New legislation important to workplace and facilities management professionals  

The Building Safety Act 2022 creates a new system of regulatory compliance for higher-risk buildings, intending to enhance safety and accountability. For FMs this legislation is important because not only does it set out major new duties for duty holders in occupation, but it also sets new rules around building approval and competence when doing refurbishments. While FMs will not be the dutyholders, they will often be the ones that support the dutyholders with meeting their requirements, including when it comes to collecting and maintaining the relevant information towards evidencing the golden thread and the safety case report. 

New course: 'Building Safety Act: what FMs need to know and do’

This year will see the implementation of ‘once in a generation’ cultural and competence changes in building safety law; to support facilities managers in implementing the many new requirements, we have introduced a new, industry leading, CPD approved course 'Building Safety Act: what FMs need to know and do’.

20 May 2024 Live virtual training

An overview of safety reform 

This hub aims to bring together all the latest information around building, fire and life safety so that members engaged in these sectors can find the news updates, guidance, resources and details of changes to legislation they need, all in one place. 

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Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, the Government announced a series of measures and actions to prevent a similar tragedy from ever happening again.

Almost immediately, an Industry Response Group  (IRG) was established to review the solutions needed to ensure building safety and that the supply chain could manage a rapid upsurge in remedial and refurbishment work following the fire. An independent Expert Panel was also set up to advise Government what urgent steps were necessary to improve fire safety. 

Additionally, two independent investigations related to the tragedy were announced: the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry to examine the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the fire, and the Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety which was led by led by Dame Judith Hackitt and focused particularly on higher risk residential buildings. 

The Public Inquiry has concluded hearings for Phase 2 and is closed to the public.  The Inquiry Panel will continue preparing the final report, whilst Dame Judith’s final report Building a Safer Future (see ‘Policy reports’ below) was published in May 2018. It found that the current regulatory system for ensuring fire safety in high-rise and complex buildings is effectively not fit for purpose. The Government has committed to implementing and legislating for all the recommendations of the Hackitt Review and the first phase of the independent inquiry. This will require a fundamental shift in culture which will impact greatly on the FM sector.  The Government decided to not take forward the recommendation on the role of the Building Safety Manager (BSM) – see the Building Safety Manager competence framework section below. However, they are planning to include competence requirements in secondary legislation, and this would also cover those managing buildings.  The HSE has already indicated in one of our recent webinars, that were competence failing are noted, they will be benchmarked against PAS 8673:2022 (more below)

IWFM has been supporting the Government’s actions by providing specialist information and advice on managing building safety. More information about the variety of our work in this area can be found in the IWFM activity section below. 

Building Safety Act 2022

The Government committed to implementing Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations and, at the end of April 2022, the Building Safety Act received Royal Assent. The Building Safety Act 2022 (the Act) will make buildings safer and deliver improvements across the entire built environment, including strengthening oversight and protection for residents in high-rise buildings. Its focus on risk will help owners to manage their buildings better, while giving the home-building industry the clear, proportionate framework it needs to deliver more, better, high-quality homes. 

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The Act received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022 and will be supported by a package of secondary legislation, that will provide further detail on much of the content of the Act. From Summer 2022, the Government is consulting on much of this secondary legislation, before final versions are laid before Parliament for approval. 

The Act defines higher-risk buildings for the new occupation regime as buildings which contain at least two residential units and are at least 18 metres in height or at least 7 storeys (whichever is reached first).  The Government has included this definition in regulations, many of which are still to be published. 

The new, more stringent regulatory regime will place legal responsibilities on those who commission building work, participate in the design and construction process and those who are responsible for managing structural and fire safety in higher-risk buildings when they are occupied. These people will be called dutyholders during design and construction and principal accountable persons and accountable persons when the building is occupied. When building work is carried out on an existing higher-risk building (refurbishment) this may involve both dutyholders and a principal accountable person and accountable person(s), as many buildings will remain occupied during the refurbishment. 

All occupied higher-risk buildings will have one clearly identifiable accountable person, who will also be the principal accountable person. They will have the same statutory obligations for assessing and managing building safety risks in their own area of the building as other accountable persons but will also have additional responsibility for meeting specific statutory obligations for the whole building. 

