This paper looks at various European countries' roles, tasks and responsibilities of public and private parties in assuring and guaranteeing the technical quality of construction works.

Traditionally quality control of construction work in Europe was a governmental responsibility. In most European countries local authority building control were responsible for the issuing of planning or building permits and carried out plan approval, site-inspections and checks on completion of constructions.

During the last decades however these building control tasks have been outsourced more and more to private parties. The main driving force behind this development has been the wish of governments to deregulate. The shift of responsibilities to the private/market parties should not only improve the quality of construction works but it could also streamline administrative procedures and processes.

In the eyes of the policymakers this leads to a win-win situation: less regulation, leading to a qualitative better building stock through optimised (cheaper & faster) quality control procedures. It is exactly because of these reasons that the Dutch government is on the brink changing its quality control system of constructions towards a more private model.

An international comparison in England & Wales, Ireland, Germany, France, Norway and Sweden puts the Dutch policy plans in a European perspective.

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