The Church Buildings Council states the Quinquennial Inspection Report (QIR) as one of the key documents which assists the Parochial Church Council (PCC) in the care and repair of a church building, for which it is legally responsible. A directory containing all of the most up-to-date Quinquennial Inspection Reports can be found here.
What is a QIR?
The QIR gives an overview of the repair needs of the building over a five year (quinquennium) period, and lists the recommended repairs required, according to their priority.
All parish and other consecrated churches and chapels in the Diocese, including buildings licensed for public worship, must be inspected at least once in any five-year period, by a person with the necessary qualifications and experience.
The Quinquennial Inspection is arranged directly with their appointed inspector and paid for by the parish. The parish should agree the fee for the inspection with their inspector prior to the inspection taking place. The cost of an inspection varies depending on the size and complexity of each building. Each year the DAC sets a fee range for inspections and in 2023 the range is set at £745 - £1425.
This page provides links to resources that explain how a PCC is to go about the inspector appointment process, including CBC guidance which a PCC must have regard to, and DAC guidance which is provided for assistance to ensure a PCC understands the process and meets with legislative requirements. See 'Useful Downloads' below.
The current Durham Diocesan Scheme for the inspection of churches (established November 2021) determines how the provisions of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018, as amended by the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2019 will be administered by the Diocese.
Advice on appointing a new inspecting professional can be found in the CBC Guidance, and current guidance published by the DAC.
The DAC Secretary holds a register with details of current Quinquennial Inspectors within the diocese and can offer advice on the appointment process. There is no requirement to appoint an inspector from this register and any suitably experienced and, where appropriate, accredited professional who is not presently on the register can still be appointed as a Quinquennial Inspector.
The responsibility for appointing an inspector is that of the PCC, but the PCC must obtain and have regard to the formal advice of the DAC for each and every appointment to every church, chapel and building licensed for public worship.
The QI report should include clear photographs and summarise the works recommended in the following categories:
- Urgent, requiring immediate attention
- Requires attention within 12 months
- Requires attention within the next 12 – 24 months
- Requires attention within the quinquennial period
- A desirable improvement with no timescale (as agreed with the PCC)
Where possible, broad indicative costs within the bands set out in the CBC guidance and the DAC’s guidance for all such works will be given, to enable the PCC to understand the level of funding which is likely to be necessary. When considering executing such works, PCCs may need to get accurate costings from a Quantity Surveyor.