Requirements of the new, more stringent regime for higher-risk buildings are being brought forward through part 3 and part 4 of the Act and will be supported by a package of secondary legislation. These requirements include a new, more stringent building control regime for the design and construction of higher-risk buildings, a requirement to register the building, the introduction of a safety case approach to managing fire and structural safety during occupation, duties to engage residents, the ongoing management of a digital golden thread of information throughout the building lifecycle and the creation of a mandatory occurrence reporting framework. The Building Safety Regulator (part of the Health and Safety Executive) will enforce the new, more stringent regulatory regime for higher-risk buildings; overseeing compliance with the new regulations once they come into force, including with the new competence requirements. 

Secondary legislation already in place can be found here.

Draft secondary regulations relating to golden thread are expected soon.

Timeline of Government policy and legislation 

The Government, responding to the Housing Communities and Local Government Select Committee recommendation, published a transition plan for the Building Safety Act 2022.

The full transition plan is published here.

Within 12 to 18 months of the Bill receiving Royal Assent (April 2022), the bulk of the new provisions brought forward in the Bill will come into force.

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The key provisions for FM will include:

  • Setting up the Industry Competence Committee within the Building Safety Regulator to help it perform its functions to assist and encourage the improvement of competence in the built environment industry. (Including the adoption across the occupation phase of PAS 8673:2022 Built environment – Competence requirements for the management of safety in residential buildings – Specification, as HSE will benchmark competence against this competence standard)
  • Mandatory reporting to the new Building Safety Regulator of prescribed fire and structural safety occurrences.
  • The requirement to create, hold and maintain the golden thread of information.
  • Mandatory registration of occupied high-rise residential buildings with the Building Safety Regulator. (Registration from April 2023, after October, it will become an offence not to have registered a building in scope)
  • New requirements on dutyholders to have clear accountability and statutory responsibilities as buildings are designed, constructed and refurbished.
  • New duties on the Accountable Person to manage building safety risks in occupied high-rise buildings, including duties to engage with residents. (from October 2023)
  • New duties on residents to ensure each other’s safety by making sure their actions do not adversely affect the safety of their building.
  • New measures to protect leaseholders, by placing additional duties on the Accountable Person to explore alternative cost recovery routes before passing costs to leaseholders and a Building Safety Charge to cover the ongoing costs of implementing the new regime, giving leaseholders assurance, transparency, and protection in relation to ongoing costs.

Relevant wider legislation

In addition to the new Building Safety Act 2022, there are several regimes that consider buildings and fire safety risk during the life cycle of a building, many of which have been amended by the Building Safety Act: 

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Design and construction (including refurbishment):

  • The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 makes provision on the development of land in England and Wales. In most instances, a formal request must be made to a local authority for permission to build something new or to add something to an existing building. This request must include the design. The Town and County Planning Act is enforced by Local Planning Authorities
  • The Building Act 1984 and its regulations makes provision on the construction process, and the design and specifications for buildings and their component parts, and related matters, in England. Building regulations approval is required for most building work. The Building Act and Regulations are enforced by Building Control in local authorities
  • The Building Regulations 2010 establish general functional requirements for buildings when constructed, and are supported by Approved Documents, approved and issued under section 6 of the Building Act 1984, which set out detailed practical guidance on compliance. The building regulations also set out procedures for the control of building work by local authorities
    • Approved Document B lays down building regulations in England for fire safety in residential homes, including new and existing dwellings, flats, residential accommodation, schools, colleges and offices.
  • The Building (Approved Inspectors etc) Regulations 2010 set out the detailed provisions for the supervision of building work by approved inspectors, including the method of grant and withdrawal of approved inspector status and the way the approved inspector system operates
  • The Building (Local Authority Charges) Regulations 2010 relate to the charging scheme for carrying out building control functions.


