IWFM discusses new statutory role of Building Safety Manager with Dame Judith Hackitt


  • Building safety

04 June 2020


This week, IWFM’s Head of Policy, Sofie Hooper, was invited to appear before Dame Judith Hackitt and the Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG), alongside Anthony Taylor, Chair of the WG8 cross-industry working group, and social housing colleague, Andrew Frankum, to present on the group’s work.

WG8 was tasked with developing the competence framework for the forthcoming statutory function of the Building Safety Manager (BSM).

Dame Judith - who was recently also appointed as government adviser to the Building Safety Regulator - and her ISSG colleagues heard about the BSM’s competence requirements, the holistic whole building scope that a BSM would need to cover, their relationship with other competent people such as the FSO Responsible Person under the new regime, and the BSM’s scope in a mixed use building.

Key points conveyed by the WG8 team during the session were:

  • that there must be a named individual BSM and they must meet the core competence requirements outlined by WG8 as a minimum (the final competence report will be available shortly)
  • a call for Dame Judith and the ISSG to support enshrining a holistic whole building approach as best practice
  • the need for appropriate life safety competence requirements for professions, trades and stakeholders across the built environment sector, which will in turn put a reasonable limit on the responsibilities and competences of the BSM.

For the last three years, IWFM has been playing an active role in helping to articulate what the competences of a BSM should look like and how the wider life safety system should be delivered. We are grateful for the input of our Life Safety Working Group members who have helped to refine both the competence requirements and what the preconditions are for the success of the role.

Once the draft Building Safety Bill is published, IWFM will review and communicate what the impacts will be for FMs and aspiring BSMs. WG8 will now turn its focus to the implementation stage of the competence framework, which will include driving the drafting of the future standards.

More information about our work to date and how the profession and wider industry can prepare for the forthcoming changes can be found here. Dame Judith Hackitt’s review, Building a Safer Future, Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report, can be found here.