Third Party Inspection Policy
NOTICE: EFFECTIVE MARCH 13, 2020
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: David W. Dunivan, CBO Powhatan County Building Official
SUBJECT: Qualifications of 3rd Party Inspection Agencies
The Virginia Construction Code requires that each local building official have a written policy establishing the minimum acceptable qualifications for 3rd party inspectors. This policy is also required to stipulate the format and timeframe required for the submission of inspection reports and any pre-qualification, pre-approval or procedural requirements.
The Powhatan County Building Department requires that all 3rd party inspectors be either a Virginia registered design professional (RDP- architect or engineer) or be performing under the direct supervision of an RDP in accordance with Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia. The qualifications of individuals performing under the supervision of an RDP shall be the responsibility of the RDP. Inspectors certified by DHCD will also be considered to perform third party inspections. Certifications and work experience shall be submitted to the Building Official for review when being considered to perform 3rd party inspections. Use of a 3rd party inspector shall be pre-approved in all cases except when a Powhatan County inspector has not performed an inspection within two full working days of the inspection request. The RDP or Certified Inspector shall submit the pre-approval request by calling either (804) 598-5622 or by email to the Building Official. The third-party inspector is not authorized to perform the inspection until they are notified that their request has been approved. Beginning on the third workday after the inspection request, an approved 3rd party inspector can be used for inspections without obtaining pre-approval to perform the requested inspection. All 3rd party inspection reports performed by an RDP shall bear the seal and signature of the RDP that is approved to perform the inspection. All 3rd party inspections performed under the direct supervision of an RDP shall bear the name (legibly printed or typed) and signature of the inspector in addition to the seal and signature of the RDP. Inspections performed by an approved DHCD inspector shall bear their certification number, expiration date, name (legible printed or typed) and signature. All 3rd party inspections performed before, and including, a framing inspection shall be submitted prior to obtaining an approved insulation inspection. All 3rd party inspections performed after the framing inspection shall be submitted and approved prior to obtaining a final inspection and/or Certificate of Occupancy.
All 3rd party inspection reports are required to indicate the time and date of the inspection; the applicable permit number assigned to the work that is being inspected; confirmation that the County approved plans were used during the inspection and that the work conforms to the approved plans and the provisions of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code for which the permit was issued under. Any deficiencies found must be stated on the report and followed up with an approved inspection once corrections have been made. All 3rd party inspection reports that are submitted via email shall be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org and originate from the email address of the RDP. The report shall be attached to the email as a .pdf document. Inspections normally performed by a third party that include footing, foundation, or slab are exempt from this policy and shall be allowed at all times by an approved agency. The qualifications of individuals that perform the Special Inspections required by Chapter 17 of the 2015 International Building Code shall comply with Section 111 of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.
David W. Dunivan, CBO