Are Your Pre Construction Meetings Successful? The 5 Core Areas That Need to be Covered

By Ed Caldeira

Quality, safety, scheduling, administrative issues and, above all, how to keep your customer satisfied. These are the principal reasons you should hold a pre-construction meeting. A well-structured pre-construction meeting helps ensure that your project proceeds smoothly. It also eliminates confusion and ruffled feathers when you're faced with the inevitable issues that arise during a project.

For this discussion, we'll focus on handling the QA/QC part of your preconstruction meeting. I'll give you a few general guidelines, and then discuss the key topic areas you should cover.

In case you are developing a quality control plan, you ought to reference how to utilize your pre-construction meetings as a part of your QA/QC measures.

To give you an idea, we include a section on pre construction meetings (also known as project startup meetings) in the Process Controls section of our ISO 9001 Quality Management Plans. In our simpler Essentials Quality Control Plans we discuss the topic in the Project Coordination and Communications section. And, in our comprehensive Construction Quality Control Plans we include some discussion in both areas.

Basic QA/QC Pre-Construction Meeting Principles

Set an agenda

Furnish every person a copy of your agendabeforehand. Determining the channels of interaction, the coordination of quality inspections, dealing with the nonconformances and the hierarchy of command - all these are aspects you ought to incorporate in your agenda.

Even though in several instances these subjects can well be dealt with as your construction project makes progress, the pre construction meeting will be your opportunity to deal with all these crucial concerns in a much more formal, less haphazard and also much less distressing manner.

If perhaps your customer would like to conduct the meeting, both you and your customer need to discuss in advance to make certain that all your agenda points have been included.

Include the important players

Make certain to include all of the important QA/QC players such as the project owner, sub-contractors, representatives, and managers. Also, strive to carry out the meeting so that every one of the participants have a voice.

You can have a flip chart and note down the suggestions and opinions getting talked over. This would keep your meeting on the focused topics and enable the participants understand that their voices really are getting listened to.

After the meeting, send the minutes (including your talking points) to each individual.

5 Essential Subject Areas to be Discussed

1. Establish QA/QC roles and responsibilities

An individual could be a quality manager in his organization, however that title can signify a different role for this particular project. You ought to be certain every person is really clear on her or his function and the project quality responsibilities that go along with that position.

2. Define problem solving procedures

Precisely how would you deal with difficulties? Problems would crop up; they almost always do. Your pre-construction meeting is really the time when you need to very clearly specify the measures you need adopted for fixing them.

For instance, in the event of nonconformances, what's the hierarchy of command you desire adhered to in order to bring them into specification. Put simply, as soon as your inspector or superintendent detects a nonconformance, who decides its disposition, who will get the clearance from the project owner to move forward, and so on...

3. Fix a routine for regular project QA/QC meetings

Scheduling the regular weekly or monthly project meetings to look at any quality concerns, status reports, or perhaps something of an administrative nature are things you can go over at the preconstruction meeting. You ought to establish guidelines for these preconstruction meetings, specify where and when they would take place, and who need to participate.

4. Organize the prepatory meetings

After you break the project into phases, set an agenda for holding a prepatory meeting before each new phase begins. During these meetings, you'll want to coordinate how each participant will handle his or her role including establishing "job-ready" requirements, carrying out reviews of specifications and inspection and test results.

The prepatory meetings really are the moment to point out probable quality issue areas. Let us assume you are particularly concerned with the flatness of a foundation. Consider such possible problem areas like a specification and perhaps actually itemize all of them on an inspection checklist.

Your prepatory meetings are ideal forums for identifying and preventing quality issues of concern. So, use your pre construction meeting to let everyone know to allot time for the prepatory meetings during the project.

5. Setting up quality expectations

Set up your quality philosophy and policies of the construction project. Perhaps your entire focus is actually on first-time quality. In such a case, you need to declare your expectation that job be accomplished right the very first time rather than rely on audits to identify issues.

The preconstruction meeting will be your chance to fortify a shared philosophy that everybody is part of a team completely focused on different quality functions in order to complete a successful construction project.


Establishing an agenda, aiding a conversation between all the important players, and coordinating quality assurance and quality control assessments will make sure that your pre construction meeting establishes the course for a successful construction project.

Take some time to plan ahead of time and get all your crucial quality personnel involved.

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