Building safety: help to shape our response on the draft Building Safety Bill

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  • General news

10 September 2020

Building

We are formulating our response to the draft Building Safety Bill, including through a submission to the Parliamentary pre-legislative inquiry on the Bill.

The proposed legislation, which implements the principles and recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, is a welcome and major step towards ensuring the safety of buildings and their occupants, and avoiding another tragedy such as the Grenfell Tower fire.

Facilities management professionals are set to be at the forefront of the Bill’s implementation through the introduction of the new statutory role of the Building Safety Manager (BSM) for which IWFM helped to develop the competence framework. The BSM will be responsible for the day-to-day management of fire and structural safety in a building and ensuring residents have a clear point of contact for any safety issues. FMs are well placed to undertake this role, with many of our members already taking on the responsibilities that sit within its intended scope; underlining the crucial role that our profession plays in ensuring the safety of buildings and their occupants.

Our expert Life Safety Working Group is leading on shaping our response to the inquiry and we welcome any feedback from members to include within our submission (please provide this by Monday 14 September to enable us to consider your comments).

Our response will focus on:

  • the scope of the legislation beyond fire and structural safety to ensure a holistic whole building approach
  • the need for greater emphasis in the Bill on the critical importance of building management and the equivalence of competence requirements throughout the different stages of the Bill
  • greater clarity on how the BSM competence work will be linked to statutory guidance and its consequent status
  • concerns around the presentation of the Accountable Person role and its implementation on the ground, including their identification, competence and relationship with the BSM
  • the need for a central register and common assessment of competent people
  • the importance of maintaining the golden thread of information.

In addition to our response to the inquiry, our ongoing engagement with MHCLG, HSE and BSI will provide us with additional opportunities to provide feedback on the Bill.

As part of our webinar series ‘Navigating turbulent times’, we expect to hold an episode on building safety on 7 October 2020 for industry experts to discuss what key changes are being made to the building safety regime and how our profession can prepare for them. Please look out for further details on the Events section of our website.

If you have any views to share with us on building safety, please email: policy@iwfm.org.uk