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Quality Times | News and updated from the AWI Quality Certification Corporation
September 12, 2013
Fall 2013
Reminder! QCC's toll-free phone number has changed to (855) 345-0991
In This Issue:
Top News
•  QCP’s Defense of Your Accreditation and Prequalification
•  “Heads Up” for QCP Participants: AWS Edition 2 Release & Written Test Are around the Corner!
•  Keep It Current: 2014 QCP Renewal Period Begins Nov. 1
•  QCC Touts Value of Q-Accreditation at AWFS® Fair
QCP Policies Explorer
•  AWS Edition 2 Written Test
The View from Here
•  QCP: An Efficient Quality Control Program
Tech Talk
•  Filling in the Blanks: Where the Specifications End, the AWS Begins Case In Point: Wall Paneling
Upcoming Events
•  Opportunities to Learn More about QCP
Q Top News
QCP’s Defense of Your Accreditation and Prequalification
As a participating Quality Certification Program (QCP) woodworking firm, at some point you committed considerable time and resources to successfully complete the accreditation process.  You decided to become a program participant because you saw the requirement for QCP project certification appear in your market with some regularity.   You calculated that the “prequalification” provided by accreditation would allow you to win some of those contracts, adding to your bottom line.  Since your successful accreditation effort, that calculation has hopefully proven to be correct.

However, there may also have been an occasion when you learned that a QCP project for which you submitted a bid had been awarded to a competitor who you happen to know was not QCP accredited, was not an applicant to the Program, and was possibly not even an AWI member.  That competitor did not include project certification costs in their bid number, either because they didn’t know what the certification requirement meant, or they hoped that it could be deleted if they won the contract.  In these days of slim margins and intense competition, it may have been the case that their undermining of the certification specification was a factor in your loss of the bid.

For years, this scenario has also been a serious concern for QCP.   When deletion of the certification requirement takes place after a project is awarded, it is not only unfair and damaging for our participating companies, but it also negatively impacts QCP.   We describe below the efforts mounted by QCP and the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) for some time to discourage the “value engineering” of QCP certification out of the contract documents.  Because we all operate in a relatively free market, there are limitations to the measures AWI/QCP can take.  However, there are useful options which we are exercising.

Educating Your Customers

First, AWI/QCP is continually engaged in an educational effort targeting general contractors, architects, and project owners’ representatives regarding the benefits of QCP as an economical and flexible quality assurance and risk management tool.  Once those advantages are understood, a general contractor might think twice about awarding a project to a non-accredited woodwork subcontractor who chose to ignore the project’s certification requirement during bid. Or, an architectural firm might be far more inclined to insist that its certification specification be upheld if challenged on the basis of cost.

This educational effort takes place in a number of different ways.  One-on-one conversations and correspondence with general contractors and architects occur daily at the QCP staff and inspector level.   The AWI Speaker’s Bureau also has a formal “QCP” presentation available for the design community.  This presentation is often in a “lunch and learn” format, and benefits for architects include continuing education credits required for that profession.   To date in 2013, this seminar has been presented nearly 30 times around the U.S.

AWI is also taking advantage of new technology to scale up its communication with the design community with respect to QCP.  A QCP-focused webinar event is planned for 2014 (date to be determined) which will be available to 90 AWI "Affiliate Members,” a category comprised almost exclusively of architects.

Enforcing Certification Requirements

In addition to these efforts to encourage enforcement of certification requirements, certain QCP policies and procedures are designed to ensure (where possible) that non-accredited companies who win certifiable projects are subject to a similar “cost of doing business” as companies that have achieved accreditation.  It is a regular occurrence that a non-QCP woodworking firm (or the general contractor who hired them) contacts QCP informing us that their project is nearly complete, and the architect is asking for a certificate.  After breaking the news to them that only a QCP-accredited company can certify a project, we offer a fallback option:  If acceptable to the architect, the project can be inspected (once), and a compliance report issued.  However, the cost of that service to the woodworker or general contractor is the customary QCP project fee PLUS an additional $3,500.00.  (That additional “surcharge” is the current cost of application to QCP for a non-AWI member.) Then, even if inspected, the project is still not eligible for certification.  This “non-participant” inspection service is offered mainly as a courtesy to the architect, who typically assumed all along that their certification specification was being followed.  At whatever point in a project QCP learns that a non-accredited woodworker has been subcontracted, we immediately contact the architect to inform them that project certification will not be possible.  We also let them know that the non-participant compliance inspection is available, and has been described to the woodworker. 

