One of the questions we are asked quite often regarding Civil Pro, is…
What is the difference between signing off a checklist, issuing and ATP (Authority to Proceed) or using the Approval response/request system.
To put this question in context, the Approval response/request is a relatively new CivilPro register, coinciding with the introduction of the mobile platform. Prior to that, there was just the checklist and ATP (Authority to Proceed) – so considering them first…
Checklists are a field document. Originally they were only completed by printing them and signing them off by hand. Civil Pro simply managed the content of the original document. In this [mostly pre mobile] world, a checklist could be presented to the client for sign off as a record of hold point/witness point release. This still leaves some holes – for example;
- Some sign offs require notification be given a defined duration in advance. For example, the Principal may require notification 24 hours in advance for inspection of a concrete pour. The checklist provides no way to confirm notification has been granted in a timely way – this may especially be a problem where the client contractor relationship isn’t the best…
- There is no way to provide a summary of required sign-offs. For example, if there are 20 concrete pours required on Wednesday, there is no easy way to record this and communicate it to the Principal with Checklists.
- Not every approval is tied neatly to a lot. For example, approval of an inspection test plan – which in some specifications is a hold point requiring 10 days notice.
For this reason, another record was required
The ATP can ;
- summarise upcoming inspections across lots, and precisely what is to be inspected in each lot
- record that notice has been given
- specify when each of several inspections is required and a proposed order
The Approval Response/Request
With the 8.10.6x releases, the approval response request system was introduced. This supported the mobile platform and interaction with the client, negating the need for printed records, and is designed to work in a similar way to the ATP. The principal difference with the ATP, is the capacity to work without any paper or paperlike processes.
- Record when a request is made and issue an electronic record (emails and system timestamps)
- Record the response and update the source record
- Provide an interface by which the approver can review their approvals and prioritise according to ‘required by’ dates.
As such, the ATP and Approval serve essentially the same purpose.
So why are there both ATPs and Approvals
Lots of our users use Civil Pro in lots of different ways. The mobile platform is relatively new, but as people transition, we expect more people will choose the Approvals over ATPs. We still have some work to do to finish the integration – that too will increase the appeal of the Approvals system.
Until then, the majority of our users still use the paper records, and we foresee that ATPs will be around for a while yet. And remember, as with anything in Civil Pro, if you don’t need them – you don’t have to use them.