In the first article, it was established why an inspector needs good paperwork.
The next question an inspector must ask is whether to design their own paperwork or use third party paperwork.
When designing paperwork, consideration needs to be given to the following six points.
Research The paperwork must be designed around relevant and current industry practice, principals and methodologies including:
- Australian Standards, e.g. AS 4349.0, Inspection of Buildings, Part 0: General Requirements
- Training and competency standards, e.g. National Pest Management Industry Competency Standards
- Industry research papers, e.g. CSIRO, Notes on the Science of Building
Once the paperwork has been drafted it will need to be submitted and verified by an independent authority for technical accuracy, e.g. Unisearch UNSW.
The draft paperwork including the terms and conditions of inspection and report need to be reviewed by legal counsel. Consideration must be given to inspector contractual, tortious and statutory liabilities.
How is the paperwork to be delivered when considering costs and inspector/consumer expectations. For example, the use of Apps to generate paperwork is becoming more common place, but Apps are expensive to develop.
Will the paperwork be accepted by industry insurers and if the paperwork is given/sold to third parties, does the author have professional indemnity insurance for the paperwork content?
Paperwork is always evolving and being updated to reflect current industry practice. Ongoing technical and legal reviews take time and cost money.
After considering the above points, the time and effort required for an individual inspector to develop their own paperwork is normally cost prohibitive, especially considering the associated technical and legal issues.
In the vast majority of cases, an individual inspector is better off using a recognised third party’s paperwork, provided the inspector is satisfied that the third party paperwork meets the above six points.
Informative Note: (This note contains extracts from the copyrighted Report Systems Australia handbook series)