In addition to our key stage inspection service, we now offer consultative inspections. The introduction of this new style of inspection has been overwhelmingly positive with 95% of builders saying that engaging with this new type of inspection was time well spent and 92% saying the inspection has helped improve standards and quality on site.
Based on thorough consultation
In 2014, we undertook an extensive consultation with our builder customers, key stakeholders and our staff about our inspection service. The feedback was that the current key stage inspection process works well and is highly regarded (with many builders attributing their own quality improvements to this regimented method of inspecting at key stages of the build). However, many builders felt that they’d like our inspectors to spend more time with them on site to provide opportunities to discuss potential issues before they become big problems.
This feedback and our most ambitious ever recruitment campaign (which has seen us recruit another 150 members of our inspection team in the last 18 months) means that we’re now in a position to offer consultative inspections as well as our usual key stage service.
Why consultative inspections?
The aim is simple, to spend more time with those builders who need our help the most. This new type of inspection is complementary to the key stage process and additionally provides the opportunity for detailed discussions to take place between the site team and the building inspector between key stages.
We piloted the use of consultative inspections in 2015 and received enthusiastic feedback from site managers who welcomed us spending more time with them to record good practice as well as adopting a more collaborative approach to helping them improve quality. As one site manager put it: “You’re becoming more of a trusted advisor and less of a policemen.”
How does it work?
Candidate sites are identified each month on a rolling programme. These might include those utilising non-traditional construction methods or those using new materials. Selection may also be as a result of higher than average reportable items or concerns identified with quality on site. Arrangements will be made by our inspectors to visit these identified sites at a mutually convenient time.
During the consultative inspection, any issues that require attention or rectification will be recorded as Direct Interventions (DIs); these items will not form part of our standard recording procedures or be included in any Builder Reports (thus removing any perception of penalties).
Directly following the inspection a detailed report is compiled.
This includes photographs and lists any builder actions identified including timescales for re-inspection were necessary. Both the site manager and the building inspector then sign the report and a copy is located in the site record book.
Progress since launch
Since we launched the service in October 2015, we have carried out over 2000 consultative inspections and identified over 4000 DIs (Direct Interventions). The months ahead will see our inspectors concentrate on roof structures and coverings, balconies, fire stopping, timber framing, cladding and rendered finishes.
Early feedback from those that have experienced a consultative inspection is very positive
- 95% said engaging with the survey was time well spent
- 92% agreed it helped improve standards and quality on site
- 95% said that these inspections have helped improve awareness of "what is to be expected" among the trades
We have been delighted at the way our builder customers have worked with us during these consultative inspections. By working together in this way between key stages, we can raise standards for the benefit of everyone.
Want to know more?
For more information please call us on 0344 633 1000 and ask for our inspection admin team.