About Registered Construction Inspectors

What is a Construction Inspector?

pipe3In today’s specialized and fast-moving construction industry, architects, engineers, contractors, and clients, as individuals, do not always have the time to personally follow all the steps of a construction project and its related auditing. That responsibility falls upon the construction inspector, who as a member of a professional team, helps insure safety of life, property, and the client’s right to full measure of their investment.

The American Construction Inspectors Association has been advancing the science and art of construction inspection since 1954. To carry this out, we have allied ourselves with other professional inspection groups and maintain liaison with architects, engineers, government agencies, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and trade unions.

Our Board of Registered Construction Inspectors has helped set the standard for the industry; our Registered Construction Inspector certification is recognized nationwide.

At ACIA, we believe the integrity of the Registered Construction Inspector is just as important as the skills, knowledge, experience, and judgment necessary to insure projects are constructed in conformance with contract documents. In construction, the requirements for inspection are numerous and varied for the component parts, which require different kinds of testing functions and verification. Therefore, reason dictates that an inspector must:

  • Determine what to examine.
  • Determine where and when to examine.
  • Determine whether the item examined is correct.
  • Determine the proper action to take.
  • Accomplish all of these honestly and fairly.

Construction is a progressive inspection of the parts during assembly of the project. Judgment is required because of various tolerances in application of such terms as “straight,” “plumb,” and “level.” Such terms must be judged for exactness, dependent upon use, material, and practicality.

It is necessary that the inspector display the utmost tact in public relations with office and field personnel, which is vital to a successful completion of a quality project. Integrity is essential because all members of the construction enterprise are dependent upon the inspector’s observations and the timeliness and accuracy of his findings.

What Does an Inspector Do?

Competent inspection requires basic duties of inspectors regardless of the extent of their responsibilities. Predicting an outline on the premise that “proper inspection results in the opportunity for all work to be done correctly the first time,” it follows that:

Inspectors must determine the exact identity of the project and all of its parts. This includes all plans, specifications, contract documents, and all references to law, codes, manufacturer’s specifications, and other referrals.

Inspectors must determine and establish procedures and arrangements to fulfill their duties without unnecessarily interfering with the work. They must assist the contractor in obtaining all clarifications, interpretations, and corrections required, prior to installation. They must check all installations for performance and completeness.

Good public relations maintained by the inspector are essential to every member of the complex interests in the building project. These are established through competence, judgment, timeliness, understanding, industry, and integrity.

It is also essential to record and document the project in the whole and in its parts in sufficient detail to enable a “historical reconstruction” of the events and progress of the project.

What Should a Construction Inspector Know?

A construction inspector should know:

  • How little he knows compared to what is available.
  • How to read and be able to comprehend what was read.
  • The author’s meaning and intent.
  • How to recognize, analyze, and specifically identify problems.
  • When, where, and how to secure the solutions to any problem.
  • An inspector should be able to see what is before him and to visualize its effect on preceding and succeeding work.
  • How to understand and correlate cause and effect.
  • Applied mathematics, arithmetic, geometry, physics, chemistry, and statistics, as related to everyday field conditions and operations.
  • Drafting, to the extent of transmitting ideas with sketches, diagrams, isometrics, or graphs.
  • To keep the purpose of the design in mind and to exercise judgment in the use of his authority.
  • How to get along with people while asserting himself to obtain quality work.

The Construction Inspector’s Creed

  • Dedicate ourselves to professional service to the public.
  • Improve the profession of construction inspection.
  • Advance, protect, and improve the mechanic arts.
  • Encourage education for ourselves and the public.
  • Establish and maintain a set standard of qualifications.
  • Assist all allied professions to dependable inspection services.
  • Educate the public to the value of proper uniform inspection service.
  • Maintain the honor and integrity of the profession, and encourage ethical practices.
  • Secure uniformity of action upon principles established.
  • Have close relationship of communication and understanding.
  • Work for better legislation affecting inspection.
  • Cultivate social and economic exchange within the membership.