A radical and wide-ranging set of measures to improve the competence of those who design, construct, inspect, maintain and operate higher risk residential buildings (HRRBs) and make them safer for the public has been set out by a cross-industries group backed by Government, the Industry Safety Steering Group and Dame Judith Hackitt.
The measures are being proposed by the Competence Steering Group (CSG), set up by the Industry Response Group (IRG) to tackle competency failings identified in the Hackitt Review, Building a Safer Future, following the Grenfell Tower fire. The CSG has brought together more than 150 institutions and associations across the full spectrum of construction, built environment, fire safety and building owner/manager sectors; all working towards the common purpose of raising competences to improve life safety.
In its interim report Raising the Bar the CSG is urging all life-safety-critical disciplines working on HRRBs, including designers, engineers, building standards officers, site supervisors, fire safety enforcement officers and fire risk officials, to adopt the measures.
It is also calling on Government to play its part by requiring that any company or individual working on a central Government construction project, including those to retrofit existing HRRBs must meet the competence frameworks set out within this report. Local authorities and the wider public and private sectors are also being urged to follow suit.
Dame Judith Hackitt's review identified a lack of consistency and rigour in the processes and standards for assuring the skills, knowledge and behaviours of those working on HRRBs and concluded this was a major flaw in the current regulatory system. The competence frameworks developed by the CSG and its working groups tackle these shortcomings by setting out the appropriate knowledge, qualifications and skill sets required for individuals working on HRRBs, how they should be assessed and by whom.
The interim report is published for wide consultation, ending on 18 October 2019, following which a final report will be issued. The Interim Report, Executive Summary and accompanying Annexes can be downloaded below.
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