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 700 North Tryon Street
 Charlotte, NC 28202

 fax 704-336-3839

A/E Pass Rate Incentives Program


Purpose of the Program

The AE (Architect and Engineer) Pass Rate Incentives program goal is to support A&E's by moving them up in the plan review process because they take the profession and the OnSchedule process seriously, and have earned resulting high pass rates. Conversely, those professionals who abuse the OnSchedule process will move back, until they improve.

A summary of the 2008 Proposed Commercial Plan Review Revisions is posted on meckpermit.com under "What's New." A key component of the January 15, 2008 report summary is the development of a program grading A/E's on their plan review pass/fail performance. The Department began grading contractors in 1999, and that program proved very successful in driving inspection pass rates up, improving process efficiency and lowering service cost to both customers and the Department. We believe we can achieve the same improvement in plan review.

Overview of Program

The program will categorize AE's into four major groups, Superior, Successful, Not Yet Graded and Poor performers. The AE Performance Level Chart outlines the incentives given to Superior performers, the services provided to Successful and Not Yet Graded performers, and the disincentives for Poor performers.

Grading:

AE grades are determined based on the pass/fail rate based on the most current 14 events in the plan review system. An event is defined as a plan review cycle. At the program start, each individual will receive 3 free passes. At the 7th event, a grade will be established. At the 15th event, the 1st event will fall off, so that the grade will be based on the most current 14.

When submitting the Architect and Engineer License sealholder information on the OnSchedule Application, it is imperative that you enter the name and license number as it appears on the individuals seal. This information is vital to the project, as it impacts the AE Pass Rate Incentive program and becomes part of the official record of the project. As we discover incorrect information, it will delay the project through the plan review process and may adversely affect the AE Pass Rate scores.

Posting of Grades:

The grades will be posted quarterly and will remain the same until the next quarter. Once posted, individuals have 10 days to appeal the grade.

The grades are governed by the rules below:

The percentages noted are based on the most recent plan review cycle results for the Architect or Engineer noted. The calculation is based on no less than 7 plan review cycle results, and no more than 14 plan review cycle results.

A Plan Review Cycle is a scheduled plan review event which includes all trades and agencies required for project approval. The discipline (B/E/M/P) plan review cycle concludes when the plan reviewer concludes any discussion with the project AE and enters the review result for that discipline.

Architects or Engineers listed in the report as "N/A" did not have at least 7 plan review cycle results in Mecklenburg County since program data collection started on July 1, 2009. Architects or Engineers not listed in the report did not have at least 1 plan review application submitted in Mecklenburg County since program data collection started on July 1, 2009.

The data system has been tested and found to be highly reliable for Architects and Engineers (AE) as a group. For the period August to December, 2009, an independent contractor studied 100% of plan review cycles occurring, which included 2063 events. The study compared results entered with record output, and found no errors in the pass/fail results reported. The study results were reviewed by an independent, expert statistician, who calculated a 99% confidence level that the probability that a randomly selected (AE) rating is erroneous, is less than 3.11%.

Plan Review Failure Report

Plan Review Tools:

There are tools used by plans examiners to quickly approve minor issues encountered during a review of a project. These tools assist plans examiners to obtain information required for approval in the first cycle review, without having to go to a second cycle. These tools are designed to assist with minor code related issues.

Approved as Noted - Approved as Noted are items that can be quickly approved with a note on the plans. Plans examiners can note the issue and approve the plan.

Interactive Review - Interactive Review encompasses items that are considered minor, however, are too complex for Approved as Noted. The plans examiner identifies the items that need to be corrected via email to the sealholder. The sealholder has two (2) business days to respond to the request for information by emailing revised bulletin drawings to the plans examiner, who in turn attaches the bulletin drawings to the official construction sets.

There are instances where the plans will be disapproved through no fault of the seal holder. These instances have been identified as Failures not a Failure. In the case where a plan is disapproved, but the disapproved item(s) is identified as a Failure not a Failure, the plan will need to be revised accordingly in order to meet code compliance, however, the sealholder on the sheet is not charged with a disapproval against their grade.

Superior Performers (approval rate of 85% or higher):

All regular department service streams and programs are available to individuals and teams in this category.

