The government's plans to speed up the homebuying process with "seller's packs" could be hamstrung by a lack of properly trained surveyors
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister estimates that 7000 home condition inspectors will be required to police the Home Information Packs system when it is introduced in 2006. The RICS, however, has warned that this will present the industry with "a major challenge".

The institution says 2500 surveyors could be created by fast-tracking its members through a conversion course to make them proper inspectors. The balance of 4500 personnel would have to be recruited and trained – a process that could take more than two years.

The proposed bill, which was outlined in the Queen's Speech last week, would require each property to be valued by a professional full-time inspector before it could be sold.

A spokesperson for the ODPM confirmed that the government was aiming for an implementation date of 2006, but said the law would not be implemented until the right numbers of inspectors were available.

He said: "The deputy prime minister recently pledged in the Commons not to introduce the packs until everything was up and running. The packs won't be introduced until everything is foolproof."

The spokesperson added that if the government did not consider there to be enough inspectors by 2006, it could postpone implementation until 2007.

4500 inspectors will have to be recruited and trained, which could take more than two years

The bill's other proposals, such as improving the controls on houses in multiple occupation, and modernising the right-to-buy scheme, would go ahead without the packs.

The RICS estimates that the packs will cost the seller between £600 and £1000, but cannot be more specific until more is known about how they will work.

A spokesperson for the institution said: "Until the proposal is implemented we won't quite know how the market will react. Estate agencies may offer the packs as part of a package of other services."

The RICS disagreed with a parliamentary committee's proposal to exempt houses worth less than £30,000 from the packs, fearing this would lead to a ghettoisation of housing standards. It has also rejected the idea to bring the packs in region by region.