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Special Inspections

Special Inspections are conducted during the construction process to verify that work is being done in accordance to approved plans and specifications. Special Inspections must be performed by Special Inspectors on behalf of a Special Inspection Agency.


Special Inspectors & Special Inspection Agencies
An amendment to the Special Inspection rule became effective on May 13, 2012. Click on the following links for more information about changes to the Special Inspection rule, including registration and accreditation requirements:
View the Special Inspection Agency Registration Renewals Service Notice (PDF)
View the Special Inspectors & Special Inspection Agencies Rule (PDF)
View Executive Order 4/12 for extension of registration deadline (PDF)
View the Special Inspection Agency User Guide (PDF)
View the Special Inspection Agency FAQs
View the Requirements to Register (PDF)
Click Here to Register

Special Inspector 

Qualified individual employed by a Special Inspection Agency.
Special Inspector Qualifications (PDF)


Special Inspectors must have all required certificates as outlined in Appendix A of the Special Inspection Rule.

Special Inspection Agency

Agency performing Special Inspections defined by Chapter 17 of the Building Code.
Chapter 17 (PDF)


The Director of the Special Inspection Agency must certify that inspectors and the agency meet the qualifications prior to performing any Special Inspections.


The amended Special Inspector and Special Inspection Agencies Rule becomes effective May 13, 2012. Under 1 RCNY §101-06, agencies performing special inspections must be registered with the Department by May 13, 2013. (Please note: Executive Order 4/12 extended the original registration deadline, November 13, 2012, to May 13, 2013)  Electronic registration begins May 14, 2012.


Class 1 Special Inspection Agencies must be accredited by the International Accreditation Service, Inc. (IAS) or an equivalent accreditation agency accrediting to ASTM E329-07. Special Inspection Agencies must obtain accreditation for all Class 1 inspections by May 13, 2013.

List of Recognized Accrediting Bodies 

Insurance Requirements

  1. Professional liability/Errors and Omissions Insurance Policy for a minimum of $500,000 (occurrence based), for the term of the registration.
  2. Insurance required by the provisions of the New York State Workers' Compensation and Disability Law. All Special Inspection Agencies must have workers’ compensation insurance or a waiver.
  3. General liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence is already required for licensed trades.

*Exception: Agencies whose director is not a registered design professional and limited to performing inspections of the:

  • Fuel-oil storage and piping
  • Fire alarm tests
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Standpipe systems
  • Emergency power systems
  • Site storm drainage disposal and detention system installation


A special inspection agency must have one full-time primary director and can have up to four alternative full-time directors. The directors must not be an employee of any other agency that provides special inspection or testing services.

  • Fuel oil storage and piping
  • Fire alarm tests
  • Standpipe systems
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Emergency power systems

These agencies may have a director who satisfies the requirements of Inspection Supervisor for such tests and inspections as set forth in the qualifications.

Small Projects 

A registered design professional with relevant experience may perform most Special Inspections in connection with the construction or alteration of Occupancy Group R-3 buildings, three stories or less in height. Additional qualifications are needed to perform Special Inspections in connection with excavation and foundation activities.

Important Links:

1968 Controlled Inspections vs 2008 Special Inspections Comparison (PDF)
2008 Special Inspections vs 2014 Special Inspections Comparison (PDF)
2008 Progress Inspections vs 2014 Progress Inspections Comparison (PDF)
Chapter 17 of the 2008 Building Code (PDF)
Amended Special Inspector & Special Inspection Agency Rule (PDF)
Special Inspector Qualifications (PDF)
Special Inspection Agency User Guide (PDF)
Certification and Material Acceptance Home
Special Inspection Agency FAQs