UJ launches building inspector short course to meet evolving industry needs

3rd November 2023

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has launched a building inspector short learning programme, developed in partnership with public and private sector entities, including the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), that aims to provide high-quality practical education to meet the industry's evolving needs, says UJ Civil Engineering and the Built Environment Faculty head Professor Jeffrey Mahachi.

The programme is tailored to equip students with valuable hands-on experience in building inspections, and thereby effectively addressing the critical shortage of skilled professionals in the field. A shortfall of 30 000 to 50 000 qualified professional building inspectors was flagged in 2014 by the NHBRC, he points out.

This initiative directly addresses the pressing need for inspectors capable of assessing building plans, inspecting construction sites and evaluating existing structures to ensure compliance with building regulations.

"The programme’s central mission is to ensure learners acquire the essential skills and knowledge required to become adept building inspectors, ultimately enhancing the quality and safety of building projects in South Africa.

"It represents a collaborative effort with a consortium of public and private sector partners who share a common goal of elevating the standards of the building industry," says Mahachi.

Meanwhile, applicants to the course should hold at least a National Qualification Framework Level 6 qualification in relevant disciplines such as architecture, civil engineering, quantity surveying, construction management and building science.

Those who are already employed as building inspectors must have a minimum of two years of verifiable work experience, while unemployed graduates must complete a 60-hour workplace-based learning component to gain vital practical exposure.

Hands-on training is made possible through collaborations with the university's public and private sector partners, he notes.

The curriculum of the programme spans ten months, with block release sessions scheduled three days a week each month, totalling 180 contact hours, complemented by an additional 60 hours of practical training.

Further, upon successful completion of the programme and meeting its requirements, graduates will have the opportunity to elevate their professional status.

"Building inspectors with the required qualifications and experience can register as candidates for professional building inspectors with the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professionals," Mahachi advises.

This recognition acknowledges the students' dedication and competence, but also underscores the industry's commitment to maintaining the highest building inspection standards.

"This initiative represents a significant step towards fostering skilled professionals capable of upholding the highest standards in building inspection, contributing to the safety and quality of building projects, including housing, in South Africa," Mahachi says.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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