One of IOPSA’s auditors, who is a plumber himself (and who, subsequently, can offer insights from both sides of the spectrum) says that plumbers should realize that one of the main aspects of Certificates of Compliance (CoC’s) being audited is to educate them on the standards and to uplift them to be better at what they do.
He says that to answer the question of whether it is a conflict of interest for a plumber to also audit other plumbers, there are two things to consider:
“Often plumbers can better relate to an auditor who is also a plumber,” Peter* explains. “This adds considerable value in bringing home the core significance of what the PIRB is doing for the industry. Plumbers also don’t feel that they are being dictated by someone who does not know the dynamics of practical plumbing practices and the challenges they face as plumbers.”
He says that people should not misunderstand his meaning because “the auditors who are not plumbers are doing a great job and are just as good as any other auditor.”
“But speaking to plumbers as someone who has also been in the trenches makes them more open to accepting the need to work according to the standards and correcting future work.”
The second thing to put emphasis on is that there are strict rules to ensure auditors do not solicit work from an audited plumber’s client.
Peter says that plumbers should remember that auditors are overseen, trained, and supported by the PIRB’s audit department to ensure that they follow protocol, stay professional and be factual when it comes to auditing at all times.
“IOPSA acts as an independent body to PIRB in this regard. This gives the auditing process an authentic quality, thus emphasizing the fact that PIRB merely regulates adherence to the standards, they don’t make them.”
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