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Building a Safer Future

The tragic loss of life in the Grenfell Tower fire in (2017) has led to sustained concern and criticism about how the UK’s higher risk buildings are procured, designed, built and maintained. The recommendations of the post Grenfell Hackitt Review*, along with government and industry activity, aim to fundamentally improve the competency, accountability, product standards and processes that will ensure building fire safety. Building Fire Safety legislation, guidance and Standards are in the process of radical overhaul, to be implemented under a new Building Safety Regulator. The practical and business implications of these changes may extend beyond higher risk premises and affect the wider construction and building services industries.

This dedicated webpage - which will receive regular updates - brings together outputs (from ECA, government and industry stakeholders) likely to be of particular interest to Members operating in any part of the engineering services sector.

*Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: the Hackitt review at: www.gov.uk/government/collections/independent-review-of-building-regulations-and-fire-safety-hackitt-review

Construction Industry

May 2022 Available to all

Working Group 2 Competence Report published

Working Group 2, set up as part of the post-Grenfell Competence Steering Group, has published a report marking an important milestone in progress towards improved standards of installer competence in the built environment.

Mar 2022 Member-only

Draft duty holder and competency regulations 

With regard to draft competency Regulations under the Building Safety Bill there appears to be a broad misconception that these regulations will only apply to high rise residential/other ‘higher risk’ buildings. However, the regulations apply to a very wide range of activity across new build, renovation and refurbishment.

Read the full article here. 

Dec 2021

Available to all

The Setting the Bar report, published in October 2020 by the Competence Steering Group (CSG). This builds on Dame Judith Hackitt’s earlier post-Grenfell report Building a Safer Future and details a wide range of measures to be taken by industry to raise standards of competence within higher risk buildings and the wider built environment.

Dec 2021

Available to all

Annexes to the Setting the Bar report, including extra information from the various CSG working groups, including WG1 (Engineers), WG2 (Installers), WG7 (Designers) and WG10 (Project Managers).

Dec 2021

Available to all

BSI Flex 8670 v.3.0: Built environment – Core criteria for building safety in competence frameworks – Code of practice.

This document, developed by a working party including ECA Technical Director Mike Smith, defines the minimum content to be included in sector-specific competence frameworks, in line with the Setting the Bar recommendations.

 Electrotechnical and engineering services sector

Dec 2021

Available to all

The Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) and Qualifications Guide, drawn up by trade associations, including ECA, certification bodies and other industry stakeholders, and defining competence criteria to be used by certification bodies when assessing organisations carrying out electrotechnical work.

Dec 2021

Member-only

Publicly available webinar on ECA’s eCOMS competence management product. This is available free to ECA members, to assist them in meeting EAS assessment requirements. See here for further information about how ECA Members can access eCOMS.

Dec 2021

Available to all

Industry-recognised training routes leading to qualified electrician status, published by the Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP), based on widespread industry and stakeholder consultation. TESP is also  warning about non-recognised training and qualifications and against ‘rogue’ training organisations.

Dec 2021

Available to all

Comment from Tom Brookes, FSA Chair and member of WG2, on what industry is expected to do to improve the competence of both organisations and individuals.

Dec 2021

Available to all

Details of the campaign in Scotland for protection of title of the profession of electrician. ECA’s CEO Steve Bratt has signed the Wall of Support for this campaign, which is being led by our partner association in Scotland, SELECT.  

Apr 2022 Available to all

DLUHC has published Guidance on Collaborative Procurement for Design and Construction to Support Building Safety and one important aspect is the early involvement of the supply chain to deliver safe, high‐quality buildings. Download the guidance here > 

Mar 2022 Available to all On 23 March Gov agreed to remove the legal requirement to appoint a building safety manager (BSM). We await an updated link from HSE.

Dec 2021

Available to all

HSE has outlined the new duty holder roles under the forthcoming building safety regime. Read here >

Jul 2021

Available to all

The ‘golden thread’ is information that allows duty holders and others to understand a building and the steps required to ensure safety during the building’s lifetime.

In 2021 the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) worked with MHCLG and HSE to develop ‘golden thread definition and principles.’ These definition and principles will underpin secondary legislation to the Building Safety Bill. This will be supported by guidance on how to implement and maintain the golden thread of information essential to whole-life building safety.

