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Last edited 31 Jan 2024
EBSSA unveils work to codify competences & standards for industry
The Engineering and Building Services Skills Authority (EBSSA) are inviting multiple installer disciplines to begin codifying standards and competences for the sector. This initiative is part of wider industry and government efforts to ‘raise the bar’ on individual competence within the built environment in line with the new post-Grenfell competence regime established by the Building Safety Act.
 Engineering Services ‘Super Sector’
At a meeting on Monday 29th January, co-hosted with the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), EBSSA formally launches the Engineering Services ‘Super Sector’: the entity charged with overseeing progress across all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and associated trade disciplines.
The Engineering and Building Services Skills Authority was convened last year by Actuate UK members together with other leading sector bodies, such as BEAMA, CIPHE, TICA and the standards organisation MCS, to provide a credible authoritative voice for skills across all engineering and building services.
Key objectives of this skills coalition are to provide analysis based on transparent data on the sector skills demand and supply, and utilise this evidence to highlight needs, educate, influence policy makers and providers to close the skills shortage gaps with measurable interventions.
Underpinning this work is a shared commitment to support the transformation towards a safer and healthier built environment and achieving UK’s net zero targets within both domestic and non-domestic buildings. As well as Actuate UK and EBSSA member organisations, this will involve commitment and collaboration from right across engineering and building services, including employers, trade union representatives, other specialist trade bodies, certification organisations, professional institutions, education and government.
“Most trades in engineering and building services already have some elements of the new competence regime in place. This EBSSA-led initiative offers them the opportunity to review and codify what they already have and fill in any gaps. Once we have a series of comprehensive, industry-endorsed competence frameworks in place, the next step must be for government, clients and main contractors to apply their power to help ensure these frameworks are promoted, implemented and enforced in practice.”
“The route for thermal insulation competency has been defined for some years however, as part of the coalition with EBSSA, TICA has been able to provide installer competency in a consistent format to ensure that wider industry has a clear and transparent understanding of how competency can be achieved within the thermal insulation sector. At TICA, we are delighted to be working as part of a wider community within construction to achieve a broader understanding of our skill discipline”.
 Further background information
1. The Engineering Services Super Sector is one of five super-sector groupings being launched under the aegis of Working Group 2: Installers (WG2) and with the support of the Construction Leadership Council. The four other WG2 super sectors are Civil Engineering, Structures, Envelope and Interior Systems. Under the new Building Safety Act regime, WG2 is charged with reporting on progress on installer competence to the Industry Competence Steering Group (ICSG), which in turn is accountable to the Building Safety Regulator’s Industry Competence Committee (ICC).
- Actuate UK is an alliance of six leading technology, trade and professional bodies from across the UK engineering services sector. The alliance comprises of:
- The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA)
- The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA)
- The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
- ECA - Electrical and Engineering Services/The Fire and Security Association
- The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA)
- The Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA)
- BEAMA is the UK trade association for manufacturers and providers of energy infrastructure technologies and systems.
- The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is the only professional body for the UK plumbing and heating industry.
- MCS is a standards organisation; we create and maintain standards that allows for the certification of products, installers and their installations.
- The Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA) has been representing its members in the industrial and commercial insulation sector since 1957.
3. The scope of EBSSA covers the skills requirements to design, install and commission decarbonised energy storage, heating, hot water and transport solutions, whilst ensuring adequate indoor air quality for occupants. This includes supporting services in enabling the adoption and application of these technologies, such as upgrading properties electrical system and supplier design services.
This article appears on the ECA news and blogsite as "EBSSA unveils work to codify competences & standards for industry' dated January 31, 2023.
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