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Elevating Building Inspection Standards in South Africa: UJ’s Building Inspector Programme

In 2014, the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) acknowledged a pressing need to enhance the competencies of Building Inspectors in South Africa, uncovering a significant shortfall of 30,000 to 50,000 qualified professionals in the field. To address this imperative challenge, the NHBRC collaborated with higher education institutions and the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) to establish a comprehensive curriculum for Building Inspectors. The University of Johannesburg (UJ) played a pivotal role in this collaborative effort.

“The University, in partnership with esteemed public and private sector entities, is proud to announce the launch of the Building Inspector Short Learning Programme,” said Professor Jeffrey Mahachi, Head of School: Civil Engineering and the Built Environment at UJ. The Building Inspector Programme reaffirms UJ’s commitment to delivering high-quality, practical education to meet the industry’s evolving needs. The programme is tailored to equip learners with valuable hands-on experience in building inspections, effectively addressing the critical shortage of skilled professionals in the field.

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,” noted Prof Mahachi. This innovative 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.

Prospective candidates for the programme are expected to meet specific educational and employment criteria. “Applicants should hold at least a National Qualification Framework (NQF) Level 6 qualification in relevant disciplines such as Architecture, Civil Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Construction Management, and Building Science,” emphasised Prof Mahachi. Those 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. This hands-on training opportunity is made possible through collaborations with the university’s public and private sector partners.

The comprehensive curriculum of the Building Inspector 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.

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 (SACPCMP),” said Prof Mahachi. This recognition not only acknowledges their dedication and competence but also underscores their 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,” concluded Prof Mahachi.

For more information and inquiries about the Building Inspector Programme at the University of Johannesburg, please contact:

Prof Jeffrey Mahachi, Pr.Eng, Pr.CPM
Head of School: Civil Engineering and the Built Environment


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