Commissioning Checklists

Validate performance and reduce risk of unplanned downtime, and conduct efficient installation, functional, and operational checks with a mobile app


What is Commissioning?

Commissioning is a systematic process of verifying the performance of facilities, systems, and assemblies to ensure trouble-free outcomes and mitigate the risk of unplanned outages or downtime. Project managers, contractors, and construction engineers also perform pre-commissioning to confirm that equipment installation and function follows client specifications.

What is a Commissioning Checklist?

A commissioning checklist is used to easily perform comprehensive installation, functional, and operational inspections, resolve any detected failures and prevent costly project delays.

At What Point Does Pre-commissioning End and Commissioning Begin?

There are regional differences when it comes to common parlance in pre-commissioning and commissioning. Pre-commissioning is sometimes referred to as Cold Commissioning, Static Commissioning, or Mechanical Completion; on the other hand, commissioning is sometimes referred to as Hot Commissioning, Live/Dynamic Commissioning, or Start-up. Therefore, commissioning teams experience difficulty in determining the proper procedure. Here is a run-down of what needs to be done during pre-commissioning and commissioning, respectively:

Pre-commissioning Procedure

  1. Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) Check, also known as System Check or Walkdown, should be performed by the commissioning team to identify engineering and construction errors. Create a P&ID Punch List and address identified issues before pre-commissioning.
  2. Pre-commissioning activities start from mechanical completion, where running-in of equipment such as control system sequence tests (Dry Commissioning), water or solvent introduction to closed-loop pumps (Wet Commissioning), and other operating scenarios where process fluids are NOT YET used.

The Defining Point: Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR)

PSSR is a thorough safety inspection of a new or modified facility to be conducted before commissioning. This is the point where pre-commissioning ends and commissioning begins. Correct any system failure, resolve all safety risks, and re-take the PSSR to comply with health and safety regulations prior to commissioning.

Commissioning Procedure

  1. Commissioning is the overall performance testing of the facility and its systems such as HVAC, pumps, piping, and lighting. Outstanding punch points should be resolved before routine operation. During a manufacturing plant commissioning, process conditions are established and process fluids (the actual raw materials to be used for routine production) are introduced into the system.
  2. Initial Operation, or the first production run, aims to determine if the production process manufactures output that meets design requirements. Easily identify non-conformance and adjust the system or optimize the process by performing a first article inspection prior to routine production.

FAQs About Commissioning

The usual steps included in a commissioning process are preparation, design, pre-construction, construction, commissioning of services, pre-handover, initial occupancy, and post-occupancy care. More details on what they are and what they mean here.

A commissioning inspection is performed to verify that the end result of a commissioning process is done according to the project’s specifications and based on the requirements of the client. It also proactively identifies any modifications needed through detailed assessment of the commissioning project.

A general commissioning checklist should include the project name, location, inspector, and date of each inspection. The body of the checklist can vary per project but the usual ones include a review of the following:

  • HVAC System
    • Cabinet and General Installation
    • Piping and Coils
    • Fans and Dampers
    • Compressor and Condenser
    • Electrical and Controls
    • Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing (TAB)
    • Operation
  • Pumping System
    • Installation
    • Electrical and Controls
    • VFD
    • Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing (TAB)
    • Operation
  • Piping System
    • Installation
    • Valves
    • Sensors and Gages
    • Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing (TAB)
  • Lighting System and Controls
    • Lighting Fixtures and Switches
    • Lighting Controls
Jona Tarlengco
Article by
Jona Tarlengco
Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.

