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Approved Inspectors guidance notes

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Introduction
NHBC approach
Procedure for Approved Inspector registration with NHBC
Procedure for obtaining NHBC Buildmark section 4 cover
General
The application process

Introduction

From October 2005, building control for housing may be carried out by Approved Inspectors other than NHBC Building Control Services Ltd.

Approved Inspectors are companies or individuals authorised under the Building Act 1984 to carry out building control work in England and Wales.

Approved Inspectors are required to ensure that homeowners have the benefit of insurance covering specified breaches of the Building Regulations (principally relating to health and safety) and costs arising as a result of the exercise of statutory powers in connection with contaminated land. CLG has agreed that Designated Warranty Insurers can apply their own criteria when determining whether to provide this cover.

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) maintains and operates the Approved Inspectors register in accordance with the responsibilities entailed by CIC's appointment as a Designated Body by the Secretary of State, administered by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG). CIC is responsible, on behalf of CLG, for deciding on the appointment of Approved Inspectors. You can find out more about the CIC's role by visiting  http://www.cic.org.uk/.

CLG has issued criteria for Designated Warranties and has confirmed that Buildmark Policy provided by NHBC is a Designated Warranty and all new homes in England and Wales benefit from contaminated land cover.

The purpose of this guidance note is to set out how Approved Inspectors may apply for insurance cover for homes they inspect under Section 4 (Building Regulation breaches) of the Buildmark policy. Cover will only be provided where homes are enrolled with NHBC for cover under Buildmark.

NHBC approach

NHBC accepts CIC's extensive checks on applicants prior to their being authorised as an Approved Inspector. NHBC's assessment is consequently based on whether the Approved Inspector has the capability to observe the standards set out in the 'Green Book'. (For further information on The Green Book visit http://www.odpm.gov.uk/ ). The outcome of this assessment will determine whether NHBC will accept an application to place an Approved Inspector on the NHBC register of Approved Inspectors.

Once an Approved Inspector has been placed on the NHBC register of Approved Inspectors they will be entitled to make an application for additional cover under Buildmark section 4.

Procedure for Approved Inspector registration with NHBC

Approved Inspectors will initially be asked to complete an application form and provide current CIC Registration details.
NHBC will assess each application as outlined above. If the application passes the assessment stage, the applicant will asked to sign the NHBC Approved Inspector agreement. The Approved Inspector must sign one copy of the agreement and return it to NHBC. Upon receipt NHBC will complete the assessment and either accept or reject the application.

NHBC's decision will be confirmed in writing to the Approved Inspector.

If the application is accepted the Approved Inspector will be issued with an NHBC Warranty Link Rule (WLR) Registration number, a letter of confirmation and application forms for NHBC Buildmark section 4  cover.

The application should be returned to:
Builder Registration
NHBC
NHBC House
Davy Avenue
Knowlhill
Milton Keynes MK5 8FP 

If you have any questions about the application for registration please contact Builder Registration on 01494 735392 or email aiquestions@nhbc.co.uk

Procedure for obtaining NHBC Buildmark section 4 cover

When a registered Approved Inspector is undertaking building control for an NHBC registered builder or developer on plots enrolled for cover under NHBC Buildmark the Approved Inspector must arrange the additional section 4 cover. The following procedure will apply:

The Approved Inspector must confirm with the NHBC registered builder/developer that the homes have been enrolled for cover under Buildmark and obtain the policy numbers issued by NHBC. The policy numbers are a prerequisite to the application for section 4 cover under Buildmark, and will show to the Approved Inspector that a Designated Warranty is in place prior to the issue of an Initial Notice in compliance with Green Book.

The application for section 4 cover must be completed by the Approved Inspector and returned to:

Customer Services
NHBC
NHBC House
Davy Avenue
Knowlhill
Milton Keynes MK5 8FP 

The application must be received by NHBC at least ten days before work starts on the homes to be covered.
If you have any questions about the application for cover please contact Customer Services on 01494 735363 or email aiquestions@nhbc.co.uk

We regret that unless the correct NHBC Buildmark policy number for each plot is listed on the application form we will be unable to process your application.

Confirmation of plot registration will be sent to the Approved Inspector. The Buildmark policies will be endorsed to show that section 4 cover is in place. NHBC may ask for confirmation of your professional indemnity insurance as a condition of adding this endorsement.

When the Approved Inspector has completed the final inspection and the Local Authority has accepted (or is deemed to have accepted) final certificates, copies must be sent to NHBC Customer services within 2 working days.

General

Approved Inspectors are asked to carefully note their obligations under the NHBC Approved Inspector agreement. In particular it is a condition of entry on the NHBC Register of Approved Inspectors that the CIC registration is maintained. If that is cancelled for any reason, NHBC must be informed immediately.

Any dispute about the interpretation of the Building Regulations and any applications for relaxation or dispensation must be dealt with by the Approved Inspector and the builder or developer. NHBC will not be able to assist but should be informed of the outcome in case it has any bearing on the extent of cover provided under Buildmark.

NHBC may also inspect homes for it's own risk management purposes. In no circumstances must the Approved Inspector rely on those inspections for the purposes of Building Regulation compliance or assume that NHBC has checked work on site for the purposes of that compliance. Nonetheless, Approved Inspectors and NHBC should co-operate and exchange information in a spirit of mutual assistance.