In May 2022, the government commenced the Fire Safety Act, which clarifies the scope of Fire Safety Order, to ensure it applies to a building’s structure, external wall and any common parts – in buildings with more than two dwellings.
Where a fire risk assessment then recommends an in-depth assessment of a building’s external wall system, the method for the assessment is set out in the Publicly Available Specification 9980, published in January 2022. This replaces previous government advice notes on remediating buildings with safety concerns, all of which were withdrawn by the government on 10 January 2022.
On introducing the new PAS 9980, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, explained that this new document contains risk-based guidance for assessing external wall systems.
The NHF understands that there is a lack of capacity among competent individuals qualified to carry out external wall assessments under the PAS. We have been highlighting this, as well as housing associations’ work to manage any risk in the meantime, with the government.
We would be grateful for ongoing feedback from housing associations on their experiences of sourcing PAS assessors, and the results of PAS assessments, for us to feed into government as they consider measures to increase industry capacity.Read our response to the PAS 9980 consultation