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Updates issued for EWS-1 Forms and RICS valuation guidance

22 March 2022

THE ROYAL Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), UK Finance and The Building Societies Association have updated the EWS-1 Form. At the same time, the RICS has also updated the valuation guidance entitled ‘Valuation of Properties in Multi-Storey, Multi-Occupancy Residential Buildings With Cladding’ in order to reflect the new Government advice delivered in BSI PAS 9980:2022 – Assessing the External Wall Fire Risk in Multi-Occupied Residential Buildings.

In terms of specifics, the criteria for the RICS guidance note remains valid following the review conducted by the independent Standards and Regulation Board on 10 December last year. However, as the guidance was introduced based on the Government’s Consolidated Advice Note, which was withdrawn in January, the guidance note now includes a boilerplate stating that this guidance was drafted with reference to Government guidance in force at the time.

Of course, this guidance has now been withdrawn and replaced with the publication of PAS 9980:2022. This guidance note remains valid at this time and remains under review by RICS’ independent Standards and Regulation Board.

*Interested parties are able to view the guidance online

EWS-1 Forms

The EWS-1 Form categories remain the same, but following the withdrawal of the Consolidated Advice Note, the implementation of the PAS9980 and also to ensure proportionality, the EWS-1 Form has now been updated in order to account for and reflect these changes.

It now includes reference that those who have completed the EWS-1 Assessment Training Programme are now able to complete EWS-1 Forms and covers whether interim measures are required.

In addition to this, and while the way in which to assess and the options remain the same, the EWS-1 Form is now electronic, making it easier to access. The EWS-1 Form now includes version control. This will increase transparency in terms of how many times any given building has been assessed by the same assessor or company and will provide a clear audit trail for how many assessments have been completed on the same building by the same assessor or company.

*The RICS strongly recommends that all completed EWS-1 Forms are uploaded to the Fire Industry Association-generated portal in order to avoid duplication

Constant review

This update is accurate as of 16 March 2022 and in line with Government advice at that time. The EWS-1 Form and guidance remains under constant review to ensure that a proportionate approach is taken towards helping to ease the impact on leaseholders from the necessary removal of potentially combustible cladding from properties, while at the same time ensuring that lenders and valuers meet their legal requirements when it comes to the accurate reporting of property values.

Importantly, as more fire risk assessments are carried out under the PAS 9980, in tandem with external wall system-centric appraisals, the RICS envisages the need for an EWS-1 Form to “drop away”.