BUILT ENVIRONMENT JOURNAL

The future of building control

RICS has published recommendations on the future of building control regulation in England

Author: Gary Strong

10 August 2020

Developed by the Future of Building Control Working Group, through the collaborative efforts of its eight member organisations from across the building control sector, the Future of building control report outlines 11 key recommendations for the future oversight and regulation of both the profession and building control bodies.

The group has produced proposals for regulation following discussion with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Reform of the building control sector is an important part of the MHCLG’s Building Safety Programme and responds to recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety relating to competence of the building control profession.

The 11 recommendations are a starting point for further dialogue with the UK government and the Building Safety Regulator about how to best protect the public interest by making sure the sector continues to improve competence among professionals and organisations.

"The 11 recommendations are a starting point for further dialogue with the UK government and the Building Safety Regulator"

Key recommendations include:

  • steps to simplify and unify building control legislation, process and procedures
  • an independent designated body to oversee professional registration and organisational audit
  • introduction of a new competence framework to cover all persons working in building control, including those working on higher-risk buildings within the new regulator’s scope
  • a unified, industry-wide code of conduct for all building control bodies and professionals
  • A unified, industry-wide career structure to set clear expectations of competence across the building control sector.

In addition to RICS, the group consists of the following organisations:

  • Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors
  • Chartered Association of Building Engineers
  • Construction Industry Council
  • Construction Industry Council Approved Inspectors Register
  • Chartered Institute of Building
  • Local Authority Building Control
  • National House Building Council

In a joint statement the group said:
"These recommendations are a potentially key part of the reform of the construction sector. They suggest a consistent plan to make sure building control professionals and the bodies they work for are competent and effective. 

"We are all committed to working together to further improve the essential public protections building control delivers. These proposals will help everyone to have confidence building control is working, first and foremost, in the interest of their safety, welfare and in supporting development of an inclusive and sustainable built environment.

"We look forward to engaging more widely in the sector to discuss these recommendations. We are also keen to move to the next stage of dialogue with government and the Building Safety Regulator to work up proposals for reform in more detail."

The government has now published the draft version of the Building Safety Bill, and this will impact on the way future building control surveyors will have to be registered.

gstrong@rics.org

Related competencies include: Building control inspections, Fire safety
 

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