UK industry groups call for building control reform

A group of UK industry bodies is calling for reform of the country’s building control system to ensure building control professionals and the bodies they work for are competent and effective.

Recommendations include new, unified building control legislation and an independent body to oversee professional registration and organisational audits.

The call comes as the UK continues to grapple with safety in high-rise buildings after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

Other recommendations include:

  • A new competence framework for people working in building control;
  • A pan-industry code of conduct for building control bodies and professionals;
  • A pan-industry career structure to set clear expectations of competence.

The group, which includes the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), made the recommendations after discussions with the UK’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

In a joint statement, the Future of Building Control Working 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 CIOB said: "We see all the recommendations as part of a unified strategy for the sector as a whole and we believe they will work best if implemented as a whole. But there is still much to discuss and work through, particularly with the newly established Building Safety Regulator."

Other bodies drafting the proposals were: Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors, Chartered Association of Building Engineers, Construction Industry Council, Construction Industry Council Approved Inspectors Register, Local Authority Building Control, National House Building Council, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Image: Grenfell Tower still burning at 4.43am on 14 June 2017, London (Natalie Oxford/CC By 4.0)

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