Building surveyors discuss industry evolution at annual conference

Hundreds of building surveyors and other building practitioners gathered virtually to hear industry experts discuss regulatory reform, emerging trends and take part in interactive forums at the Victorian Building Authority’s (VBA) Building Surveyors’ Conference.

The virtual and free conference for building surveyors, building inspectors, students, support staff and other building and plumbing practitioners is in its fourth year.

The VBA’s State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini said the theme of the conference was ‘navigating the evolution’.

"We operate in a continuously evolving sector, with transformational reforms underscored by increasing demand from growing populations, changing expectations and new technologies," Mr Cialini said.

"With this pace of change set to continue, the conference explored how building surveyors, regulators and practitioners can navigate these changes and competing priorities, to embrace new ways of working that deliver the outcomes our communities need."

Mr Cialini said the conference also looked at the challenges and greatest opportunities for building surveyors with forthcoming reform changes, as well as new and evolving technologies that enable us and perspectives on industry growth and career sustainability.

The two-day event was facilitated by building industry expert Bronwyn Weir and included 25 speakers and panellists. Panel sessions were introduced by presentations from the Chair of the Expert Panel’s Comprehensive Review of Victoria’s Building System and Commissioner for Better Regulation Anna Cronin, the VBA's State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini and the VBA's Acting Executive Director, Regulatory Operations David Brockman.

Topics discussed included Expert Panel Reforms, Building Surveyor Career Pathways and examining the impact of the Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors in its first year, as well as tailored breakout sessions for private and municipal building surveyors.

The conference heard from women in the industry who shared their experiences, such as Wendy Turner, a student building surveyor at the City of Whittlesea and participant in the Women Building Surveyors Program and Sarah Stevenson, a student building surveyor who took part in the Building Surveyor Career Pathway Program.

The Victorian Management Insurance Authority CEO, Efy Karagiannis presented on industry’s trends, innovation and risk while the VBA's Chief Risk Officer Todd Bentley spoke about risk-based regulation.

Mr Cialini said building surveyors play a pivotal role in the building industry and have had an increasing responsibility for compliance to achieve safe and resilient buildings.

“To their credit, building surveyors, building inspectors and other building practitioners have demonstrated a commitment to improve their knowledge, skills and capabilities.

“As regulator, we have a unique line of sight to the industry and seek to strike the balance of enforcing standards and policy while supporting the industry in this ever-changing environment,” he said.

“This means we are an active connector, and the Building Surveyor’s Conference is a key example of this, it allows us to bring government and industry together, sharing knowledge and working together to find solutions and improve confidence in the industry.”

A recording of the 2022 VBA Building Surveyors’ Conference will be available online next week.