It is the purpose of this Statement to clearly define the rules of professional conduct that should be followed by ALL practicing “Small Craft Surveyors”

Small Craft.................."any vessel less than 150 feet LOA (or metric equivalent) which is private, pleasure, inland, river, coastal or commercial"
The Surveyor should at all times maintain in force Professional Indemnity Insurance at a realistic level in accordance with the Surveyor's work and professional status.
A Surveyor must discharge his professional responsibility with integrity and shall at all times advise or report in a fair and factual manner without prejudice or favour.
Advices written or verbal to a Client are to be confidential to that Client and disclosure to a third party requires the permission of the client, such permission to be in writing.  All details held with regard to the Client are to be considered as protected under the Data protection act.
A Surveyor shall not accept or offer any commission or other hidden payment from or to a Client or the vendor, broker or any boatyard.
The Surveyor must disclose to the Client any pecuniary or other interest with regard to the craft prior to accepting any instruction.
If a Surveyor member is acting in a consultative capacity he must disclose any possible conflict of interest whether or not he considered this would be advantageous or detrimental to that Client's interest.
A Surveyor shall not agree to undertake a survey of any craft unless he can be reasonably satisfied permission has been obtained from the Owner or broker or other agent.

Contract of Survey
On receipt of an initial enquiry for a survey a Surveyor should ascertain the client's detailed requirements and should draw attention to the types of survey available in accordance with the Code of Practice for “Small Craft Surveys”
The Surveyor should advise the Client of any opening up or pressure washing of the craft required prior to survey and the possible limitation that could apply if this was not possible.

The Surveyor should advise the Client of his fee rates detailing exactly what these rates include or exclude (in the currency agreed) plus any VAT. (or equivalent national tax liability) which may apply.
The Surveyor should advise the Client that in the event of cancellation of the survey by the Client or due to circumstances beyond the control of the surveyor  e.g. craft not ready for survey, changes of plan, stress of environmental conditions, the Surveyor is entitled to make a reasonable charge.
The Surveyor shall not forego any part of his agreed fee on the grounds some parts of the craft were not accessible at the time of survey.
The Client should be informed of ALL charges that will or could be incurred and would be to the Client's account with regard to transport of the craft and removal of the craft from the water and any opening up required by the Survey or the Client should be advised to obtain the Owner's permission for this to be done and by which boatyard- Prior to survey.
The Surveyor normally will not be involved in instructions to or from a boatyard on behalf of a Client unless such instruction is received from the Client in writing.

The Condition Survey Report
The report should contain the following minimum information:
a - The Client's name, type and purpose of survey
b - Vessel's identification, including the following 1. Name
2. Builder's and designer's names
3. Year of build
4. Registration number and tonnage
5. Dimensions
c - Date(s) and place of survey
d - A description of the extent of limitations of the survey and reason of non inspection of any section or area of craft
e - Identification and classification of defects found 
f - Recommendations
g - A conclusion, summarizing the principal findings
Further observations may be contained within the report at the Surveyor's discretion or by agreement with the Client: a - Any comment with regard to design, stability or performance
b - Recommendations for the further examination of parts unseen
c - General maintenance comments including defects
d - Comments with regard to the suitability of the vessel for the Client's intended purpose and recommendations for any modifications, equipment or layout

Types of Survey
1. Pre-purchase/Condition Survey.
2. Damage Survey
3. Valuation inspections,
4. Machinery, electrical and ancillary equipment inspections, these are undertaken only by Surveyors or persons/company with a specialist knowledge, experience and qualification of such equipment. It would be expected of the Surveyor to report in a general manner with regard to the condition of these items.
5. Consultancy, comprising, preliminary inspections, part survey within agreed terms of reference in writing, trials and supervision of new build.              

Pre-purchase Condition Survey
This is by far the most common survey and will in most cases, be the most detailed and in depth survey where the Client, frequently, is a first time buyer with little or no previous knowledge in this field and has total reliance on the Surveyor's expertise.
This survey is normally but not exclusively required by the Owner or prospective Owner of the craft for the purpose of obtaining insurance, finance or as security for a loan, or indeed just for the Owners use. The Client's requirements should be clearly discussed and agreed prior to accepting instructions to ascertain the exact purpose of the survey and the possible duty of care and to whom.
N.B. A pre-purchase and condition survey is considered to ascertain the structural condition of the craft. All other items are inspected on a non-intrusive, visual basis only unless specifically agreed in the contract of survey.
The following list is considered to be the minimum areas/items that should be covered by the Surveyor undertaking and carrying out this type of survey:-
Bilge Pumps
Cathodic Protection
Decks, deck equipment
Equipment levels
Electrical Installations
Davits, boarding ladders & accesses
Fire Equipment
Fresh Water installations
Fuel tanks & pipework
Gas systems
Guard & Handrails
Ground Tackle
Hatches & openings
Hull bottom coating

The survey shall contain recommendations as to work required and the Client should be advised in writing to obtain several estimates for this work prior to purchase.

Damage Surveys
This type of survey is required if the craft has suffered any form of damage from whatever cause.
This type of survey will be restricted to surveying and reporting on the extent and nature of the damage.
It is possible that the Surveyor may be asked to give an opinion or investigate into the cause of the damage. This should not be given unless the Surveyor is working under specific agreed instructions and that any opinions stated can be fully substantiated and supported by evidence that would stand in any possible litigation.
The Surveyor maybe asked for recommendations for repair, this should only be done with the express instruction from the Client.

Valuation Inspections
Valuations are often requested by the Client to obtain insurance and/or finance or required by solicitors or financial institutions with regard to probate or other matters.
The purpose of the valuations and so dictating the limits of the inspection should be clearly defined.
The valuation document is a separate entity unless specifically agreed with the Client as an integral part of a full pre-purchase survey.

Machinery Surveys
This will involve the examination of machinery as specified including an intrusive survey and confirmation of the operational status, with a detailed report of any statistical information or measurements obtained. This type of survey must only be carried out by a Surveyor or persons/company specifically qualified in this field. Generally this " of intrusive machinery survey will not be required but in the normal course of a condition survey the general condition of the machinery installation and ancillary equipment should be reported upon.

This is work undertaken by a Surveyor who has specific experience and knowledge in a particular field. The terms and parameters of the work to be carried out will be defined directly with the Client. It also covers instructions that do not fall within the other categories and will be undertaken from a special instruction.


Dalton House, 60 Windsor Avenue, London SW19 2RR, England, UK