The recent message from Sue Eddy, CEO of the VBA (Victorian Building Association), published Friday 16th August raises a couple of interesting points.
Firstly, the reference to the new building and levy system along with the launch of BAMS that came into effect on July 1 was well-received. For those of you still struggling with BAMS submissions, Visual Approvals released a CSV export and import feature to integrate with the BAMS portal meeting regulatory compliance.
Ms Eddy goes on to say that the next big step in real-time regulatory information will be the requirement to submit all supporting documentation during the permit process. This request is still to be regulated and approved through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. If passed, this additional requirement could prove to be a challenge for those building surveyors who do not collect all of the documentation at the required stage of the application process. From the initial design concept, Visual Approvals has required surveyors to collect the necessary documentation for every aspect of the assessment process, whether it be a permit or inspection. Visual Approvals ties the collection of these documents to risk mitigation methodologies to ensure that the steps of the process are completed correctly. These methodologies, including comprehensive checklists and access to the NCC 2019 code which is now integrated into VA, controls the progress of a process reducing the risk of missing documents or the incompletion of tasks.
As stated by Ms Eddy, “Professional Indemnity Insurance is another major challenge already spreading to building insurance more broadly. But insurers will only underwrite the building industry in the future if they have assurance that Victoria’s regulatory framework will be reformed with speed, that the regulator is adequately resourced and continues to actively manage risks, and that industry is taking genuine responsibility for safety and the quality of its work.”
The ability to demonstrate such risk mitigation strategies is critical for a surveyor if they were ever to find themselves in a situation where they’re required to prove their compliance to an insurance company during a VBA audit or at a BPB/VCAT/QCAT Court hearing.
Keeping in mind these comments, it would be wise for Building Surveyors to review their current risk management practices going forward and assess whether their software solution really does provide the tools that will limit their liability if the situation ever arose. After all it is up to each Building Surveyor to ensure that they follow suit with the VBA in taking responsibility for safety and the quality of their work.
To read the full message from the VBA CEO, click here
To learn more about Visual Approvals risk management practices, please contact us.