Does your report meet consumer expectations?

26, Feb 2024

One of the most important considerations of the inspection and reporting process is meeting consumer expectations.

When completing a pre-purchase building or timber pest report, you must set out the findings of inspection in a manner which can be clearly understood by the client.

It is simply not good enough to report on a major defect by just using a photograph with a general comment under the photo to describe the defect.

Instead, to help meet consumer expectations, use a defect statement that is clear and concise and always consider:

  • what is it;
  • where is it;
  • what is wrong with it;
  • a recommendation for further investigation or advice, where applicable; and
  • how quickly should any recommendation be implemented.

The defect statement should, wherever possible be supported by photographic evidence.

The new Report Systems App/Website ( has been specifically designed to help inspectors achieve ‘best practice’ and meet their reporting obligations.

A unique feature of Report Systems is its ‘defect statement generator,’ which removes the element of guesswork when completing a report. The aim of the defect statement generator is to produce a uniform and concise defect statement, thereby reducing the risk of inspector error and consumer misunderstandings. A defect statement is generated from a tailored list of inputs and can be edited by the inspector.

Another unique feature of the Report Systems website is its Knowledge Base. The Knowledge Base helps inspectors keep up with current best practice procedures. The Knowledge Base contains a wealth of information and in-house training materials including inspection and reporting handbook guidelines, and continued professional development self-assessments.

In conclusion, don’t think that insurance is a backstop for poor work practices. It is in the interests of all inspectors to meet consumer expectations, minimise the occurrence of claims, and therefore moderate the cost of insurance.