Rest Assured: Uphold Your QCP Specification

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By Wayne Hintz, QCP Representative

AWI’s Quality Certification Program (AWI QCP) recently posted a pithy, 4+ minute animated YouTube message entitled “How QCP Can Be The Difference Between Woodworking Project Success And Failure”.   (See details in this issue’s “QCP Learning Opportunities” article; click here to access the video).  I saw this presentation for the first time a few moments ago and thought it did a good job summarizing the Quality Assurance risks often inherent in subcontracting woodworking firms which operate outside AWI QCP’s formidable universe of collective knowledge and resources.  As an AWI QCP licensing and project certification inspector, I offer here some “auxiliary” clarification and comment regarding a couple specific points mentioned in the YouTube video.

  1. The YouTube production mentioned that “Mike” (the animated AWI QCP licensed woodworker) created a project bid proposal which meets the specified AWI Standards.  However, it should be noted that AWI QCP emphasizes to its licensees that the Standards apply only in the absence of project specifications (and associated contract documents).  The standards themselves note in multiple locations that its rules apply only if the project’s contract documents do not require otherwise.  Thus, AWI QCP continuously reminds its woodworkers that specifications (and subsequent contract documents which may modify specifications) ALWAYS supersede the Standards in the event of conflicting requirements.  AWI QCP project certification is correspondingly based on conformance with both specifications, and any applicable AWI Standards.

  2. The video touched on two AWI QCP project inspections, one during fabrication of the product, and one during installation.  There is another similar inspection routinely offered to the woodworker (if the project schedule allows), and that is a review of shop drawings.  This is essentially a courtesy to the woodworker offered by the program, and the cost of the shop drawing review is included in the woodworker’s standard certification fee.  The goal of the review is to flag shop drawing details which appear to be nonconforming vis a vis specifications and/or AWI Standards.  Identification of such potential issues before production begins can be highly beneficial not only to the woodworker, but also for all project stakeholders, especially in terms of maintaining the project’s schedule.  An example of this occurred a few days ago during my review of some plastic laminate casework shop drawings.  The project specifications required both flush overlay cabinet construction (1/8” +/- reveal between doors of installed cabinets), and a five-knuckle “institutional” hinge.  As is typically the case, the specified hinge would have produced a 5/8” total door gap reveal between adjacent cabinets. My shop drawing review reported this issue to the woodworker, and provided him with the line-item reference number from the applicable AWI Standard, requiring doors with knuckle hinges to be notched (if necessary) to maintain full overlay construction, if also specified.

  3. It might be inferred from the video that the two AWI QCP inspections provided for “Mike” were provided automatically.  There are a number of circumstances and conditions under which AWI QCP published policies mandate inspection of the fabrication and/or installation phases of duly registered projects.  For example, after a woodworking firm’s initial licensing, inspection and certification of two projects is required before the licensee is authorized under program policies to self-certify work for which it is licensed.  Also, it is important to note that ANY project stakeholder (including architects and specifiers, of course) may request an AWI QCP project inspection, even without cause.  Under typical circumstances, there is again no additional cost beyond the woodworker’s initial certification fee.  Architects and specifiers may simply incorporate the requirement for inspection into the certified project’s specifications, provided QCP certification has also been required.