05 February 2018 | Harrison Briggs
Harrison Briggs, operations manager at Churchill Complete Compliance, discusses the lessons we can learn from an MoT.
Compliance is difficult to define and manage effectively, and never more so than in the built environment. At a recent BIFM Leaders Forum on hard FM compliance, sponsored by Churchill Service Solutions, several definitions were proposed - clearly, this is an issue that warrants discussion.
Looking at other sectors for inspiration, we realised that the heavily regulated car industry has an easy answer to what is an equally complex problem: the MoT.
Everyone knows they need an MoT if they drive a car on the road. There's a system to check if you're compliant. Some people deliberately choose not to be compliant and drive for a few days without an MoT but only 2 per cent have driven their vehicle for more than six months after the MoT expired. We are generally compliant when it comes to getting our MoT as the risks are clear: a £1,000 fine, invalid car insurance, six to eight penalty points and being liable for any costs in an accident. Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is well communicated to motorists. MoTs cost a maximum of £54.85 (unless remedial work is required) making them accessible to everyone.
But there's no MoT for a building. There are even more rules to ensure a building is legally compliant compared with a car, but there is no MoT tick-sheet for an owner or occupier to be confident that they are legally compliant.
Many drivers don't know what goes on under a car's bonnet. But the mechanic knows and the driver trusts them to know. Yet when it comes to buildings, we expect clients to know what they should be tendering for when it comes to building compliance. You'd never expect a driver to ask the mechanic to ensure that the fuel system is free from leaks and the exhaust emissions are within guidelines.
So why do we ask a building owner/occupier for their definition of compliance?
A transparent solution for managing building compliance is needed while the sector grapples with standardising its approach.
Harrison Briggs, operations manager at Churchill Complete Compliance, discusses the difficulties of managing compliance.