Approved Inspector insurance - what you need to know

04.09.2019
News
Building inspector at work

LAST UPDATED 4/9/19

We have published FAQs aimed at building owners in relation to this issue. Read the Approved Inspector insurance FAQs.

 

LABC is aware of a number of private Approved Inspectors (AIs) who have been unable to secure the required level of public liability and professional indemnity insurance cover which means they can no longer operate as an Approved Inspector. In some cases the Approved Inspectors affected have tried to pass building work in progress on to another Approved Inspector. Legally, where work has already started it has to be reverted to the appropriate local authority.

What should you do if your Approved Inspector no longer has the insurance cover required to trade?

The procedure is as follows:
 

  1. Either the AI or the person carrying out the works must cancel the existing Initial Notice lodged with a local authority.
     
  2. If work has started on site, any work not covered by a Final Certificate must revert to local authority control. Only if work has not started then another AI can submit an Initial Notice for the work.
     
  3. If the affected Approved Inspector has not cancelled the initial notice, the person carrying out the work must fill in a copy of Form 7 under the Approved Inspector regulations which cancels the Initial Notice submitted by the AI and submit an application to the local authority.
     
  4. When work is ‘reverted’ to a local LABC team in this way, you will need to provide them with as much information as possible to help them determine the work so far complies with the requirements of the regulations. Local authorities will charge a fee for work that is reverted to them. This fee will be individually assessed based on the size of the project and the amount of time needed to ascertain compliance with the Building Regulations. So any information you have about inspections undertaken so far, plus any building plans, structural calculations or photographs of the work in progress will be of great assistance and may help to limit LABC fees.
     
  5. The LABC team will then assess all of this and advise you of the next steps in the process.
     
  6. If you aren't able to demonstrate compliance with particular parts of the work you may have to uncover certain areas for inspection. It's always LABC's aim to keep this to a minimum.
     

LABC understands there are many people, including thousands of homeowners, affected by the situation and facing the prospect of having to open up works previously inspected by an Approved Inspector. 

Dealing with reversions from Approved Inspectors is a statutory duty of local authorities – the Approved Inspector’s ability to trade and the issue of any previously paid fees is outside our remit or control.

Complaints relating to any Approved Inspector should in the first instance be directed to the individual Approved Inspector and failing that to the designated body CICAIR Ltd.

Public service building control teams are there to help you throughout this process so that your project can be successfully completed.

Read the full Approved Inspector insurance FAQs

Comments

How do I check If My Approved Inspector is Compliant?

Submitted 2 years 11 months ago

I have just called to speak with a named insurer and the call centre I spoke with were unclear on this issue. Is there a Governing body I can check to see who is compliant and who is not? Obviously it's a trust issue as to whether the provider is giving correct information. Not just for current cover but looking for future compliance and suitability. Thanks

Reply to: How do I check If My Approved Inspector is Compliant?

Submitted 2 years 11 months ago

Hello, thanks for letting us know about your issue.

The designated body for Approved Inspectors is CICAIR. They maintain a list of Approved Inspectors on their website (https://www.cicair.org.uk/approved-inspectors-register) alongside details of the insurance policies held by each and their expiry date.

Regards,

LABC

Acivico

Submitted 2 years 9 months ago

Hi, I understand Acivico are no longer insured but provide Approved Inspector services to Birmingham City Council? Is there an LABC in Birmingham for their jobs to be reverted back to? I assume all external schemes will have reverted already back to their local authority districts?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Reply to: Acivico

Submitted 2 years 9 months ago

Hi, thanks for your comment.

Acivico had two separate trading entities. Acivico's Approved Inspector arm only ever dealt with projects outside Birmingham City Council's geographical area. All of these projects are being reverted to the relevant local authorities. Projects within the Birmingham City Council area were always dealt with by Acivico's local authority team and as such have no need to revert.

Kind regards,

Cathal, LABC

Notes

Submitted 2 years 9 months ago

My approved inspector is no longer in business and the adminastrator / liquidator forwarded information you could not call it notes to LABC and you forwarded it to my local council. It comprised a spreadsheet with barely any information and I would like to know what actions have been taken to tell Begbie Traynor this is inadequate for the purposes it is required for.
Kind regards

In reply to by Stephen (not verified)

Reply to: Notes

Submitted 2 years 9 months ago

Hi there, thanks for your comment.

We understand that CICAIR Ltd, the designated body responsible for maintaining and operating the Construction Industry Council Approved Inspector Register wrote to Begbies Traynor regarding this matter on 5 September and we await sight of any response.

Regards,

Martin, LABC

Gone wrong

Submitted 2 years 8 months ago

What do we do when a AI goes into liquidation, and the LACB say that there is major concern with the structure i.e. slab laid incorrectly. Cicar just refer it back to LACB as AI is in liquidation. Was awaiting final inspection from private AI.

We are stuck between professional bodies.

Reply to: Gone wrong

Submitted 2 years 8 months ago

Hi there, thanks for your comment.

The responsibility for ensuring the works comply with the Building Regulations was passed in full to your local authority once Aedis went into liquidation. If a serious structural issue was missed by the Approved Inspector, your local authority is obligated to see that it's remedied and that the building is safe to be occupied. The fact that it was missed or deemed okay by Aedis cannot be accepted by the local authority if they deem the works not to meet the minimum structural requirements set out in the regulations.

Kind regards,

Cathal, LABC

Outsourcing the cost of returning my data

Submitted 2 years 8 months ago

The liquidators of Aedis have advised that they are unable to share sufficient data with the Local Authority to progress my project, and that I need to pay a third party to extract and return to me the records that are on the Aedis system. Are they allowed to do this?! The extra financial cost seems to be never-ending, and I'm not even guaranteed to get documents that are of any value...

Reply to: Outsourcing the cost of returning my data

Submitted 2 years 8 months ago

Hi, thanks for your comment.

While Approved Inspectors are required to maintain accessible records for 15 years, it would appear that there is nothing to prevent the liquidators in this case from charging to access them. While LABC have made our feelings known about homeowners being charged a further £150 on top of the fee already paid to Aedis and the subsequent reversion fee, there is little we can do because Approved Inspectors are regulated by a separate body – CICAIR. It may be worth contacting CICAIR directly to enquire whether anything is being done to help people in your situation.

Regards,

Cathal, LABC

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