  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Fire Safety Order) makes provision on fire safety for buildings in use and places the responsibility on individuals within an organisation to carry out risk assessments to identify, manage and reduce the risk of fire. The Fire Safety Order applies to workplaces and common parts of shared residential properties. It does not cover individual dwellings. The Fire Safety Order is enforced by fire and rescue services
    • The Fire Safety Act 2021, however expands the scope of the Fire Safety Order, to also cover a residential building’s structure and external walls and any common parts, and all doors between the domestic premises ad common parts (flat front doors) (where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises).
    • The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 puts further obligations on the responsible person in relation to high-rise residential buildings, including wayfinding signage, a secure information box to be installed in the building and for various plans and information to be placed within the box and for fire-fighting equipment to be regularly inspected.  In addition, obligations about information to residents and fire and rescue authorities is also included.
  • The Housing Act 2004 make provision about housing conditions in all dwellings in use and regulates houses in multiple occupation and certain other residential accommodation. It is enforced by Housing Officers and Environmental Health Officers in local authorities
  • The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (England) Regulations 2005 (HHSRS), made under the 2004 Act, make provisions to assess housing conditions in all dwellings in use in their areas and require works to be done to remediate hazards (including fire) identified in housing. These regulations are enforced by Housing Officers Environmental Health Officers in local authorities.  

Construction products:

  • Construction Products Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 (CPR) lays down harmonised rules for the marketing of construction products in the EU. The regulation provides a common technical language to assess the performance of construction products. It ensures that reliable information is available to professionals, public authorities, and consumers, so they can compare the performance of products from different manufacturers in different countries. The CPR covers both products subject to a harmonised standard under EU law and those subject to a European Technical Assessment (ETA); an alternative for construction products not covered by a harmonised standard. It is a document providing information on their performance assessment and offers a way for manufacturers to draw up the Declaration of Performance and affix the CE marking. It contributes to the free movement of construction products and the creation of a strong Single Market.


Updated IWFM Guidance

Our recently updated (April 2024) Fire safety management good practice guide (GPG) provides the latest statutory guidance and industry best practice and signposting for facilities management professionals, those with Responsible Persons duties, and those acting on behalf of Responsible Persons. This guide sets out the key requirements for managing fire safety in England where the Regulatory (Reform) Fire Safety Order 2005 applies.

The GPG has been updated to include requirements from the Fire Safety Act 2021, the Building Act 2022, and the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, and provides guidance on the relevant legislation for Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Short guidance: Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022.pdf

This guide, created by IWFM Life Safety Working Group member Martin Ryan, provides information on the Fire Risk Assessment Prioritisation Tool (FRAPT) and the specific duties for the RP.

Short guidance: Building registration and key building information.pdf

Short guidance: Can a managing agent or FM provider be an accountable person or principal accountable person?.pdf


Government guidance

Criteria for being a higher-risk building during the occupation phase of the new higher-risk regime - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). This guidance relates to the legal criteria for determining whether a building is considered a higher-risk building under the Building Safety Act 2022 and the Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2023. It relates to the definition of higher-risk building during the occupation phase of the higher-risk regime only.

Applying to register a high-rise residential building - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk), guidance issued by the Regulator on how to submit a registration application.

Building Safety Regulator: giving us structure and safety information (key building information) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk), further guidance to support the submission of key building information.

Further guidance

Guidance on collaborative procurement for design and construction to support building safety; Improving procurement practice across the construction industry could significantly improve the safety and quality of buildings. Procurement professionals, including those working in FM/occupation phase are encouraged to apply the principles of this guidance in their work.

The guidance was written by Professor David Mosey, King’s College London Centre of Construction Law, and Russell Poynter-Brown, On-Pole Limited. The authors collaborated with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Procurement Advisory Group. 


Competence requirements for the new building safety regime

The new regime is requiring greater competence throughout the built environment.  While the building safety manager role was taken out of the Building Safety Act, secondary legislation will require competence throughout the building lifecycle, including during the occupation phase, for those working in and managing buildings.

For the occupation phase, it is important to note that the HSE will use PAS 8673:2022 Built environment – Competence requirements for the management of safety in residential buildings – Specification to benchmark competence against.  You can read below how IWFM has contributed to the development of this PAS, which is based on WG 8’s final report, Safer people, safer homes: Building Safety Management.

