In a tragedy in Oakland, California in December of 2016, thirty-six people died in a preventable warehouse fire.  The leaseholder and the resident manager were both charged with thirty-six counts of negligent manslaughter, with the trial ending in September 2019.  The manager was acquitted and the leaseholder's case was declared a mistrial when the jury deadlocked.  Their defense was based on the failure of the city and county officials to take any action, even though they apparently knew about the dangerous and illegal conditions there.

In this course, participants will learn methods that will improve communication and cooperation between police officers, fire/EMS officials, the building department and others with the goal of improving public safety for the community.  As was the case in Oakland, the communication disconnect between these three public safety pillars can result in missing vital signs of trouble that can be corrected and public safety enhanced when these three work closely together. 

Quality Customer Service

In this course the student will learn how to provide quality customer service to customers by gaining public trust, building credibility, and ensuring safe buildings for the community. Chapter 4 (this is a reference to the Inspector Skills text book, chapter 4).


At the heart of building positive working relationships with the public is providing good customer service. Good customer service applies equally to coworkers; associates, and those in other departments. It is important that people feel comfortable in approaching the Inspector. To accomplish this, the Inspector should consider the following: First Impressions. - Be punctual, introduce yourself and show identification as the building Inspector, be courteous and respectful, and always be helpful and fair.

In this course, students learn the tricks and techniques for reviewing plans as well as specific techniques for successfully completing inspections.  

(This course is a required course for the Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical Inspector Cross Training Programs)

This course addresses the soft skills that are essential for construction inspectors to excel in their mission to ensure safe, code-compliant buildings for the public.

After completing this course, participants will be able to exhibit non-technical traits, positive behaviors, and problem-solving skills to enhance their ability to interact with others and carry out effective communication, diplomacy, customer service and public relations skills.

This course will help the participant improve verbal and written communication skills when interacting with customers, peers, supervisors and the public. This course is required for all Cross Training Programs.

 NUMBER OF CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS:  One (1) Hour presented as online self-paced instruction 

 COURSE GOAL:  Inspectors must interact with a variety of people and situations daily.  The outcome of these interactions depends on the ability and skill of the inspector to properly communicate verbally and in writing – which includes effective listening skills.  This course will help the inspector improve these critical skills.


After completion, the student will be better able to:

  • Describe and properly utilize the communications cycle.
  • Apply active listening skills to conversations with customers and the public.
  • Apply correct written composition skills to written communication, including email, written reports and other written instruments.

(This course is a required course for the Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical Inspector Cross Training Programs)