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FIS Sector Guide shines spotlight on competency and safety

14 February 2023

WITH THE construction sector under ever-closer scrutiny in relation to competency, a new Sector Guide entitled ‘Competency Management Plans’ has been launched by the Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) to assist organisations in the improvement of quality and safety and, in parallel, ensure they meet new regulatory requirements.

The new Sector Guide will provide examples and signposts to available information and assist organisations in improving quality and safety, while at the same time ensuring they avoid any enforcement penalties.

In essence, the Sector Guide aims to address the regulatory regime as part of the long-awaited Building Safety Act, which itself sets out clear duties and responsibilities for those who commission, design, construct and refurbish higher-risk buildings as well as those responsible for ensuring buildings are safely managed when occupied.

A Competency Management Plan is a critical document for any organisation working in the finishes and interiors sector of the construction industry and must be embedded within the culture of the business and embraced within any quality management process.

The Sector Guide has been produced by the FIS and is designed to contextualise and help to structure and improve existing processes. It’s deliberately structured to help form a strategy for assessing competence and provides guidance to suggested Competency Management Plan content including organisational and occupational competence, functional requirements, creating job descriptions, competency and training plans, appraisal processes and succession plans.

Robust processes

Commenting on the Sector Guide, Iain McIlwee (CEO of the FIS) said: “The Building Safety Act has become law. As a sector, we need to ensure that we have robust processes in place in order to meet the exacting competency requirements. This new FIS Sector Guide will provide the necessary guidance to enable organisations to formulate a Construction Management Plan, which will be key to progressing through the relevant gateways and ensuring the Building Safety Regulator can allow a given construction project to proceed.”

In addition to the availability of the new Sector Guide on ‘Competency Management Plans’, the FIS has been working with My Professional Pass to help support a universal approach to competency passports in the sector. The FIS Competency Passport system will store, retrieve, view and monitor the training and qualification achievements of individuals and records of experience. Individuals registered with My Professional Pass, the self-employed or those directly employed can afford organisations access to their records.

*The Sector Guide on ‘Competency Management Plans’ is available on the FIS website at https://www.thefis.org/skills-hub/competency/

**The FIS is the representative body for the £10 billion finishes and interiors sector in the UK. The FIS has close to 500 members drawn from contractors, manufacturers and distributors of ceilings, steel framing systems, partitions, operable walls, plastering, drylining and specialist interior fit-out and refurbishment businesses. The FIS is dedicated to collaboration in the construction environment and is a member of BuildUK, the Construction Products Association and the Passive Fire Protection Forum