Within any industry, checking up on compliance is always necessary. There is always a need to weed out shortcomings within an industry, and within the plumbing industry, this process is no different.
The need for a Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB) Certificate of Compliance (CoC) audit is quite simple; With any regulations, standards or laws, if the policing of such is left unchecked it will result in the regulations, standards or laws, becoming meaningless.
Just imagine if speeding on our roads or drinking and driving was left unchecked. Carrying out a physical inspection or audit ensures that plumbing regulations, standards, and laws are upheld.
In turn, this creates a fair, accountable and equitable environment for us all to operate in.
The audit process:
The auditing process within the plumbing industry 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. Currently, the Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) fulfills this function.
In total, 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.
Of course, there might come a time when a plumber disagrees with an auditor’s findings.
Plumbers are therefore welcome and encouraged to raise these concerns with the PIRB.
This must be done by completing the disagreement with an audit form; however, plumbers must submit the necessary evidence to substantiate their disagreement. The same goes for when a plumber feels that they’ve been treated unfairly.
During an audit:
An auditor looks for the relevant plumbing standards and regulations applicable to the installation and the local municipal by-laws during an audit.
An auditor can give a plumber a rectification notice 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 the plumber. This notice must ultimately be rectified within five days of the notice being given.
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 further action against the plumber.
For more information, visit the PIRB’s website and/or social media accounts to stay up to date with plumbing news in South Africa.