“In this world, you get what you pay for” – Kurt Vonnegut
This Code of Conduct has been developed by the Brick and Blocklayers Federation of New Zealand in consultation with its members to set out the professional and ethical conduct required to be a Federation Recommended Brick Veneer Assessor.
It is important for our industry that the performance and workmanship quality of our end products is maintained at a high level. Brick Veneer Assessors play an important role in this aim. Clear standards and expectations of individuals undertaking this work are needed to ensure that a fair and impartial assessment service is provided.
Brick Veneer Assessors are reminded that they are often called upon when parties are in a dispute. This can be stressful and may affect how parties interpret and communicate information. A Brick Veneer Assessor is expected to manage this by conducting themselves professionally even if other parties are not. A Brick Veneer Assessor is expected to:
Consult with the customer to identify what their concerns are and recommend an appropriate type of inspection that will best meet their needs; and
Ensure that pricing and any extra costs are clearly communicated upfront; and
Refrain from making personal comments about the personality, skills, reputation or similar, of any of the parties involved
A conflict of interest occurs where an Assessor is compromised when their own personal or business interests’ conflict with either the parties or the property involved. It means that their impartiality, objectivity and credibility may be questioned. The conflict may be actual, potential or perceived however, it must be properly managed to avoid criticism.
Brick Veneer Assessors are expected to be able to identify when a conflict of interest may occur. Examples of Conflicts of Interest are:
Having a professional or personal relationship with any of the parties;
Assessing a job that you had previously tendered for;
Having had previous disputes with any of the parties.
While conflicts of interest should be avoided wherever possible, they often happen innocently or are unavoidable. It is important that they are declared and managed appropriately.
A Brick Veneer Assessor is expected to notify the Federation and the party engaging them if a Conflict of Interest occurs.
Brick Veneer Assessors should not quote or carry out repairs on any building work they have been engaged to carry out an inspection on. This is to ensure that there is no perception of a perverse incentive to write a critical report.
If this is unavoidable for any reason then the Assessor must notify the Federation prior to accepting this work outlining why no other tradesperson is available.
There is a high likelihood that the tradesperson who undertook the building work is known to the Assessor. Brick Veneer Assessors are reminded that they are assessing the brick work and not the bricklayer. Knowledge of any prior work carried out by the same bricklayer should not impact on the inspection or reporting.
Where possible, Brick Veneer Assessors should ask that they are not advised of the name of the bricklayer prior to issuing their report.
Brick Veneer Assessors are to limit the scope of their work to inspection and report writing and must not venture into providing advice on the repair method. This is whether the advice is paid for or offered freely. This is to avoid any risk that the advice may be considered as being endorsed by the Federation.
Brick Veneer Assessors must manage their clients risk by being appropriately insured.
Brick Veneer Assessors are required to notify the homeowner and council if they note any building work that does not comply with the building consent and/or code.
A Brick Veneer Assessor should also provide as much assistance as possible to a homeowner wanting to make a complaint to the Building Practitioners Board. This may include assistance with completing a complaint form, responding to any queries from the Registrar and being a witness at a hearing.
A Brick Veneer Assessor should file a copy of their inspection reports with the Federation for the purpose of enabling the Federation to monitor inspection report writing and brick veneer disputes.