Project Inspections – Part 1: What Happens Before A QCP Project Inspection?

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The QCP inspection process is intended to review the administrative and procedural requirements that QCP-licensed companies should follow in order to ensure their projects are both certified and adhere to industry standards and best practices. As an architectural woodworker, it is important to keep in mind that a good inspection process can be the differentiating factor for a project to be considered QCP-certified or not.

In this article we’ll look at what happens before a QCP project inspection takes place. You can also read
more about what happens during and after project inspections, as well as the five different types of
project inspections.

Overall, the more pro-active you are during the inspection process, the easier it will be. Documentation is paramount, and communication is everything.


What is the Difference Between Licensing and Project Certification?

First, let’s clarify the difference between licensing and certification. A woodworking firm (not individual woodworkers) can be licensed by QCP. Licensing is available for manufacturing, finishing, and installation, or any combination of those.

Certification, as we talk about it in this guide, relates to the validation of an individual project. In order to have a QCP-certified project, the woodworking firm awarded the contract must hold a QCP license. They are also referred to as the licensee. It’s the woodworker’s responsibility to register a QCP-certified project that has been awarded to you if the architect hasn’t already done so. 


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What Happens Before Inspections Take Place?

There are a couple of factors to be aware of before any QCP inspection takes place. We find that these factors come up frequently and can cause problems with certifying a project – but they are avoidable. 

  • Submittals: There must be written permission to change any specification or line item in the Architectural Woodwork Standards on both shop drawings and mock-ups. General approval of shop drawings by the design professional which contain such modifications does not constitute permission to change details that are specified on the Standards. The extra step to get written permission from the design professional for any changes can be very important to final certification in the event that any modification is questioned by one of the stakeholders.
  • Care and handling specifically related to humidity and temperature: Unstable temperature and humidity in a project space can lead to significant failure in the woodwork, for example when an installation begins before the space is properly enclosed. The architect, general contractor, and owner are responsible for this in relation to design, relative humidity exposure, and humidity extremes after occupancy, but the woodworker is responsible for delivering the woodwork in accordance with the process schedule provided by the general contractor. If this is also when the space may cause damage to the millwork, you should try to avoid installation under these conditions and get a waver in writing from the GC. If humidity is a concern you have addressed with the GC, it is a best practice to request a QCP inspection immediately after installation as record that the millwork met specification at the time of install.