Most access consultants come from building surveying or occupational therapy backgrounds with no construction experience and poor understanding of architectural design and practice. There’s simply too much risk. Architects need security from complaints, that’s why it’s important to search for an access consultant that’s right for the project.
Our clients are acutely aware that their obligations to the DDA stretch beyond building occupancy, long after the building surveyors and occupational therapists have washed up. That’s why they search for an access consultant who regularly provides qualified, practical and reliable industry advice.
An access consultant is a specialist construction consultant and many architects rightly question any unqualified advice from experts without architecture, building, and construction experience. Many would agree that a five-day course doesn’t make someone an expert in architecture and taking advice on construction detailing from an occupational therapist is an abrogation of professional responsibility.
In the same manner, building certifiers / surveyors are also aware that the advice they receive must be independent advice from a qualified construction industry expert as defined in Part A2 of the BCA. Anything less would pose an unacceptable risk to their license to practice.
AQ are different in that we’re qualified and accredited with prior architectural practice and construction experience. As access consultants with qualifications in architecture, construction detailing, and onsite building experience, we aim to partner with architects and builders to create unique places that are accessible and universally valued.
What training is required to be an access consultant?
There are no minimum prerequisite qualifications for a person to call themselves an access consultant which is of real concern for practicing consultants, architects and building certifiers receiving reports from people and companies rightly or wrongly portraying themselves as industry specialists.
Any Google search for an access consultant turns up a plethora of names although rarely in the top 10 listed companies would you find a person with architecture and construction industry experience commensurate with the title of industry expert.
We propose that the minimum qualification for an advisor to an architectural firm would be a degree in architecture, however we acknowledge that there is a demand for access consultant with occupational therapy qualifications to advise on home and workplace modifications for people presenting with specific difficulties.
This is where a search for an access consultant/ or when searching for an access consultant, you need to ask first what training is required to be an access consultant and what qualifications and experiences can the consultant bring to our awesome project team.