AUDITING AND AUDITORS
A: With any regulations, standards or laws, if the policing of such is left unchecked it will result in the regulations, standards or laws, become meaningless. Just imagine if speeding on our roads or drinking and driving is left unchecked. Carrying out a physical inspection or audit ensures that plumbing the regulations, standards, and laws are upheld which creates a fair, accountable and an equitable environment for us all to operate in.
A: The PIRB auditing process is subject to the number of PIRB CoC’s that have been issued and logged. 5% of all PIRB CoC's that are issued and logged are randomly audited. Furthermore, complaints received from the public or a random review of a licensed plumber may result in an audit been undertaken.
A: There may be a time that you may disagree with an auditor’s findings. You are welcome and encouraged to raise these concerns with the PIRB. This must be done by completing the disagreement with an audit form, however, you must submit the necessary evidence to substantiate your disagreement. The PIRB assures that unless it may be necessary, you will remain anonymous and will be protected throughout the investigation.
A: There may come a time that you feel that you may have been treated unfairly during the audit process. You are welcome and encouraged to raise your concerns by placing your concerns in writing substantiating it with the necessary facts. The PIRB gives the undertaking that unless it may be necessary, you will remain anonymous and will be protected throughout the investigation.
A: An audit will be carried out based on the relevant plumbing standards and regulations applicable to the installation and the local municipal by-laws.
A: A rectification notice is a notice that may be given by an auditor after an audit has taken place. The rectification notice will denote any particular findings of the relevant plumbing works. The notice may outline the failures and the rectifications required by yourself.
A: The rectification must be corrected within five working days, however, if a request is made to the auditor with valid reason and/or proof, extensions can be provided.
A: If a plumber does not complete the remedial action concerning the rectification notice or provide substantiated reasons as to why the rectification was not undertaken, disciplinary action will be taken against the plumber, which may lead to suspension of registration with the PIRB. To safeguard the homeowner the PIRB may also need to provide the homeowner with the findings, and they may choose to take legal action against the plumber.
A: No, a plumber doesn't need to attend an audit. However, it is highly recommended that all plumbers attend the audits as it allows for a valuable learning experience.
A: It is not the responsibility or mandate of an auditor to train you. This is like you asking the traffic enforcement officers to train you if he/she stops you for speeding. The responsibility for training or continuously developing yourself (CPD) lies with yourself. However, the auditor, whilst on-site with the plumber – if requested, may assist and guide you.
A: The PIRB auditing process is undertaken by an outsourced third party. In allowing the audit process to be carried out by a third party allows for the PIRB to be impartial and unprejudiced (i.e. being judge, jury, and executioner). Currently, IOPSA fulfils this function.
A: If you think that you have the necessary skills and experience you may apply to become a Compliance Auditor by submitting your request to the IOPSA compliance audit office.
A: Certainly, yes. The Auditors themselves are also audited to ensure consistency, fairness, and transparency.
A: No. An auditor may not differentiate between specific products and may not refer or impose any products onto you. If you find that an auditor has recommended or imposed a product on you, please inform PIRB immediately so that it may be investigated and if required the necessary corrective action will be taken
A: No, an auditor may engage with or attract work from your customer resulting from the PIRB audit process. If you find that an auditor has done this, please inform PIRB immediately so that it may be investigated and if required, the necessary corrective action will be taken.
A: The PIRB does not have or set any plumbing standards or regulations. The PIRB adheres to the South African National Standards (SANS) and the respective regulations. The SANS is developed through a consultation process with the plumbing industry, through various committees, which is administrated by the South African Bureau of Standards or SABS