Building safety: new Government guidance acknowledges industry body’s role at heart of new safety regime
- Building safety
19 October 2021
In guidance published on 14 October on the forthcoming Building Safety Bill, the Government has confirmed that it does not intend to set up or maintain a state-run register of Building Safety Managers (BSMs). Instead, the decision on which individuals or organisations will be registered as competent to perform the role will be taken by the industry-led Building Safety Alliance, which was set up in July this year - and in which IWFM plays a leading role.
Recognising the Building Safety Alliance’s efforts to develop the competence framework for BSMs and to establish a register of competent practitioners, the government guidance acknowledges a role for public registers in helping to assure Principal Accountable Persons when appointing a BSM and in promoting transparency to residents.
However, the Government has emphasised that a register would not negate the duties on Principal Accountable Persons to carry out the requisite checks on competence and should not be the only indication of competence for a particular building or project. Furthermore, it notes that any industry-created register should also be supported by robust and consistent assurance processes, including third-party accreditation of organisations making assessments.
From the FM perspective, the key parts of the new Building Safety Bill guidance are:
- Buildings included in the new regulatory regime: factsheet - buildings at least 18 metres in height or having at least 7 storeys and having at least two residential units
- Building Safety Manager: factsheet - a competent BSM (whether an individual or an organisation) must be appointed and named by the Principal Accountable Person responsible for each occupied building in scope, with the BSM’s details provided to residents. The appointment will help to ensure the coordinated and effective day-to-day management and oversight of building safety risks, delivering safe outcomes for residents. A BSM must have the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours necessary to deliver the role. Where the BSM is an organisation, it must have the organisational capability to deliver the role and a nominated individual with the required competencies must be identified
- Safety case: factsheet - ensuring that Accountable Persons deliver a continuous and proportionate preventative and proactive approach to managing building safety risks
- Mandatory occurrence reporting: factsheet - legal requirement for those responsible for building safety to capture and report certain fire and structural safety issues to the new Building Safety Regulator
- Amendments to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005: factsheet - new requirements on all persons responsible for fire safety in non-domestic premises in England and Wales
- Golden thread: factsheet - the duty of those responsible for a building to put in place and maintain a golden thread of information relating to fire and building safety
- The Higher-Risk Buildings (Prescribed Principles for Management of Building Safety Risks) Regulations : draft regulations - the principles an Accountable Person - and therefore their appointed BSM - must follow in taking all reasonable steps to prevent a building safety risk materialising or reducing the severity of any incident resulting from such a risk materialising.
To read our press release on IWFM’s leading role in the work of the Building Safety Alliance click here.