By Udayan Nag
With special focus on hot and humid regions, the sixth edition of Qatar Construction Specifications (QCS), set to be released within the next few years, might well turn out to be a global trend-setter. However, till it fits into the scheme of things, QCS 2014 continues to be mandatory for the various construction facilities in Qatar. Since Qatar Standards (QS) is the body which prepares QCS and gives the go-ahead for the various companies in this country to continue with their activities, Adel Mohamed Albgdady, civil engineer at QS, is one of the best bets to explain the process that organisations need to follow in order to obtain their respective certifications from QS.
“We are working in the Quality and Conformity Department of QS. This department deals with the companies which are manufacturing products inside Qatar,” says Albgdady. “First of all, the concerned organisation will submit an application to us, along with the company profile, which contains information about the company, i.e., location, details about materials, etc. We will check the details to see whether they meet the requirements of QCS. If the profile is approved, fees of QR100 per plant will need to be paid.”
Albgdady clarifies that the fees paid is for a particular plant of a company, and that a separate certificate is issued for each plant, because they all have different characteristics so the requirements that they need to fulfil will be different.
Mentioned below are some of the general requirements for obtaining the Conformity Certificate for ribbed steel coils and de-coiled bars.
* The ribbed bars, coils and de-coiled products shall be manufactured with steel ingots passed between grooved rolls
* All the steel bars in each lot shall be legibly tagged by the manufacturer, with the tag showing the manufacturer’s test number and a lot number and other applicable data that identifies the material together with the certificate issued for that lot of steel
* All the raw materials used for the production of steel shall be declared along with the recent chemical composition test results
* The factory area should be treated with a concrete or asphalt layer in order to keep the area clean
“The same company might have different factories, e.g., one in Industrial Area and another one in Lusail,” says Albgdady. “The profile for each plant is submitted separately, and after that we carry out our procedure for inspection.”
Albgdady reiterates that it’s the responsibility of the Quality and Conformity Department to carry out this task, so its staff will visit the concerned factory, collect the samples and send it to the central or third-party labs, which have been certified by Qatar Standards, for testing.
“We will take the samples of the raw materials, e.g., plastic, steel, etc. separately and the sample of the final product separately. Once the samples are collected, the name of the company/factory is removed, to maintain transparency, and replaced by a bar code.
“After the lab conducts its test, they will make the report. This is the final report which includes everything – application no., payment no., inspection date, sampling date, first trial, second trial (in case the first trial was unsuccessful). If the third trial is failed, then the process is started all over again.”
Albgdady says that the report prepared by the lab is then sent back to the Quality and Conformity Department’s sampling division, which will prepare the cover letter. “The final report will be made on the entire factory of the company, but when the certificates are issued they will be separate for each plant.”
And Albgdady adds that once the certificate is issued by QS, random inspections will be made by them every 2-3 months. “People from Qatar Standards will pay a surprise visit for collection of samples to check whether all the requirements are being fulfilled. The certificate is valid for one year after which the entire process has to be repeated. It’s advisable for companies to approach us two months before the expiry of their certification.”