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Why You Should Care About Quality and Compliance in Your Home Survey Report

One word we hear a lot at Projekt 3 is ‘quality’. Surveyors want to ensure their home survey reports ‘establish’ and ‘maintain’ quality. Whilst quality is key to establishing and retaining a client base, there is also a professional duty and requirement to be compliant. Surveyors must be compliant with any relevant Standards that govern how different home survey reports are prepared and delivered; such as the RICS Home Survey Standard or RPSA Survey Inspection and Reporting Standards. For us, ‘quality’ and ‘compliance’ go hand-in-hand nicely and in this blog post, we will explain the difference between them and why they both matter for a home survey report.


What is Quality?


Quality in terms of home survey reports might refer to how well a home survey meets the expectations of a client. It might also mean how one home survey measures against another. At Projekt 3, we undertake quality checks all the time, so we have a pretty good understanding of how quality can be assessed when comparing different reports and what makes one of higher quality than another.


Quality can be influenced by many factors, including but not limited to:


  • The qualifications, experience, and skills of the surveyor (to enable them to deliver the right information and advice)

  • The clarity, accuracy and reliability of the information and advice provided in the report

  • The feedback and satisfaction of the client


Quality can also be measured by various indicators, such as:


  • The number and severity of errors, contradictions or omissions in the report

  • Adherence to best practices guidelines

  • The consistency, coherence and reliability of the report

  • The value and usefulness of the report for the client


Quality of a home survey can be improved by various actions taken by the surveyor, such as:


  • Using clear and consistent language

  • Using a clear format

  • Continuing professional development and training

  • Ensuring the most appropriate home survey report type for the property and the client

  • Providing honest and impartial information and advice

  • Seeking and responding to feedback from the client

  • Obtaining quality checks from an independent party


It should be highlighted here that ‘quality’ is not met by merely delivering the home survey report a client has asked for, nor by telling a client only what they want to know. Quality can be met by looking at the actions above, ensuring the client receives the right home survey type for the property and their requirements and is told what they need to know.


Whilst quality is key in delivering a great home survey report, it doesn’t end there. A home survey must also be compliant to Standards, ensuring both client and surveyor are protected.


What is Compliance?


Compliance refers to how well a home survey report follows the rules, requirements, Standard(s) of any relevant bodies and authorities etc.


Compliance of a home survey can be influenced by many factors, such as:


  • The Standards and codes of conduct of the professional bodies and associations that the surveyor belongs to

  • The terms and conditions of the contract or agreement between the client and the surveyor

  • The ethical and moral practices of the surveyor


Compliance can be measured by various indicators, such as:


  • The number (and severity) of breaches in relation to any requirements or Standards

  • Adherence to mandatory and minimum requirements

  • The alignment and compatibility of a report with the Standards and codes of the profession

  • The protection of the public interest when acting on behalf of a client


Compliance can be improved by a surveyor, through taking actions such as:


  • Keeping up to date with the changes and updates of laws and regulations

  • Following the latest and most relevant Standards and codes of the profession (keep up with the right editions)

  • Reviewing and revising the contract or agreement between the client and the surveyor

  • Introducing compliance checks

  • Upholding and promoting the ethical and moral values of the profession


Why do quality and compliance matter?


Quality and compliance are both fundamental aspects of a home survey report, as they can affect the outcome and impact that the home survey has on a client (and indeed the surveyor). A high-quality and compliant report can enhance the reputation and credibility of the surveyor and the profession, whilst support in the development and improvement of surveying practices. It will of course also help the client to make the right decisions based on what they need, whilst enabling the surveyor to avoid or resolve potential claims and complaints. Conversely, a low-quality and non-compliant home survey report can create or exacerbate disputes, provide inaccurate and misleading information and advice, and damage or threaten the reputation of the surveyor and the profession (not great for anyone!).


How to ensure quality and compliance?


To ensure quality and compliance, it is essential to provide the most suitable and comprehensive home survey report for your client and their needs. Whilst it might be obvious, it’s also important to:


  • Read the report carefully and thoroughly before delivery

  • Ensure due diligence by asking questions or seeking clarifications

  • Seeking a second opinion or review

  • Giving clients what they need, not just what they want

A home survey report is a valuable service product for clients, but we must understand it is not a one-size-fits-all product and that ultimately quality and compliance take hard work - sometimes you might need a helping hand to achieve both.


I hope you find this blog post helpful. If you need any help looking at the quality and compliance of your reports, please let me know. Or if you are interested in taking Projekt 3’s next programme which takes you through a step-by-step approach to providing clients with quality and compliant reports, get in touch 😊


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