What role does Audit and Inspection play in achieving Building Control Regulation

Published in Design & Construction on: Wed, Jul 4, 2018 8:32 AM

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The drive to ensure quality in construction takes many forms. Let’s Talk Specification discusses the importance of Audit and Inspection and Building Control Regulations with Ken O’Sullivan, the head of Audit & Inspection at the BBA.

Q: What are the key responsibilities of the BBA and within the organisation can you explain your role in the audit and inspection division?

A: The BBA is committed to helping businesses and organisations supply the construction industry with high quality products, systems and installers. Our operation is made up of three key areas: Product Approval and Certification (PAC), BBA Test Services and Audit & Inspection (A&I).

Collectively, these business units cater for a product’s life; from development and manufacture to installation and continued post-installation monitoring. As the Business Unit Head for Audit and Inspection, my role is to maintain both the operational side and the integrity of the service we provide by making sure all A&I Inspection processes meet the requirements set out in the BBA’s post certification service policies. That means making sure we continue to work closely with manufacturers and building control regulations inspectors to maintain standards.

Q: Can you explain how the audit and inspection service works and what are the key benefits for clients?

A: The audit and inspection business unit comprises two main streams: Construction and Management Systems.

The construction side is heavily focussed on installations and installers through inspections. Most of these inspections are carried out on a daily basis and take place at end user sites. They can occur at various stages of the works being undertaken including Pre, during and post works.

On the management systems side there are two aspects. The first supports the product through initial and ongoing quality manufacturing assessments. The second focuses on the business process; through our ISO services (9001, 14001, 18001), we assist on the improvement of service levels, efficiency and risk management.

In both streams, the BBA offers business efficiency, branding and most importantly ongoing reassurance of the product or the installation, making sure standards are being met and kept.

Q: How important is the audit and inspection service you provide in terms of helping to maintain quality for the government and construction product owners?

A: The BBA is a recognised name of quality and integrity within the construction sector. As such, the organisation supports the government by being an independent voice within the construction sector; a voice that is heard via the BBA’s involvement with various government projects and committees. More specifically, the BBA provides surveillance for government endorsed Competent Persons and Trustmark. The latter is going through change to the Each Home Counts project, which again the BBA are involved, EHC is looking to heighten the standards even further to the end user. For the product manufacturers, the importance of an independent certificate demonstrates their commitment to quality, resulting in an improved relationship with their clients.

Q: What is the significance of UKAS accreditation and how does that make a difference to the service offering provided by BBA A&I?

A: Our UKAS accreditation is key to our impartial offering, commitment to operational integrity and public reassurance. It fortifies morale and helps create conformity in our approach to business and our clients. It also supports our credibility with the UK government; through UKAS the BBA can help in policy areas including better regulation, good governance and public confidence.

A 2016 survey provided interesting feedback:

93% of respondents agreed that accreditation creates confidence among customers and stakeholders, while 76% agreed that accreditation differentiates them from their competitors.

Considering recent industry events, a repeat survey would most likely result in higher percentages.