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[SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] NEW COLA Requirements

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At 09:46 PM 10/8/96 -0400, you wrote:
>     Sandy, is there a system to review complaints on deputy inspectors ? I
>recently had a job in Camarillo that the contractor substituted an inspector

>    I mentioned this to a deputy inspector group representative who had a
>display at the seaoc convention, and he said they have a review system in N.
>CA. Maybe if there was a system in S. CA we would get a little attention to
>UBC sec 106.

The City of Los Angeles has the best Deputy Inspector program in Southern
California and a program has been developed, by a non-profit organization I
wholeheartedly support, to replicate the spirit of the COLA program, as it
was (and then some) before multiple budget cuts over the years took a lot of
the teeth away.
There is a movement afoot now to set up a system of Special/Deputy licensing
that will encompass the entire ICBO Basin Chapter and which will afford
Building Officials and Engineers avenues for complaints as well as
commendations.  This system will actually work both ways, allowing the
Special/Deputy a forum to voice both complaints and compliments.  This is
taking a tremendous amount of work and has faced some stiff opposition from
individual Inspectors who are resisting regulatory efforts, but is slowly
coming together.  To those Inspectors, I say..."This is my chosen
profession.  I'm in it for the long haul, not just for what I can get out of
it this week.  Open your eyes and look around..."
There are also several documents in production and one is actually on the
books from the Quality Assurance Committee of ASTM that relate to
qualification of Inspection Bodies and specifically those involved in
construction (I Chair this Sub-Committee), which will allow you some
latitude and security in the specification of "the name of the individual or
firms that will be doing the Special Inspection...." as in UBC106.3.4. You
may still specify the name of the individual (thank you, by the way) or firm
"or a firm that meets the criteria and is accredited to ASTM E-329-95" (or
ASTM E-329-97 as the newer version will be numbered).  This will give you
some relief from possible litigation your insurance carriers are so aware of
and a degree of assurance that the Inspection Agency on your job meets the
most rigorous stands in place.
(The current and long standing Testing Laboratory practice of supplying
Special/Deputy Inspectors is NOT part of their accreditation.  Only the
testing capacity of the organization is accredited.  To date there have been
no accreditation of Inspection Bodies in Special Inspection on the West Coast.)
This Specification sets up some rigid,in-depth requirements for Inspection
Agencies Involved in Construction and once accredited to this standard an
Inspection Body is regulated and monitored by the Accrediting Agency and may
be used by the Bldg Officials and Engineers as an area to register
complaints.  Since renewal of accreditation is dependent on the maintaince
of an established Quality Assurance Program within each Inspection Body it
is inherent upon the Inspection Body to stay on its toes regarding the
quality of its Inspectors' work. 
ASTM is a premier Standards Body meeting twice a year with constant
communication between its members throughout the intervening time.  We are
currently balloting a document which develops the criteria for the
Accreditation of Inspection Bodies in general and although developed in
somewhat reversed order, the current version of E-329-95 does address
"Inspection Bodies Involved in Construction".  Continued development, fine
tuning if you will, over the next 6-12 months will have both of these
documents just right, although in their current versions they are excellant.
ICBOES is currently developing such an accreditation for Inspection Bodies
in Special Inspection, but there are Accrediting Agencies that already have
such programs in place.  I've been working with ICBOES since the majority of
my work is local and their seal of approval has more clout.  Accreditation
is expensive and I'd rather do it just once, so I'm waiting for ICBOES, and
that should be before the end of the year.
So we have been making some stalwart strides to raise the level of
professionalism with our Inspection Community and restore credibility which
may have suffered as a result of the actions or inactions of a few.
However, as one elder veteren Engineer, well known in the codification
processes, said to me 10 years or so ago when I first became involved with
the then Hazardous Building Committee of SEAOSC, full of enthusiasm,  "These
changes you are so anxious to put in place are really good moves, but it's
not going to happen quite as quickly as you want.  But keep at it and it'll
all happen."  So mote it be.
As always, any and all input is appreciated,

R. Sandy Pringle MM
Sandy Pringle & Associates 
STRUCTURAL INSPECTION CONSULTANTS     "Try not to become a man of success
(800)598-1970	Fax(310)376-5294      but rather to become a man of value."
Hermosa Beach & Redondo Beach, CA	       Albert Einstein