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Monitoring Inspections Procedures - In-Plant Inspections Third Party Inspection Agencies and Third Party Inspectors

Effective August 22, 2016

Table of Contents
REFERENCES
PURPOSE
MONITORING INSPECTOR AND SCHEDULING OF INSPECTIONS
INSPECTION PROCEDURES
POST INSPECTION
TRIGGER POINTS

REFERENCES

(a) Specific sections of the Chapter 1202 of the Occupations Code, Industrialized Housing and Buildings, that are applicable to monitoring inspections of third party inspection agencies and inspectors include, but are not limited to, the following.

(1) §1202.105, Approval of Third-Party Inspectors and Design Review Agencies
(2) §1202.156, Council Determination of Certain Questions Relating to Industrialized Housing and Buildings
(3) §1202.157, Council Decisions Binding
(4) §1202.201, Inspection Procedures

(b) Specific sections of the rules governing Industrialized Housing and Buildings that are applicable to monitoring inspections of third party inspection agencies and inspectors include, but are not limited to, the following.

(1) §70.21, Regulation of Design Review Agencies, Third Party Inspection Agencies and Inspectors, and Third Party Site Inspectors
(2) §70.23, Criteria for Approval of Third Party Inspection Agencies and Inspectors
(3) §70.51, Third Party Inspection Reports
(4) §70.61, Responsibilities of the Department - Monitoring Inspections
(5) §70.72, Responsibilities of the Registrants - In-Plant Inspection
(6) §70.78, Responsibilities of the Registrants - General
(7) §70.80, Commission Fees
(8) §70.91, Sanctions - Administrative Sanctions/Penalties
(9) §70.92, Sanctions for Failure to Comply by Design Review Agencies, Third Party Inspection Agencies, and Third Party Inspectors
(10) §70.100, Mandatory Building Codes
(11) §70.101, Amendments to Mandatory Building Codes

PURPOSE

(a) Monitoring inspections are performed to ensure that Council approved third party inspectors (TPIs) and inspection agencies (TPIAs) are fulfilling their responsibilities as required by Texas Occupations Code Chapter 1202, Chapter 70 Rules governing Industrialized Housing and Buildings, and Council approved inspection procedures. Other entities that are monitored as a result of the monitoring inspection of TPIAs and TPIs include design review agencies (DRAs) and manufacturers.

(b) The information collected from these inspections will be used to develop recommendations to the Council for changes to the policies and procedures for the IHB Program. This data will also be used to determine, at a minimum, the following.

(1) If TPIAs and TPIs are performing in accordance with the current policies and procedures outlined in the IHB rules and Council approved inspection procedures
(2) If TPIAs and TPIs are consistently and uniformly implementing the policies and determinations of the Council with regard to interpretations of the mandatory building codes and IHB rules
(3) That TPIs are not providing design review services for a manufacturer
(4) If the TPI shows a satisfactory understanding of the designs or products that are inspected
(5) If disciplinary action or disqualification of approved parties should be pursued.

MONITORING INSPECTOR AND SCHEDULING OF INSPECTIONS

(a) The Department Monitoring Inspector shall be proficient in the use of mandatory building codes and the IHB law, rules, and inspection procedures; and have a good working knowledge of blueprint reading and interpretation.

(b) Monitoring of TPIs and TPIAs is an ongoing process. Inspections are scheduled to ensure that all TPIs and TPIAs are routinely monitored without bias. The number of inspections scheduled by a TPIA vary depending on how many manufacturers an agency inspects and how many buildings a manufacturer builds for Texas. Monitoring inspections are scheduled based on the following considerations.

(1) Schedule of upcoming in-plant inspections (TPIAs are required to provide 7 days’ notice of all in-plant inspection scheduled).
(2) Location and logistics of manufacturers that will be monitored.
(3) The date of the last monitoring inspection of the TPI/TPIA.
(4) The TPI, TPIA, or manufacturer have hit a trigger point (see section below for what constitutes a trigger point) that indicates the need for a monitoring inspection.

(c) A schedule of monitoring inspections is prepared and a notice is sent to the TPI, TPIA, and manufacturer. The manufacturer is also notified that the following documents must be readily available the day of the inspection.

