A Building Standards Career
A guest post by Ann-Marie Scollon
To mark the launch of the Building Standards Workforce Strategy, Ann-Marie Scollon, Building Standards Surveyor in West Dunbartonshire Council shares her experience of joining the profession.
In 2010, I graduated with a Building Surveying degree. During my studies, I encountered a lecturer who was passionate about Building Standards Surveying. He always spoke fondly of the profession and this stuck with me.
I was nearing the end of my fixed term contract with a local authority as a Property Officer, when I saw the advertisement for a Building Standards Surveyor with West Dunbartonshire Council. The advert stated that graduates would be considered. I knew this was an opportunity of a lifetime. If successful I would enter a career that has clear progression and is an important cog in the construction process.
It has been one year and ten months since I started in my role. No two days are the same. It is very busy and days fly by. At this time, I am responsible for the majority of the inspections required for the building warrant process. In one day, I go from large multi plot sites, to the installation of a set of patio doors. When I am not witnessing a drain test, I am overviewing paperwork for completions. There is a plethora of responsibilities that a Building Standards Surveyor is responsible for, and I have only scratched the surface in my short time here.
The development works that are taking place within West Dunbartonshire are very varied and extensive. For this reason, it has been a very exciting and interesting place to work. Within the coming months, my team leader has indicated the desire for me to move onto vetting smaller jobs.
Building Standards Surveying is inherently a role that requires collaboration with colleagues. For this reason, I have experienced that our team dynamic is strong and we are all striving for the same goals – primarily to serve the public. The wider Building Standards Community, including Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS), provides support to colleagues. Having these support networks in place means we can maintain consistency. These things are important for me in a career, as this provides an essence of peer reviewing.
It has been a steep learning curve, but it is a challenge that I welcome. My biggest regret is that I did not gain a role in this type of employment sooner. I hope that in ten years’ time I will still be working within Building Standards, and still learning, and improving.