This chapter is concerned with the essential matters that the surveyor needs to attend to before leaving the office to carry out a survey. It considers the sources of information that the surveyor is likely to rely on – other than those yielded by the inspection itself. The surveyor must ensure, however, that the instructions are taken directly from the client, which will mean obtaining the client’s contact details from the referrer so that they can be approached directly. There have been instances where clients have successfully sued surveyors on the basis that they were expecting a full building survey but the surveyor only provided an inspection and valuation. Evidence from professional indemnity insurers suggests that survey and valuation work is one of the highest-risk activities undertaken by property and construction professionals. The vast majority of information that the surveyor needs to process before writing the report will result from their physical inspection of the building.