Building control should come together and back reform
Responding to claims from ACAI Chairman, Paul Wilkins, that Approved Inspectors are more competent and shouldn't be excluded from the new regulatory regime post Hackitt, LABC's chief executive, Paul Everall has said, "Once again ACAI are playing the man, not the ball. The industry and government have agreed that Dame Judith Hackitt's review should be adopted in full because regulatory competition was driving standards down, not up.
"People working in public service building control are highly qualified and operate to tough codes of conduct and standards.
"LABC have a rolling programme to introduce a UKAS-accredited ISO certified quality management system across our network.
"So far 200 local authorities have signed up and 135 of our local teams have gained the accreditation – with no incidents of failure. The rest of our teams are expected to gain accreditation this year. We have a tough code of conduct – recently strengthened and we have high levels of competency and specialisms with our senior surveyors independently assessed by the IFE to work on higher risk projects. We are identifying and certifying these staff with specialist fire safety skills at the rate of 100 per month.
"Paul Wilkins again makes unsubstantiated claims about LABC's capacity, competence and standards and provides no evidence for his claims that AIs work on a far higher proportion of complex projects each year or that there are capacity issues in the public sector. In fact recruitment is up among LABC teams and we continue to have a share in excess of 65% of building control work in England and Wales.
"Our membership's goal is to implement the Hackitt recommendations and we are not waiting for others. We are changing the way we do things – and at our own cost. We believe what the Government in England is proposing is the right way forward and we are working with them in the Joint Regulators' Group and in the development of legislation to make the building control system more robust. It's important to recognise the JCA is intended to be extended to other risk buildings. So over time, more and more projects will be handled under the new regime.
"The government has accepted the principle that no developer should be able to choose their own regulator, so there is no reason for Approved Inspectors to be represented on the JRG – but as Dame Judith Hackitt pointed out robustly at Monday's Select Committee hearing they are likely to get more work – not less – as a result of the new regime. So why do they continue to oppose it?"
Notes to editors
Speaking at the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on Monday 28 January, Dame Judith Hackitt responded to Approved Inspectors calls to change her recommendations by saying, "Should we reconsider the recommendations? No, we shouldn't. It is one of the most obvious conflicts of interest in the system and it needs to be addressed. I ideally wish the Approved Inspectors would listen. I have told them repeatedly it will not result in a reduced role for them."
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We all need to work together
Submitted 2 years ago
I agree with Dame Judith that there is plenty of opportunity for all Building Control professionals in the future. We need to separate Regulation/ Enforcement from advice and guidance and in the system as I see it the Dutyholders will need support from competent professionals.
Those who are advising Dutyholders will be a valuable link to the Regulators and both will benefit from close working relationships.
The big opportunity is for the establishing of real value offers far from the commoditisation of BC that has slowly but surely devalued our work.
Time to start to work together rather than fall out. You all know where I am and what I stand for if I can help in any way.
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