(1) Last six months of the Texas Manufacturer’s Monthly Summary Reports;
(2) Last ten Texas In-Plant inspection reports from the TPIA;
(3) Completed building files for the 5 most recent Texas modular buildings labeled by the manufacturer (note - files must include the in-plant inspection travelers, including the energy compliance checklist, that was used by the QC personnel to verify compliance during construction);
(4) Completed building files for 5 additional buildings labeled for TX, randomly chosen by the monitoring inspector (note - files must include the in-plant inspection travelers, including the energy compliance checklist, that was used by the QC personnel to verify compliance during construction);
(5) A minimum of one building file from 5 or more years ago.
(6) The DRA approved plans for any Texas modular sections online during the monitoring inspections
(7) The latest DRA approved QC manual
(8) The latest DRA approved design manual

(d) An estimated billing statement will be prepared and emailed to the manufacturers. The estimated billing statement is due no later than the day of the inspection.

INSPECTION PROCEDURES

(a) The monitoring inspector will conduct an entrance meeting with the TPI, the manufacturer’s QC department, and any other personnel the manufacturer wishes to include in the meeting. During the meeting the monitoring inspector will:

(1) Describe the purpose of the inspection;
(2) Discuss the agenda for the day and tentatively schedule the exit meetings;
(3) Answer any questions regarding the inspection; and
(4) If not already paid, then collect the billing estimate for the inspection from the manufacturer.

(b) After the entrance meeting, the monitoring inspector will shadow the TPI while they conduct their inspection and may interview the TPI to assess their understanding of the IHB rules, procedures, and mandatory building codes; their understanding of the manufacturer’s quality control procedures; and their ability to read and interpret the approved plans. A copy of the TPI’s inspection report will be included as part of the monitoring inspection report.

(c) The monitoring inspector will also conduct their own inspection of the units in production to assess the accuracy of the TPI’s inspection report; to verify functionality of the manufacturer’s QC procedures; and to determine compliance of the manufacturer with the IHB law, rules, and Council approved inspection procedures (note that this inspection may occur concurrently with the TPIs inspection). Decals or insignia will be confiscated if deviations and/or violations cannot be corrected prior to the end of the inspection.

(d) The monitoring inspector will audit the manufacturer’s records to verify continued compliance with their approved QC procedures and will also assess the adequacy of the inspections performed by the TPIA. The monitoring inspector may request additional records if the records show evidence of repeated failures to comply or the documentation supplied is insufficient.
(e) The monitoring inspector will perform exit meetings with the TPI and the manufacturer to discuss the results of the inspection and to confiscate decals or insignia for any uncorrected deviations or violations. Confiscated decals or insignia shall be placed into the control of the TPIA. At a minimum, meeting topics will include the following.

(1) Violations or findings identified during the inspection;
(2) Actions that the manufacturer or TPI must take to address violations identified during the inspection;
(3) Actions that the manufacturer or TPI can take to improve and to come into compliance; and
(4) Possibility of return monitoring inspections to review the actions taken by the manufacturer or TPIA and TPI to come into compliance.

POST INSPECTION

(a) Monitoring Report

(1) A monitoring report will be prepared and sent to the manufacturer, TPIA, and TPI within 15 days of the inspector’s return to headquarters.
(2) Where needed, the parties monitored will have 15 days to respond.
(3) Failure to adequately respond to the monitoring inspection report when required may require action by the Council and may also require possible Enforcement action to bring the parties into compliance.

(b) Final Billing Statement - The final billing statements will be prepared and sent to the manufacturers for payment. Payment is due by no later than 10 days after receipt of billing statement.

TRIGGER POINTS

There are a number of items that may trigger a monitoring inspection. These include, but are not limited to, the following.

(1) It has been over 2 years since the last monitoring inspection of the TPI or TPIA;
(2) A manufacturer is unable to account for all decals in their possession;
(3) Repeated failures to notify the department of inspections;
(4) Repeated failures to document inspections in accordance with the in-plant inspection procedures;
(5) Repeated failure of the manufacturer to have modular sections inspected by their TPI/TPIA prior to labeling or shipping;
(6) Repeated failure to ensure compliance with the increased frequency of inspection requirements of the in-plant inspection procedures;
(7) Repeated failure to witness system testing as required by the IHB rules and procedures;
(8) Excessive number of violations documented during a complaint inspection that are the responsibility of the manufacturer;
(9) Life safety or major structural violations identified during a complaint inspection that are the responsibility of the manufacturer.