Quinquennial Inspections & Appointments
A Quinquennial Report is a detailed and illustrated report of the condition of your church. It lists in order of urgency all the works required to keep your building in good order. Five-yearly quinquennial inspections are required by law to ensure the PCC is aware of the state of its building and that repairs are addressed using the correct materials and methods.
Your QI Inspector will advise on general maintenance matters and should be the first point of contact when any work is being considered. A QI report is a list of works that require attention, it does not set out how they should be carried out. Your QI Inspector can produce a specification of the methods and materials needed for any work you wish to undertake. This enables you to apply for any necessary permission, avoid unnecessary expenditure or potential damage to a building knowing the work is carried out correctly and obtain competitive quotes.
All parishes are legally required to have an appropriately qualified and experienced inspector of church buildings. The primary function of a parish architect or surveyor is to produce the Quinquennial Inspection Report (QI) but many will supervise repairs and can oversee major projects if appointment and procurement guidance is followed when they are appointed.
Each diocese has a register of architects and surveyors from which a selection of at least three candidates can be drawn to interview for the role. Each diocese has a list of approved architects and surveyors from which churches select candidates for interview to the role of QI inspector. ALL appointments are based upon an individual, not the practice to which they belong. If your QI moves to another practice, they can continue to work for you. If they cease to practice, the role cannot be assigned to someone else in the same practice without a competitive and transparent interview process.
Your QI will be able to liaise with amenity authorities and other bodies such as the Church Buildings Council, local planning authority and DAC. They will be able to advise you on the feasibility of your ideas and any difficulties you might encounter.
A good working relationship with your Quinquennial Inspector is essential to ensure your building is kept in good order and helps further the life of the church and wider community.
Experience, competency, trust and vision are key aspects of the relationship. Your QI must have the necessary experience and qualifications to enable them to work on the age and/or listing of your church. In turn, a PCC should offer clear direction, ask for and accept advice, and, as a matter of courtesy and expediency, consult your QI regarding ALL building-related activity, whether or not a faculty, List A or B permission is required as they will be responsible to help manage its upkeep in the future.
Appointing a QI Inspector
The appointment of an architect or surveyor to undertake Quinquennial Inspections or plan and direct a major project is a crucial aspect of a PCC's responsibility. If you decide to appoint a new QI:
- Courtesy demands that the PCC write a suitable letter to any architect or surveyor whose services it no longer requires.
- Ensure any contractual relationship is terminated strictly in accordance with the terms of the contract and all due fees paid in full.
- Interview at least three appropriately qualified and experienced people who have worked on buildings similar to your own and understand your needs.
- Prior to the interview, provide each candidate with a copy of your latest QI Report, together with your Mission Action Plan, statements of significance and needs together with any other material that will help them understand the vision for your church building.
- Ensure you have a list of questions to ask each candidate and some means of scoring their response.
Major Works - Important Notice
- Following clarification of the law on procurement, there is a requirement to seek tenders for services by a professional adviser (usually a church architect) if public funds make up more than 50% of the total funding for a repair scheme, even if it is divided into stages over several years.
- Public funds include the Repair of Places of Worship Grant Scheme, the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme, Heritage Lottery Fund grants and any other public sector grants.
- Providing you can show evidence of best practice, i.e. that in the last five years you interviewed at least three architects or surveyors before making an appointment, the above schemes may allow your existing QI inspector to work on projects for which you apply to them for funding.
- Completing the Change of QI Inspector form below will help provide evidence of best practice.
Works costing more than £10,000 require a tendering process and works in excess of £50,000 require evidence of a competitive tendering process and reasons for your selection. Advice on how to advertise for professionals and the opportunity to advertise on the ChurchCare website can be found here.
Should you commission another professional you must inform your QI Inspector as they will have responsibility for the project once it is completed.
Applications to the Diocesan List of QI Inspectors
Individuals, not practices, can apply to be added to the register of approved architects and surveyors for the Diocese of Sheffield. Demonstrable experience is required of your ability to work independently on listed church buildings and of helping parishes develop their buildings for wider social, community and faith use. Please complete the Application to join the list of QI Inspectors, Diocese of Sheffield and return to the DAC Secretary, Dr Julie Banham