AbstractMajor public infrastructure projects have used innovative project delivery, such as design–build (DB) and public–private partnership (P3). As an essential part of a quality assurance program (QAP) for large projects, some state departments of transportation (DOTs) require the use of a new quality management model, the developer’s construction quality acceptance firm (CQAF), also known as an independent quality firm (IQF). It is crucial for the construction engineering and inspection (CEI) industry to understand this novel quality assurance program. The overarching objective of this study is to identify inconsistencies between CEI understanding and DOT expectations for quality assurance roles and responsibilities. The study collects insights from five professional groups: general contractors, design consultants, CEI specialists, DOT staff, and owner’s representatives. The combination of surveys and interviews facilitates a rich understanding of the CQAF model. This paper will benefit the industry through minimizing gaps between the DOT’s expectations and industry’s understanding of how CQAF should function. It is also anticipated that this paper will offer constructive guidance on strengthening the QAP in the design–build transportation project delivery.

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