Other relevant competence standards for the regime are:

Further competence standards are under development and will be coming under the auspices of the Building Safety Regulator’s Industry Competence Committee.


IWFM's activity on building safety

Since 2017, we have supported the Government’s actions in this area by providing specialist information and advice led by the expert members of our Life Safety Working Group, who between them have over 50 years of experience in the building, fire and life safety sectors.

In addition to providing written responses to a series of reports and consultations - including the 2021 Welsh Government white paper Safer buildings in Wales -  IWFM has fed into the work of the Competence Steering Group (CSG), a sub-group of the IRG focused with the industry coordination to the challenge Dame Judith Hackitt set in her Independent Review. The Construction Industry Council chaired the Steering Group, of which IWFM was a participant.

Since July 2018, IWFM provided the Secretariat for the CSG’s Working Group 8 (See below) which has developed the competence framework for the Building Safety Manager - a new function introduced by Dame Judith Hackitt, but not included in the final Building Safety Act 2022 - who would be responsible for the day-to-day management of a building and act as a point of contact for its residents. This role was anticipated to be an exciting development for the world of workplace and facilities management professionals as it would have become the first statutory role in our world, recognising the critical importance of managing buildings.

While the role is no longer required, the duties in occupation still need to be delivered and the HSE will benchmark organisations’ and people’s competence against PAS 8673:2022 Built environment – Competence requirements for the management of safety in residential buildings – Specification (See above). IWFM was a part of the Steering Group for this PAS.

Following on from the WG8 work, IWFM became a founding member of the Building Safety Alliance, to help deliver WG8’s competence and culture change recommendations.  We remain an active part of the Building Safety Alliance, providing the interim secretariat and supporting and driving its mission and vision. As part of our commitment to the mission and vision, we will continue to explore collaboration and consensus in areas of common ground across the occupation phase.


IWFM Life Safety Working Group

The Life Safety Working Group (LSWG) is IWFM’s group of experts which was called together after the tragedy so that we could feed into the developing policy and responses.  The Group members have been working over the last three years to feed into several working groups, including the preparatory working groups which fed into the development of the Final Hackitt Report.  The Group members also fed into several of the competence working groups of the CSG, including WG8 Building Safety Manager, WG9 Site Supervisors and WG10 Project Managers.  The Group also helped to articulate the various responses to government policy developments.

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Core members of the Group are:

Rob Greenfield

Rob has more than 30 years’ experience in FM, for the last 15 years specialising in the environmental health and safety management of diverse, multi-site portfolios.

A member of the Industry Response Group reviewing fire safety following the Grenfell fire and of the expert panel for the Construction Industry Council, he was involved in the review of Building Regulations & Fire Safety which assisted in the publication of the Dame Judith Hackitt ‘Building a Safer Future’ report.

Rob is a permanent member of the LSWG.

Chris Jeffers

With more than 20 years’ experience in the property and FM sectors, Chris is currently Director and Head of Facility Management Advisory at Mott MacDonald.

His specialities include FM strategy, procurement and contract management, service improvement initiatives, delivering sustainable workspace and property service solutions for a wide range of built facilities.

Chris is a permanent member of the LSWG, past chair of the IWFM Procurement Special Interest Group and regularly contributes to a number of industry bodies and initiatives.

Martin Ryan

Martin owns a consultancy which offers advice, audits and guidance on fire and facilities management, strategy, maintenance and compliance, both pre and post occupancy.

With 10 years’ experience in health and safety, he has been responsible for hard and soft facilities for multiple sites in the local authority and education sectors, including student and private rented accommodations – everything from public toilets to 800-bed high-rise buildings!

Martin has been a member of the LSWG since February 2019 and has written a paper on the need for fire regulation reform following the Grenfell fire.

Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor MSc, HonRICS, EurOSHM, MBCI, CMIOSH, MIIRSM, PIEMA, OSHCR is the Proprietor of Resolve Risk Ltd.

Interim Chair Building Safety Alliance, Chair of CSG Working Group 8, Industry Lead for PAS 8673, and member Steering Group for PAS 8671 and PAS 8672. Member of BSI Committee for Standards in Built Environment CBP/1, Member of the Life Safety Working Group for The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) and the H&S Committees for The Property Institute (TPI), and Association for Project Safety (APS).

