Active Transportation

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Fundamentals of Inspection Practice

Inspectors are key members of the construction project team who ensure that public agencies produce quality projects and help reduce potential liability caused by poor engineering performance.

The administrative and technical responsibilities of the inspector continue throughout project delivery and are critical for effectively maintaining a project's compliance with contract requirements.

This course provides an introduction to all of the basic skills needed by the field inspector for most traditional highway construction projects.

Additional course detail is provided in the sections below.

  • Course Topics
    • Scope of an inspector's authority and responsibilities
    • Documentation, reports, and legal requirements
    • How the inspector helps ensure safety on the job site
    • How to minimize disputes and claims between parties and get your point across to the contractor
    • Inspection methods and tips for earthworks, pilings, asphalt pavement construction, pipelines, portland cement, protective coatings
    • Duties of the inspector at project closeout
  • Course Outline

     Module 1 (Day 1: 8:00am – 10:00am)

    • Selection/Authorization of Public Works Projects
    • Design
    • Acceptance & Maintenance
      • Description of Construction Team
      • Inspector and Inspection
      • Inspection policy
      • Inspection practice
      • Goals of testing & Inspection Plan
    • Construction Documents
      • Contracts
      • Plans
      • Specifications
      • Addenda
      • Change Orders
      • Supplemental Project Information
    • Interactive Engagement Exercise

    Module 2 (Day 1: 10:00am – 12:00pm)

    • Resident Inspector/Engineer & Project Delivery
      • Inspector’s Administrative Duties
      • Inspector Authority
      • Contract Compliance Requirements
      • Measurement & Payment
      • Project Closeout
    Module 3 (Day 1: 1:00pm – 3:00pm)
    • Legal Constraints for Public Works Projects
      • California Contract Code
      • NEPA & CEQA
      • Storm water (NPDES)
      • Safety (OSHA & Cal/OSHA)
      • Hazardous Materials
      • Labor Code/Prevailing Wage
      • Other
    • Interactive Engagement Exercise

    Module 4 (Day 1: 3:00pm – 5:00pm)

    • Construction & Inspection for the Inspector
      • Earthworks
      • Soils
      • Geotechnical aspects of grading
      • Types
      • Normal order of construction
      • Inspection

    Module 5 (Day 2: 8:00am – 10:00am)

    • Pipelines & Piles and Piling
    • Pipelines – Sewer, Storm Drain, Water
      • Materials
      • Installation
      • Trench Restoration
      • Testing
      • Special Construction Methods
    • Piles & Piling
      • Why used
      • Types (End Bearing, Friction, Combination)
    • Materials
    • Inspection
    • Interactive Engagement Exercise

    Module 6 (Day 2: 10:00am – 12:00pm)

    • Portland Cement Concrete (PCC)
      • Materials
      • Plain versus reinforced
      • Pre-stressed versus Post-tensioned
      • Construction
        • Make concrete
        • Transport & Placement
        • Curing
        • Problems
    • Waterstops
    • Interactive Engagement Exercise

    Module 7 (Day 2: 1:00pm – 3:00pm)

    • Paving & Structural Connections
    • Pavements
      • Pavement Design
      • Pavement
      • Construction
      • Inspection
      • Pavement Maintenance
    • Structural Connections
      • Bolting
      • Welding
      • Other
    • Interactive Engagement Exercise

    Module 8 (Day 2: 3:00pm – 5:00pm)

    •   Protective Coatings & Project Closeout
    •   Painting & Protective Coatings
      •   Principles of Corrosion
      •   Paint Prep
      •   Surface Conditions
      •   Painting and Coating
      •   Inspection
      •   Failures
      •   Restricted Materials
    •   Project Closeout
      •   Preparation for Closeout
      •   Beneficial Occupancy/Partial Utilization
      •   Liquidated Damages
      •   Early Completion
      •   Punch List
      •   Contractor Obligations
      •   Engineer Obligations
      •   Completion versus Substantial Completion
      •   Performance
      •   Liens & Stop Notices
    •   Interactive Engagement Exercise
  • What you will learn

    Students will gain a good working knowledge of the sources, scope, and limits of the inspector's authority and responsibilities, including the importance of inspectors for reducing liability risks for the public agency.

    Students will learn how to inspect wood construction, structural steel, earthworks, pavement, pipelines, Portland Cement concrete, and protective coatings, including what to do when a problem is found and how to be an effective member of the construction project team.

  • Who should attend

    This course is intended for public agency resident engineers and construction inspectors responsible for the physical observation and inspection of construction work on the job site.

    This course focuses on fundamental concepts and is recommended for new construction inspectors, or those needing a refresher course of basic inspection concepts, or those seeking to get into the construction inspection line of work.

  • Course Prerequisites

      [no prerequisites identified]

  • Course Instructors

      Joseph Goldhammer, Consultant, Retired from San Diego County Department of Public Works

      Mr. Goldhammer has extensive experience in public works projects, having worked for over 20 years at the County of San Diego Department of Public Works with responsibilities over a wide range of street and highway construction and design work. He has also taught soils engineering at Southwestern College and has served as a consultant to Paramount Petroleum Corporation.

      Larry Horsman, Civil & Materials Engineer, San Diego County Department of Public Works

      Mr. Horsman teaches building construction and technology at Mesa College in San Diego. His expertise includes construction materials, building inspection, construction management, and construction practices. At the San Diego County Department of Public Works, he runs the county DPW Materials Lab and works with geotechnical, materials, hazmat, and constructability issues.

  • Registration Information

      Registration for this course occurs at the TechTransfer training host site. Use the button to the right to directly access the course page and registration portal. You will be asked to create a user account as part of the registration process.

      A confirmation email will be sent to you within two business days of TechTransfer receiving your paid registration.

      If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the TechTransfer Registrar at (510) 643-4393 or

  • For more information

      To learn more about TechTransfer courses and credits, see their FAQ (

      To learn more about TechTransfer's cancellation, refund, and substitution policies, see How to Enroll (

      Cancellation Policy:

      The cancellation fee for this course is $75. At TechTransfer, there are no refunds for classes with registration fees of $75 or less. For all other classes, you may cancel your enrollment and receive a refund of your registration fee less $75, provided they receive your written request to cancel at least 5 full working days before the class is scheduled to begin. In lieu of canceling your registration, you may (1) transfer your registration to another TechTransfer class, (2) receive a tuition credit for the full amount, useable toward a future class, or (3) send a substitute in your place.

      Note: TechTransfer recommends you discuss any possible problems or online security issues with your IT person before you register for any online classes. If you are worried about connectivity issues, please contact the online training coordinator the week before the class to schedule a time to test your system. If you do not test your system and you have technical issues during a live online class, we will not provide a refund.

LTAP Subsidized

This class is offered at a reduced fee to employees of California's city, county, regional, and tribal public agencies

Course Fee

Standard Rate:

Public Agency Rate:



Course Credit

This course grants:

1.60 CEUs

Upcoming Sessions (0)

[not currently scheduled]


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California LTAP Center

Phone: (562) 985-2872