Inspect or not to inspect? Should inspections be mandatory?
Building Ministers authorised an assessment of the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry across Australia. The resulting Building Confidence Report (BCR) notes that there are significant differences across jurisdictions in the number of inspections required and the notification stages. This ranges from no mandatory inspections to very few inspections for domestic buildings. For commercial buildings many jurisdictions rely on the statutory building surveyor to determine what inspections are appropriate. This makes it difficult for regulators to know what level of oversight is occurring, whether it is adequate and if National Construction Code (NCC) compliance is being achieved. Understandably, the current process doesn’t provide the public with confidence in the regulatory system or in the compliance of constructed buildings.
The BCR Implementation Team has developed a discussion paper in response to BCR Recommendation 18, which proposes ‘that each jurisdiction requires mandatory on-site inspections of building work at identified notification stages’.
The discussion paper proposes a draft model process that prescribes an approach for minimum inspections proportionate to building complexity (risk) as a means of improving building outcomes through greater regulatory compliance. The risk-based approach would also determine additional inspection stages such as those relating to specific Performance Solutions or complex commercial buildings. The draft model details the proposed approach and how it is anticipated to work in practice.
Please note: The definition of building complexity has been redefined in this paper, following an extensive consultation process and supported by Building Ministers for inclusion in the NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft.
The discussion paper can be downloaded.