BSI, sponsored by MHCLG, is seeking input from housing associations and other stakeholders to develop an overarching competence framework for everyone working on higher-risk buildings.
The first phase of this work is a consultation, open until 20 October, which should be of interest to all housing associations – not only those that own and manage buildings in scope of the new, more stringent regulatory regime, as set out in the Building Safety Bill.
The new framework is intended to be used by key professions and trades working in or on higher-risk buildings, including designers, contractors, fire risk assessors, building managers and other specialist technical or corporate roles.
The framework will provide a set of core principles of competence, including:
Following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower and the subsequent review of building regulations and fire safety led by Dame Judith Hackitt, the Competence Steering Group (CSG) was set up in August 2018.
The group published its report, Raising the Bar, in August 2019. It set out 67 recommendations including the need to create a suite of national standards and supporting documents. Role and profession specific working groups were formed under the remit of the CSG, including Working Group 8 (WG8), tasked with considering the role and competence of the new Building Safety Manager for higher-risk buildings. The NHF represented the sector on both the CSG and WG8.
Building on the work of the CSG and its working groups, BSI is now developing a suite of new national standards to raise levels of competence across the built environment. This work is sponsored by MHCLG.
The government published the draft Building Safety Bill in June this year, setting out the legislative framework to enable the new building safety regime, including the formation of a Building Safety Regulator (BSR).
As well as its role to implement and enforce the new, more stringent regulatory regime for higher-risk buildings, the BSR will have stronger oversight of the safety and performance of all buildings. It will assist and encourage competence among the built environment industry and registered building inspectors.
You can find out more about this work and respond to the consultation by 20 October on the BSI website.
The framework will be used to set the scope of future standards and guidance for roles and professions in building safety.
The next stages of work will include developing competence requirements for specific roles set out in the Building Safety Bill, including the Principal Designer, Principal Contractor and the Building Safety Manager.
You can find out more about the proposals set out in the Building Safety Bill for both higher-risk buildings, and all buildings, in our member briefings.