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Building Control Officer Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Building Control Officer. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Building Control Officer
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Building Control Officer Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

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 issues 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 use of materials 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.


Hours and Environment

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 off scaffolding or ladders.

Due to site visits, a driving licence is normally required.

Skills and Interests

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.


Entry

Entry requirements vary depending on employers, but most entrants have at least two A levels/H grades, BTEC national diploma, BTEC HNC/HND or a degree.

Some employers ask for a BTEC/SQA Higher National Diploma (HND) in Building Studies or Civil Engineering, or a degree in a relevant subject such as building, building control, building surveying or civil engineering.

The minimum requirements for a HND are four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and one A level/two H grades. For a degree, you normally need five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) plus two A levels/three Highers. Equivalent qualifications or relevant experience may be accepted.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

The Chartered Institute of Building and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors websites have information on training routes and the job role. See contacts below for details.

Training

Depending on your qualifications and experience, you normally undertake on-the-job training with day or block release and work towards one of the qualifications mentioned above. The NVQ/SVQ Level 4 in Building Control is also available through the Association of Building Engineers (ABE).

Most officers take the professional exams of either the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the ABE. After passing written exams, candidates are assessed to evaluate their professional competence.

The professional bodies also run seminars and training courses, and distance learning options may also be available. See contacts below for further details.

Opportunities

Local authorities are the major employers of building control officers but there are also opportunities in the private sector, within government-appointed inspection bodies. There are possibilities for self-employment, consultancy work and to specialise in areas such as the fire safety of buildings or sports stadium safety.

Promotion in local authorities is linked to qualifications and experience, and there are opportunities to move into technical or planning roles in other departments.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Salaries vary depending on the size of the local authority or private company, ranging from £20,000 to £27,000 a year.

Further information:

Association of Building Engineers
Lutyens House
Billing Brook Road
Weston Favell
Northampton
NN3 8NW
Tel: 0845 126 1058
www.abe.org.uk

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Surveyor Court
Westwood Way
Coventry
CV4 8JE
Tel: 0870 333 1600
www.rics.org.uk

LGcareers
Layden House
76-86 Turnmill Street
London
EC1M 5LG
Tel: 020 7296 6503
www.lgcareers.com

Chartered Institute of Building
Englemere
Kings Ride
Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 7BT
Tel: 01344 630700
www.ciob.org.uk


Other Useful Building Control Officer Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Building Control Officer job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Building Control Officer Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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