Department of Transportation

Quality Management


The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has developed a Quality Management (QM) process that is used to document the structure, responsibilities and procedures required to achieve and deliver a quality project.

The QM process ensures that NJDOT design criteria and quality standards have been met. The process includes the specific activities that are used to execute QM.


The process goal is to improve QM on Capital Projects during Concept Development (CD), Preliminary Engineering (PE) and Final Design (FD) phases and to reduce errors and omissions, change of plans, or change orders during the Construction (CON) phase.

To accomplish this, the QM processes have been expanded to include CD and PE in order for QM processes and procedures to encompass the entire Capital Project Delivery Process for all phases.

Major Tasks

The QM Process has several functions and tasks:

  • Quality Functions: Process guidance documents, identify the quality functions to be performed and integrates these functions for each phase of the of the delivery process. The QM Top Down Flow Charts show the required Quality Activities and descriptions.

  • Interactive Communications: Formal and informal communication between SME and Project Stakeholders during all phases of the Project Delivery Process need to be documented. The goals of the Interactive Communications procedure are:
    • To establish that all designers are required to document the important design decisions during the CD, PE, FD and CON phases of the Project Delivery process within a Design Communications Report (DCR) which shall be in accordance with the Interactive Communications Procedure.
    • To identify and provide guidance on the issues that need to be documented, including the agreements, specific details of a project, the evaluation of design deficiencies, fatal flaws identified during design development, the selection of the Preferred Alternative, impact assessments, public input, and stakeholder coordination. Also included in the DCR is the reasoning behind the agreements or resolutions of the issues of design elements.
    • To establish requirements and procedures for all designers to prepare, obtain approval of, and to post the approved DCR for a project on the Capital Project Delivery Web site.
    • To obtain a systematic archive of all project stakeholder communications and agreements of project-related decisions and issues that will establish a lessons-learned database for historical review.

  • Quality Management Review Procedures: The purpose of the QM Review Procedure is to provide NJDOT with reasonable assurance that the design of a project is proceeding in accordance with the Scope Statement and that the designer has considered all areas that may have a major impact on the design of a project. The QM Review Procedure also provides direction when preparing Interim Submissions, FD Submissions, Pre-Plans, Specifications and Estimate (PS&E) and PS&E Submissions.

  • Quality Management Plans: The QM plan describes how a designer’s Project Management team will implement its organization’s quality policy. Designers (in-house or consultant) are responsible for creating and implementing their organization’s QM Plan. NJDOT’s Program Management Office (PMO) is responsible for reviewing and approving all QM Plans. This ensures that the provisions will meet the required quality levels, incorporate good engineering practices, and adequately address the required 14 elements of the “Quality Management Plan Procedure”. All Designers (Prime Consultant Designers and NJDOT in-house design staff) are required to obtain approval of the QM Plan through NJDOT’s PMO. The approved QM Plan shall be maintained and updated by the Designer, as necessary.

  • Designer/Department Certifications:
    • A “Designer Certification” is a requirement for CD at the completion of the CD phase.
    • A “Designer Certification” is a requirement for PE at the completion of the PE phase.
    • A “Designer Certification” is a requirement for the FD Submission.
    • A “Designer Certification” is a requirement for the PS&E Submission.
    • A “Department Certification” to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a requirement at PS&E.

  • QM Audit Process: The QM Audit Process will be controlled by the PMO. The goal is to evaluate a project’s level of compliance with NJDOT procedures, the QM Plan and project-specific QM requirements. Designer or Project-Specific QM Audits may be performed during any phase of the Project Delivery Process (CD, PE, FD, and CON) according to the QM Audit Procedure.
Quality Management Plan

All Designers (in-house and consultant) are required to create and electronically submit a QM Plan to the NJDOT Capital Project Delivery web site, Designer Upload page according to the QM Plan Procedure. The PMO of the NJDOT will review and approve all QM Plans.

A designer (prime consultant) must seek and obtain approval from the NJDOT for the QM Plan before the designer (prime consultant) is permitted to enter into a Consultant Agreement with the NJDOT.

Design Communications Report (DCR)

All Designers (in-house and consultant) are required to submit DCR’s on their projects to the Division of Project Management Project Manager for approval. The Designer’s Project Manager is responsible for posting an electronic file of the “approved DCR” on the Capital Project Delivery Web site under Design Communications Reports. 

Quality Certifications

A Designer Certification is required of all Designers (in-house design and consultant). The Designer Certifications are made by the designer to the appropriate approved CD, PE and FD Scope Statement.

Department Certification

The Project Manager is responsible to submit a Department Certification with the Final PS&E Submission (if Federal Project).

Some of the files below are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free from the state Adobe Access page, to view the files.

Flow Charts
Guidance Documents

Last updated date: April 7, 2022 12:52 PM