Building control officer

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A building control officer (BCO, also known as a building inspector or building control surveyor) in the United Kingdom. This is a person with the authority to control building work that is subject to the Building Regulations. The title building control officer is one predominantly used by local authorities in the UK, which confer the title of officer to many of their staff who have regulatory, supervision or enforcement roles.

Many are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and chartered building surveyors or chartered building control surveyors, and are members of that RICS Faculty. They practice in either the public or private sector with local authorities or with companies, or as individuals, who are recognised approved inspectors

'Approved inspectors' are bodies or individuals who must be appointed by an organisation designated by the Secretary of State as having the authority to control building work. Surveyors who work for approved inspectors generally do not refer to themselves as officers.

The main function of building control is to ensure that the requirements of the building regulations are met in all types of non-exempt development. Generally they examine plans, specifications and other documents submitted for approval, and survey work as it proceeds. Most building control surveyors are now actively involved at design stage for many schemes and are acknowledged to provide valuable input at all stages of development.

Many building control surveyors who work for local authorities are involved with other legislation such as safety at sports grounds, dealing with dangerous structures and demolitions, and various development and building matters.

Local authorities have powers under the Building Act 1984 to enforce the building regulations and have work altered or removed that does not comply. These powers have not been conferred on approved inspectors.

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