Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics for Master Inspectors Australia
The Registered Master Inspector™ RMI™ must stay in good standing, inspect without prejudice, or bias and remain highly competent in identifying and documenting visible defects in such a way as all parties involved in the transaction will, after reading the property report, reach a similar conclusion and understanding as to the extent of the defects so the client may correctly identify the property's suitability to their individual threshold for maintenance and repair.
Registered Master Inspectors represents excellence in client service, communication, inspection and reporting. This means delivering consistently high standards of service to clients in all aspects of the inspection process.
Inspectors must put their safety first and clearly exclude in writing any areas that could not be inspected due to safety concerns, for example climbing onto wet or steep roofs, or entering subfloors and ceiling spaces with limited access and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, mask, gloves, glasses, knee protectors etc.
Inspections must be carried out within the members experience, qualifications, and capabilities. This means inspectors must clearly advise in writing any limitations prior to carrying out the inspection or identified during the inspection, and recommend further evaluation required. For example, monolithic plaster clad homes that cannot reasonably be assessed for weathertightness with a visual inspection and require moisture ingress and or invasive inspections.
Inspectors must make all safe and reasonable attempts to visually inspect all accessible areas of a property without interference. This means taking the time necessary to methodically inspect all accessible areas of a property and explaining to clients, buyers, sellers, and agents that the inspector must not be disturbed during the inspection process.
Inspectors must make all reasonable attempts to document defects in such a way as the extent of the defect is understood by all readers of the report and that all readers reach a similar conclusion as the extent of the defect. This means taking the time to clearly explain the defect in the report.
Inspections and reports must be without prejudice or bias. This means avoiding inspections of properties being sold or purchased by friends, family and relatives, keeping relationships with real estate agents professional and not offering or accepting to repair faults identified.
Inspect and report only. This means that the inspection is NOT building code compliance inspection (unless specifically identified as such) or a building warranty. The purpose of the report is to identify areas of interest/concern, NOT to provide independent expert advice on specific elements and NOT to recommend solutions to faults identified or to offer a repair of faults identified. The purpose of the inspection is to provide an impartial and visually thorough account of the properties general state being the next best step toward assisting the person commissioning the report in determining their individual threshold for maintenance and repair.
Inspectors must adhere to local property inspection regulations. This means meeting all regulatory body requirements and conditions imposed on inspectors in your state, province, area, and country and remaining in good standing with those regulations.
It is recommended Inspectors stay updated with industry alerts, building regulations and equipment improvements. This means using the latest information on products, materials, systems, regulations, and any equipment that would demonstrably improve safety or inspection capabilities.
It is recommended inspectors provide adequate communications. This means using technologies like email auto reply, vehicle Bluetooth, smart watches, and smart phones to reduce the time between client contact and the inspector’s response. While some inspectors have a secretary to field calls and emails many inspectors do all tasks associated with running their business, from office management to vehicle maintenance. Utilizing technology can improve client experience.
Keep it professional. This means abusive, harassing, bullying and demanding behavior of any kind has no place within the association, members and non-members who display this type of behavior will be removed and ignored by the association without notice. Remember, members give their time freely to assist the association and its members.
Inspection reports must contain a suitable Limit of Liability and Scope of Inspection. This means clearly explaining what happens in the event of an omission or error and the limit of liability of the omission or error and what the inspection includes and excludes.
It is recommended that inspectors seek legal and technical advice with regards to their business and website structure. This means seeking advice on the merits of forming a limited liability company, obtaining suitable professional Indemnity insurance, and operating a secure website with adequate Terms of Service conditions and issuing reports with adequate Limit of Liability, Scope of Inspection information.
Ultimately a properly equipped, experienced inspector with a professionally structured business, that conducts detailed building inspections, within their capabilities, in a safe, methodical, and impartial way, without prejudice or bias and produces clear, concise, impartial, and detailed inspection reports that clearly indicate the limits of the inspection, is most likely to obtain consistent client satisfaction and improved business performance. That is a Master Inspector.
Brian Collins Registered Builder | Master Inspector Australia