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08 Oct 20201 minute read

Report sets out ‘higher risk’ competency landscape

ECAtoday
Report sets out ‘higher risk’ competency landscape

Setting the Bar is the second (and final) report of the industry-wide Competence Steering Group (CSG)* and it follows Raising the Bar, published in August 2019. 

Recommendations in the new report aim to improve the competence of those procuring, designing, constructing, inspecting, assessing, managing and maintaining higher-risk residential buildings. However, it regards higher-risk buildings “as a starting point for the new competence frameworks for the whole of the built environment”. 

Setting the Bar describes a system of competence standards for those who work in life-safety-critical disciplines in higher-risk buildings. This includes electrical, fire and other engineers and installers, designers, building standards officers, site supervisors, fire safety enforcement officers, fire risk assessors and project managers. 

The competence standards comprise an overarching competence framework (via a suite of National Standards common to all disciplines) and discipline-specific requirements, developed by specific Working Groups. Industry bodies such as ECA and FSA are involved in the ongoing development of the competence standards.  

Lead government  body MHCLG has commissioned the British Standards Institution (BSI) to deliver a suite of National Standards under a new Built Environment Competence Standards (BECS) Strategy Group (comprising government, industry and consumer interest groups). These National Standards include an overarching competence framework and three Publicly Available Specifications which provide the basis of competence requirements for three new regulated roles – Principal Designer, Principal Contractor, and Building Safety Manager – along with guidance. 

*The CSG was set up to tackle the serious shortcomings in overall industry competence identified in the 2018 Hackitt Review, Building a Safer Future, published after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017. The CSG comprises more than 150 institutions and associations across construction, the built environment, fire safety and owner/manager sectors. 

The full Setting the Bar report can be found here.

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