Gemmill stands behind new building audits
Gemmill Homes has been helping the Building Commission put its new risk-based auditing process for builders through its paces.
The new audit process being developed by the Building Commission will examine administrative and technical aspects of the building process undertaken by registered builders.
The Building Commission is working with the building industry to fine tune the audit tool, including undertaking live testing to ensure its effectiveness.
Gemmill Homes General Manager Gary Wilson, who participated in the live testing, said the company had welcomed the opportunity to sit down with a Building Commission inspector to look at what it was doing right and how it could improve its processes.
“I felt like we were working together more towards improving the industry, rather than working against each other,” Mr Wilson said.
“The audit follows the building process from the minute the client signs on to us getting on site. It was all relevant and we weren’t jumping from one thing to the next, which made it quite easy for us to process.
“The closer relationship between the inspectors and builders – and being able to identify bits and pieces in our business that we can improve on and what we are doing well – will certainly make for a much better industry, a much better quality home for people and better standards for Western Australia.”
Under the new process, builders will be notified when an audit is to be conducted and what information they need to provide.
Initially, audit results will be used to assess the compliance of building services being carried out. Upon the conclusion of the audit, the builder will be notified of the outcome in writing. Any incidences of serious non-compliance may be referred for consideration of further action. When necessary, actions for non-compliance may include prosecutions seeking the imposition of penalties, the use of a warning to protect the public from serious non-compliance and the commencement of disciplinary action.
Mr Wilson said he expected the new audits would be welcomed by most builders.
“We understand that the inspectors are there to do a job,” he said. “If you’ve got a passion for this industry and are out there to do the right thing … the questions are all relevant to what we need to do to process a job from start to finish, build a nice house for people and build it within budgets and Australian Standards, so the new process should be received very positively.”
The Building Commission’s Director Compliance, Sandy Randall, said the audit program should not be a concern to builders who were doing the right thing.
“The changes to our compliance program are aimed at ensuring performance standards are being met and the registration system works as intended,” Ms Randall said.
“The audits are an opportunity for builders to ask questions about any legislative or technical issues they may have and work with us to ensure the delivery of great buildings for Western Australians.
“We appreciate Gemmill’s participation and valuable feedback during our testing phase, which will help us to ensure a smooth transition to the new process when we roll it out to the industry.”
Once finalised, information on the new process, including timelines, will be communicated to industry before the ‘go live’ date.
The Building Commission has already implemented a new audit program for licensed plumbing contractors and is in the process of developing an audit program for building surveyors and painters.
Photo captions: Building Commission Principal Building Inspector Ian Aitken and Gemmill Homes General Manager Gary Wilson.
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