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New central register and certification scheme launched for building safety managers

03 August 2021

THE BUILDING Safety Alliance, an independent industry led ‘not-for-profit’ organisation, has been launched with the purpose of implementing the certification of competent individuals wishing to deliver the role of building safety manager and a publicly accessible register of those certified by the scheme.

The Grenfell Tower tragedy brought to the fore how the safety of all buildings needs to be ensured. Recognising the role they play in delivering safe buildings, representatives of both the public and private sector have come together to deliver the change in culture needed and the uniform standard of competence that residents should expect from those responsible for their safety.

The Building Safety Alliance will initially deliver two functions:

*the certification of individual building safety managers or nominated individuals within the organisation) (both referred to as building safety managers here)

*a publicly accessible register of those certified by the scheme

In due course, the Alliance will also work with others to evaluate how organisations who wish to deliver the function of the building safety manager can be assessed as having the organisational capability to do so and also assist contractors and suppliers working on higher risk buildings to deliver a competent workforce that understands how to ensure that residential buildings are safe for residents.

The Building Safety Alliance will play an essential role in helping to improve the competence of those responsible for managing buildings such that they can deliver safe homes for people. Published on 5 July, the Government’s Building Safety Bill confirmed the new statutory role of the building safety manager, itself a concept first developed by Dame Judith Hackitt in the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. 

Competence Steering Group

Anthony Taylor, interim chair of the Building Safety Alliance, said: “I’m proud to continue to take forward and implement the recommendations from Working Group 8 of the Competence Steering Group. When we were initially asked to develop the competence requirements for the new statutory role of the building safety manager, we recognised that, in order for the framework to work, we also needed to set up wider structures that would support the development of and drive for a recognised and uniform standard of competence. One of our key recommendations was the need for a register that would allow residents and ‘Accountable Persons’ to check if the building safety manager for their building meets the minimum competence requirements. Government is looking at industry to deliver on this so we stepped forward with our wide consortium from across both the private and public sectors.”

Bob Smytherman, chair of the Federation of Private Residents Associations (representing thousands of long-term leaseholders across England and Wales) observed: “Our leaseholder members will find themselves with new duties and responsibilities under the Building Safety Bill to ensure that buildings are as safe as possible. Our members will be looking to building safety managers as the stakeholders responsible for the day-to day safety management of buildings.”

Smytherman continued: “At the Building Safety Alliance, we have a crucial role to play in making sure that building safety managers are not only competent, but also understand the residents’ perspectives when appointed to make buildings safe. After all, these buildings are our homes and we pay the service charges.”

In conclusion, Smytherman stated: “We look forward to the register coming into existence so that we can feel safer in our buildings and confident that any of the certified building safety managers on the register will meet the national competence standard.”

Publicly Available Specification

The Working Group 8 Competence Framework is now being translated into a MHCLG-sponsored Publicly Available Specification (PAS). Once finalised, this PAS (ie PAS 8673) will be the standard against which the Building Safety Alliance will certify candidate building safety managers before allowing them on to be part of the register.

The PAS is being developed in parallel with the legislation to make sure certified building safety managers will be delivered by the time that legislation is enforced.