Five questions MHCLG needs to answer about its new building safety regulation policy
LABC has carried out initial research into the consequences of allowing Approved Inspectors into the regulatory process as MHCLG proposes.
Here are five consequences and questions the MHCLG now need to answer:
1. Continued conflict of interests
Approved Inspectors can work with developers on other sites not in scope, so when assigned by the regulator to an in-scope site by the same developer, how will they provide unbiased advice? How can the BSR (Building Safety Regulator) prevent them being influenced by their existing and potential future commercial relationships?
2. Private sector cherry picking
What happens if an Approved Inspector won't take on projects requiring high compliance inputs because of low profit levels? Will local authorities be forced to pick up this work and the costs? Will the BSR have power to prevent private companies simply cherry-picking only profitable commercial projects?
3. Approved Inspector indemnity insurance failures
A number of Approved Inspectors have recently failed to renew Professional Indemnity insurance and some have been operating without it for some time, making these projects ultra vires. New professional indemnity insurance is being issued only with increased restrictions, so how can AIs regulate HRRBs (high rise residential buildings) without proper insurance? Is the government going to subsidise the private sector, underwrite a commercial enterprise's decision, or dumb down the insurance requirements that protect property owners and leaseholders?
4. Differences in professional standards between AIs and LABC
How will the regulator bring the lower standards and practices of CICAIR/ACAI up to the higher LABC audited standards, with ISO and UKAS backed quality management? In the new safety first regime Approved Inspectors' peer reviewed audit and self-declared competencies, designed in the 1980s, will be insufficient.
5. Consistency in regulatory assessment
How will the BSR allocate work and ensure consistency between regulatory assessments and inspections without adding degrees of complexity to an already complex system? New processes will be needed to control commercial pressures and to ensure consistency in application of compliance. Differences between private sector consultants who offer 'service levels' and local authority surveyors who regulate will need to be ironed out. No other country in the world has created a dual regulatory system.
Revesions from AEDIS Approved Inspectors and competency levels
Submitted 3 years 1 month ago
Hopefully these practices are not common across the private approved inspectors (AI's) industry, however, it does raise a question regarding the level of expertise and experience of AI's and their ability to properly regulate construction work when their competency is unaudited and the sector is self regulating.
Submitted 3 years ago
Add new comment
Sign up to the building bulletin newsletter
Over 48,000 construction professionals have already signed up for the LABC Building Bulletin.
Join them and receive useful tips, practical technical information and industry news by email once every 6 weeks.