handling, Storage and Shipping
    • Criterion #14: Inspection, Test and Operating Status
    • Criterion #15: Nonconforming Materials, Parts or Components
    • Criterion #16: Corrective Action
    • Criterion #17: Quality Assurance Records
    • Criterion #18: Audits, Surveillance and Managerial Controls
  • Conclusion
The text of this course is approximately 25 pages long and contains 12 figures.

At the end of this course, you will understand the purpose and benefits of a formal Quality Assurance Program, and be familiar with the 18 components of such a program. For each of the 18 components, you will learn: 1) what aspect of design, construction, manufacture or site studies the component addresses, 2) why this aspect is an important part of a Quality Assurance Program, and 3) how this component is actually implemented. You should then be able to evaluate, for your own projects or activities, which of these components are applicable, to what extent or degree the component should be applied, and what benefits you might realize if the component is properly implemented.

This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

* This course is acceptable to all the state PE boards except the New York State PE & PLS Board.

* If you are a registered professional land surveyor in Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas or Vermont, you need to take the approved courses for that specific state under the course category "Surveying & Mapping".

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.