Incidentally, as stated in QCP Policies, participants are encouraged to report any work by non-accredited companies which shows up on jobs specifying certification. 

In some markets, competing with non-accredited companies for QCP projects will undoubtedly continue to be part of the landscape for QCP participants.  However, we pledge to continue our day-to-day efforts to defend your accreditation and “prequalification” as assets for your company.
“Heads Up” for QCP Participants: AWS Edition 2 Release & Written Test Are around the Corner!

Nearly four years have flown by since the release of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), Edition 1.  The current hard copy publication of Edition 2 is targeted for January of 2014.  It will feature a somewhat simplified format, and will incorporate the Edition 1 Errata.

If you haven’t yet “gotten the memo,” the Errata lists revisions made to the AWS Edition 1 since its initial release in book form.  The Errata entries are based on those suggestions from AWS users which the Joint Standards Committee agreed had enough merit to result in actual changes to the AWS.  While the Errata is an official part of the Edition 1 Standards (superseding the related parts of the hard copy book), these revisions are electronic files which exist in cyberspace.   However, the Errata is easily accessed and downloaded as a PDF file, which can be stored on your local PC and printed.  The QCP website is among those offering links to the AWS Errata. Visit, click “Resources”, and then see the options under “Architectural Woodwork Standards Errata.”  It has become routine to use such electronic files to incorporate “real time” changes to information otherwise published in paper form only periodically.

After AWS Edition 2 is released, the Errata process will start over as you once again offer ways to improve the new book.  As with previous Standards, Edition 2 will include instructions for submitting your suggestions.

Keep It Current: 2014 QCP Renewal Period Begins Nov. 1

According to the QCP Policies, the annual renewal period for all currently accredited firms begins November 1, 2013. Each participant will be sent an invoice to their designated QCP contact by USPS the first week in November. The renewal process involves two steps:

  1. Payment of renewal.
  2. Signature and date of acknowledgement on the AWI QCC Code of Ethics form.
Renewals are due by 11:59 PM EST, Dec. 31, 2013. Companies that submit after this date will be charged a $300 late fee. Those who have not yet been Q-accredited for one full year are also required to renew, and will receive a pro-rated renewal invoice for 2014.

Renewals may be submitted by mail, by fax (with a credit card number) or they can be remitted online. Simply click here to renew online or visit the website,, at your convenience. (NOTE: You will need your username (P-number) and password (C-number) to renew online, which will be printed on your invoice.)

We look forward to your continued participation with the QCP in 2014. Make sure to complete the renewal process by Dec. 31, 2013 to avoid late fees and ensure that your company’s accreditation(s)  continue to be available on the QCP website.  Thank you!
QCC Touts Value of Q-Accreditation at AWFS® Fair

(Left to right) Jennica Edwards, Tricia Roberts and Joe Sorrelli (not pictured) attending the AWFS Fair, July 24-27. Although traffic was lighter than expected, it was nice to see our QCP participants who were able to stop by and say hello.  

Q QCP Policies Explorer
AWS Edition 2 Written Test

As was the case when Edition 1 of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) was released, QCP Policies (also available at the QCP website) will require firms accredited in fabrication, finishing, and/or installation to pass a written test based on Edition 2 within six months after its official publication date.   (By the way, if you are one of the companies that did not happen to take the AWS test in 2012, you may not know that the number of AWS test questions has been reduced from 150 to 100.)

