A Construction Inspection and Test Plan (ITP) is a key element in the overall construction
quality control program that spells out the proper procedures to ensure that each step in a
project is being completed according to engineering specifications.
The Inspection and Test Plan identifies construction tasks or phases that will be examined, who will perform the inspections, the criteria for a successful outcome and what action will be taken in case of a failed test.
An ITP specifies every definable feature of work (DFOW) — a phase or task such as
excavation, concrete, electrical, plumbing or mechanical — and milestone inspections, such as when a floor is completed in an office building.
The ITP also specifies inspection hold points — when construction is halted until that particular test is completed successfully — and inspections or tests that must be witnessed by another member of the customer or construction team.
Properly identifying DFOWs is critical to developing an effective Inspection and Test Plan that provides sufficient detail to ensure quality control without going overboard and creating unnecessary work.
A definable feature is generally considered to be a task that is performed by work crews
separate from those completing other tasks. Materials used in the project also are subject to inspection and testing.
A typical Inspection and Test Plan covers 9 major components of a construction project, including:
● General information — includes the project name, number, location, description and the
scope of the project covered by the plan.
● Personnel — specifies the skills, training and certifications required of inspection
personnel; provides details on qualifications of individuals on the inspection team.
● Testing laboratories — lists the certifications and/or accreditations required for
independent laboratories involved in testing or quality control tasks.
● Equipment — lists measuring, testing and inspection devices that must be maintained
within tolerance of specifications as part of the quality control process.
● DFOWs — describe each identified task subject to inspection and testing.
● Inspection details; outlines the inspection/test required for each identified task and
details the personnel/laboratory responsible.
● Additional tests — defines additional tests (other than task-related inspections) required
by the contract or specifications as the project progresses; this may include milestone
inspections or hold points requiring customer approval before work resumes.
● Record of tests — provides details of required inspections or tests and the specifications
governing acceptance or rejection of results.
● Nonconformity — catalogs the actions that may be taken after a failed inspection or test;
may include continue work if the defect will not adversely affect further activity or stop
work if further action would be compromised by this defect; also specifies corrective
action to be taken, including rework, replace, repair or use as-is (if the nonconforming
item is adequate for its intended use)
Regardless of whether the project is under government or private sector contract, the Inspection and Test Plan is a vital document that all parties should insist on and agree to in its final form. In addition to ensuring quality control, it serves to validate the phases of the project.