How to Write an Inspection Report

Two engineers in protective workwear standing and laughing outside of a factory

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), written inspection reports are critical to help communicate factual information clearly and concisely. Many agencies and businesses require written inspection reports. When a person buys a new home, for instance, a health inspector examines the house and writes his opinion as to the structure’s habitability. If an accident occurs, environmental or otherwise, an inspector must detail the facts and provide an analysis of those facts so decisions can be made.

Develop a checklist to help organize your material and plan your report. The EPA’s "Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Inspection Manual" suggests planning your inspection report and organizing the facts you need for the report as soon as an investigation begins. A checklist that includes the major components of the report and provides space for you to jot down notes will help you plan and organize the report.

Break the report into sections, using headings and subheadings. This will further organize the material. An inspection report typically has an introduction, a factual findings section, which details the facts of the investigation, and an analysis section in which the investigator provides his opinion about the investigation.

Fill in the sections of the report with the information from the investigation. Use clear and concise language as you write the report. The EPA suggests “writing to express, not to impress.” Keep the readers in mind.

Write your analysis in an objective and unbiased tone. Use only the facts to arrive at conclusions; do not speculate. Be fair and accurate with your opinions.

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