Kate Forte is a mother of two and works as a Building Control Engineer for Civicance Ltd in Cheshire East. She loves being outdoors, and carrying out site inspections across her local rural area is right up her street. The job never gets boring and it offers flexible hours and a good work-life balance.
Has building control changed since you first joined and in what way?
When I started at West Oxfordshire I was office-based and we took plans on site and plan checked paper plans.
At Civicance I work from home and all the plans are electronic. The site work is still the same, apart from updates in legislation and some apps have replaced books.
What do you like most about your building control job?
My favourite aspect of the work are site visits and seeing what each day brings. No two days are the same, which is great.
Has anything changed in your job since you took maternity leave?
I now only work three days a week, but hope to return full time when my youngest goes to school.
Did you come back to the same position or did that change?
I came back to the same position.
Are you starting to see more women in building control now compared to when you started?
When I moved from West Oxfordshire to Cheshire East I found that they employed a lot more female building control surveyors and now as Civicance we have an equal number of male and female surveyors.
What is the most exciting project you have worked on and what was your role within it?
A very difficult question. I find I enjoy many different types of building work that I have been an on-site surveyor for. From one-off bespoke houses, high quality barn conversions to a large care home. Each have their different challenges so I can't single out any one project as I've seen hundreds that I have enjoyed over the last 12 years.
What do you do on a day to day basis?
I start work at 8 am in my home office, doing plan checking, answering emails and general paperwork.
By 10 am our diaries are complete and after checking the details I head out on-site at around 10:30 am.
I usually have on average eight inspections in my area a day. I have a nice rural area to cover so I'm usually on-site for around four hours.
Then it's back home to type up site records and any letters needed and finish off any plan checks. I usually finish at 4 pm and pick up my girls from nursery and after school club.
What were your favourite subjects in school?
My favourite subjects at school were Geography and Maths.
Which qualifications were needed for your role?
I have a BSc (Hons) in Architectural and Urban Conservation and for my first two years in building control I was a trainee.
What is the main purpose of building control do you think?
Our main purpose is to protect the interest of the client by ensuring their property is built within the Building Regulations and helping the builder to achieve this.
What are the benefits of working in building control?
The job never gets boring, no two days on-site are the same, and for me being out and about.
Working for the council gives me the flexibility to work the hours I want so I can have a good work life balance. Because at the end of the day, the best job in the world is being a mummy.