The owner or president of the company is automatically qualified to take the test on its behalf.    However, an employee must:  1) be approved by the company’s president or owner to do so; and 2) must have “production responsibilities” within the company.   “Production responsibilities” are duties directly related to physical fabrication, finishing, and/or installation of millwork, including direct supervision of those operations.  Examples of some job titles which typically do not include “production responsibilities” are Office Manager, Bookkeeper/Accountant, Receptionist and Purchaser.

This point is not only important in determining who may take the AWS test in order to meet continuing accreditation requirements.   As the QCP Policies state, projects requiring certification (even those inspected by QCP Representatives) are ultimately certified for compliance not by QCP, but rather by the Q-accredited company that performed the work.   The means of certification is the signing of a project-specific certificate by the Q-accredited company’s representative, who is known in QCP Policies as the “Certified Signatory.”  The certificate, which was provided to the woodworker by QCP, is then forwarded by the accredited company to the project’s architect and/or owner’s representative. This is the last step in fulfilling the project’s certification requirement.

In order to qualify as a “Certified Signatory,” an employee must have passed the AWS test within the time frame prescribed by the Policies, i.e. a maximum of every three years.   Or, in the case of a new edition of the Standards, within six months of its official release date.  The logic of requiring the successful testing of the “Certified Signatory” is obvious.  In order for an owner or employee to credibly attest to the compliance of his company’s work with the Standards, he or she must demonstrate knowledge of those Standards.  Passing the written test is minimum verification of that knowledge, and implies the “production responsibility” discussed above.

In terms of your company’s testing and "Certified Signatory" requirements, none of the information in this article is new, and all of it has been covered by QCP Policies for some time.  However, it is an area of the Program which is often overlooked by participating companies, but which QCP will clarify and re-emphasize as the AWS Edition 2 comes online.

Q The View from Here
QCP: An Efficient Quality Control Program
By Joe Winters, Principal of HOK, and QCC Board of Directors Member

When I specify architectural woodwork for a project, it is usually for a client with high expectations.  It could be the owner of a new class "A" office building who wants beautiful architectural woodwork for the building entrance lobby and elevator lobbies in order to attract tenants and command the best possible rental rates in a competitive market. It could be a law firm tenant who wants impressive architectural woodwork to impress their clients.  It could also be a county, state, or federal government agency that wants a new courthouse building with monumental architectural woodwork in the courtrooms that is expressive of our traditions and system of justice.  These are some examples where I will
specify high quality architectural woodwork, and will need to be certain that it is furnished and installed as specified.

Three key components to specify high quality architectural woodwork are as follows: 

1) Specifying product quality standards by referencing the current edition of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS).  For over 50 years, the Architectural Woodwork Standards has been recognized as one of the best industry standards for architectural woodwork, and has been used by architects to specify architectural woodwork. 

2) Specifying fabricator and installer qualifications.  Architects have specified fabricator and installer qualification requirements, including long years of successful experience in custom fabrication and installation, membership in the AWI, maintenance of an organized in-house quality control program, sufficient capacity and quality to produce the required woodwork without causing delay, and being an accredited participant in AWI's Quality Certification Program (QCP). 

3) Specifying a quality control program
by requiring the AWI Quality Certification Program.  Since the beginning of the AWI Quality Certification Program over 15 years ago, architects have had a good method to certify that the woodwork, including installation, complies with the requirements of the grades specified.

The AWI/QCP is an efficient quality control program for certifying that the architectural woodwork complies with the contract documents.  There is a perception by some architects, owners and contractors, that the QCP may be somewhat expensive and not necessary.  I disagree.  Someone has to expend the time and effort to inspect and approve the architectural woodwork installation before payment is made to the woodworker. 

If the QCP is NOT specified
, the inspector will be the architect or the owner.  If the QCP is specified, the primary inspector will be a QCP inspector who is a woodwork expert with a detailed working knowledge of the AWS. 

