The International Code Council recently published “Recommended Practices for Remote Virtual Inspections,” a guideline document that governmental jurisdictions should consider for an effective and consistent remote virtual inspections program. The publication is based on study, research and discussions from the Code Council’s membership (including responses to an earlier Code Council survey of U.S. code officials on COVID-19 response), partners and industry experts.
Remote virtual inspections use visual or electronic aids that allow inspectors to observe specific construction projects, products or materials from a distance. These remote inspections are beneficial when the materials or buildings are inaccessible, in dangerous environments, or in other circumstances, prevent an in-person inspection. Given the challenges and limited financial resources available for building departments as cited in the Code Council’s ongoing survey of U.S. code officials response to the pandemic, the implementation of remote virtual inspections can also save jurisdictions time and money as there is no longer a need for inspectors to travel to and from sites.
A clear understanding of the requirements for remote inspections and regular communication throughout the process by all parties involved is paramount to a successful inspection. Best practices that encompass scheduling, customer preparation, jobsite identification, results and record maintenance are laid out in step-by-step format within the publication.
“With a properly implemented remote virtual inspections program, building safety professionals can overcome the variety of challenges brought on by the pandemic and continue providing services to keep buildings safe and resilient,” said Code Council CEO Dominic Sims, CBO. “While this practice has popularized in the midst of COVID-19 social distancing, remote virtual inspections are likely to become a routine tool for the future.”
The Code Council welcomes comments and feedback to improve future editions of the remote virtual inspections publication. Submit feedback at www.iccsafe.org/RVI.
In addition, the Code Council’s Community Development Solutions (CDS) will soon offer remote virtual inspection services. CDS offers software solutions that allow building departments and code enforcement officers to streamline and track information associated with the inspection and compliance process.
For more information, check out these resources: