A new publicly accessible central register and certification scheme for building safety managers has been launched by the Building Safety Alliance.
The not-for-profit organisation said it would initially deliver two functions:
- The certification of individual building safety managers (BSMs) or nominated individuals within the organisation responsible for building safety management; and
- A publicly accessible register of those certified by the scheme.
The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is overseeing the translation of the Competence Framework developed by Working Group 8 (one of the sub groups created to develop a competence framework for building safety managers) into a Publicly Available Specification (PAS). Once finalised, this PAS 8673 will be the standard to which the Building Safety Alliance will certify candidate BSMs against, before allowing them onto the Register.
Over the longer term, the Building Safety Alliance will also evaluate how organisations that wish to deliver the function of the BSM can be assessed as having the organisational capability to do so and how to assist contractors and suppliers to higher-risk buildings to deliver a competent workforce.
The Building Safety Bill, published on 5 July 2021, confirmed the new statutory role of the BSM, a concept first developed by Dame Judith Hackitt in her independent review of Building Regulations and fire safety, following the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Anthony Taylor, interim chair of the Building Safety Alliance, said: “I’m proud to continue to take forward and implement the recommendations from Working Group 8 of the Competence Steering Group. When we were initially asked to develop the competence requirements for the new statutory role of BSM, we recognised that for the framework to work, we also needed to set up wider structures that would support the development of, and drive for, a recognised and uniform standard of competence.
“One of our key recommendations was the need for a register that would allow residents and accountable persons to check if the BSM for their building meets the minimum competence requirements. Government is looking at industry to deliver this, so we stepped forward with our wide consortium from across both the private and public sectors.”
Bob Smytherman, chairman of the Federation of Private Residents Associations (representing thousands of long-leaseholders across England & Wales), said: “Our leaseholder members will find themselves with new duties and responsibilities under the Building Safety Bill to ensure our buildings are as safe as possible. Our members will be looking to the building safety manager as the stakeholder responsible for the day-to day building safety management of our buildings.
“We have a crucial role to play in the Building Safety Alliance, to make sure building safety managers are not only competent but also understand the resident perspective when appointed to make our buildings safe. After all, these buildings are our homes and we pay the service charges.”
“We look forward to the register coming into existence, so that we can feel safer in our buildings, confident that any of the certified building safety managers on the registers will meet the national competence standard most appropriate for our homes.”