Why Approved Inspectors?

Approved Inspectors are qualified and experienced private sector building control professionals and consultancies who can help developers, designers and contractors achieve Building Regulations approval on almost any construction project – from extensions and one-off homes to large commercial office developments and infrastructure projects.

Approved Inspectors provide a cost-effective and client-friendly alternative to local authority building control.

There are currently about 60 Approved Inspectors in England and Wales, accounting for about 20% of all building control work. They range from specialist individuals to very large businesses – half of the country’s top 10 building control bodies (by value) are Approved Inspectors.

Approved Inspectors are professional and specialist advisers.  They guide clients through the maze of Building Regulations.

Once appointed, it is an Approved Inspector’s responsibility to take reasonable steps to satisfy him/herself that the building work complies with Building Regulations throughout the process.

When you use an Approved Inspector, he or she will take on responsibility for plan checking and inspection of your building work.

The procedure requires you and the Approved Inspector jointly to notify your local authority of your intended building work on what is called an ‘Initial Notice’. Once this notice has been accepted by your local authority the responsibility for plan checking and site inspection will be formally placed on the Approved Inspector.

An Approved Inspector will:

  • Advise you on how the Building Regulations apply to your work
  • Check your plans
  • Issue a plans certificate (if requested)
  • Inspect the work as it progresses
  • Issue a final certificate.

The approval process for certifying Approved Inspectors is rigorous, ensuring the highest standards are maintained.

Approved Inspectors are bound by the code of conduct of their own professional body (such as RICS, ABE or CIOB) and that of their regulatory body, the Construction Industry Council (CIC).

ACAI members are further bound by the ACAI Code of Conduct which includes a complaints procedure, providing further safeguards for the client and the assurance of the best service from its members.

Professional standards

The ACAI is committed to ensuring that its members maintain high professional standards.

Approved Inspectors are bound by the ACAI’s own [Download not found], and must also adhere to the Construction Industry Council’s Code of Conduct.

To find a suitable Approved Inspector for your project, search the Members Directory.

The Benefits of using Approved Inspectors are:

Solving your problems, and saving money

  • Approved Inspectors work with clients, design teams and contractors at a very early stage to help avoid Building Regulations problems – saving time and money from the start.
  • With Approved Inspectors you get a proactive service from experts who will help you to find solutions to all your Building Regulations problems.
  • For a fee that is often less than 1% of the project value, your Approved Inspector could even save you up to 10% of the project value! We’ve seen this happen on many projects already.

Working with you, not against you

  • Approved Inspectors are highly commercially aware (after all, they are running businesses themselves).
  • They take a consultative approach to compliance.
  • When involved at an early stage, Approved Inspectors are often able to contribute innovative technical solutions to problems.
  • Approved Inspectors offer flexibility and creativity to meet your development objectives and help you to achieve full and total compliance.

An integrated service, wherever you work in the country

  • An Approved Inspector is a seamless member of the design team.
  • Not bogged down in bureaucracy, an Approved Inspector is there to provide advice and ideas whenever and wherever you need help.
  • Approved Inspectors work with everyone, from domestic clients right through to the largest construction and infrastructure projects.
  • Approved Inspectors usually operate nationally. That means the same adviser will work with the same client and contractor teams wherever they are in the country – this is particularly useful for national, multi-site developers.
  • That means real consistency of advice that doesn’t change over borough or county borders.
  • Consistency of interpretation of the Building Regulations – and consistency of fees!
  • You will get to know what your Approved Inspector is going to be looking for, and the inspector gets to know where to scrutinise most closely.
  • In this way, you will also build a strong and effective working partnership with your Approved Inspector.

An insured service

  • Approved Inspectors are backed by insurance. You won’t find this in the public sector.

A qualified team whose performance is monitored and regulated

  • Approved Inspectors are regulated and monitored by the Construction Industry Council.
  • One of the other major benefits of using Approved Inspectors comes from their investment in people.
  • Approved Inspectors must have their qualifications checked and must prove competence before they can be licensed to operate.
  • Their competence is independently checked every five years.
  • Approved Inspectors have to do at least 30 hours’ CPD every year.
  • This ensures you get a professional adviser with specialist expertise and proven ability.

A track record of customer service and innovation

  • Approved Inspectors pioneered the risk-based approach to building control inspection more than 20 years ago.
  • You will receive a tailor-made inspection regime. AIs check the things they know need to be checked, based on a much closer understanding of the project than you’d traditionally get.
  • Approved Inspectors are recognised by the Government and others as having an important positive impact on efficiency and higher standards of service.
  • Approved Inspectors understand innovation.  As the architect and creator of a new and ingenious off-site manufacturing system told Building magazine recently: “I had ridiculous conversations about whether the buildings would collapse. We don’t go to local authority building inspectors any more. We use a specialist Approved Inspector who understands what we’re doing.”

A wide range of services

Many Approved inspectors offer a whole range of complementary services from fire risk assessments, fire engineering services, Disability Access Advice and services relating to other related legislation.

Many Approved Inspectors are able to offer a combined service for both building control and health and safety CDM Regulations advice.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations – or CDM Regulations as they’re usually known – were updated in 2007. The CDM Regulations apply to all construction projects and exist to make buildings safe for people who build them, use them, maintain them and demolish them.

To comply with the CDM Regulations, you must appoint a CDM Co-ordinator before any significant design is undertaken on your building.

Contact an ACAI-registered Approved Inspector today to see how they can provide a combined service, save you time and money, and achieve high standards of Health & Safety on your site.

For more information on the CDM Regulations themselves, click here.

To find an Approved Inspector to suit your needs, look through our Members’ Directory.

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