Building Control Officer/Inspector Careers

How to become a Building Control Officer/Inspector

What does a Building Control Officer/Inspector do?

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:

  • liaising with architects, designers, builders and engineers on planning proposals
  • suggesting ways to improve cost-effectiveness in respect of materials use and energy savings
  • carrying out regular inspections at each stage of the building process
  • maintaining records and issuing of completion certificates.
If, during the course of the construction, the building control officer decides the building no longer conforms to the regulations, they can instigate legal proceedings to redress the situation.

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.

What's the working environment like working as a Building Control Officer/Inspector?

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.

What does it take to become a Building Control Officer/Inspector?

To be a building control officer, you should:

  • have an excellent knowledge of building regulations
  • have a good understanding of the technical aspects of construction
  • have good analytical skills
  • be able to understand technical drawings
  • have strong IT skills
  • have excellent communication skills, both written and spoken
  • be able to explain technical terms to members of the public
  • have time management skills and organisational ability
  • be able to work alone and as part of a multi- disciplinary team.

Building Control Officer/Inspector Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Building Control Officer/Inspector that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Association of Building Engineers
Lutyens House
Billing Brook Road
Weston Favell
Tel: 0845 126 1058

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Surveyor Court
Westwood Way
Tel: 0870 333 1600

Layden House
76-86 Turnmill Street

Chartered Institute of Building
Kings Ride
Tel: 01344 630700

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