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Last edited 09 Mar 2022
The Building Safety Bill, regulations and competence
Following the fatal Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017, the Building Safety Bill (hereafter ‘the Bill’) was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 19 December 2019. The final version was introduced in the House of Commons on 5 July 2021. The Bill, which is expected to become an Act in spring 2022, is supported by several draft Regulations. The Act and its supporting Regulations will apply in England but may go on to affect other UK nations. Ref www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-bill-draft-regulations
With regard to the draft competency Regulations under the Bill (the Building (Appointment of Persons, Industry Competence and Dutyholders) Regulations 2021) there appears to be a widespread misconception that the 2021 draft regulations only apply to high rise residential buildings and other ‘higher risk’ buildings. However, such exemption as there is from these draft regulations is set out in regulation 1 as follows:
(5) These Regulations do not apply to an individual intending to carry out building work on the dwelling where they live (or intend to live) where the work consists only of work described in Schedule 4* to the Building Regulations 2010(b) (‘descriptions of work where no building notice or deposit of full plans is required’).
(a) fulfils the requirements in regulation [8(1) and (2)] (competence: general requirement), or
(3) Before permitting A to undertake any work, P must additionally take all reasonable steps to satisfy themself that A is able to fulfil the duties of regulation  (general duty to plan, manage and monitor).
This places duties on the appointing and appointed party to assess whether the party being appointed is competent. Where HSE has grounds to be involved it is understood they will look for evidence of the process by which the client has “taken all reasonable steps” to satisfy themselves that they are appointing a competent person.
In line with BSI Flex 8670, work is currently under way to develop sector-specific competence frameworks which will define competence standards at all levels of industry, including principal contractors, designers, engineering professionals and installers. ECA, FSA and Actuate UK are actively participating in this work.
This article originally appeared on the ECA website on 7 March 2022.
- Building Safety Alliance.
- Building Safety Bill
- CIAT raises concerns about Building Safety Bill.
- CIOB reviews the Building Safety Bill.
- ECA articles.
- Fire safety bill.
- Golden thread.
- Grenfell Tower fire.
- Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
- Hackitt Review.
- National construction products regulator established.
- The Building Safety Bill - A Quality Response.
- The Building Safety Bill and product testing.
- The golden thread and BS 8644-1.
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