Project Inspections – Part 2: The 5 QCP Inspection Categories

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There are five different categories of inspection within QCP certification, each of which we look at in more detail below. For all categories, the ideal process is for us to review the design professional’s shop drawings prior to fabrication, inspect the product during fabrication at the woodworker’s facility, and inspect the installation at least once.


1. Provisional Project Inspections

After a woodworking firm has achieved licensing in at least one category of work and at the point you have your first project where the specifications require QCP certification, you will have the first of two provisional inspections during fabrication and installation. Provisional inspections are required,  on each of the first two QCP projects worked on.

If you are both fabricating and installing woodwork, there will be an inspection both at your facility during the manufacturing process and at least one site inspection to look at the installation. 

After registration, the woodworker must request certification and pay the project fee at least two weeks in advance of fabrication. The more lead time there is, the better. This is important because QCP inspectors cannot fully certify a project unless they have seen the manufacturing process for that project at your plant. If this inspection does not occur, the project will receive a “modified certificate”. For the woodworking firm, this means it can take more than two projects to meet the provisional requirements, and you bear the costs for any additional inspection costs.

Once certification is requested, the project is assigned to a QCP inspector. Costs of inspection are covered by the project fee (with some exceptions as outlined in QCP Policies). Registration, certification, and payment can all be completed online. 

When a woodworking firm has two provisional projects successfully certified, you become a “self-labeling” accredited firm which means that future QCP projects may not require project inspection and you can issue QCP project certifications and labels by registering a project and requesting certification, provided the work conforms to the project specifications and the Architectural Woodwork Standards.


2. Three-Year Project Inspections

The next stage in inspection monitors a self-labeling woodworking firm’s qualifications for being a QCP licensee. You will be inspected on the next project which requires certification that is awarded to you on or after the three-year anniversary of your last certification date. This doesn’t mean it will be exactly three years after you completed your provisional projects, it just depends on when you are awarded a project that requires certification. The costs of inspection are once again covered by project fee (with some exceptions as outlined in QCP Policies).


3. QCP Random Inspections

Random inspections can take place during a self-labeling licensees’ certified project at the request of a project stakeholder, such as the architect, owner or general contractor, or at the direction of QCP. QCP can randomly inspect a project for a number of reasons, for example, if we weren’t able to complete the inspection on a previous project, or if an architect specifies that they require one or more inspections to take place. Again, the costs of the inspection are covered by project fee (with some exceptions as outlined in QCP Policies).


4. Probationary Project Inspections

A probationary project inspection takes place when there is a previously inspected project that ends with outstanding non-compliant items significant enough to prevent that project from having been certified. When that happens, a woodworker has the option of requesting acceptance by the architect or owner of those non-conforming items in a previously certified project, and the architect or owner must put their acceptance in writing that they are aware the project doesn’t conform to the specifications of the Architectural Woodwork Standards. If a project has a letter accepting variance (LAV), QCP policies require that the next certified project awarded to the woodworker which has as part of its scope at least some of the non-compliant categories of work from the previous project, the new project should be inspected. This can repeat itself until the woodworking company achieves a certified project. The licensee is responsible for both the project fee and the cost of inspection.


5. Challenge Inspections

Challenge inspections are rare, and occur when any party disagrees with a finding in the inspection report. For example, this could be a woodworker disagreeing on something QCP has listed as non-conforming, or the architect disagreeing when QCP states that something is compliant and they believe it’s not. Any party can challenge QCP’s findings, and we will inspect those particular items in the project again. The second inspection is performed by a different inspector than the first inspection. If the challenge is upheld as valid, the cost of the second inspection is borne by the licensee unless the challenger is the licensee.

Find out more about what happens after your project has gone through one of these five inspections


Register your project to ensure inspection.