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RICS details new training programme designed to build fire safety capacity

10 December 2020

CHARTERED BUILDING and building control surveyors can now further progress their knowledge in fire safety by completing a new training course created specifically to help speed up the EWS-1 Forms process.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is set to launch the new training programme in January next year, with the course projected to take up to eight weeks for each applicant to complete.

The programme is being introduced following the Government’s announcement (and ahead of the Fire Safety Bill, which is set to receive Royal Assent in 2021) focused on the intent to increase the number of professionals who’ll be required to complete future mandatory fire safety checks.

The training programme is designed for Chartered building and building control surveyors who already have a base knowledge to undertake external wall system assessments for low-to-medium risk residential buildings, thereby increasing the number of professionals required to support the current market demand.

For clarity, those buildings that stand over 18 metres in height or those which require specialist testing will still require a qualified fire safety engineer to carry out the EWS-1 Forms assessment procedure.

In essence, the new course will ensure that successful professionals can:

*identify and interpret the effective information required for inspections from stakeholders

*undertake the inspection process and any intrusive inspection processes

*assess an external wall system (including the materials used, construction and fire safety performance)

*understand the fire risk presented by external wall materials and systems

*define the scope of work effectively through contracts and terms of engagement when taking instructions

*identify the legal framework and key standards affecting fire safety and legal liability

*prepare a comprehensive report with recommendations

Speaking about the move, RICS CEO Sean Tompkins informed Fire Safety Matters: “We recognise the acute market shortage of fire engineers to carry out EWS-1 assessments and welcome the Government’s support when it comes to upskilling other regulated professions, such as Chartered surveyors, with a view towards creating additional capacity in the market.”

The RICS will also work with Government and industry to address the ongoing concerns about the availability of professional indemnity insurance which will be an essential element underpinning the delivery of the numbers of trained professionals needed right across the UK.