One way or the other, someone is going to incur the cost for inspecting the woodwork.  The AWS is complicated and exists in several versions, so it seems reasonable to engage an expert QCP inspector who can inspect a project quickly and efficiently.  The architect and owner still have inspection oversight, but the QCP inspector is an independent third party who can provide objective interpretations of the AWS requirements.

Independent third party inspectors are required by the national building codes for other construction trades such as concrete, masonry, structural steel and fireproofing, because of structural safety or fire and life safety.  The QCP model is similar, although maybe not as critical as a building's structural or fire and life safety systems, but still critically important to assure that the architectural woodwork will meet the requirements of the contract documents and the aesthetic expectations of the architect and owner.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.  Founded in 1955, the firm’s 1,600 people collaborate across a network of 24 offices on three continents. Visit HOK at

Q Tech Talk
Filling in the Blanks: Where the Specifications End, the AWS Begins Case In Point: Wall Paneling
By Wayne Hintz, QCP Program Director & John Reininger, QCP Representative

In every section of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), the beginning of the “Rules” covering construction or installation of the various millwork categories starts with the following:

“The following RULES shall govern unless a project’s contract documents require otherwise.”

The types of woodwork covered by the AWS usually have numerous individual aspects which comprise the final product. Project specifications often provide details for some, but not all of these aspects.  Therefore, a complete compliance “checklist” for that product is often a combination of the architect’s specifications and the AWS line items which govern every other aspect not mentioned by the architect.  If a specification provides only limited details for any particular product, it is the woodworker’s obligation to find the standards necessary to “fill in the blanks” regardingthe minimum compliance requirements for those features which the architect has not detailed.

Case in Point: Wall Surfacing

A good case in point is Wall Surfacing (paneling) covered in Section 8 of the AWS.  In our example project below, it is assumed that the AWS has been specified as the Standard which will apply in the absence of specification details.   

AWS 8- states that for wood veneer wall surfacing, the Design Professional (architect) is required to specify:

  • Species of veneer
  • Method of veneer slicing
  • Matching of adjacent veneer leaves
  • Layout of veneer leaves within an individual panel face
  • Matching from panel to panel (i.e. non-sequenced, sequenced, or blueprint matching)
  • Requirements for end matching of veneer
  • Grain direction, if other than vertical
  • Fire rating, if any
  • Identification of any flitches which have been specifically selected to use for the paneling
These aspects must be included in any complete wall panel compliance checklist.  If any of these items are not addressed in the project’s contract documents, in order to fill in the blanks the woodworker must then refer to the AWS Section 8 wall surfacing minimum requirements.

For example, if a job’s quality level is required to be Custom Grade, and the only architect specification for the project’s transparent-finish wall panels is “plain sliced Cherry” veneer, the woodworker must refer to the AWS for all other Custom Grade requirements (shown below in bold print).
  • Matching of adjacent veneer leaves:  Book-matched (AWS 8-
  • Layout of veneer leaves within an individual panel face: Running match (AWS 8-
  • Matching from panel to panel:  Sequenced, numbered, pre-manufactured sets (AWS 8- See AWS8- for a detailed description of “pre-manufactured panel sets.”
  • Requirements for end matching of veneer:  No minimum requirement unless specified (AWS 8-4.2.11.)
  • Grain direction, if other than vertical:  AWS default grain direction is vertical (AWS 8-4.1.8)
  • Fire rating, if any:  No minimum requirement unless specified (AWS 8-
  • Identification of any flitches which have been specifically selected to use for the paneling:  Source of veneer is at manufacturer’s option unless otherwise specified.
In addition to these veneer-matching and fire-rating considerations, the woodworker is obligated to be aware of all other parameters discussed by the AWS related to compliance of wall surface panels.  These include (but are not limited to) panel thickness (AWS 8-, reveal and spline requirements (AWS 8-, adhesive requirements (AWS 8-4.1.15), veneer grade requirements (“A”, “AA” etc.), acceptable natural characteristics of the various veneer species (AWS Section 4), and so on.   Differences (sometimes subtle) in the requirements between Custom and Premium Grade appear in many of the individual AWS Standards cited in this article.