Chair of Greenwich University's Built Environment Industry Liaison Group. Anthony has worked in both the public and private sector within the built environment and has had a career which includes working in insurance and as a risk manager for a global tour operator.

Anthony has long promoted the concept of integrated management systems, including GRC, sustainability, energy conservation, and BCM, HS&E, governance and ‘compliance’, with operational risk and liability management remaining ‘in the field’ with support from a panel of experts at centre.

Effective risk management requires the ability to quantify the exposure - to manage we need to measure, and organisations need to employ metrics that are accepted and understood by those in operational control of the business.

Wayne Ward

As well as running his own building services consultancy, Wayne is currently managing a regeneration programme of primarily Higher Risk Residential Buildings for a large housing association and housebuilder including the review of building safety measures and the implementation of a comprehensive fire remediation programme.

With more than 20 years as a built environment specialist, he has extensive experience in refurbishment programme management, defect investigation, contract administration, sustainable design, environmental risk assurance, energy efficiency and construction design and specification.

Wayne took part in the Construction Industry Council response to the Hackitt Review as a member of the working groups on Site Supervision and Project Management.

Wayne is a permanent member of the LSWG.

IWFM and the development of the competence framework 

While the ultimate competence framework took the form of a DLUHC sponsored PAS 8673:2022 Built environment – Competence requirements for the management of safety in residential buildings – Specification, for which IWFM was a Steering Group member, the framework was based on Working Group 8’s (WG8) final report, Safer people, safer homes: Building Safety Management, the culmination of their work in developing the competence requirements for the defunct statutory role of Building Safety Manager (BSM). This Working Group was part of the CSG’s wider work on competence (see next section).

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WG8 members covered a wide range of residential and commercial expertise for the occupation phase, with participating members coming from social housing sector, commercial and residential management, facilities managers, health and safety experts and fire safety experts and representatives from ARMA, Avison Young, BPF, BRE Group, CIAT, CIH, FPA, IFSM, IRPM, IWFM, Knight Frank, LGA, NFCC, NHF, NSHFG, RICS and UKAS.

IWFM has played a significant role in this work as one of the key members of WG8 and its secretariat, and we remained at the forefront of the framework’s implementation, including driving the BSI workstream to develop the new Building Safety Manager PAS (Publicly Available Specification).

Competence Steering Group – Setting the Bar

The cross-industry group which represents more than 150 organisations in the fire and built environment sectors has published its blueprint to drive culture change within the industry and to improve competence for those working on higher-risk buildings.

Setting the bar is the second and final report of the Competence Steering Group (CSG), work which was initiated by the recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s review ‘Building a safer future’. Safer people, safer homes: Building Safety Management, was published in an Annex to the main report.

The overarching system of competence proposed in the report comprises four key elements:

  • a new competence committee sitting within the new Building Safety Regulator
  • a national suite of competence standards, including new sector-specific frameworks developed by 12 working groups
  • arrangements for independent assessment and reassessment against the competence standards
  • a mechanism to ensure that those assessing and certifying people against the standards have appropriate levels of oversight.

CSG and its working groups have developed sector-wide and overarching competence frameworks for specific building safety roles, whilst delivering a more rigorous approach to the essential training and assessment that is required.

The body has worked closely with the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (since then the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) and some of the its key recommendations have already been adopted, including the proposal for an industry Competence Committee.

International Fire Safety Standards Coalition

At international level, we are a member of the International Fire Safety Standards Coalition (IFSS) which was launched at the UN in Geneva in 2018. Currently, many different fire safety frameworks apply across the world meaning there is no single authoritative way to work. For the first time at a global collaborative level IFSS will bring greater consistency by setting landmark minimum levels of fire safety and professionalism across the world.

The IFSS has produced a Common Principles document, which sets out to provide fire safety guidance across all stages of the building life cycle, is universally applicable and can be used by governments, communities and individuals across the world.

News articles, webinars, presentations and insight 

A collection of the most recent IWFM news items tracing developments in policy and legislation on all aspects of fire safety. Plus, expert opinions and views on how these changes will affect workplace and FM professionals in the future.

