Professional Practice Policy
It is the policy of AIBS that each member will seek to practice in a professional and ethical manner that places the interests of the client and community before commercial considerations. Municipal building surveyors and private building surveyors must only accept appointment as relevant building surveyors in the area of their own competence. Municipal building surveyors and private building surveyors must perform their functions in a competent manner and to a professional standard
This ensures that the community’s interests in safety and amenity are maintained and that the interests of a client are a primary consideration in any decisions or actions taken by a member. It is considered that each member will operate with the parameters of the AIBS Code of Conduct or any specific similar State codes of professional conduct. It is considered that a member should only operate within their level of competency, continue to undertake specific training on a regular basis and to have obtained or continue to work towards a professional education.
All members should consider elements such as client interaction, protection of client funds, conflict of interest, working only where they are competent, actively supporting and assisting both the institute and the profession in general as elements critical to day to day activities.
Education and Qualifications Policy
AIBS considers that Building Surveying professionals should obtain a relevant qualification from a registered and AIBS approved educational institution and undertake a period of supervised activity before they undertake practicing unsupervised.
In this aim, AIBS engages with and reviews educators of their course content for appropriateness and relevance and to ensure that that course content fulfils the needs to the changing community. AIBS will continue to provide both support and subjective and constructive critique on the courses and their content. AIBS also encourages its members to assist in mentoring and providing support to educators in delivering their course content.
AIBS will support the mutual recognition of fellow professionals from different states and nations where their education, qualification and training can be shown to equate or be of a higher level than that in this country.
AIBS will continue to develop relationships with like organisations and educational faculties in an international basis to allow the continual enhancement of the profession in Australia and encourage an enhanced level of co-operation and communication between regulators and legislator in building control on an international basis.
AIBS are committed to the development of educational pathways to ensure that the profession meets the demand for building surveying services for the future by the ongoing provision of well-educated and experienced professionals.
AIBS believes that the provision of quality, relevant and skills gap training to its members and to other like and allied professions is considered to be a core function of the institute. To support this belief, AIBS will continue to provide courses to ensure the ongoing development and improvements of quality and relevant training for industry professionals is maintained and meets future demands of the industry.
As a profession that has crucial role in the construction industry, AIBS has been provided with clear evidence that without high quality training specific to the needs of industry at that point in time, performance issues within industry develop and the risk is then spread to the general public and consumers.
AIBS is committed to remaining the peak professional organisation for building surveyors and that it has the interests of the community as a core consideration, along with the development and provision of training for members and the profession.
AIBS will continue to organise and financially support major State conferences, regular meetings and training sessions and where required, utilise the benefit and expertise of specialists such as Registered Training Organisations (RTO).
The Interaction and communication with construction industry participants and manufacturers, along with its members will be a key process to ensure that the members are exposed to current issues and processes.
A critical aspect of AIBS training in the provision and support to industry training, is to collaborate with the various State building industry regulators in organising and providing training for specific industry shortcomings or developing issues.
Continual Professional Development (CPD) Policy
AIBS acknowledges that CPD is a critical factor in the perception of professionalism and is committed to a national program of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for all its Members. AIBS will continue to review the provision of CPD and consider the introduction of mandatory CPD.
One distinguishing feature of a profession is the degree of training and education required and the application of skills and knowledge to competently work within the profession. CPD is “the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skill and the development of personal qualities necessary for the competent execution of professional and technical duties”. CPD is the basis of ensuring that building surveyors maintain the required level of skill to meet the ongoing demands and changes within the industry and ensure the high standards are maintained.
Continuous education is crucial for Building Surveyors, Certifiers and Building Inspectors as their role involves having current knowledge of legislation, regulations, codes and standards as well as technical innovation in building products and systems. This concept is also critical for all building practitioners, such as architects and drafts-people, engineers and builders in Australia to improve standards in practice, documentation and consumer satisfaction.
Every change in the built environment will impact on the registered professional’s responsibilities and has a direct effect on the capacity of Building Surveyors, Certifiers and Inspectors to competently make assessments in this built environment. A failure to ensure that skills are maintained and technical and legislative changes applied can have a negative effect of the community. Many longstanding and unresolved system-wide performance issues can be attributed to incompetent, unconscionable conduct by registered practitioners who choose not to avail themselves of further education and training.
AIBS believes CPD is vital for all building practitioners in Australia to improve standards in practice and ensure consumer satisfaction and public safety. Further, AIBS believes the building and construction industry and consumers alike would be best served if legislative amendment included the power to prescribe CPD in general, enabling regulations for specific classes of practitioners. Ultimately, the registered practitioners with poor practice standards need to be mandatorily required to attend CPD to improve the integrity of the system. This would provide greater flexibility and allow the Governments and Regulators to make determinations regarding the most appropriate CPD model for each class of practitioner, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Climate Change Policy
AIBS acknowledges the effects of a changing environment on the community and supports the ongoing development of enhanced construction standards to mitigate the financial, social and individual risks placed on the community.
AIBS will continue to support ongoing technical research of improvements to the built environment to limit the impacts of a changing environment by active involvement in the review of technical standards, maintaining an open dialogue with each State building regulator and support the introduction of enhanced legislation and technical regulation.
A greater focus within the community is to provide buildings that can withstand the affects of heightened weather events or other issues from the natural environment and places a greater responsibility on professionals within the construction industry.
This responsibility means that where new scientific research allows for greater protections to the community’s health and well-being or financial stability, the research should be considered and if found to be beneficial, adopted within construction codes and standards.
AIBS has adopted and encouraged changes in technical requirements and standards to provide enhanced safety and protection for building occupiers from the effects of bushfires, extreme wind events and flooding, while also considering the financial costs around limiting costs due to immediate environment that the building is located within.
AIBS will continue to consider all technical and legislative changes to ensure the community and individual building occupiers and owners obtain the best outcomes available without being unduly influenced by political, commercial or other organisations.
Swimming Pools Policy
It is the policy of the AIBS that all Swimming Pool Barriers should be regularly maintained by owners and independently inspected annually.
Swimming Pool Barriers are required for all new pools to help prevent accidental drowning, particularly of younger children below the age of 5 years. The pool barrier consists of boundary fencing, pool fencing and can include lockable doors and windows in some instances.
Swimming pool barriers can be readily altered, damaged or fall in a state of non- compliance by actions including:
- Deterioration or changes to boundary fences;
- Ground movement in reactive soils causing gate latches to misalign;
- Build-up of debris and mulch to garden beds;
- Alterations to landscaping including replanting and the installation of retaining walls.
- Trees close to the pool fence with overhanging branches
- Gate forming part of the pool fence not maintained sufficiently so that it does not self-close and latch
The AIBS supports the initiatives of the Queensland and NSW state governments and their introduction of legislation for the mandatory inspection of swimming pool barriers.
Under the legislation, dwellings with pools must have a certificate of compliance for the pool barrier before the dwelling can be offered for lease or sale. In addition to this, the certificates expire after 2 years in Queensland and 3 years in NSW.
The AIBS fully supports the policies in NSW & QLD and recommends that other state and territory governments to introduce similar legislation in an attempt to help reduce the incidence of accidental drowning, particularly in children under the age of 5 years.
The AIBS considers that it is necessary for Pool Barrier Inspections to be suitably trained, registered and carry mandatory insurances. The AIBS supports a system of accreditation that addresses the above issues. The AIBS does operate an accreditation scheme for Building Surveyors who are suitably qualified to carry out Swimming Pool Barrier Inspections.