As the UK’s national standards body, the British Standards Institution (BSI) has shared new documents setting out updated requirements for building safety competence.
Multiple professional built environment groups helped to develop the three new standards, which are also sponsored by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC).
In line with the Building Safety Act 2022, these standards support wider industry reform aiming to improve building safety for consumers and occupants. People should be confident in the quality of buildings and their maintenance, and that those responsible are prioritising their interests.
The following standards have been created to specify what designers, builders, and managers of ‘high-risk’ tall buildings to comply with building safety requirements.
PAS 8671:2022 sets out competence thresholds that individuals who manage the dutyholder functions of a Principal Designer role must meet. It also addresses the competence conditions for Principal Designers and dutyholders working on ‘higher-risk buildings’ (HRBs).
This standard covers the competence requirements for the following areas:
This allows different sectors, disciplines, and roles to create their own specific frameworks that match their needs while complying with the law.
PAS 8671 is likely to be useful for built environment organisations, individual Principal Designers, and anyone connected to the delivery or governance of buildings (including assessment and certification bodies, education and training providers, and other enforcement authorities).
PAS 8672:2022 specifies the competence requirements for all Principal Contractors, including those with dutyholder roles. It can help individual Principal Contractors and their assessors to determine their limitations and identify problem areas for development.
This standard covers the competence thresholds for the following:
PAS 8672 will be useful not only to Principal Contractors but also to a variety of institutions, regulators, enforcement authorities, and licensing bodies.
This standard may also help to shape syllabuses for education and training, and inform maintenance and improvement efforts for building owners, leaseholders, and clients.
PAS 8673:2022 addresses the requirements for competent safety management in residential buildings (and any developments that incorporate residential accommodation). It also provides guidance on the assessment of competence in these areas.
This standard lays out the minimum competencies for:
PAS 8673 will be useful to any individual or organisation involved in managing building safety during occupational cycles of residential buildings. It may also be used by assessment and regulatory bodies, accreditation authorities, government agencies, employers, and insurers.
These specifications are also a benchmark for competence assessments regarding duty holders and contractors who carry out, or support the carrying out of, building safety management.
These three BSI standards are part of the Built Environment Competence programme, which is a government-funded programme intending to raise the standards of the built environment industry.
The more intensive competence requirements should significantly improve the safety of residents and workforces, after many shortcomings were found in the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety (2018) commissioned by Dame Judith Hackett (then Home Secretary).
Each PAS (Publicly Available Specification) will help the built environment industry to agree on core principles and terminology, creating a shared understanding of competence requirements for various roles along the supply chain.
With the standards making communication easier between different areas, this should improve individual behaviours and the culture of the industry as a whole, refining technical and artisanal skills and raising the overall quality of work.
You can download the Built Environment Competence Standards from the BSI website for free.
These new BSI specifications are part of the ongoing industry-wide shake-up under the Building Safety Act – and one of the many sectors affected by the overdue changes is building insurance.
Having a structural warranty in place from the beginning can help to keep construction in line with all building regulations and mandatory competence requirements, as it involves frequent inspections and post-completion support for identifying and repairing structural defects.
As providers of comprehensive yet affordable structural warranties, you can always rely on a building warranty from Architects Certificate. Submit your warranty application today, or contact us with enquiries for assistance with any of our structural warranty services.
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