Hackitt says building safety regime changes were part of a 'personal and passionate mission'

April 2024 marks a significant milestone for the new building safety regime as it is fully established in law. In a recent blog post, Dame Judith Hackitt reflected on the journey so far, and called for everyone to continue working together to ensure the new regime works for all.

Writing for the Building Safety Regulator's website, Hackitt said her review of Building Safety and Fire Regulations almost seven years ago has been one of the most important work programmes she has ever undertaken. "I had no idea how deeply I would become involved and for how long," she added. "Like everyone else, I was shocked to the core by what happened at Grenfell Tower in 2017 and even more so by the subsequent discovery of the poor practices that were widespread. Understanding how we had arrived at this sorry state was not enough for me – seeing through the much needed changes became a very personal and passionate mission."

Although this month marks a significant milestone on the journey, Hackitt said everyone needs to be "crystal clear that this is not the end of the journey". 

The Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG), which Hackitt chairs, recently published its fourth report, which shows where progress is being made and "highlights the many players in this complex system who have yet to wake up and stand up to their responsibilities".

The group recently concluded that there is an ongoing role for the ISSG to support the work of the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) and Government more broadly as reform of various aspects of building safety continue. "We will continue to challenge those who wait to be told rather than seizing the opportunity to do what they already know they should be doing," Hackitt added. "But we will also highlight and praise good practice where we see it and hold it up as an exemplar to the rest of industry."

Dame Judith's biggest concern remains the number of people who persist in finding reasons not to act – most often cited as waiting for someone else to provide the detail.

And her greatest wish is for everyone to commit to work together to make the new building safety regime work for all – specifically for residents everywhere.

"We will continue to learn as we move forward and we know there are challenging issues still to be addressed, but this once in a generation change is a reality.

"Sadly, it is the case that many industry sectors have learned hard lessons from tragedies. Now is the time for the built environment to pledge to do the same."

Read Dame Judith Hackitt's blog post on the Government website here.

The BSR will be hosting a free conference on Tuesday, 21 May 2024 for anyone who is:

  • an Accountable or Principal Accountable Person
  • part of the building control profession
  • works within the Fire and Rescue Service
  • part of the construction and design industry
  • an organisation engaged with residents

The conference will offer a unique opportunity to engage with regulators and industry experts, and exchange insights and explore innovative strategies to enhance building safety practices. Find out more here.

Watch the video below to see the progress made in establishing a new building safety regime so far.

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