The construction job site is a complex environment in which many stakeholders manage their own responsibilities. Since it’s difficult for the architect to monitor all aspects at once, it’s important to enforce quality assurance so that all work meets the necessary standards. In terms of architectural woodworking and millwork, this quality assurance is best achieved through the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Quality Certification Program (AWI/QCP).
What is QCP?
At its core, QCP is a way for interior architectural woodworking firms to earn licenses that prove their industry-leading knowledge and skills. There are 35 licenses that firms can apply for, each focusing on a separate aspect of the craft.
To earn a license, a woodworking firm must:
- Pass two extensive written tests, covering the latest edition of the AWI Standards and of QCP Policies
- Submit 10 trade references from project stakeholders, with at least two from design professionals, two from general contractors, and two from project owners
- Submit sample shop drawings for their chosen license that meet AWI Standards or Architectural Woodwork Standards and build fully conforming product samples
- Allow a QCP inspector to visit and evaluate the product samples and two projects completed within the previous two years
Any firm that holds a QCP license has proven that their abilities as an interior architectural woodworker are among the best in the industry. In addition, their willingness to pursue higher professional qualifications is evidence of their desire to manufacture, fabricate, and install unparalleled woodwork. These traits not only qualify the woodworker for exclusive, high-value projects, but also provide a range of benefits for the architects of architectural woodworking and millwork projects.
How does hiring a QCP-licensed woodworking firm benefit the architect?
There’s a reason not every woodworking firm possesses a QCP license. Meeting the necessary requirements is a challenging process that demands a commitment to following the standards and providing the product as specified. Firms also need the confidence to have a third party inspect and confirm that their work meets the requirements.
When you hire a QCP-licensed firm for an architectural woodworking or millwork project, you can be sure that you’ve selected one of the most competent and credible contractors the industry has to offer. This industry-wide stamp of approval means you can exceed client expectations, and become a trusted partner for future projects.
Rather than simply relying on their previous accomplishments, an expert inspector may visit any QCP-certified project to verify that the woodwork meets AWI Standards. This third-party quality assurance ensures that your project has the same durability, consistency, and attention to detail, and that any non-conformities are identified and addressed. That means you can de-risk your project and reduce your liability if a dispute occurs.
Since all QCP-licensed firms are well versed in AWI Standards, you can include this common language within your project specifications. This saves much time over needing to hyper specify project requirements, accelerating the work and improving your ability to meet installation deadlines.
Accurate and comparable bidding
With their comprehensive understanding of AWI Standards and commitment to following specifications, QCP-licensed firms are better equipped to accurately estimate the time and budget required for an architectural woodworking or millwork project. This includes selecting the correct types and grades of materials, and accounting for possible defects that will need resolving. Providing accurate and comparable bids at the start of your project lets you avoid disappointing your client, and creates a positive outcome for all stakeholders.
Fast and flexible
When hiring a woodworking firm, their QCP license saves you from needing to perform laborious background checks to confirm their abilities. During the project, they’re able to perform virtual inspections with a QCP inspector, which accelerates the verification process. Add to this their dedicated work ethic and adaptable skills, and you can expect far fewer delays compared to a non-licensed firm, especially since the QCP inspection process never delays a project.
Build your reputation
The quality of service and woodwork that your chosen firm provides reflects back on you as the project architect. Therefore, hiring a QCP-licensed firm allows you to build a reputation as a reliable, responsible, and committed industry professional. Not only does this allow you to secure further work from your clients, it also helps you attract bigger and better projects that grow your business.
Confidence and peace of mind
Working on a large-scale or complex project can be stressful. But working with a firm you know you can trust relieves the pressure of micromanaging every aspect of construction. Requiring and upholding QCP certification provides you and your client with evidence that the project meets your specification, relieving a great deal of pressure.
Register your project with QCP to enjoy the full benefits
You can hire a QCP-licensed firm for any architectural woodworking or millwork project to benefit from their superior skills. But to ensure peak quality assurance, receive QCP inspections, and prevent repercussions from product defects, you’ll need to register your project with AWI/QCP.
Registering your project is quick, easy, and free. Fill in our registration form today, and bring the full benefits of QCP to your next project.