Thursday 7 May 2020
As the coronavirus outbreak develops across the UK, we hope that you are coping under the challenging circumstances and that you, your colleagues and family are well. We will continue to provide you with a first-rate service, whilst also ensuring safety at all times.
Following the publication of government advice on the provision of a building control service, guidance from RICS and CIC guidance on construction work activities, we have reviewed our current inspection regime.
The guidance states “Building Control Bodies should continue to undertake normal, regular on-site inspection activity where this can be done safely, in line with Public Health England guidance. Building Control Bodies may wish to consider the use of alternative methods of checking compliance to supplement physical inspections, for example using digital photographs and video or other remote means of checking compliance.
Building Control Bodies should satisfy themselves within the limits of their professional skill and care that these remote inspections are used appropriately. Remote inspections should not normally be used as the sole method of assessing compliance.”
What this means is we will be increasing the instances of being able to attend site and to get back to the inspection regime you have become accustomed to whilst ensuring we adhere to the guidance issued to keep everyone safe.
Remote inspections are by no means an adequate long-term substitute for inspections in person. Wherever possible and where conditions allow in-person inspections would always be our preference and, as mentioned above, recommended in national guidance.
During these unprecedented times we have been able to maintain an acceptable level of service employing remote inspections. However, it is the case these would usually only be utilised where an individual item requiring attention was identified in a previous inspection for example extract fan required in a room, controls to heating system, self-closer to a door…
Where we can, we will continue to and broaden the use of remote inspection techniques for those inspections which are specific to one particular area or item where we have previously been. In relation to normal, regular on-site inspection activity our intention is to recommence site inspections to a level in-line with our usual service level wherever possible.
The surveyor carrying out the inspection will make contact on the day of the inspection to reconfirm any of the above, where appropriate, and will confirm arrangements for carrying out the inspection.
Where any of the above cannot be adhered to or confirmed the inspection is to either be attempted to be carried out remotely, either wholly or partly, or the inspection postponed until such time the above can be adhered to or confirmed.
We will endeavour to conduct as many site visits in person where possible although we recognise the need to balance service delivery with reduced personal contact. Where necessary we may need to be conducting some virtual or remote inspections subject to the guidance stated above.
Full details and instruction on whether this is required will be judged on a case by case basis. As a minimum we will be asking you to provide suitable photographic evidence and any other relevant details and information.
Wherever possible, we'd be grateful if you could email us in preference to sending paperwork (cheques, plans and so on) via post.
We want to thank you for your continued patience during this challenging situation and wish you all the best.