Standard bearers

CABE and Building a Safer Future join forces to support the industry with building safety competency requirements.

Following the release of secondary legislation to the Building Safety Act 2022 in England (BSA), many working in the industry are turning their attention to how they assess, manage and record competence. With no definitive single standard set by the regulator, some organisations are finding the lack of clarity challenging and are struggling to develop processes for evaluating the competence of their staff. CABE recognises this issue and is embarking on a new strategic partnership with Building a Safer Future (BSF) to help support members through this.

BSF is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that was appointed to manage the Building a Safer Future Charter and develop it into a tangible mechanism to support organisations on their building safety improvement journeys. It has developed the BSF Champion assessment to do just that.

BSF Champions – a robust self-assessment, benchmarking and independent verification scheme – has leadership and cultural improvement at its heart and provides valuable insight, prioritisation methodology and support in identifying areas of strengths and opportunities for improvement. Several companies have already successfully completed the assessment, with many more working towards completion in the coming weeks and months. The Champion process is also embedded in a growing number of major procurement frameworks and is heavily endorsed by the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), GB Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Construction Leadership Council, Homes England and Crown Commercial Services. The central ethos is that the process is not an audit or a test that organisations can pass or fail, but instead a valuable tool to assist and support on a continuous improvement journey.

Leadership and culture

The assessment is divided into two modules – the first entitled Leadership and Culture and the second Corroborating Elements. Leadership and Culture consists of two confidential psychometric surveys followed by individual validation discussions with a selection of survey respondents. This provides valuable insights into an organisation’s leadership and culture regarding building safety.

Corroborating Elements is an assessment against a set of building safety expectations – themes include management of change, assuring competence, audit and review, and supply chain management. The module helps those undertaking it understand how these expectations are implemented within an organisation. Both stages align closely to the 53 recommendations in the Hackitt report and to the Fire Safety Act and the BSA.

CABE and BSF are collaborating on the Corroborating Elements framework to support organisations with building safety competence requirements – this will assure that the entire competence section is dedicated to the responsibilities that organisations must demonstrate, along with the associated policies and procedures.

In July, CABE launched its route for dutyholders with general engineering responsibilities to prove their competence through the Engineering Council’s Higher-Risk Building Registration. BSF is now formally recognising the rigorous standards this registration demonstrates and is also accepting it as evidence of a dutyholder’s competence – rationalising this part of the assessment and making it more streamlined for those who are working to CABE’s standards.

This addition to the BSF Corroborating Elements framework is the first in a series of upcoming collaborations between CABE and BSF. The two organisations will continue to work together to ensure competence standards are maintained throughout the industry.

See more about the BSF Champions programme at buildingasaferfuture.org.uk

For more information contact [email protected]

Read more on the changes to the BSA in relation to dutyholders bit.ly/CABE_HRB_registration

Image credit | iStock

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