Building control body
A building control body is an organisation authorised to control building work that is subject to the Building Regulations in England and Wales (similar systems are provided in Northern Ireland, and in Scotland where the term 'building standards' is used). Building control roles are exercised by officers in local authorities and by private sector Approved Inspectors.
The title "Building control officer" (BCO) (also known as a "building inspector" or a "building control surveyor") is used predominantly by local authorities, which confer the title of "officer" to many staff who have regulatory, supervision or enforcement roles. Private sector "Approved Inspectors" generally do not refer to themselves as "officers".
Qualifications and appointment
Building control professionals practice in the public sector with local authorities or in the private sector as companies or individuals who are recognised as Approved Inspectors. Many individuals are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and chartered building surveyors or chartered building control surveyors, and are members of that RICS Faculty; alternatively, they may be chartered members of the Chartered Institute of Building or the Chartered Association of Building Engineers.
Approved Inspectors are bodies or individuals who must be appointed by an organisation designated by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government or the equivalent Welsh Government Minister as having the authority to control building work. CICAIR Limited, a specially created wholly owned subsidiary of the Construction Industry Council, is the sole body authorised to approve Approved Inspectors to undertake building control work in England and Wales.
The main function of building control is to ensure that the requirements of the building regulations are met in all types of non-exempt development. Generally they examine plans, specifications and other documents submitted for approval, and survey work as it proceeds. Most building control surveyors are now actively involved at design stage for many schemes and are acknowledged to provide valuable input at all stages of development.
Many building control surveyors who work for local authorities are involved with other legislation such as safety at sports grounds, dealing with dangerous structures and demolitions, and various development and building matters.
Local authorities have powers under the Building Act 1984 to enforce the building regulations and have work altered or removed that does not comply. These powers have not been conferred on approved inspectors.
Local Authority Building Control (LABC) is a membership association for around 3,000 members of local authority building control teams in England and Wales. LABSS (Local Authority Building Standards Scotland) is a not-for-profit membership organisation representing all local authority building standards verifiers in Scotland.
Formed in 1996, the Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors (ACAI) promotes private sector building control as a commercial, professional and cost-effective alternative to local authority inspectors.
- "Approved Inspectors: Approval Process – New Applicants". Construction Industry Council. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- "CIC launches CICAIR Limited". Construction Industry Council. CIC. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- "About us". LABC. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- "Local Authority Building Standards Scotland". LABSS.org. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- "ACAI". TheRichWorks.co.uk. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- "Building Control Alliance Limited". Companies House. Retrieved 26 June 2018.