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 900 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 full reports

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.

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.

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.

Common problems – Overview

Tap or hover over the chart for more information.

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.

Taking action

We’re taking steps to ensure the safety of workers and Victorians. The VBA will intervene so that building sites with serious non-compliances aren’t issued with an occupancy permit and can’t be handed over to the purchaser.

Examples of non-compliance and enforcement activity

The VBA can take a range of actions to address non-compliance, from issuing written Directions to Fix (DTFs) through to other enforcement activities.

Find out more about enforcement.

Inspection stories

Alterations and additions to an existing dwelling

Serious structural framing issue

A proactive inspection, carried out after the mandatory frame stage, identified an issue with an upper roof structure constructed from existing rafters and bolted metal plates. One existing rafter was insufficiently supported by an external load-bearing wall and had an additional LVL laminated to it. After receiving and reviewing the approved plans from council, the VBA identified that several roof beams (required as per the engineer’s design) had not been installed.

A re-inspection took place on site, with the builder confirming that the existing roof structure had been retained and new metal plates were made up to connect the rafters together.

The VBA issued a section 37B Direction to Fix (DTF) building work for the installation of beams and framing members, including their connections, in accordance with the approved building permit.

A VBA delegate also lodged a formal complaint against the site’s building inspector for approving the frame (at a mandatory inspection stage) when the works were not in compliance with the approved plans.

The complaint is under investigation.

EPS found on an apartment building more than three storeys high

Serious cladding issue

Proactive inspection of a Class 5 and 6 building revealed rendered expanded polystyrene (EPS) on a Type B building. Approval for the work occurred after the commencement of Minister’s Guideline MG-14. No application for the use of EPS was submitted to the Building Appeals Board.

A VBA notification of high-risk building activity sent to a senior building surveyor prompted a review of materials by a fire safety engineer. This review resulted in the amendment of plans and replacement of the EPS with non-combustible material.

Complex plumbing in a large-scale residential nursing home

Serious issue - protection of the water supply

A proactive inspection targeting complex plumbing discovered that a chemical dispenser in an aged-care facility had not been installed with a backflow-prevention device. Had the VBA not discovered the fault, the building’s drinking water supply could have been contaminated, causing serious risks to health and safety.

The builder took full responsibility for the fault and immediately rectified the issue.

EPS cladding found on an apartment building more than three storeys high

Serious cladding issue

A proactive inspection on an occupied apartment building undergoing alterations and rectification work identified expanded polystyrene (EPS) cladding on its external walls. The cladding had been installed without a determination from the Building Appeals Board as required by Minister’s Guideline MG-14.

The VBA issued a section 37B Direction to Fix (DTF) building work for the removal of all EPS cladding from the building. In response, the relevant building surveyor amended the approved plans to show non-combustible external cladding in lieu of EPS.

The VBA will monitor compliance with the DTF until the work is complete.