Differences & Similarities Between AWI-QCP & The WI

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Two of the major quality assurance programs for architectural woodwork are the Woodwork Institute (WI) and us right here at AWI’s Quality Certification Program. While we’re separate institutions, there are ways in which we’re similar, as well as ways in which we’re different. This article explains it all. 


About AWI-QCP & The WI

Quality standards in any industry are necessary to ensure that the best practices are being applied, and that high standards are being met. That’s why, in 2009, the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) and the WI, along with the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC), worked together to produce the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS). To this day, these guidelines for quality assurance are still in use, while both institutions continue to improve and emphasize the importance of woodworking standards. 

There are a few immediate similarities between the WI and the AWI-QCP: we are both quality assurance institutions, enforcing high standards of interior woodwork, and are both well-respected organizations that serve as internal regulators within the woodworking industry. 

The last major similarity between us is that we both have the right and authority to inspect projects that use either the AWS or the North American Architectural Woodwork Standards (NAAWS). This is because both institutions collaborated in creating these standards, though there are some differences in the metrics and precedences used by each body. 


5 Key Differences Between AWI-QCP & The WI

As we’ve seen, there are similarities between AWI-QCP and the WI, especially when it comes to quality standards in the woodworking industry. But there are also several key differences:

  1. Differences in fees: The monitored compliance program of the WI requires 3% of the contract price of the woodwork. By comparison, AWI-QCP requires a 0.5% fee, with a minimum fee of $500 and a maximum fee of $10,000.
  2. Differences in inspections: Both QCP and the WI program provide inspections of installations and fabrications. However, AWI-QCP also offers virtual inspections, which are based on videos, photos and written reports. We have also put together a brief guide on how companies can avoid the common pitfalls of registering for a woodworking project inspection, making the process as smooth as possible.
  3. Differences in certification: One key difference between the WI program and QCP is the standards set for certification. While the WI grants certification for projects even if the woodworking firm is unlicensed, at QCP, we don’t provide project certification if the woodworking firm doesn’t hold a QCP license. We do, however, provide inspections, using a different fee structure and written inspection report. 
  4. Seismic inspections: Over the years, research has shown that wooden structures can withstand earthquakes better than those made from concrete or brick materials. The WI conducts seismic certifications for woodwork structures, while QCP does not.
  5. Updated standards: The AWI has now released a new suite of woodworking standards. In a break from the way the Architectural Woodwork Standards are written, AWI’s standards include prescriptive requirements for performance-based measures that provide woodworkers, architects, manufacturers, suppliers, installers, and users with more flexibility, value, and scope for innovation.


Whatever standards you’re using for your woodwork project, as a professional woodworking firm, it’s important to obtain a woodworking license. Getting a QCP license not only demonstrates the quality of your architectural woodwork, but also your credibility and reputation among clients. 

Find out more about the benefits of becoming QCP licensed.

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