Last edited 27 Apr 2017

Building Control Performance Standard 6: Site inspection

The building regulations establish standards that have to be achieved in the construction of buildings. A project's compliance with the regulations is independently verified by Building Control Bodies (BCB’s) who may be the building control department of the local authority, or an approved inspector.

A set of building control performance standards were prepared by the Building Control Performance Standards Advisory Group (BCPSAG) to ensure competition between local authorities and approved inspectors does not drive down standards and to encourage the consistent application of building control functions.

The standards are supported by guidance about how they might be achieved. This is analogous to the relationship between the functional requirements of the building regulations and the guidance provided by the approved documents.

Standard 6: Site inspection, came in to force on 1 April 2017 and applies to building work where an initial notice, building notice or full plans application has been given on or after 1 April 2017.

The standard was revised and clarified by a circular letter published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on 25 January 2017. The revised standard and associated guidance is appended to the letter, and requires that:

Site inspection regime: Building Control Bodies shall deliver a site inspection plan matched to client and project needs. Relevant factors should be assessed at the outset and regularly reviewed so that effective control is maintained for the duration of each project, with adequate site inspections and sufficient records, to demonstrate the application of reasonable skill and care by the Building Control Body.

Site inspection records: records of each inspection, (including the information required in the guidance to the standard), shall be maintained. Records shall identify the work inspected and any non-compliance together with any re-inspection. Where plans are not available for the work, these records will be more detailed.

Contraventions: details of non-compliant work (contraventions) should be communicated promptly and clearly to the responsible person, identifying the contravention(s) and indicating any measure(s) believed to be necessary. Any mechanisms for appealing against or disputing a decision of the Building Control Body shall be clearly made known to the responsible person.

Notification of consultees: During the inspection phase, the Building Control Body shall ensure that all statutory consultees are notified of any significant departures from plans.

A Local Authority Building Control (LABC) spokesman said: “LABC welcomes the circular letter. We see this as part of the wider discussions on standards and quality in the building industry... Changes of practices in construction, the loss of people in the industry during the recession, EU workers, a growing economy, technical innovation and government targets for one million new homes have all contributed to challenges and issues.”

“There is a bigger picture and LABC has been consulting with local authorities and is already putting a new framework in place to review and uplift best practices, standards, records and training.”

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