AUST – Unless the specific State authority or building regulation calls for an individual to hold a trade or academic qualification to inspect, test or maintain an essential safety measure, there will be no qualification for an assessor/inspector required for an individual to inspect essential safety measures in a building.
In some states for example the assessment of egress and all passive essential safety measures nominated in the building regulations does not require individuals to hold a trade or formal qualification. This means that the average low to medium use building (which contains more essential safety measures compared to active systems) is in many situations being inspected by operatives who are unaware of the existence of many essential safety measures or the terminology used in building regulation documentation to ensure the annual fire safety statement is signed correctly.
Some tender writers are endeavouring to have qualified building assessors compete with companies that employ unqualified people (with no professional indemnity insurance) or to compete with maintenance companies who turn to trades people to perform multiple inspection tasks beyond their expertise. While most reputable building inspection companies ensure that mitigation of risk to the building owner is their primary focus, some maintenance companies in Australia have contributed to the poor performance of their industry by cutting their profit margins to ridiculous low levels and forsaking pertinent compliance measures for essential safety measures under the building regulation.
The Queensland Building Services Authority licenses all personnel who are to perform inspection, testing and maintenance works on fire safety installations, prescribed fire safety installations and essential safety measures under the Building Fire Safety Regulations (BFSR).