IANZ assessment process
The assessment for building consent authority accreditation isn't a pass/fail scenario. Rather, it's about identifying any gaps in systems, procedures, resources or competencies so that councils can address these issues and aachieve accreditation.
According to Geoff Hallam, IANZ Programme Manager - Inspection Bodies Accreditation, the aim of accreditation is to ensure that:
- documented systems are technically valid
- systems are effectively implemented
- personnel are technically competent
- results are consistently reliable.
'It's not about certifying personnel, reprocessing consents or re-inspecting buildings,' he says. 'Nor does it tell building control staff how to do their job, guarantee that every job is carried out perfectly or prevent all mistakes. Basically, it's a means of checking that credible systems are in place for building control staff to do their job properly, to the benefit of their customers and the building sector.'
IANZ is a Crown entity established by Act of Parliament in 1972 as a non-profit organisation operating on a user-pays basis to support New Zealand business and exports. Accreditation provides formal recognition that an organisation is competent to carry out specific tasks.
On-site assessments involve gathering information and checking that proper records are kept and procedures are undertaken effectively. The process IANZ uses to identify gaps in the applicant's records, procedures and systems is a Corrective Action Request (CAR). Each CAR details a gap and explains what actions need to be taken to show that it has been filled.
Process of accreditation as a building consent authority
There are several steps to accreditation. Each needs to be achieved to IANZ's satisfaction before the next step can be taken.
Step 1 - Application
The organisation submits its application to IANZ for accreditation as a building consent authority.
Step 2 - Document review
IANZ checks whether the documentation provided with the application meets accreditation requirements.
Step 3 - Pre-assessment visit (optional)
IANZ visits the applicant, answers questions, meets the staff, discusses the documentation review, and views some of the processes and records to determine whether the organisation is ready to be assessed.
Step 4 - On-site assessment
A team of IANZ assessors and technical building control experts reviews the organisation's processes, documents and records, and interviews staff to determine whether actions are appropriate and effective, the organisation is competent, and whether the output is technically valid.From this, IANZ prepares a report. The report is systems-based, rather than personal, and may include CARs and/or recommendations for improving practices or documentation. CARs specify actions that must be taken to achieve accreditation, whereas recommendations are non-binding.
Step 5 - Recommendation for accreditation
Once all CARs have been addressed to IANZ's satisfaction (including reassessment if necessary), the IANZ Programme Manager makes a recommendation to the IANZ Building Professional Advisory Committee (BPAC). This committee reviews the assessment process and decides whether the Chief Executive of IANZ should grant accreditation.
Step 6 - Accreditation
Once accreditation has been achieved, the applicant may apply to the Department for registration as a building consent authority.