By Lana Aziz, Gulf Region NorthMarch 26, 2007
DAHUK, Iraq, March 21, 2007 - A class of Iraqi engineers completed a four-day course in construction quality management, enhancing their job skills to achieve a quality product safely, on time and within budget.
The instructor of the course, Peggy McBride is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Quality Assurance lead for the Europe District. McBride explained how the construction quality management course, or CQM, teaches engineers the execution of tasks that ensure construction is performed according to plans and specifications; completed on time within a defined budget, and done in a safe work environment.
"This class gives the Iraqi contractors the ability to meet the Corps' construction contract requirements, and trains them to be contractor quality control personnel," McBride said. "We give them standards that can be applied throughout Iraq."
The 32-hour class develops the engineers' confidence in working with contractors throughout the life of a contract, offering general information about construction quality management - what to look for and how to ensure quality.
"The contractors are responsible for achieving that quality, but the engineers need to understand their role, and make sure they get a good quality product that the Corps can turn over to the Iraqi community," McBride explained.
Class participants receive student workbooks and CD-ROM modules, and training is divided into four phases: introduction, lecture, video clips, and site visits.
"Quality assurance succeeds through a partnership between the contractor and the government," McBride said. "The contractor is responsible for the daily quality of the work, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' quality assurance employee helps ensure that the contractor's quality control program is effective and productive."
The CQM class is offered to Iraqi associates working for USACE, as well as members of the Provincial Reconstruction Team from the Ninewa Province and C Company, 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion personnel.
"The training improved our engineering experiences and helped develop our technical skills, so we can handle engineering difficulties and fix contracting violations in accordance with the project engineers," said Masuood Muhammed, an Iraqi civil engineer employed in the Corps' Dahuk Area Office, who took the course.
"All contractors should take such classes so they know the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' system" he added. "This will improve the 'lead by example' attitude the U.S. Army implements."
Renas Shwany, an architecture engineer who works with the Province Reconstruction Team, said that although the course curriculum is compact, it was complete. "Everything we learned from this class will be applied to our projects, so we can deliver better quality."
McBride said she and John Carr, Dahuk resident engineer, will offer this course for all Iraqi engineers in the Gulf Region District in Iraq, to include those in the Central and South Districts in Baghdad and Talil, respectively.
This enables the Iraqi government to assume responsibility for their infrastructure and, on a more personal level, enables Iraqi engineers to develop professionally, according to McBride.