An effective pavement management system depends on reliable, accurate, and complete information. Having quality pavement management data is directly linked to the ability of the pavement management system to contribute to the development of reasonable and reliable recommendations and decisions regarding an agency's pavement network. Pavement condition data are one of the key components of a pavement management system. Pavement condition data are used to model pavement performance, to trigger various actions ranging from maintenance to rehabilitation to reconstruction, to evaluate program effectiveness, and to satisfy many other purposes. While there are many different methodologies used for assessing pavement condition, ranging from manual surveys to fully automated procedures, the need for quality data remains the same.
Agencies take a number of steps to ensure and verify data quality, including calibration of the data collection equipment or the inspection teams, incorporating quality control sections that are reinspected to assess repeatability, and verifying reasonableness and completeness of the pavement condition survey. The ability to evaluate and determine the quality of pavement condition data is essential for establishing the accuracy and reliability of analyses made using pavement condition
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sponsored the development of a Practical Guide on Quality Management Procedures for network-level pavement condition data. The Practical Guide provides information related to the development and implementation of a QM program, incorporating proven QM practices, and showcasing examples or case studies using pavement condition data from a variety of state DOTs.