Building safety: proposals on new regime for Wales

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  • Building safety

10 February 2021

Building

The Welsh Government has published a White Paper proposing a new Building Safety Regime for Wales which it calls ‘the most extensive building safety reforms in the UK’.

Buildings in scope include high-rise residences, as well as those converted into multiple flats, with the new regime recommending a proportionate approach according to risk level and building type.

Mirroring the UK Government’s draft Building Safety Bill, proposals include a number of new dutyholder roles during the design, construction and occupation stages. The Building Safety Manager role is also included in the Welsh proposals for buildings over 18m. The Welsh proposals on the Building Safety Manager are very similar to the English proposals, but introduce an explicit licence to practice for the role.

Competence requirements are being refined for this purpose and the White Paper has acknowledged the WG8 work, Safer people, safer homes: Building Safety Management, to which IWFM has been instrumental and which is now being translated into a BSI PAS (Publicly Available Specification). IWFM continues to be involved in the PAS work that will set the competence requirements for the forthcoming BSM role, with the final version of the PAS expected for late 2021.

The Welsh White Paper also puts forward a new system of identifying, assessing and mitigating the risks of fire (the current system being designed for workplaces) and significantly enhances residents’ rights to have more say in matters that affect their homes and their ability to ensure their own safety.

The Welsh Government is engaging with the UK Government and industry to set uniform expectations for competence and skills, and is consulting further on regulation of the new regime to develop the most appropriate model for Wales.

Interested stakeholders are invited to submit their comments on the White Paper proposals by 12 April 2021.  IWFM’s Life Safety Working Group are in the process of reviewing the consultation and will submit a response to the Welsh Government. 

If you have any comments or would like further information on this article, please email: policy@iwfm.org.uk