Building control officers or building inspectors, sometimes known as building control surveyors, work in construction planning and inspection in both the public and private sectors. Officers work with building designers, architects and contractors to ensure that new building construction or alterations to existing buildings conform to building regulations before planning permission is sought. If planning permission is granted, officers continue to work with all parties to safeguard continued compliance. Projects can range from relatively small housing extensions through to large city centre redevelopment.
Officers need an in-depth knowledge of regulations covering public health, fire safety, security, construction technology and energy conservation, building accessibility and other environmental issues.
As well as comprehensive technical knowledge, officers need an appreciation of the implications their decisions can have on contractors’ time and costs. Good communication and negotiating skills are essential.
Some of the main duties include:
Building control officers working for local authorities also approve demolitions and carry out surveys of potentially dangerous buildings that may have been damaged by fire or adverse weather conditions. Other responsibilities may include administering entertainment licences, safety at sports grounds and other open-air events, and cinema and theatre inspections.
Building control officers work normal office hours, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Some officers will be on 24-hour call-out in case the emergency services need their expertise to inspect an unstable building. Flexi-time and job-sharing may be available.
Time is split between the office and on-site visits. Inspections take place in all weather conditions and safety equipment should be worn. A good head for heights will be required as the work can involve working from scaffolding or ladders.
Due to site visits, a driving licence is normally required.
To be a building control officer, you should:
If you would like to know anything about Building Control Officer/Inspector that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Tel: 0870 333 1600
76-86 Turnmill Street
Chartered Institute of Building
Tel: 01344 630700