competence measures

Fire and construction industries set out new competence measures

A wide-ranging set of measures to improve the competence of those who design, construct, inspect, maintain and operate higher risk residential buildings (HRRBs) and make them safer for the public was published in August 2019 by the Competence Steering Group (CSG) of the Construction Industry Council (CIC).

The CSG was set up by the Industry Response Group (IRG) to tackle competency failings identified in the Hackitt Review, Building a Safer Future, following the Grenfell Tower fire.

The CSG has brought together more than 150 institutions and associations across the full spectrum of construction, built environment, fire safety and building owner/manager sectors; all working towards the common purpose of raising competences to improve life safety.

In its interim report, Raising the Bar, a 149-page consultation document, the CSG is urging all life-safety-critical disciplines working on HRRBs, including designers, engineers, building standards officers, site supervisors, fire safety enforcement officers and fire risk officials, to adopt the measures. Whilst the document is aimed at HRRBs, many of its recommendations relate to the entire sector. It is also likely that many of its recommendations will be adopted and implemented by the government’s proposed building safety regulator although there are no dates on when this will occur.

The main issue addressed by the report is that the competence level of some individuals with the construction sector is not as high as it should be. The report identifies the CDM Principal Designer role as one where this applies. The report recommends that professional competent persons registers are to be set up for specific professional groups including principal contractors, site supervisors and fire risk assessors.

As a company Aegis is accredited with the Association for Project Safety who audit us annually to ensure that we are competent to fulfil the Principal Designer role.  As part of this process the APS check that our employees have the skills, knowledge, training and experience appropriate to carrying out the role of principal designer.  Clients can have confidence that Aegis will still be capable of providing CDM services when these changes are implemented.