CABE has become the first professional engineering institution to receive a licence from the Engineering Council to offer HRB Registration.
Professionals working on Higher-Risk Buildings (HRB) with duty-holding responsibilities – clients, principal contractors, principal designers, and those with maintenance responsibilities – must now demonstrate their competence to undertake their roles under the Building Safety Act (2022).
This registration will allow CABE Members to set themselves apart. The competence-based registration process will be launched in the next couple of months and will support professionals to demonstrate how they meet and understand their responsibilities in relation to higher-risk buildings.
The establishment of the Act has seen the introduction of clear accountability and statuary responsibilities for accountable persons. The requirement to prove competence shifts the focus to the individual. It is up to them to prove that they are competent, and CABE is now able to help professionals to demonstrate their competence to work on buildings in the scope of the Act with the introduction of the HRB process.
CABE, along with other professional engineering institutions (PEIs), has worked with the Engineering Council to develop the UK-SPEC HRB Standard. The new standard sets out the competences and the commitments that are expected of professionals and indicates the level of work they are competent to undertake.
Applicants for Engineering Council HRB registration will be asked to demonstrate their competence against the UK-SPEC HRB Standard. Based on the recently updated UK-SPEC 4, and aligned with BSI Flex 8670, the contextualised framework has been developed to set out the expectations and provide clear standards of competence for engineers and technicians working on HRBs.
Speaking about the announcement, Dr Gavin Dunn, CABE Chief Executive, said: “The increased responsibility for duty-holders is a step change for the industry, and CABE is excited to be at the forefront of raising standards within the construction and property industry. Professionals working in general engineering on higher-risk buildings now have the opportunity to provide the evidence of their competence, and give those hiring general engineers the confidence that they understand the risks and responsibilities of their role as an accountable person.”
Richard Harral, CABE Technical Director added: “By offering Members the opportunity to gain additional evidence of their competence, CABE builds trust in the industry and allows those with duty-holding responsibility to prove that they are qualified, knowledgeable and have the experience to undertake the role of a duty-holder.”
Paul Bailey, Chief Executive of the Engineering Council, commented: “The Building a Safer Future Report produced by Dame Judith Hackitt provided an independent review of building regulations and fire safety and the culture and process of the industry. One of the report’s main proposals was for the Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs) to work with the Engineering Council to develop a contextualised standard for chartered and incorporated engineers working on higher risk residential buildings.
"The development of this UK-SPEC HRB standard has been a good example of the way the professional engineering community can work together on a common issue, and we are pleased to award CABE the first licence to assess and confer HRB registration to their members.”
The processes will be finalised in the coming weeks, but interested professionals can now start the process by applying for CABE membership or registering their interest.
As part of the UK-SPEC HRB standard, the Engineering Council is developing a series of specialist annexes for fire engineers, structural engineers, and building service engineers. These registrations will provide clients, residents, employers, and regulators with a higher degree of confidence that engineers are competent to work on Higher Risk Buildings.
The Engineering Council will hold a publicly accessible register of registrants assessed as competent to work on HRB.
Building Engineer reported yesterday (19 July) that CABE is one of the first assessors of the Building Inspector Competence Assessment Scheme. The scheme, which has recently been approved as an independent provider scheme by the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), will allow professionals to evidence their skills, knowledge, and experience. Successful applicants will gain the necessary certification to apply for the BSR’s Register of Building Inspectors.