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News articles

The Building Safety Bill introduced in the House of Commons (5 July 2021)

Building safety: BSI seeking views on the overarching framework for building safety competence (14 January 2021) 

Building Safety Manager: Housing Select Committee advocates IWFM’s recommendations (27 November 2020) 

Building safety: International Fire Safety Standards coalition launch global common principles (19 October 2020)

The Building Safety Manager: who will need to develop the new skills and competence requirements? (8 October 2020)

Industry publishes blueprint for improving competence and driving culture change (5 October 2020)

Consultation on the overarching framework for industry competence (24 September 2020)

Help to shape our response on the draft Building Safety Bill (10 September 2020)

Industry Safety Steering Group hails progress on Building Safety Manager role (14 August 2020)

Call for evidence on draft bill; IWFM CEO discusses implications for FMs (12 August 2020)

Fire safety: Home Office launches new consultation (30 July 2020)

Government publishes draft ‘game changing’ legislation (30 July 2020)

IWFM CEO Linda Hausmanis’ comment on the draft Building Safety Bill (21 July 2020

IWFM discusses new statutory role of Building Safety Manager with Dame Judith Hackitt (4 June 2020)

Building a safer future: the UK Government’s vision for its building safety programme (9 April 2020)

Government introduces new Fire Safety Bill for England and Wales  (18 March 2020)

Government consulting industry on the use of combustible materials (18 February 2020)

New legislation; government’s response to Grenfell Inquiry Phase 1  (29 January 2020)

Presentations and webinars

The Building Safety Manager: role, competences and certification

Presentation: Lessons from Grenfell (2 March 2020)

Presentation: CDM Regulations 2015 as inspiration for the new building safety regime and the impact on FM (16 August 2019)

Presentations: The critical role of the Building Safety Manager (24 July 2019)

Webinar: Building Safety Manager and the draft Bill (07 October 2020)

Policy reports 

The work of the review to date found that the current regulatory system for ensuring fire safety in high-rise and complex buildings is not fit for purpose. This applies throughout the life cycle of a building, both during construction and occupation, and is a problem connected both to the culture of the construction industry and the effectiveness of the regulators

The report covers six broad areas; regulation and guidance; roles and responsibilities; competence, process, compliance and enforcement; residents’ voice and raising concerns; and quality assurance and products.
The most important development for FMs outlined in this report includes the introduction of the new statutory role and function of the Building Safety Manager.

In response to this report, IWFM (as BIFM) submitted Life Safety Recommendations in Facilities Management. Taking a whole building approach, we identified four key problem areas about fire safety in all buildings, not just residential, that we considered essential to address and to strengthen fire – and wider life - safety when managing buildings.

Covering the events that took place on 14 June 2017 with a detailed account of the fire and the steps taken in response to it, analysis of the response of the LFB and the other emergency services, with recommendations based on these findings.

Phase 2 of the inquiry examining the causes of these events, has now been closed including how Grenfell Tower came to be in a condition which allowed the fire to spread, is currently ongoing.

IWFM was quoted several times in the report, whose recommendations chimed with our submission to the inquiry, particularly around the now dropped new Building Safety Manager role. For further details of the Bill see the ‘Legislation – forthcoming’ section below.

Consultations and IWFM submission papers

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  • Consultations on the new regime following the enactment of the Building Safety Act 2022, looking at the policies for implementation:

    The new, more stringent regulatory regime will place legal responsibilities on those who commission building work, participate in the design and construction process and those who are responsible for managing structural and fire safety in higher-risk buildings when they are occupied. These people will be called dutyholders during design and construction and principal accountable persons and accountable persons when the building is occupied. When building work is carried out on an existing higher-risk building (refurbishment) this may involve both dutyholders and a principal accountable person and accountable person(s), as many buildings will remain occupied during the refurbishment.

    Requirements of the new, more stringent regime for higher-risk buildings are being brought forward through part 3 and part 4 of the Act and will be supported by a package of secondary legislation.

Government responses to recent consultations:


If you have any questions on building, fire or life safety, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at: [email protected]