A Note on 3rd Party Commissioning

Have you ever been involved in a project that gets delayed because of never ending punch lists? Have you ever used a new function of a system that didn’t appear to be properly set up or tested?  Have you ever started to use a new system and think, “Wasn’t this room supposed to be able to do [X]?”  Have you ever thought that a particular project manager did a better job at delivering a system than another project manager from the same company?  These are all symptoms of systems that were not properly commissioned.



Many end-users believe that the quality control of their system should be left to those that design and install them. With AV systems getting more complex and requiring communications between multiple teams, this would be a mistaken belief. Too often designers run out of time during the construction phase of the project and can’t dedicate resources to go through every fine detail of every system.  Too often installers have their schedules compressed due to construction delays and make a valiant push to get the users through their first event.  The users do not have the time or test equipment to make sure they received everything in the project scope.  There is no one on the team focused on making sure the system as a whole is complete and has zero defects.

This is where a 3rd Party Commissioning Agent can be of tremendous value.  This is a team of highly trained and equipped specialists who focus on making sure the end users get exactly what is in the contract.  Some benefits include:

  • Fewer project delays
  • Less post-occupancy corrective work
  • Complete, actionable punch lists
  • Reduction of change orders
  • Minimized effects from design changes
  • Owner advocacy for design and construction decisions

The biggest benefit, of course, is you have a qualified team on your side to determine when a system is complete.  The entire team benefits from having a 3rd Party Commissioning Agent.  Designers and installers are assured that what is installed is exactly what was designed by a qualified, but separate, party.  End users are assured that they received exactly the system they wanted.

Further, 3rd Party Commissioning is becoming common in other areas of construction (Cx).  It is common to have a 3rd Party commission the HVAC, fire-safety, plumbing, lighting, sustainable systems, waste water, building security, etc. systems in a building.  With AV being mission-critical to doing business, and demanding huge investments, it only makes sense to protect those resources by making sure it is implemented properly and completely.


If the installers have an auditable, certified Quality Management System like ISO 9001 or AV9000, a 3rdparty might not be required.  By being certified, they are already audited by a 3rd party to make sure they are properly commissioning all their systems every time.  However, if your AV project team does not have a documented quality management system, there are no guarantees that you will receive what you expected.  AVR can provide this guarantee, as well as make certain it is done as quickly as possible.  When a system gets “AVRd”, we stand behind it and assure zero defects.  This is the power of using a 3rd Party AV Commissioning Agent.


Next Case Study: Why So Many Checklists