Everything An Architect Needs To Know About Woodworking’s Quality Certification Program

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As an architect, the benefits of adhering to AWI’s Quality Certification Program include building your business, consistently exceeding your clients’ expectations, and earning an outstanding reputation. 

Better known simply as QCP, this quality program was developed by the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) in order to standardize the use of high-quality materials, best practices, and improved communication regarding woodwork specs. 

QCP-licensed woodworking firms have a demonstrated ability to deliver on quality, skill, and work ethic – another reason they’re so important to architects around the country. 

In the meantime, here are some questions (and answers!) we’re frequently asked by architects about QCP.


What Is QCP And What Are The Standards In Architectural Woodwork?

AWI’s Quality Certification Program, or QCP, is a technical accreditation awarded based on compliance with the woodworking standards developed by the Architectural Woodwork Institute. Although a QCP license isn’t a legal or mandatory requirement, it’s recognized by architects, woodworkers, and general contractors alike, and helps to reassure clients of a woodworking firm’s capabilities. In this way, QCP certification is more appropriately considered as an integral part of internal regulations that helps to ensure the industry’s best practices are being followed.

AWI Standards provide best practices for the architectural woodworking industry. They provide guidance for every area of woodworking, from standard measurements and design work to the quality of materials being used in a project. To ensure these standards are being complied with, a network of qualified inspectors carry out audits of woodworkers applying for a QCP licence. 


The certification covers the following aspects of architectural woodworking:

QCP-licensed woodworking firms have all the credibility you need when it comes to providing high-quality products and services. This brings peace of mind to any architect or client, who can rest assured they’re working with a company recognized for industry-leading quality and practices. 


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Why Is QCP Important To Architects?

QCP recognition is important to architects because it minimizes the hassle of hyper-specifying the project requirements: quite simply, clients can have more confidence in the abilities of a licensed woodworking firm. The AWI-QCP standards also:

  • Facilitate communication between architects, contractors, and suppliers
  • Ensure that the suppliers and woodworkers are more than competent in what they do
  • Establish a level of credibility that’s hard to demonstrate without certification

Additionally, those who choose to become QCP-licensed work with architects on a very professional level. This eliminates the need for the architect to conduct laborious background-checks of a firm’s capabilities. Instead, being secure in the knowledge that they’re working with a quality-assured woodworking firm, projects are expedited and the final product is always of the highest caliber. 


How Does QCP Specify Architectural Standards?

QCP specifies architectural standards for every stage of a woodworking project, including fabrication, installation, and finishing, and these standards contain all the necessary specs to ensure high-quality materials and final product. 


What Types of Projects Are Best-Suited To QCP Certification? 

Most interior architectural woodworking projects are eligible for QCP certification. At the same time, certification is best-suited to projects that require bespoke woodwork and quality materials. 

Anything from corporate boardrooms and executive offices to hospitals, schools, and museums would benefit from interior architecture which is fabricated and installed by a QCP-certified woodworking firm.


What Are The Common Errors Of Specifying Woodwork?

Two of the most common errors made by architects when specifying woodwork are incorrect references and incomplete references. These errors typically occur when an architect has specified a QCP-licensed woodworker but has forgotten to include the labels for the project.

It’s crucial for an architect to include labels in their specifications because they are used by contracted woodworkers to order the correct QCP labels upon the registration of the project. Remembering to include project labels will therefore dramatically expedite the process by ensuring that everything’s done right from the get-go. 


Can You Get Accurate Specs For Woodwork When Outsourcing?

When outsourcing spec writers, it’s important to remember that in order for your woodwork specs to be accurate, you must hire a writer who is confident in their knowledge of AWI-QCP – otherwise, they may incorrectly specify the interior woodworking, and this could affect your QCP certification.

Many architectural companies are now outsourcing their spec writing. If this describes you, just ensure that your outsourced writer has a demonstrated grasp of AWI’s Standards so that you can feel confident that your specs are accurate.

Want to know more? Download our free guide to QCP for architects.

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