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Home Office seeks industry opinion by launching fire risk assessor survey

22 March 2022

WITH WORK now underway to strengthen the building and fire safety regulatory systems, not least through changes being brought about by the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Building Safety Bill, the Home Office is keen to better understand capacity and capability within the fire risk assessor segment of the fire industry. That being so, a new survey has been launched.

The proposed changes will exert a significant impact on the fire risk assessor sector. For its part, the Home Office also wants to support sector-led work on professionalisation within the fire risk assessor sector and responses received as a result of the survey will assist in underpinning that process.

The Home Office particularly eager to better understand the impact that two specific forthcoming changes may have on the sector. These are the requirement in the Fire Safety Act to include external wall assessments in fire risk assessments and also the proposed requirement in the Building Safety Bill for ‘Responsible Persons’ to ensure that anyone whom they appoint to complete a fire risk assessment must be competent to do so.

Further, there’s a desire to explore the issue of professional indemnity insurance and any impacts relating to this area.

Members of those professional bodies working in the fire risk assessor sector and/or those who are involved with fire risk external wall assessments are now being invited to complete the survey.

The survey asks questions about the company for whom an individual works and about the individual’s professional capacity. The findings are then going to be used to inform the Government’s policy development work going forward.

Anonymous aggregated results may be shared with professional bodies who are actively supporting the Home Office in conducting this survey and leading the sector-centric work outlined here.

Commenting on the survey, Chris Auger (director of Schemes at BAFE) stated: “The BAFE SP205 Scheme provides a route in evidencing competency to deliver the vital service of fire risk assessments. We encourage registered organisations, and specifically SP205-registered organisations, to provide their input. By doing so, they can help to deliver a greater understanding, while also serving to steer decision-making.”

*Interested parties can complete the survey online at https://www.homeofficesurveys.homeoffice.gov.uk/s/D1KPYY/

**The survey takes approximately ten minutes to complete and will remain open for responses until close of play on Friday 8 April 2022