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New Code of Conduct for Registered Building Inspectors

View profile for Derryn Rolfe
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The Building Safety Act included provisions for the mandatory registration of all buildings inspectors, both Registered Building Inspectors (local authority inspectors) and Registered Building Control Approvers (private sector consultants).

The Act was very clear that all persons inspecting building for compliance with the Building Regulations would be subject to stringent codes of conduct, and that and individual’s registration could be restricted, suspended or removed if the new Building Safety Regulator considered it appropriate. What was not included in the Act, but which is in the new code of conduct, is that the new system means that Registered Building Inspector is a protected title: it will be a criminal offence to impersonate, or allow someone to believe, that they are a Registered Building Inspector if they are not.

The code of conduct that inspectors and approvers will be required to follow has now been published, with the new system coming into force in April 2024. In addition, the Building Inspector Competence Framework has been developed to set out the required standards of inspectors.

The code sets out the standards of professional conduct and practice required of individuals, and the overriding principles are:

  • Act with honesty
  • Act with integrity
  • Maintain professional competence
  • Deliver services with professional skill and care
  • Uphold public trust and confidence in the provisions of services and the profession
  • Treat everyone fairly and act in compliance with legal obligations

The standards require inspectors to comply with regulatory requirements and industry standards, to maintain professional independence and integrity and to work in a cooperative manner with fire and rescue authorities. Workplace requirements include maintaining appropriate insurance, acting with financial propriety, avoiding conflicts of interest, managing and storing data responsibly, maintaining a blame-free whistle-blowing policy, publishing and following a complaints handling policy, supporting a workplace culture of inclusion, and engaging in continuous professional development. Competence requirements include only undertaking work for which the individual is registered and competent, which demands maintaining a portfolio of evidence of competence and development. There are also requirements in respect of standards of services and engaging with applicants and agents.

There is nothing in the code of conduct that is in any way arguable or unexpected, but the question remains exactly how necessary this new system actually is. The problems in the industry are not normally associated with poor inspections, and the additional costs and paperwork that the new system will inevitably bring may mean that private practice inspectors pull out of the market, adding to the burden on local authorities and the difficulties of developers.

If you have any questions about the New Code of Conduct for Registered Building Inspectors and Professional Conduct Rules for Registered Building Control Approvers, our Construction and Engineering team will be happy to help. Please get in touch for further information.