What is Building inspection work?

This guide explains the typical tasks for building inspector work. If you are asked to an assessment interview, some of your interview questions will be based on this information.

Registered building inspectors perform an important role in monitoring and enforcing building standards in Victoria by carrying out inspections of building work on behalf of the relevant building surveyor. ‘Relevant building surveyor’ means the municipal building surveyor or private building surveyor who issued the building permit for which an inspection of building work is to be carried out.

Building work may not be carried out unless a building permit has been issued by a building surveyor, and the work must be carried out in accordance with the Building Act 1993, the building regulations and the building permit. The purpose of the building permit system is to ensure that all buildings and building work comply with building legislation and regulations before work commences, and that they meet the minimum standards and safety requirements once constructed.

‘Building work’ means work for or connected to the construction, demolition or removal of a building.

What are the two classes of building inspector?

The two classes of building inspector are:

  1. Building inspector (limited)
  2. Building inspector (unlimited).

Building inspector (limited)

People registered in the Building inspector (limited) class are responsible for carrying out inspections of building work for:

  • all classes 2 of buildings (excluding buildings with basements) of up to 3 storeys in height with a maximum floor area of 500 m2, or
  • all classes 2 of buildings (including buildings with basements) of up to 3 storeys in height with a maximum floor area of up to 2000 m2.

Building inspector (unlimited)

People registered in the Building inspector (unlimited) class are responsible for carrying out inspections of building work in respect of all BCA classes and types of building of unlimited height and floor size.

What do registered practitioners need to know and do?

A registered building inspector must have capacity to undertake the following activities in a competent manner and to a professional standard:

  • carry out an inspection of building work at the request of the relevant building surveyor at the following construction stages to verify if the building work complies with the building permit, the Building Act 1993 and building regulations:
    • before a footing is placed
    • before an in situ reinforced concrete member nominated by the relevant building surveyor is poured
    • on completion of framework
    • on completion of all building work, and
    • at any other time requested by the relevant building surveyor
  • prepare a written inspection record of the building work inspected
  • document and report to the relevant building surveyor on building work that fails to comply with the Building Act 1993, building regulations and building permit issued in relation to the building work
  • where authorised by the relevant building surveyor, give an oral direction to fix non- compliant building work (to the builder and/or the person who is apparently in charge of the site on which the building work is being carried out, as required by the relevant building surveyor).

What knowledge do you need to demonstrate?

You must demonstrate relevant knowledge, including:

  • BCA classifications and definitions for residential and commercial classes of buildings
  • construction methods and materials suitable for residential and commercial buildings and structures
  • legislative and regulatory requirements for inspecting domestic and commercial classes of building at initial and advanced construction stages
  • drawing symbols, notations, acronyms and construction technology used in the National Construction Code (NCC), Australian standards, working drawings, building design specifications and building permit documentation
  • the range of, and variations in, compliance requirements for residential and commercial buildings in different climatic, geographic and planning zones, including the Building Act 1993 and the building regulations, the NCC, and Australian standards referenced by the Act, regulations and the NCC.

Building inspector (limited)

If you have successfully completed one of the following qualifications, you will satisfy the knowledge required for registration in the class of Building inspector (limited):

  • Bachelor of Building Surveying from Holmesglen Institute
  • Bachelor of Building Surveying from Victoria University
  • Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying (CPC60115).

If you have successfully completed the Diploma of Building Surveying (CPC50108), you will satisfy some of the knowledge required for registration in the Building inspector (limited) class.

This qualification covers knowledge requirements associated with building inspecting work for residential buildings, and domestic scale buildings.

Building inspector (unlimited)

If you have successfully completed one of the following qualifications, you will satisfy the knowledge required for registration in the class of Building Inspector (Unlimited):

  • Bachelor of Building Surveying from Holmesglen Institute
  • Bachelor of Building Surveying from Victoria University.

If you have successfully completed the Advanced Diploma in Building Surveying, you will satisfy some of the knowledge required for registration in this class. This qualification covers only the knowledge requirements associated with building inspecting work for all classes of building up to three storeys in height.

What experience do you need to demonstrate?

Building inspector (limited)

You must demonstrate that you have at least two years of relevant practical experience in:

  • carrying out initial construction inspections and advanced construction inspections for residential and commercial buildings, and
  • identifying and reporting on non-compliance with the building permit, building control legislation and regulations for residential and commercial buildings

across all BCA building classes and different types of construction for:

  • buildings up to three stories in height with a floor area of up to 500 square metres, or
  • building up to three stories in height with a floor area of more than 500 and up to 2000 square metres.

For your work under supervision, the supervising building inspector or building surveyor must be authorised to carry out such an inspection, and you must have carried out the inspection in their presence, at their direction.

Building inspector (unlimited)

You must demonstrate that you have at least two years of relevant practical experience in:

  • carrying out initial construction inspections and advanced construction inspections for residential and commercial buildings, and
  • identifying and reporting on non-compliance with the building permit, building control legislation and regulations for residential and commercial buildings

across all BCA building classes and different types of construction for:

  • buildings up to three storeys in height with a floor area of up to 2000 square metres, and
  • buildings above three storeys in height, and
  • buildings with a floor area of more than 2000 square metres.

How to get experience

If you are not already registered, the only way to get the required experience is to carry out building inspection work under the supervision of a registered building inspector or building surveyor (or an interstate equivalent).