Today UKAS welcomes the publication of ‘Setting the Bar’, a report by the Competence Steering Group (CSG) which explores a new competence regime for building a safer future in the UK.
Building on the findings from Dame Judith Hackitt’s 2018 report, ‘Building a Safer Future’ that was written in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, ‘Setting the Bar’ looks specifically at fire and structural safety in buildings with the highest risk.
The report features the contribution of 13 working groups and the engagement of over 300 organisations and individuals. This important document demonstrates the level of commitment these stakeholders have made to significantly improve building safety, allowing residents to be comfortable and safe in their homes.
The objective of ‘Setting the Bar’ is to formulate a national competency framework for those working on higher-risk buildings whilst driving a step-change in culture and approach across the industry.
‘Setting the Bar’ is an update to the CSG’s interim report ‘Raising the Bar’, published in 2019 and the latest document outlines robust recommendations for the assessment and maintenance of competence in the building sector and the promotion of training and quality assurance.
During the compilation of ‘Setting the Bar’, the CSG worked closely with the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to support the draft Building Safety Bill. UKAS was pleased to be able to provide input and support to CSG itself but also to several of the working groups.
One of the main elements of the overarching system of competency described in the report is for independent assessment and reassessment of competence requirements, and this is where UKAS will play a very significant role. Many of the relevant activities and assessing organisations already come under accreditation to some degree and UKAS is actively discussing with them and other groups how this can be extended.
UKAS CEO, Matt Gantley welcomes the report and the recommendations it contains. “The tragic shortcomings that were revealed by Grenfell have galvanised an industry into demanding better and ‘Setting the Bar’ reveals a determination to deliver necessary improvements. UKAS supports any initiative that embeds quality assurance through a program of continual impartial assessment, allowing an industry to demonstrate competence, deliver quality and protect the safety of the public.”