Required contents of Quinquennial Inspection Reports

What the Quinquennial Inspection (QI) report must include.

Whilst accepting that some architectural practices may have a "house style", the Diocese will accept reports only if they adhere to the content requirements below.  In essence, the report must set out clearly and comprehensively:

  • The nature and condition of the building with suitable photographs of the exterior and interior.
  • The nature of any problems with the building, the likely cause and the proposed remedy - with suitable illustrative photographs. Problems must be clearly categorised as set out in Section 8 below.

Format

1.   Introductory Information

  • Name of church, archdeaconry and diocese.
  • Name of the individual architect (not simply the practice), address and telephone number.
  • Date of inspection and report, date of previous inspections and record of weather conditions during inspection.
  • Plan of church and churchyard (existing plans can be used as long as they are up to date or can be clearly amended to being them up to date)
  • Brief description of church (which may be by reference to earlier reports) and setting.
  • Listing of the church and any associated structures or monuments and whether in a Conservation Area or National Park.
  • Details of the historical background, brief architectural history, materials used in construction and seating capacity should be given, particularly after any major reordering where the building has been modified, altered or extended.
  • Extent of provision for disabled people.

2.   Main Report

  • Statement on limitations of report, e.g. whether inspection is made from the ground or from other accessible floor levels, ladders and readily accessible locations.
  • A statement that the report is restricted to the general condition of the building and its defects.
  • Any items not inspected must be listed.
  • List repairs, alterations, additions or demolitions carried out since the last inspection.
  • Description of the general condition of the building specifying any particular issues of concern, e.g. subsidence, damp penetratation, etc.
  • A good selection of relevant colour photographs demonstrating all significant issues highlighted in the report.  There must also be at least three representative shots to demonstrate the general nature of the building – one external, one internal facing east and one internal facing west.

3.   Detailed comments on exterior of building

  • Walls.
  • Foundations.
  • Doors, porches and windows.
  • Rainwater goods and disposal system.
  • Parapets and upstand walls.
  • External iron and wood, including condition of paintwork.
  • Roof coverings.
  • Tower, spire or bell cote.

4. Detailed comments on interior of building

  • Interior of towers and spires, including bells, bell frame and clocks.
  • Roof structures and ceilings (if you consider that a detailed, separate inspection is necessary for enclosed, covered or otherwise less accessible areas, you should highlight this in the report).
  • Upper floors, balconies and stairways.
  • Internal partitions and doors.
  • Ground floor structure and timber platforms.
  • Internal decorations and plaster.
  • Glazing and ventilation.
  • Fittings and furniture, including organ.
  • Monuments.
  • Toilets, kitchens, vestries etc.

5. Services

  • Heating systems (including boiler, flue, fuel storage, safety efficiency and insulation): state type of system installed, fuel, age, apparent condition and existence of maintenance agreements (PCC to advise).
  • Electrical systems: note location and apparent condition of incoming mains, meters and distribution boards; note the date of last inspection by an NICEIC contractor.
  • Water and gas services.

6. Other Issues

  • Fire precautions: note number, position and types of fire extinguishers provided; examine records of maintenance for appliances.
  • Lightning conductors: comment on condition, when last inspected; make recommendations for testing and improvement in accordance with the latest British Standard.
  • Security installations and measures, with particular comments on susceptibility to lead theft and possible measures to guard against such theft.
  • Health and safety: comment in general on the safety of the church for its users and visitors, including reference to the Asbestos Assessment and the Fire Risk Assessment by the PCC.
  • Disabled provision and access: comment on provision for the disabled, including access to various parts of the church and recommendations for necessary improvements, bearing in mind statutory requirements.
  • Presence of bats.

The church should, in advance of the architect's QI visit, obtain the following inspections:
6.1 Church electrical systems
6.2 L
ightning conductor
6.3 Tree safety
6.4 Energy review. 
The church architect should include copies of these tests and reports as annexes to the QI report (or note where the parish have not provided them).

7. Churchyards and Ancillary Buildings and Structure

  • Condition of churchyard.
  • Any ruins or buildings within churchyard, noting any designated as of outstanding architectural, artistic, historical or archaeological value.
  • Monuments, tombs and vaults.
  • Boundary walls, lych-gate and fencing.
  • Paths, steps and areas of hard-standing.
  • Trees and shrubs, noting any covered by Tree Preservation Orders.
  • Miscellaneous items.

8. Recommendations

Works of repair required to the church should be listed, in order of priority, under the following headings:

  • A: Urgent works requiring immediate attention
  • B: Requires attention within 12 months
  • C: Requires attention within 18-24 months
  • D: Requires attention within the quinquennial period
  • E: A desirable improvement with no timescale
  • M: Routine items of maintenance

The report should state for each item (1) whether the works require professional supervision or might safely be entrusted to unskilled labour and (2) a broad cost where this is practicable.

9. Recommendations on the maintenance and care of the church and its contents.

10. Recommendations on further detailed investigations.

11. Brief recommendations about any issues the church should consider with regard to reducing its carbon footprint.

This might include opportunities to improve insulation, reduce draughts, improve the lighting system, and overhaul or replace an existing heating system.

12. Any explanatory notes, advice and guidance.


Submission of report

Within six weeks of the inspection, the architect/surveyor should submit five hard copies of the report to the parish and diocese as follows:

  • 2 hard copies to the Parochial Church Council of the church inspected
  • 2 hard copies and a soft copy to the DAC Office, Church House, 5500 Daresbury Park, Daresbury, Cheshire WA4 4GE