As the march to professionalise the building inspection industry gathers momentum, the National Association of Building Inspectors of South Africa (NABISA) has entered into an agreement with the South African Council of Architectural Professionals (SACAP).
Building inspectors are drawn from across many sectors in South Africa and have to inspect the condition and legal compliance of new building works as well as existing buildings.
- Municipal building inspectors deal with approvals and compliance of new building work;
- Inspectors from the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) and from the Department of Human Settlements and their appointed private sector agents) are concerned with quality control of new housing;
- Inspectors from the Departments of Public Works, the NationalDefence Force and private sector home inspectors mainly deal with the condition of existing buildings.
During 2019 a new building inspection qualification curriculum (QCTO Code 335913) was formalised and accepted by the QCTO (Quality Council for Trades and Occupations). This qualification has now been forwarded to SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) for their approval.
Once accredited by SAQA, South Africa will for the first time have a recognised Building Inspector Qualification.
The Local Government SETA funded the development of the curriculum by a task team of experts drawn from across the building inspection industry. Members of the task team were drawn from representatives of local government, the NHBRC, private sector home inspectors and the banking industry. The approved curriculum is pitched at three levels in order to cater for the differing levels of knowledge and experience required for building inspectors operating in different sectors of the industry.
- Building inspector Class One: NQF 5 level. Designed to provide building inspectors with a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of building construction and of applicable building laws and regulations.
- Building Inspector Class Two: NQF 6 level. Completion of Class One plus a focus on advanced issues building plan scrutiny and approval.
- Building Inspector Class Three: NQF 6 level. Completion of Classes One and Two plus a focus on legal issues of enforcement.
The curriculum for each class of building inspector embraces three components:
- Knowledge – this can be done by eLearning.
- Practical classroom inspection.
- Workplace internships.
NABISA and representatives of local government building control offices have engaged with SACAP to have their industry recognised under the umbrella of the Council for the Built Environment (CBE). The decision to align local government building inspectors with SACAP came from the Building Inspector (Forum) at their national conference held in 2018.
With the new qualifications in place, agreement has been reached between NABISA and SACAP for SACAP to allow voluntary registration of both private and public sector inspectors.
SACAP will be consulting with NABISA to set standards in this regard. In terms of a memorandum of agreement, SACAP will consult with NABISA with regard to benchmarking relevant South African qualifications, training and experience for building inspectors. NABISA in turn will enforce the NABISA Code of Conduct in order to ensure that the South African consumers and property owners are protected by having their property assets inspected by professionals who are appropriately trained and ethical building inspectors.
NABISA was formed by industry to give building inspectors a voice, with the aim of professionalising the industry and advancing the interests of all building inspectors.
This partnership will enhance the industry and provide accreditation for building inspectors in the private and public sectors.
NABISA also intends to affiliate with the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) and with the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA) – once the PPRA has been established in terms of the Property Practitioners Act (PPA). The PPA which is designed to regulate everyone involved in the real estate industry (agents, valuers, auctioneers and home inspectors) has been approved by both Houses of Parliament and is awaiting signature by the State President.
- SACAP will allocate one CPD point in category 3 to all its members who also register with NABISA in terms of the schedule published in the Government Gazette on 17 March 2017 as board notice 43 of 2017.