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This week has seen a flurry of activity from the civil service to enable time to respond to consultations before the summer break.

The first consultation builds on the recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. It proposes fundamental reform of building safety requirements so that residents are safe, and feel safe, in their homes.

The proposals span five broad areas:

  • the scope of the new regime
  • the concept of dutyholders who have clear responsibilities throughout a building’s design, construction and occupation
  • giving residents a stronger voice in the system and ensuring their concerns are never ignored
  • plans for a new building safety regulator to provide oversight of the new building safety regulatory regime
  • strengthened enforcement and sanctions to deter non-compliance with the new regime

The document is available for review here.

FIS is encouraging members to review these documents and feed comments in so that we can prepare a robust response on behalf of the sector and work closely with the CPA and Build UK on aligning this with wider industry views.  The consultation document raises a number of key questions.  They will be discussed at our various upcoming Working Groups.

Chapter 5 refers to further consultation that is imminent.  The Competence Steering Group has established twelve working groups covering relevant disciplines involved in the design, construction, inspection, maintenance and management of buildings54. These groups are working to review and raise levels of competence within their own disciplines, with a particular focus on higher risk buildings. Significant progress is being made by these groups; many are close to finalising their recommendations and are planning to consult on their proposals within their sectors.   FIS has been working on two of the 12 competency working groups referenced in this work.  We will advise as soon as information is published.

The Home Office, alongside this document, has issued a call for evidence on the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 (the ‘Fire Safety Order’). This seeks views from the fire safety sector, those it regulates and enforcing authorities on the current effectiveness and application of the Fire Safety Order to provide a regulatory framework for the ongoing management of fire safety in non-domestic premises and the common parts of multi-occupied residential buildings.

For any questions or comments on above, please do not hesitate to contact FIS on 0121 707 0077.  Please send your comments on the documents to joecilia@thefis.org