Last edited 31 May 2021

Main author

ConSIG CWG Institute / association Website

Design Best Practice Self-Assessment Tool

Access the tool at:


[edit] Background

Typically today:

In 2020, the Chartered Quality Institute published a piece of Quality guidance called the Construction Project Lifecycle which laid out the key Quality steps required to maximise the chance of success in construction projects. This guidance sparked wide interest and positive comments around the world. These interested people felt that more guidance about Quality Best Practices in the design stages of projects would be an extremely useful guidance tool.

[edit] The Best Practice Tool

This Quality Best Practice Self-Assessment tool (for Concept and Developed Design Stages) has been developed by a small group of leading quality experts from America, Australia, Canada & the UK, from a tool developed in the UK Airport Infrastructure industry.

The tool is aimed primarily at Construction Clients but can be used by Architects or Construction companies involved in the Concept and design stages of a project.

The belief is that use of this tool can significantly reduce the risks faced in projects by following well proven best practices developed from around the world. This will lead to major cost avoidance, timely delivery, and enhanced reputations.

[edit] When should this Tool be used?

The tool should be used during the Concept Design and Developed Design stages of a project (as defined by UK's RIBA organisation). Sometimes called Options and Scheme design stages.

The starting point is the Business Case approval Gateway (or some kind of project kick off decision.) That is: - a Client/Owner has had an idea, decided that it should be explored and set aside the necessary funds to develop a more detailed proposal.

At the end of the Concept stage, there may be a Recommended Option Approval Gateway before the commencement of the Developed Design Stage. On lower risk projects, this may also include funding for the entire project.

At the end of the Developed Design Stage, it is likely that the more detailed cost and schedule would be used to seek approval for the funding of the entire project.

After this (and not covered by this guidance) the project would move to production design, delivery stages and then to Handover and Operation/Maintenance.

[edit] How is the tool used?

The Tool is a subjective assessment of project progress made by the Project Manager, Quality Manager and a PMO representative.

It takes about 1-2 hours to complete and should be undertaken three times during each stage of the project.

The tool outputs a ‘percentage complete’ score. Experience has shown that projects with acceptable levels of risk have scores well over 90%. Any score lower than this should prompt many questions and careful risk assessment.

Access the tool at:

[edit] Contributors

Original work commissioned by Heathrow and lead by Helen Soulou with much input from Arup, Atkins and Jacobs.

The subsequent development of the tool has been undertaken by:

Original article written by David Myers on behalf of the CQI Construction Special Interest Group and approved for publication on 4th May, 2021.

--ConSIG CWG 23:30, 16 May 2021 (BST)

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