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Building Control Surveyor

Building Control Surveyors use the building regulations and associated guidance documents, to ensure that all types of construction within the built environment are both designed and constructed appropriately.

Building control surveyors ensure that building regulations are met during construction on a wide range of projects.

Working in the role of building control surveyor, you'll make sure that building regulations are followed when houses, offices and other buildings are designed and constructed and when altered, extended, or converted.

If a building looks like it won't meet the requirements of the building regulations, you'll advise on finding a solution. On complex projects, you may be involved at the pre-application stage to comment on design and safety issues and suggest alternative processes to reduce the risk of delays and save costs.

Responsibilities

As a building control surveyor, you'll need to: 

  • examine plans, drawings, specifications and other documents submitted for approval to make sure they comply with building regulations - using practical guidance set out by the Approved documents
  • inspect buildings, against regulations for public health, fire safety, energy conservation and sustainability and building accessibility
  • where necessary, ask the client for further details
  • advise applicants on changes to ensure legal requirements are met
  • issue conditional approval, subject to other steps being included in the process
  • grant approval for work to commence
  • carry out regular inspections of the building and building methods while works are being completed
  • inspect and test foundations and drainage work
  • take samples of new building materials and assess their suitability
  • keep records of the visits made to site and write reports
  • issue completion certificates when the work has been carried out satisfactorily
  • liaise and communicate with members of the public, councillors, construction professionals and statutory bodies, e.g. highways, planning and environmental health departments
  • liaise with special interest groups such as historic building conservation officers and national heritage organisations, e.g. the National Trust, English Heritage, Historic Scotland and CADW (the Welsh Government's historic environment service)
  • calculate the fee to be charged to the client
  • keep up to date with current regulations and legislation
  • prosecute builders if non-compliance has occurred, although this is a last resort
  • approve demolitions and carry out surveys of potentially dangerous buildings - you may occasionally have responsibility for this if you work in local government. 

Salary 

  • Average starting salaries for building control surveyors range from £22,000 to £27,000
  • With a number of years' experience salaries can range from £30,000 to £40,000
  • At a senior level, with typically more than ten years' experience, your salary can reach £40,000 to £60,000. 

Salaries are normally higher in London and the South East. Bonuses may be paid in addition to your salary, though this is likely only to be in the private sector.

Gaining professional membership with an organisation, for example Chartered Association of Building Engineers, can lead to higher salaries.

A Day in the Life of a Building Control Surveyor

Building Control is a statutory function which is primarily to “ensure the health and safety of people in and around buildings”. This role can be undertaken by either local authority building control or an approved inspector company.

The guidance documents and on-site inspections will consider all aspects of the Building Regulations including structural design, fire safety, acoustics, ventilation, public health, energy conservation, and influencing good, accessible design.

Building Control Surveyors are engaged by architects, contractors, homeowners, and other professional consultants their primary role is to review applications for Building regulation approval this requires the building control surveyor to: 

  • undertake architectural plan assessments
  • offer guidance on constructional details and technical queries
  • review specifications, and
  • comment on documents submitted for your approval as a Building Control Surveyor
  • attend design team meetings. 

The role also involves on-site inspections at critical points of a building’s construction to ensure that the work undertaken is in line with the Building Regulations and the approved application.

Traits and Skillsets of a Building Control Surveyor

If you consider that you have a skill in problem-solving and feel that you hold a practical and analytical mind-set, as well as an eye for detail and you want to use your knowledge of safe construction to help keep building standards high, then this job could be ideal for you. 

Career Pathways 

A career as a Building Control Surveyor, will mean keeping abreast of legislation, new technologies, best practice, continuous learning, and collaborating with specialists depending on the project you may be involved in. Becoming a chartered member of a professional body like Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) can help you with your career progression. 

Memberships demonstrates your level of competence and experience of working as a Building Control Surveyor within the built environment. 

CTA 

CABE (Chartered Association of Building Engineers) strongly encourages students to join our Graduate, Associate or Technician Membership tiers, as a way to be provided with continued access to the broader community through information and communication, ensuring a high level of skill proficiency and drive for competence. 

Salary Expectations 

Ranging from £22,000 to £60,000 with growing experience and chartered memberships. 

Relevant Experience and Studies 

If you have studied subjects including town planning, structural engineering, construction studies, civil engineering, building surveying, building control, and architecture then a career as a Building Control Surveyor is definitely an option for you. That being said, it is not required to have a degree and an HND, HNC, or diploma can qualify you for this line of work.