The Building Officials Institute of New Zealand and a special interest group made up of inspection and surveying industry professionals has launched an initiative designed to protect home buyers and sellers through a new programme of accrediting building surveyors.
Institute chief executive Len Clapham says accredited surveyors will have to adhere to a code of ethics and accreditation criteria, New Zealand property inspection standards and an improved level of service and assurance to consumers in New Zealand.
“While there has been a lot of discussion on this topic the Institute and the industry special interest group have been working solidly to create a robust process and infrastructure to support the new accreditation programme,” Mr Clapham says.
He goes on to say that the programme will undertake assessment, training and development for the profession, including auditing.
The accreditation process will be a structured method of evaluating the competency of building surveyors to undertake pre-purchase and pre-sale surveys, safe and sanitary reports, investigation inspections, quality assurance inspections, council building record inspections, maintenance inspections and sampling of lead and asbestos.
Enhanced service to be offered
Accredited building surveyors will offer an enhanced service and certificated level of competence to reassure home buyers and sellers. The programme has been developed to deliver consistency in the pre-purchase and pre-sale inspection industry.
“In time, it will weed out the individuals and companies within the industry who do not meet the required level of competency,” Mr Clapham says.
The accreditation process and other administration duties will be undertaken by the Institute.
Lumley General Insurance (NZ) Ltd has lent support to the initiative by providing comprehensive insurance cover to accredited professionals. Support has also been signalled by the finance sector.
Similar levels of accreditation and certification have been undertaken in other countries, including Great Britain and the USA.
“This is an exciting initiative for improvement in the industry,” Mr Clapham says. “The group is to be congratulated on its positive moves to achieve a higher standard of professionalism and service which will result in another measure of protection for the consumer.
“The accreditation process is being piloted in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Nelson, and will be fully available for online applications by the end of July.”
The Institute is advocating that every house sold in New Zealand will be required to have a home information pack that contains a pre-sale survey to New Zealand property inspection standards, terms of sale, evidence of title, standard searches, planning consents and building control certificates, Land Information Memorandum (LIM), warranties and guarantee and, in future, an energy efficiency assessment.