Construction

New Building Safety Bill highlights role of UKAS accreditation

UKAS has welcomed the introduction of the Building Safety Bill in Parliament this week, and in particular the role that accreditation is expected to play in ensuring the competence of certain key duty holder roles.

In an accompanying Factsheet to the Bill, the government has said:

“The industry should continue to develop sector-specific competence frameworks which can be used to assess the competence of individuals. Organisations wishing to assess individuals against these frameworks should be third-party accredited by a publicly recognised body such as UKAS or the Engineering Council.”

The government also published its response to the scrutiny of the Bill by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee. This also reinforced the role of UKAS, saying:

· “We recognise the important role that third-party accreditation for the assessment of competence can play for those in key supervisory roles, as well as others with safety-critical roles”.

· “In the first instance, the expectation to be third-party accredited will be for those that carry out key supervisory roles, such as but not limited to Principal Designer, Principal Contractor, and Building Safety Manager.”

· “To ensure equivalence and consistency, we expect these organisations [which assess individuals as competent against their sector-specific competence frameworks] to be third-party accredited by a publicly recognised body such as UKAS or the Engineering Council.”

The Building Safety Bill has been published in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and UKAS has been working with MHCLG, HSE and many other industry organisations to support the development of a new regulatory system intended to prevent similar incidents occurring. UKAS believes the introduction of the Bill represents a major milestone and we look forward to developing sector-specific schemes with the relevant trade, membership organisations and the new Building Safety Regulator within HSE.