Quality Management for Integrated Contracts; can the client improve it?
Last Updated: 9-2019
ISO 9001 quality management is a method to manage the quality of the output of an organisation. For
Uniform Administrative Conditions for Integrated Contracts (UAC-IC), the Dutch Central Government
Real Estate Agency (RVB, i.e. public client) requires contractors to be ISO 9001 certified, indicating that
contractors work according to specific quality management principles. However, some contractors
indicate that quality management is ineffective and inefficient and that it causes an administrative
burden on a project.
Through qualitative methods, this research identified the role of a public client in enabling effective
and efficient quality management for the contractor in construction projects with UAC-IC. Also, this
research looked at why quality management is important for the client and what is important for the
client from the contractor’s quality management.
Quality management is important for the client to enable trust in the contractor. Trust in the contractor
is important to be able to distance himself from the contractor, to make payments possible and to
enable cooperation. Clients indicate that trust is primarily based on; requirements analysis, verification
and validation, risk management, deviation register, learning capacity, and attitude and behaviour.
The role of a public client in enabling effective and efficient quality management for the contractor is:
• Specification: The primary task of a public client is to express what he wants. To do so, the
specification must be unambiguous so that there is a clear description of what the client wants
and that there are as few changes as possible. This ensures that the contractor can design a
building that meets the wishes and expectations of the customer.
• Tendering: The public client must give the contractor the opportunity to perform the requirements
analysis sufficiently during the tender phase by giving the contractor sufficient time, drawing up
an unambiguous specification, and by choosing a contractor that is best suited for the project.
• Contract management: The public client must give the contractor the space to design its processes
by setting as few requirements as possible to the design of the process. The public client must
express his expectations of processes, and if these are not made known, the public client must give
the contractor the space to organise the processes themselves. The public client must allow the
contractor to be in contact with the users in order to identify implicit expectations and to clarify