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BSI publishes competence criteria in Code of Practice for built environment
17 May 2021
IN ITS role as the UK’s national standards body, the British Standards Institution has published new competence criteria for the built environment following two rounds of public consultation. The new Code of Practice that has been realised supports industry reform and intends to minimise safety risks as well as improve protection for consumers and occupants (including residents).
People have the right to expect that buildings and their immediate environment are designed, built and maintained in a way that’s safe. Occupants need to have confidence and trust in the individuals responsible for ensuring that their interests are properly considered and that safety is a priority. The competence of all those who provide services and products throughout the life of a building is key to achieving this aim.
The new Code of Practice, entitled BSI Flex 8670 v3.0 Built Environment – Core Criteria for Building Safety in Competence Frameworks – Code of Practice sets the core criteria for building safety competence, including fire safety, structural safety and public health for all individuals working in the built environment so as to improve safety outcomes throughout a given building’s life cycle. The document will support the progression of a more consistent approach in the development and use of competence frameworks across the industry.
Scott Steedman, director general of standards at the BSI, said: “Dame Judith Hackitt’s ‘Building a Safer Future’ report called on industry to change its culture and “support the delivery of buildings that are safe, both now and in the future”. The new Code of Practice, which is published as part of the BSI’s Built Environment Competence Programme, provides an agreed and common approach for industry to embed building safety competence at all levels and across all roles, functions, tasks and activities. This is a major step forward which has the potential to support real change in the industry’s understanding of building safety in the years and decades ahead.”
Building Safety and Fire Minister Lord Stephen Greenhalgh responded: “We are making the biggest changes to building safety in a generation. This new criteria, funded by the Government, will set a new standard for professionals across the sector and underpin our wider reforms orchestrated to ensure that homes are designed, built and managed more safely in the future. I would urge all sectors in the construction industry to adopt the Code of Practice.”
Built Environment Competence Programme
The Code of Practice is published as one part of the Government-funded Built Environment Competence Programme. This aims to tackle the competence shortcomings identified in the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety conducted by Dame Judith Hackitt. It’s one part of the package of measures recommended by the Steering Group on Competence for Building a Safer Future which were set out in ‘Raising the Bar’.
The programme is designed to support the delivery of regulatory policy and the new regulated roles responsible for building safety set out in the forthcoming Building Safety Bill, while also enabling the large-scale industry-led programme to raise competency across the sector. Further detail is available online at: https://www.bsigroup.com/built-environment-competence-standards-uk
The Code of Practice was developed by an Advisory Group of built environment professionals including representatives from the BSI’s Built Environment Competence Standards Group, Build UK, the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, the Chartered Institute of Building, the Construction Industry Training Board, the Construction Industry Council, the Construction Products Association, the Electrical Contractors Association, the Engineering Council, the Fire Sector Federation, the Health and Safety Executive, the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management, Local Authority Building Control, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the National Fire Chiefs Council, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service.
*Copies of the Code of Practice are available to download here
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