The Competence Steering Group (CSG)’s final report, Setting the Bar, has been published.
The CSG, set up following the Grenfell fire in 2017 to improve competence in the built environment, outlines in its report the competencies required of the new role of building safety manager.
Chaired by Anthony Taylor of Avison Young, the working group on the project included contributions from Sofie Hooper, policy director at the IWFM.
The building safety manager role will look after the management of fire and structural safety in higher-risk buildings on a day-to-day basis, establishing a point of contact for fire and safety issues for the building’s occupants.
Under new legislation introduced in the draft building safety bill published in July, it will be a requirement for a building safety manager to be appointed at higher-risk buildings, such as multi-occupancy residential buildings of 18 metres or higher, or six or more storeys in height.
A separate report, Safer People, Safer Homes: Building Safety Management, was published alongside Setting the Bar. This study sets out competence requirements for the new building safety manager role recommended by Dame Judith Hackitt in her 2018 review Building a Safer Future.
In the separate report, the working group has recommended that the building safety manager role should sit within a wider organisational structure to allow the individual to fully exercise their responsibility and duty of care. It also recommends that the duty holder, who is the legally accountable person, cannot delegate their duties to the building safety manager.
However, the working group has voiced concerns that the new role does not retain ‘holistic’ obligations for wider occupational health and safety.
Anthony Taylor commented: “While we understand that the scope of the anticipated legislation is to avoid legal duplication, practically, we consider it highly likely that the reduced scope may cause gaps in the delivery of holistic building safety.”
The next steps for the building safety manager role will be further public consultations on the overarching competence framework standard in early 2021, and for work to begin on PAS standards for the building safety manager role, scheduled for April 2021 with publication in 2022.
The CSG set up other working groups to focus on other professionals within the built environment, including fire engineers, risk assessors, site supervisors and installers.
Graham Watts, chairman of the CSG and chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, said: “This is a groundbreaking piece of work that will help to raise the standards of people who own and manage residential blocks, and provide assurance for those that live in them.”