The Construction Industry Council has published a new competence regime for building a safer future, it is described as a blueprint to improve competence for those working on tall buildings – this is to drive culture change. The new responsibilities have come into place following the Grenfell Tower fire. This report sets out roles and responsibilities of the various parties involved that should help to prevent another repeat of the fire. This report was set out yesterday – 5/10/20 and should be acted upon immediately to avoid another Grenfell style disaster.

The government has been created and progressively enhanced this building safety programme over the past three years. There has always been a great deal of concern for those working on higher risk buildings, this is seen in the construction industry, fire service and those managing these buildings. The report titled – Setting the Bar: a new competence regime for building a safer future has been produced by a cross industry group representing more than 150 organisations.

Setting The Bar from the Competence Steering Group is an update from its interim report – Raising The Bar which was published in August 2019. This was created from the recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s 2018 review – Building a Safer Future which was written in the wake of the Grenfell tower fire.

Another report published along with this is separate in that it covers the new role of building safety manager. This report is entitled – Safer people, safer homes: building safety management.

The proposed system of competence which is set out in the Setting the Bar report is made up of 4 elements –

A new competence committee sitting within the Building Safety Regulator
A national suite of competence standards – including new sector specific frameworks developed by 12 working groups.
Arrangements for independent assessment and reassessment against the competence standards.
A mechanism to ensure that those assessing and certifying people against the standards have appropriate levels of oversight.

Anthony Taylor, chairman of Working Group 8, said: “It is fully understood that the immediate concern is to deliver safe homes to those in ‘higher risk residential buildings’, but we have anticipated that the role, model and management systems should be rolled-out across the whole residential property sector during a reasonable, and sustainable, transition period to support the wider culture change needed.”
He said that a wider role for the building safety manager beyond just fire issues would be “of specific importance in managing the risks associated with any commercial elements of ‘mixed use’ operations often located below/within the residential elements of buildings”.
Graham Watts, chairman of the Competence Steering Group and chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, said: “This is a groundbreaking piece of work that will help raise the standards of people who own and manage residential blocks, and provide assurance for those that live in them.”
So if you are currently working on a high rise building you need to study this report and take into account the recommendations, the full report can be found on the link below.

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