Q: Why do I need to use a qualified CSRT surveyor? 

A: A CSRT qualified surveyor is a Certified Surveyor in Remedial Treatments. To achieve this is a lengthy process, which includes a lot of studies, as well as on the job experience. Each candidate sits three test papers – damp, timber and health and safety. This is followed by oral examinations. The pass rate for the exam is very low, if you pass these exams, then you probably know your stuff. All of our surveyors are CSRT qualified, which is part of the criteria to join. 

Q: What is PCA membership important? 

A: The PCA is the Property Care Association. This is our industry’s trade association. 
Companies wishing to join the PCA are required to meet and maintain robust membership criteria. These criteria cover aspects of their services including professional qualifications, technical competence, service delivery and financial stability. 
In order to maintain membership of the PCA, member companies also have to maintain these standards and are audited regularly to ensure standards are being maintained. This gives consumers confidence that PCA members are robust and reliable companies to provide them with property care services. 

Q: I have had several conflicting reports and I don't know what to believe? 

A: Quite simply, look at the qualifications of each surveyor. Most importantly, look for the CSRT or CSTDB qualification. 
‘Approved’ status, such as a contractor who says they are “Approved by X, Y & Z” in some cases can mean they are spending enough money with that supplier to get their approved status! Very little, if any vetting may be done, and it’s very rare that this can be trusted as any kind of assurance of quality. 
Each CSRT qualified surveyor uses his or her knowledge to come up with recommendations, and these can vary slightly. If the variations are significant, ask to meet your surveyor to discuss the report in person or on the telephone. You can usually get a feel for the knowledge and confidence of the surveyor pretty quickly. 
If all else fails, the PCA has independent surveyors, who can be employed to carry out a survey, which can help guide you in the right direction. www.property-care.org 

Q: What is a CSSW qualified surveyor? 

A: A CSSW qualified surveyor is a Certified Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing. The CSSW qualification is a nationally recognized professional qualification for individuals involved in diagnosing water entering below ground structures and those involved in the design of waterproofing solutions. To achieve this is a lengthy process, which includes a lot of studies, as well as on the job experience. Each candidate is required to pass a technician test paper and legal/health and safety test paper. This is followed by an oral examination. All of our surveyors are CSSW qualified, which is part of the criteria to join the National Waterproofing Group. 

Q: I am considering converting my basement but I am finding that advice varies greatly. 

This is a common scenario. There are many companies that offer basement conversions within their list of specialisms but in reality, very few of them have the correct credentials. 
Anybody can claim to be an expert. They may even have many years experience but that doesn't mean they are an expert or that they have been doing their job correctly. Only somebody that has been able to prove their knowledge, skills, and abilities can profess to be an expert. 
Professional qualifications are one way an individual can demonstrate that they have the knowledge, skills, and understanding of the subject. 
Auditing by a professional body is another way of demonstrating that they know what they are doing and that it is done correctly. 
So, when choosing a contractor it is important to do some research on them first and make sure they have the right credentials, such as qualifications, accreditation from a professional body, and insurance that covers the type of work they are offering. 
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