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Industry Competence Committee appointed by Health and Safety Executive

15 August 2023

THE HEALTH and Safety Executive (HSE) has set up and appointed industry members and a chair for the all-new Industry Competence Committee (ICC), which will run its first meeting next month. The ICC will have a key role to play in advising both the built environment industry and the Building Safety Regulator within the HSE on matters of competence.

There’s no doubt that this is a pivotal juncture for the built environment industry. Significant improvements in competence and standards are crucial for the future of the design, construction and management of buildings in England.

The ICC’s formation is a requirement of the Building Safety Act 2022.

This requirement came out of lessons from the Grenfell Tower tragedy and Dame Judith Hackitt’s ‘Building a Safer Future’ report produced as a result of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.

In essence, a lack of skills, knowledge and experience within the built environment sector was identified as contributing to poor safety and standards in buildings.

Residents must be able to feel safe – and, what’s more, be safe – in their homes. Competence is crucial to achieve this. Anyone involved in design or building work must be competent to do their job properly and comply with the Building Regulations to ensure safe and high-quality structures.

Members of the ICC

The members of the new ICC are as follows:

*Jon Vanstone (chair) – Tech Influence

*Sandra Ashcroft (vice-chair) – Health and Safety Executive

*Jay Parmar – Joint Industry Board and the CSCS Alliance

*Lorraine Turner – UKAS

*Steve Evans – National House Building Council

*Lorna Stimpson – Local Authority Building Control

*Wendy Belfield – InTandem Systems

*Pete Dawber – Solvere Ltd

*Ruth Devine – SJD Associates Ltd

*Richard Harral – Chartered Association of Building Engineers

*Nick Coombe – National Fire Chiefs Council

*Dennis Davis – Fire Sector Federation

*Alasdair Perry – British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association

*Andrew Bulmer – The Property Institute

*Anthony Taylor – Building Safety Alliance

*James McNay – Hydrock

*Kate Milford – Milford and Marah Ltd

Support for the Building Safety Regulator

In practice, the ICC will support the work of the Building Safety Regulator by providing insights and guidance to facilitate an improvement of competence across industry.

Competence is also dynamic and must respond to change. The chair, vice-chair and members of the ICC are keenly aware of the cultural and behaviour changes that are vital requirements to ensure industry professionals have the right skills and knowledge as well as a rigorous and consistent approach and understanding of competence to carry out their roles.

The ICC’s work will help in bringing industry together and encourage a more cohesive approach to competence. The ICC will engage with a wide range of industry stakeholders and leaders and bring in the knowledge required for the dissemination of evidence-based advice.

To have maximum impact and effectiveness, collaborative working will be crucial. The ‘call to action’ from the ICC is that everyone in the industry needs to take responsibility and play their part to nurture, promote and drive-up standards of competence across all sectors of the built environment.