4.1 Defects

Preventing defects

A Quality Policy (QP) and Quality Management System (QMS) guide the Wates Group:

Our QP is our aim: it makes it clear that we don’t want to make mistakes.

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The QMS is a tool: it helps us to prevent mistakes as we work.

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We use our QMS to produce a Quality Plan for every project.

Together, these guide every member of the team. They help the Group to learn from any mistakes it makes. To make sure they work, the Group’s systems are certified under the international quality systems ISO9001 and ISO14001.

You are a Quality Management Team. You are reviewing a project to see if there are any lessons that Wates can learn:

  • In a group, consider some mistakes that might happen during a complex project. Start at the very beginning.
  • Organise your ideas in a concept map.
  • Discuss how the team could prevent each mistake.

You must now brief the project leaders for a new development:

  • Think about how to present your ideas.

Consider the skills and qualities to help prevent mistakes:

  • You could start by thinking about your own personal, thinking and learning skills.
  • Think about craft or professional skills as well.

Prepare and give a short presentation to another group.




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Functional skills

You should adapt your language to suit different audiences. How would you present your ideas to:

  • A group of site workers?
  • A group of Directors?
  • Someone from the Health and Safety Executive?

Enterprise skills

  • Risk-management
  • Financial capability
  • Economic and business understanding


For me, part of the reward is working with the client, meeting with them on almost a daily basis, talking with them even before activities begin so that they feel fully involved and informed.

Russell Sullivan
Production Trainee