Proactive Inspections Program (PIP) Quarterly reports

The VBA’s Proactive Inspections Program helps ensure the safety of Victoria’s construction industry.

We have a team of expert building and plumbing inspectors that typically look at more than 1,000 sites each month. This work means we can identify potential faults earlier, when they are easier to fix, and that the burden of fixing them sits with the builder rather than the owner.

PIP also provides a level playing field for all builders and plumbers who produce high-quality work.

It’s all part of our goal to empower and educate both practitioners and consumers, supporting a robust and high-quality construction sector.

You can learn more about this program, and the issues most commonly found, in our latest quarterly report.

View the latest report (PDF, 3706.32 KB)

Scroll down for key data and insights from our latest inspections. Tap or hover over the graphics for details.

Where we are

Number of inspections

We’re more visible than ever, visiting more worksites and keeping Victorians safe. The Victorian Government expects us to inspect 10 per cent of new building permits received each year.

Discrepancies between projected and completed inspections may occur depending on unforeseen industry activity and resource allocation (eg COVID restrictions).

FY22/23 Q1 total: 2,406 inspections 1,476 building and 930 plumbing)

FY22/23 Q1 Compliance

Inspection locations

Our inspectors are working right across the state, creating a safer Victoria.

When selecting sites for inspection, we use building permit data and consider a range of risk factors. We sometimes target certain types of construction to manage risk and to ensure intervention at the earliest possible stage.

FY22/23 Q1 - Number of Inspections at construction stage

Building inspections

Plumbing inspections

What we’re looking for

We inspect sites to keep workers and future occupiers safe. Here’s how we determine the seriousness of compliance risks.

  • Low risk (pass): Compliance risk not identified; any compliance risk likely to be resolved as work continues.
  • Low risk (low impact compliance risk): Unlikely that compliance risk left untreated would adversely impact safety, amenity, structural integrity.
  • Medium risk: Possible that compliance risk left untreated would cause an adverse impact on safety, amenity, structural integrity.
  • High risk: Almost certain that compliance risk, if left untreated, would cause an adverse impact on safety and amenity. Structural integrity would be significantly compromised and/or total loss of project value would be incurred.

See our full compliance risk rating matrix.

What we find

We discover a range of problems – from minor issues through to serious breaches requiring immediate action.

Find out more about compliance and enforcement.

Overview of building inspections FY22/23 Q1

Geographic Trends

  • The percentage of inspections with compliance risks were lower in regional Victoria.
  • This trend is different to previous quarters where non-compliance rates were mostly consistent across all regions.

Building - New Builds vs Alterations

  • The percentage of inspections with compliance risks are much higher in constructions of New buildings than buildings going under Alterations in domestic building sites. The difference in commercial building sites was not as significant.
  • These trends in compliance risk have been consistent across all previous quarters in FY 2021/22

Building - High Volume builders vs Other builders

  • The percentage of inspections with compliance risks are higher in sites managed by Other builders than buildings managed by High Volume builders.
  • This trend in compliance risk has been consistent across all previous quarters in FY 2021/2.

Common problem overview - building

The most prevalent categories where non-compliance risks are observed (medium and high risk).

Overview of plumbing inspections FY22/23 Q1

Geographic Trends

  • The percentage of plumbing inspections with compliance risks were  lowest in Regional Victoria.
  • This trend is different to previous quarters where non-compliance rates were mostly consistent across all regions

Plumbing - New Builds vs Alterations

  • The percentage of plumbing inspections with compliance risks is lower in the construction of New buildings compared to buildings undergoing Alteration for domestic sites.
  • The reverse trend was observed in commercial sites noting a very small sample size of commercial site undergoing Alterations.

Plumbing - High Volume builders vs Other builders

  • The percentage of inspections with compliance risks are higher in sites managed by Other builders than buildings managed by high Volume builders.
  • This trend is different to previous quarters where there was no difference in non-compliance rates between Volume and Other builders.

Common problem overview - plumbing

The most prevalent categories where non-compliance risks are observed (excluding low risk), remain consistent each quarter.

Prevalence of compliance risks in dual- and single-occupancy dwellings

The following percentages are based on all domestic (class 1) dwellings inspected during this time period. This graphic does not include low-risk (low impact compliance risk) data.

Case studies

Swimming Pool Permit Inspections

In FY21-22, a total of 479 swimming pool inspections (under construction) were conducted across 41 municipalities in Victoria, involving 135 builders (including 21 dedicated swimming pool construction companies). Seventy-six or 16% of these inspections identified at least one compliance risk related to preventing access to swimming pools by young children.

A total of 118 non-compliant items were observed on these sites. The most common issue was a lack of temporary fencing (44%), around bodies of water greater than 300mm. The second most prevalent issue was inadequate temporary fencing (21%) with gaps greater than 100mm prevalent as well as minimum fence heights of 1200 not met.

Non-complaint issues observed

In FY22-23 Q1, 86 swimming pool inspections were conducted and 32 or 27% of these inspections identified at least one compliance risk related to preventing access to swimming pools by young children.

The VBA deems the lack of adequate or no temporary fencing around bodies of water greater than 300mm as a serious risk and builders are contacted on the same day to address these issues within 24 hours.

The VBA also conducts desktop audits of building surveyors’ work in approving the construction of swimming pools. The audits involve assessing Section 30 building permit documentation which building surveyors’ rely on to determine compliance of swimming pools and spas.

In FY21-22, 74 desktop audits were carried out on building permits for swimming pool barriers, issued by 30 unique building surveyors in 25 municipalities in Victoria.

The issues identified on site through the proactive inspections correlate with the items in the desktop audits that did not have sufficient information detailed on the plans to show compliance. The results of these audits can be found on the VBA website.

A Practitioner Education webinar was also delivered in December 2022 focusing on the audit findings and ways to improve compliance. To watch this webinar, visit the VBA website.

Inspection locations