Proactive Inspections Program

The VBA launched its Proactive Inspections Program (PIP) in 2015, which involves checking building and plumbing works under construction throughout Victoria. The purpose of PIP is to reduce non-compliant building and plumbing work in Victoria.

The VBA’s inspection services team includes highly skilled and experienced registered building inspectors, building surveyors and licensed plumbers. This team undertakes a large volume of inspections and audits of both domestic and commercial sites. By proactively inspecting building and plumbing work during construction, we:

  • engage with industry to build trust
  • educate building practitioners and plumbers as the construction industry evolves
  • ensure building practitioners and plumbers meet their responsibilities and functions under the Building Act 1993 (the Act), Building Regulations 2018 and Plumbing Regulations 2018 and that their work complies with the Act and Regulations.

Site selection

Our goal is to undertake inspections of 10 per cent of all building permits issued per year across the entire state. Sites are selected based on the PIP risk-based framework or intelligence received from a range of sources.

When selecting the sites for inspection each month, we use building permit data stored within our systems.

A range of risk factors are applied to the permits to deliver a sub-set of sites for our inspectors to visit. The purpose is to ensure that the VBA visits a range of sites proportional to the volume of work undertaken. The selection process deliberately excludes practitioner details, and features some degree of randomness.

We also target particular types of construction to manage risk and to ensure intervention at the earliest possible stage, when required.

Risk rating matrix

The following table shows the PIP risk rating matrix. The level of risk observed during inspection determines the VBA's response and any actions required of the relevant building practitioners.

PIP risk rating

Low-risk: Pass

Non-compliance is not identified at inspection, or any non-compliance is consistent with work in progress and is reasonably expected to be resolved as work progresses.

Low-risk: Pass subject to

It is unlikely that the non-compliance, if left untreated, would cause an adverse effect on the safety and/or amenity of the occupants. Financial loss for future occupants or loss of structural integrity is unlikely.

Medium-risk

It is possible that the non-compliance, if left untreated, would cause an adverse effect on safety and/or amenity of the occupants/public. Financial loss for future occupants or loss of structural integrity is possible.

High-risk

It is almost certain that the non-compliance, if left untreated, would cause an adverse effect on the safety and/or amenity of the occupants/public. Structural integrity would be significantly compromised and/or total loss of project value would be incurred.

Cladding program

One aspect of PIP is the inspection of construction sites that could potentially incorporate combustible wall cladding.

Along with a review of building permit documents and specifications, our team carries out visual inspections to determine if there is any non-compliant cladding on the building’s external walls.

We work with builders and building surveyors to ensure any non-compliant external wall cladding is not installed. Non-compliant cladding must be removed before an occupancy permit can be issued.

De-registered practitioners

The VBA monitors and regulates registered building practitioners, and in some cases disciplinary action is undertaken that results in a building practitioner being deregistered.

Under Section 190 of the Act, the VBA has been declared Municipal Building Surveyor (MBS) for some building permits issued by de-registered building surveyors.

These building projects may be at different stages of construction, requiring substantial work to repair or complete them. Our team works closely with the site owners to bring the buildings into compliance with the regulations, codes and standards. We are then able to issue a certificate of final inspection or an occupancy permit.