The Building Safety Manager: who will need to develop the new skills and competence requirements?


  • Building safety

08 October 2020


Working Group 8, the cross-sector working group charged with developing the competence framework for the new statutory Building Safety Manager (BSM) role, has published its skills, knowledge, experience and behaviour requirements in a new report: Safer people, safer homes: Building Safety Management.

Under new legislation currently being introduced through the draft Building Safety Bill, those deemed responsible in law for the safety of higher-risk buildings, such as the landlord, will be required to appoint a BSM – a role that is likely to fall to workplace and facilities managers. In the bill, buildings that fall in the higher-risk category are multi-occupied residential buildings of 18m or above, or six or more storeys in height, including student accommodation. It is anticipated that the scope will be extended over the years to cover, amongst others, hospitals, prisons, care homes and ultimately offices.

Safer people, safer homes: Building Safety Management is the result of a two-year collaboration between experts from the social housing sector, commercial and residential management, facilities managers, health and safety experts and fire safety experts. The report sets out a comprehensive framework for the competences of the BSM – who can be a named individual or organisation – in carrying out their responsibilities for the day-to-day management of fire and structural safety in these higher-risk buildings, and for creating a clear point of contact for residents on fire and safety related issues.

The skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours outlined in the report will be used by the British Standards Institute (BSI) to develop a national standard or publicly available specification (PAS), that BSMs will be expected to meet.

Having played a significant role in the development of this report as one of the key members of Working Group 8 and its secretariat, IWFM will remain at the forefront of the framework’s implementation, including through supporting the BSI with the PAS.

Linda Hausmanis, IWFM CEO, commented: ‘As the professional body for those responsible for ensuring the safety and health of buildings and their occupants, we welcome the publication of the competency framework for the new Building Safety Manager role. Make no mistake, FMs will be at the heart of the new building safety regime and IWFM will continue to support members so that they are prepared and competent to undertake their new roles and responsibilities.’

On Wednesday 7 October, we hosted a webinar on the draft Building Safety Bill and the BSM role, focusing on the scope of the new legislation in the occupation phase and what workplace and facilities managers can do now to prepare. Members can view the webinar presentation slides below. 

If you would like any further information on the above or to share your views on building safety, please email: [email protected]