In addition to the regular department service streams and programs, teams that fall into the Superior Performing category are eligible for incentives. A few of these incentives are:

Priority Review - Priority Review allows Superior Performing teams to schedule an appointment for the 2nd review where the sealholder will be present for the review and can answer questions as they arise during the review. The Priority Review Steps document is a guide on working through the process.

Walk Thru Review via CTAC - Walk Thru Review via CTAC allows Superior Performing Teams to submit small projects through the CTAC area and wait for the plan review to be completed. The sealholders must be present for the review and the permit application must be complete. This is offered from 8:30 - 10:30 daily, first come first serve, with no more than 5 projects reviewed per day. The Walk Thru Steps document is a guide on working through the process.

Review Schedule Preference - Review Schedule Preference gives Superior Performing teams the ability to be scheduled first each day, giving them the first choice at the available times.

Conditional Review Program - The Conditional Review Program allows projects that have Superior Performing design teams and High Performing Contractors the ability to begin work in the field on code compliant areas of the project while noted non-code compliant areas will be addressed through plan review. The program requires agreement between all parties and requires the Conditional Review Form to be completed as part of the process. The Conditional Review Process document is a guide on working through the process.

Team Plan Review Program - This program allows Superior Performing teams to request the appropriate trade inspector(s) to be present at a preliminary review and subsequent plan review to discuss key code related items which may arise during the construction of the project. This is a premium service that will be charged additional fees above and beyond the traditional permitting fees. The charges will follow the pricing guidelines for the Inspection by Appointment program. The Team Plan Review Process document is a guide on working through the process.

Collaborative Review Program - This program allows Superior and Successful Performing teams the ability for the Plans Examiners and Architects/Engineers to discuss code related issues during the design of the project, prior to formal plan review. The level of formal plan review at the conclusion of the design of the project will be directly related to the level of "collaboration" performed during the design of the project. This is a premium service that will be charged at an hourly rate, similar to the Mega Review process. The Collaborative Review Process document is a guide on working through the process.

Successful Performers (approval rate of 84%-50%)

This category consists of individuals who have at least 7 events in the AE Pass Rate program who have an approval rate between 84% and 50%.

All regular department service streams and programs are available to individuals and teams in this category.

Collaborative Review Program - This program allows Superior and Successful Performing teams the ability for the Plans Examiners and Architects/Engineers to discuss code related issues during the design of the project, prior to formal plan review. The level of formal plan review at the conclusion of the design of the project will be directly related to the level of "collaboration" performed during the design of the project. This is a premium service that will be charged at an hourly rate, similar to the Mega Review process. The Collaborative Review Process document is a guide on working through the process.

Not Yet Rated Performers (no approval rate )

This category consists of individuals who do not have at least 7 events and do not have a posted approval rate. All new individuals will be placed into this category until enough events are collected to obtain a grade.

All regular department service streams and programs are available to individuals and teams in this category.

Poor Performers (approval rate below 50%):

Poor Performers are individuals whose approval rate has fallen below 50%.

All regular department service streams and programs are available to individuals and teams in this category with the exception of Express Review, Professional Certification, 3rd Party Plan Review and Pool Reviews.

In addition to the services above, individuals and teams in this category will be required to participate in additional programs that are designed to assist them in improving their approval rate.

A few of these programs are:

Peer Review Program - This program requires poor performing individuals to obtain a peer review on their project prior to the required preliminary review. The peer reviewer will review the project and complete a Peer Review Form that will be submitted by the poor performing individual at the preliminary review meeting. The Peer Review Steps document is a guide on working through the process.

Preliminary Review Adv App B Meeting - This program requires poor performing individuals to attend a preliminary review meeting prior to the scheduled review date of the project. This meeting gives an opportunity for the poor performing individual to walk through their code logic for the project and identify any potential pitfalls that could arise during the review of the project. The peer review form is submitted at this meeting. The Preliminary Review Adv App B Process document is a guide on working through the process.

Auto Delay Program - This program will automatically delay the scheduling of projects that are submitted by a poor performing team.

Questions?

Contact
Melanie Sellers, Code Enforcement Manager, 704-336-3809
Charles Walker, PE, Project Manager, 704-336-3808

Supporting Documentation:

AE Performance Level Chart

AE Pass Fail Rate Incentive Program Description

AE Pass Fail Rate Public Informational Letter

AE Pass Rate-Failures not really Failures list

Peer Review Form



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