Recent Judicial Review supports the need for a Learned professional institute for Party Wall Surveyors and highlights why most current institutes, clubs, learned groups and professional organisations may not be able to fulfil that role argues Bruce Spenser MSc MCIOB.
Subramaniam v City of London Magistrates Court  EWHC 1240 (Admin) the judge said “Precision is required in resolving Party Wall Disputes” The question then arises why precision was not applied? Bruce argues, experientially, that the fault lies with Party Wall Surveyors not being fit for purpose because they lack a Master’s Degree in Building Surveying, an adequate pupillage and Chartered Status which unfortunately most of the current institutes, clubs, learned groups and professional organisation do not demand.
Bruce is reminded of the bricklayer whose pointing fell out. When asked to investigate why Bruce noted that the mortar used for pointing was 2:1. The bricklayer explained that he had been trained by his father and his father had been trained by his father etc etc and these facts were sufficient for him to insist that the correct mix was 2:1. The bricklayer, who had never experienced the disciplined, robust, rigours of a Master’s degree lacked the ability to critically analytically think.
Many of the current institutes, clubs, learned groups and professional organisation are full of members and board members and writers of, “learned papers” who do not have degrees and have been trained by people who do not/did not have degrees.
Party Wall Surveyors with Master’s degrees in Building Surveying and at least 5 years Chartered experience should come together; the term surveyors should be dropped and should be altered within the act to read either consultant or practitioner in due course.
The Chartered Institute of Building, Bruce argues, could fulfil the vacuum that exists by utilising their Faculty of Architecture and Surveying: They are ideally placed as they have yet to throw their hat into the ring and therefore could regulate Party Wall Surveyors with the minimum membership requirements of a Master’s Degree in Building Surveying, 5 years CIOB membership and CIOB Consultancy status.
Party Wall Surveyor serving Thanet and London
Third Surveyor serving England and Wales