This is traditionally known as Clerk of Works role and is traditionally employed by the state sector, where a person is present on site to inspect the construction works as it progresses and report back to the client.
Independent Site Inspectors provide reassurance and peace of mind that the works being carried out are inline with the contract documents and recognized workmanship standards. They monitor the conditions that works are carried out in to ensure that it is done to manufacturer’s recommendations.
They witness tests to verify that the works meet specified requirements. They monitor progress against programme so that an independent view of where the contract is at any given stage is balanced against the contractor’s own assessments. By providing weekly reports they are able to advise on all aspects of the works in progress and highlight any concerns.
As with any service the cost is always a consideration. Clients and Consultants who do understand the benefits of engaging an independent inspection service usually include a budgetary amount for such an auditing type process to be included at an early stage of the project. Our advice is that even if you can only afford to engage an Inspection service on a part-time visiting basis that this is better than having none at all. It is well known in the industry that just the threat of an Independent Inspector visiting Site unannounced tends to keep Contractors focused on ensuring that short cuts in quality are not taken or encouraged.
The costs and benefits of engaging a Site Inspection service have to be balanced and justified, however the risks associated with not having an independent organisation looking after your best interests on site can prove more expensive if building failures occur once the Contractor has completed the works and moved off site. Contractor’s claims become hard to rebuff if independent records and reports are not available to you to counter any such claims.
Often the costs of engaging an Independent Site Inspector service can be more than off set by the benefits such a service can bring to the Project.
We have carried out this role for the Welsh Development Agency which is now part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Department of Enterprise innovation and networks. We have worked on a number of projects ranging from manufacturing to food production.