Whether you are dealing with wall surfacing, casework, countertops, or stairwork, the principle is the same:  Your final product will often be a composite of the architect’s specifications, and the AWS.  This is reflected in the QCP certificate, which indicates that the project complies with the Standards, “except where modified by plans and specifications.”  It’s the woodworker’s obligation to determine where specifications are absent, and which parts of the Standards consequently become applicable to the work provided.
Q Upcoming Events
Opportunities to Learn More about QCP

QCP Presentation:  “QCP 101”

When:  Sept. 24, 2013
Where: Austin Independent School District
Austin, TX

CSI Construction 2013
Booth # 633
When:   Sept. 25 – 27, 2013
Where:  Nashville, TN

61st Annual AWI Convention
QCP Tabletop Exhibit
When:  Oct. 9 – 10, 2013
Where:  Orlando, FL

ABX ArchitectureBoston Expo

Booth #508
When:  Nov. 19 – 21, 2013
Where:  Boston, MA
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Congratulations to the following companies that recently earned Q-accreditation. Look for these and more than 500 other Q-accredited woodworkers at

Artisan Millworks, LLC
Cumming, GA
Accreditation Date: 07/12/13
AWS Sections: P6.1, P8.1, P9.1, P10.1, P10.3, P11.1, P11.2, P11.3, P11.4, P11.5, P5, P6 E, P8 E, P10 E

Bauer & Raether Builders
Madison, WI
Accreditation Date: 06/25/13
AWS Sections: P9.1, P11.1, P11.2, P11.3, P11.4, P11.5, P8 E, P9 E, C11.1, C11.2, C11.3, C11.4

Forest Materials
Buffalo, NY
Accreditation Date: 06/19/13
AWS Sections: P5, P6.1, P8.1, P8.3, P9.1, P10.2, P10.3, P11.1, P11.2, P11.3, P11.4, P11.5, P6.2, P8.2

Forest Millwork, Inc.
Asheville, NC
Accreditation Date: 07/16/13
AWS Sections: P5, P6.1, P8.1, P11.1, P11.2, P11.3, P11.4, P11.5, P6.2, P6 E, P8 E, C10.1, C10.2, C10.3,
C10 E

Lukach Interiors
Clifton, NJ
Accreditation Date: 08/01/2013
AWS Sections: P5, P6.1, P6.2, P6.3, P6 E, P8.1, P8.2, P8.3, P8 E, P10.1, P10.2, P10.3, P10 E, P11.1, P11.2, P11.3

ML Fox Construction, LLC
Snohomish, WA
Accreditation Date: 07/08/2013
AWS Sections: P8.1, P8.3, P5, P11.1, P11.2, P11.3, P11.4, P8 E

MMI of Mississippi
Hazlehurst, MS
Accreditation Date: 07/03/2013
AWS Sections: P10.3, P11.1, P11.2, P11.3, P11.4, P11.5, P10 E

Rowland Woodworking, Inc.
High Point, NC
Accreditation Date: 08/02/2013
AWS Sections: P6.1, P6.2, P8.1, P8.2, P8.3, P9.2, P10.1, P10.3, P11.1, P6.3, P6 E, P8 E, P9 E, P10 E, P12, P12 E, P11 E        

AWI QCC Board of Directors

Joseph A. Sorrelli
QCC President
Aljoe Woodwork Consultants
Bruce Spitz
QCC Treasurer
Classic Millwork & Products, Inc.

Michael Bell
Allegheny Millwork & Lumber
Jerry Campbell
Jerry M. Campbell & Associates
Bruce Cody
Architectural Wood
Rick Kogler
Strategic Development Group
Matt Lundahl
Meyer & Lundahl
Joe F. Winters

Phil Duvic*
Architectural Woodwork Institute
Potomac Falls, VA

Tricia Roberts, Secretary
AWI Quality Certification Corporation
Potomac Falls, VA

* ex officio
The board, which convenes in the fall each year, is responsible for program oversight, including policies and budgets.

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