Read more >

Jan 2022

Member-only

Guidance Note - Construction Product Initiatives and Standards

Jan 2022

Available to all

Information on the planned National Regulator for Construction Products

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is leading and coordinating activity that will set a new regulatory approach for construction products. The intention is that the National Regulator for Construction Products (NRCP) will become fully operational once the Building Safety Bill and subsequent secondary legislation have been approved by Parliament. This new legislation would give OPSS the necessary legal powers to carry out its Regulatory duties in full.

May 2022 Available to all 

Building Safety Act 

The Building Safety Bill received Royal Assent and passed into law as an Act of Parliament. 

The Bill was introduced by the government nearly a year ago, following the Grenfell Tower disaster, in which 72 people died, and Dame Judith Hackett’s subsequent independent report.

The Act marks the biggest overhaul in building safety regulations in nearly 40 years.

Mar 2022 Available to all

For those that own or manage an occupied high-rise residential building (HRB), the proposed building safety framework introduces a new set of roles and responsibilities.

They will have to collect detailed, accurate information when they prepare a safety case report and register a plus seven storey building ECA members may be asked to contribute information to the safety case.

More information is here.

Dec 2021

Available to all

The Building Safety Bill which is currently progressing towards eventual enactment as the Building Safety Act, and which will be enforced by the HSE-led Building Safety Regulator. The Bill only applies to England, though its implications are expected to be further reaching.

The planned progress of the Bill is here.

Supporting factsheets are here.

Dec 2021

Available to all

Draft Regulations in support of the Building Safety Bill. Read more >

These draft Regulations include:

  • The Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2021
  • The Building (Appointment of Persons, Industry Competence and Dutyholders) (England) Regulations 2021
  • The Construction Products Regulations 2022
  • The Higher-Risk Buildings (Prescribed Principles for Management of Building Safety Risks) Regulations 2022

Dec 2021

Available to all

Information on HSE when acting as Building Safety Regulator. Read more >

HSE Outputs

Dec 2021

Available to all

Building safety reforms 

Dec 2021

Available to all

Shaping the New Building Safety Regulator

DLUHC​ Outputs 

Dec 2021

Available to all

Government Guidance - Building Safety Programme

Jan 2022

Available to all

Guidance on Collaborative Procurement 

Building a Safer Future highlighted the need for construction procurement practices to improve, to support building fire safety. New DHULC/Procurement Advisory Group guidance aims to support clients and others in this key area, by:

  • examining evidence of the ways in which collaborative procurement can lead to safer, better-quality outcomes; and
  • explaining how clients and their project teams can use collaborative procurement in practice.

The guidance adds that it is essential to adopt these procurement approaches on projects ‘in-scope’ of the regulatory regime that will be introduced through the Building Safety Act.

Other Stakeholder Outputs

Mar 2022 Available to all

How to get involved with the Building a Safer Future Charter

The ‘Building a Safer Future Charter’ is an independent, not-for-profit organisation whose stated purpose is to challenge the status quo, raise standards and improve building safety culture and leadership by adhering to five key Charter Commitments. The Building a Safer Future (BSF) frameworks is supported by CLC and other key stakeholders across construction. Sign-up to the Charter is recommended by the UK Government.   

To read the full article click here. 

Jan 2022

Available to all

The Building a Safer Future Charter

The Building a Safer Future (BSF) Charter promotes a positive culture and behaviour change in the crucial area of safety, and most notably fire safety, in the built environment. The BSF Charter is a proactive response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Building a Safer Future Review that followed the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The Charter aims to help facilitate culture change and drive development and learning among those in all parts of the industry who have committed to putting people’s safety first.

Both companies and organisations can become Registered Signatories to the BSF Charter (ECA is already a signatory organisation). Businesses are encouraged show their support for the Charter and the BSF says that “Those who sign up are declaring their commitment to putting people’s safety first, above all other priorities”. There is a yearly fee for becoming a BSF signatory, and further commitment and engagement can be shown by signatories who go on to become BSF Champions.

Individuals working, or who have an interest in, the built environment sector can also become Charter Supporters.

Full details are available here >

Jan 2022

Available to all

ISSG’s 3rd report and Government response

The third annual report (2022) from the Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG) follows on from the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety “Building a Safer Future”. The third report summarises ISSG activities over the last year, identifying both areas of progress and continued concern. The Building a Safer Future Charter and the Code for Construction Product Information have been highlighted as examples of industry leadership. Report extract: “The culture of the industry must change to one which takes responsibility for delivering and maintaining buildings which are safe for those who use them”. 

See also: Government response to the 3rd report >