LABC's Lorna Stimpson calls for all construction professionals to move forward on competency – 'there's no time to lose'

Lorna Stimpson speaking at the Fire Safety in Housing Seminar

Speaking at Frankham Risk Management Fire Safety in Housing Seminar in Westminster on Wednesday 20 February LABC's Deputy Chief Executive, Lorna Stimpson called on professionals and specialists working in the housing sector not to wait on others to deal with competency issues.

(Scroll down to watch the video.)

The seminar was attended by a variety of people from housing sector organisations many of whom will take on the role of duty holder under the Hackitt Review proposals.

In her speech Lorna outlined some of the measures LABC had taken on competency and quality assurance.

LABC started some of these changes before the Grenfell tragedy and following the Hackitt review the organisation also made a very self-critical assessment of what it was doing.

She said, "It's already taken my organisation and our members two years of hard self-critical effort to get where we are and we're nowhere near to finishing the journey we want to make."

She explained LABC's view that it didn't just want improvements to be limited to high rise residential blocks because fire risk exists in a wide range of contexts often determined by the building's users. 

"We want to ensure – and assure – that every single one of our 3,500 surveyors have proven and demonstrable competency to work on a given scheme – be that a kitchen extension, a HRRB (high risk residential building) or the Shard; and that systems and audits are in place to make sure that's what happens on the ground.

"Why should competency begin and end at HRRBs?..."

Lorna concluded her comments with a call for everyone in the sector to take action themselves without being told what to do.

She pointed out that not everyone was willing to move ahead and some were resisting change.

She urged organisations to start changing now, concluding, "So finally, what am I saying to you here today? You will have to rethink. Your organisation will have rethink. Those organisations you deal with will also have to rethink what they do.

"This requires self-criticism, corporate honesty, leadership, training, holding a mirror up to ourselves and an understanding of quality management processes. Lip service just won't do... There's no time to lose... stop waiting to be told."

Watch a video of Lorna's speech

For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact or telephone: 020 8616 8120.

See our full list of documents and articles relating to the Hackitt Report and building regulations since the Grenfell Tower tragedy


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