A Technical Audit is a review of various aspects of a project to ensure that the contractor’s team at site is performing appropriately and is aligned with the requirements of the contract. Since construction projects typically involve several entities performing a number of concurrent tasks, a technical audit is found to be an effective tool for keeping everything on track and under budget.
Following are some of the benefits of a technical audit:
Technical Audit is different from a QMS audit under ISO 9001. The aim of audit under ISO 9001 is to assess conformance or non-conformance to the provisions of ISO 9001 and/or the organization’s Quality management system. It covers all the functions but does not examine the technical (Engineering) aspects of the operations.
For the technical audit, to be effective, it should be carried out by person(s) well acquainted with the Engineering/technical, commercial, and contractual aspects of construction. He should be experienced enough to spot any aspect which appears to be not in line with ‘good practice’. In short, the technical auditor should be an experienced construction engineer himself with an acute sense of observation. An added and crucial skill is that of asking the right questions, to elicit information and sense the root cause of the problem/situation.
As part of the preparation for conducting a technical audit, the auditor is provided with basic information about the project. This includes salient information related to the project, contract agreement, typical GA drawings, progress status, and overview of resource deployed. The technical audit is conducted by the auditor visiting the site accompanied by senior personnel from the site team. The auditor examines records, walks around the site and interacts with the site team, and gathers all relevant information. Through leading questions, the auditor guides the auditees into unearthing avenues for improvement and identifies root cause of problems. The auditor also shares his experiences of construction works in challenging the auditees and helping them benchmark their performance at a higher level.
The technical audit can be conducted by senior engineers from within the organization. However, there are certain advantages of outsourcing this activity, such as;
The auditor provides to the top management at the site as well as the corporate office an audit report containing;