Explore more templates

Pre-commissioning Checklist
A pre-commissioning checklist aims to prepare a manufacturing plant for start-up, or when all new or modified systems are going live. Use this checklist to easily inspect control systems, wiring, sensors, field control devices, and the site communications network. Identify non-compliance, address systemic issues, and lessen start-up problems with this pre-commissioning checklist.
Plant Commissioning Checklist
This plant commissioning checklist is used for the commissioning of wastewater projects or treatment plants. This checklist has been designed to make it easier for inspectors to verify the installation, function, and documentation of pumping systems and the preliminary, secondary, and tertiary treatment process equipment. Use this checklist to automatically generate a comprehensive plant commissioning report and deliver it to stakeholders with the tap of a finger.
Electrical Commissioning Checklist
This electrical commissioning checklist is used for the commissioning of low voltage installations in a building. Use this checklist to verify the compliance of the switchboard, main switch and circuit breaker, distribution board, and final circuits with client specifications. This checklist has been designed to make it easier for inspectors to check the working space and facilities and conductors, cables and wiring.
HVAC Commissioning Checklist
An HVAC commissioning checklist aims to help commissioning engineers prove the functionality of newly installed or upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Effectively test programmable thermostats, condensing units, and variable air volume (VAV) terminals and handling units using this intuitive checklist. Every failed criterion triggers a push notification via the SafetyCulture mobile app, email, and/or text message (SMS).
Air Conditioning Commissioning Checklist
An air conditioning commissioning checklist is used to validate that packaged air conditioning units still conform with design specifications after installation onsite. Use this checklist for appropriate design documentation with digital signatures of your supplier/vendor and installer/contractor. You can also take/attach photos of the air conditioning system as-built drawings in this digital checklist.
Equipment Commissioning Checklist
This equipment commissioning checklist is used for the commissioning of burners/boilers in an industrial or commercial power plant. Easily customize or build your own checklist using SafetyCulture template editor to meet specific equipment design requirements and fulfill company needs. Each inspection item can also be set to “mandatory” to make sure that every detail about the equipment commissioning is checked.
Project Commissioning Checklist
This project commissioning checklist can be used by commissioning teams during the planning, designing, construction, and post-construction phases of a project to achieve desired outcomes. This checklist includes valuable elements and success factors of project commissioning such as assisting the owner (client) evaluate the facility’s requirements, backchecking mid-construction documents, and more. Commissioning managers can type or dictate additional recommendations within the SafetyCulture mobile app.
Building Commissioning Checklist
A building commissioning checklist aims to assess the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and building envelope systems and perform retro-commissioning as needed. Use this checklist to determine if the efficiency of existing equipment and systems of a building should be improved and create corrective actions that send and receive real-time notifications when complete, in progress, or still to do.
Substation Commissioning Checklist
A substation commissioning checklist is used by commissioning engineers to test and evaluate the safety and operation of high voltage electrical systems. This checklist has been built to make it easier for inspectors to check transformers/motors, direct current (DC) battery system, and the operation and testing tools and equipment and perform efficient lightning protection system, busbar trunking system, circuitry checks, and more.
Elevator Commissioning Checklist
An elevator commissioning checklist aims to clearly detail elevator specifications and accurately measure the elevator ride quality. This checklist includes general information of the elevator ride quality measurements and their boundaries to provide evidence that it performs according to its intended function. Start by specifying the elevator type, capacity, rated speed, and more, then examine the elevator well and pit, machine room, elevator car, and control station.
Piping Pre-commissioning Checklist
This piping pre-commissioning checklist can be used by pipeline engineers to perform flooding spread set-up (dry commissioning), pipeline pig valve launching sequence (wet commissioning), and pipeline flooding, pigging, gauging, and chemical injection (commissioning). With SafetyCulture analytics, you can view real-time data about inspections with most failed responses, total inspections conducted, their performance, and the unique people conducting them, and more.
Plumbing Commissioning Checklist
A plumbing commissioning checklist is used to carefully examine the piping system in a facility and prove it works according to its design. Use this checklist to ensure the installation follows code compliance requirements and the documentation, such as operation manuals, red line drawings, and LOTO procedures, meets standards. When project managers use SafetyCulture’s scheduling feature, key personnel automatically receives scheduled inspection notifications via SafetyCulture mobile app, email, or text messages (SMS).
Pump Commissioning Checklist
A pump commissioning checklist aims to validate the operation of pumps through correct installation, proper lubrication, and simulation of instrumentation and protection devices. This pump commissioning checklist includes inspection items such as “Is the pump/engine rotating direction correctly?” and “Are oil coolers, oil pipes, and cooling water pipelines installed properly as per Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) and General Arrangement (GA)?”.
Chiller Commissioning Checklist
A chiller commissioning checklist is used to thoroughly record observations before and after the start-up of chiller systems. Accurately capture suction, discharge, oil, and brine temperatures using SafetyCulture temperature sensors. Automate temperature monitoring of chiller systems, easily manage risks through proactive alerts to the right people when something goes wrong, and stay in control of your day-to-day operations.
BONUS! PSSR Checklist
Before commissioning, the pre-startup safety review team (usually comprise the project manager, construction engineers, and contractor) use a PSSR checklist to ensure the facility is safe for employees and systems operate according to design specifications.