Building Departments – A Pursuit of Service

When visiting with other building officials at a meeting or lunch, I am frequently asked about our building department and how we are doing. Like many of you, we are busy with development activity.

Keeping up with our workload and providing exemplary service is important. One of the best initiatives we pursued to help us achieve our goals was obtaining accreditation for our department.. That recognition shows that we are qualified to protect the citizens of Plano.

We asked the International Accreditation Service (IAS) in 2007 to look at our department and assess our qualifications and work processes. Every three years since, IAS has returned to verify that we are still on track. Our team has a lot on their plates every day. Extra work maintaining accreditation is difficult at times, but we are better for it. A knowledge base of work processes and documentation keeps us performing at a high level. Is this hard to do?   Sometimes, but it is a challenge we accepted long ago. When you do this, the entire team steps up and much more can be accomplished together.

Did you know there are several things you can do if you want to improve your operation without becoming accredited? IAS has a building department best practices document with a number of services and procedures. Many of them are available online.

Below are links to several items you can review, use, and repurpose. Sharing our resources among fellow building departments is a great source of information. Sometimes together, we do have all the answers. Take a look at some of the links below and use them to create your own pursuit of service excellence.


Building Department Best Practices

Building Safety Journal Article – Accreditation

Clark County Policy and Procedures

City of San Antonio Building Bulletin

IAS Criteria for Building Departments



Selso Mata, AIA, CBO, Director Building Inspections, City of Plano

BOAT Immediate Past President


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