Competence for roles in the new building safety regulatory system

20 October 2020

In October, the Competence Steering Group (CSG) published its final report, setting out a framework to improve the competence of those working on higher-risk buildings, and to drive a culture change across the building safety industry, as per the recommendations of the Hackitt Review.

The government's proposals for a new building safety regulatory regime introduce a number of new roles for ensuring the safety of buildings and residents. With these come new competence requirements, and the CSG has been working over the past two years to come up with consistent standards and frameworks for these.

The group's final report, Setting the Bar, proposes an overarching new system of competence made up of four key elements:

  • A new competence committee sitting within the new Building Safety Regulator.
  • A national suite of competence standards.
  • Arrangements for independent assessment and reassessment against the competence standards.
  • A mechanism to ensure those assessing and certifying against the standards have appropriate levels of oversight.

The NHF was specifically involved in Working Group 8 of the CSG, whose role was to set out competence requirements for the new Building Safety Manager role. This is a completely new role, with brand new competence requirements. It is summarised in the Setting the Bar report, and the more detailed competence framework can be found in the Safer People, Safer Homes: Building Safety Management report. You can download both reports here.

These reports have been submitted to the government, which will review the recommendations and underpinning detail on how the sector-specific and overarching competence framework standard will be implemented.

In the interim period, the government is working with the British Standards Institution (BSI) and industry to develop an overarching competence framework for everyone working on higher-risk buildings. The first phase of the work was a consultation that closed earlier this week, and work will continue on this until March 2022. You can read more about this work on our website.