Passing the baton

The five member organisations – CIOB, CABE, RICS, LABC and ACAI – that formed the Building Control Alliance (BCA) have agreed (and celebrated) that there is no longer a need for the organisation due to the new building safety regime and the activities of the Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

The BCA was formed in 2007, when politicians were hearing calls for abandonment of the independent third-party audit nature of building control. The BCA instead supported strengthening the system with tougher enforcement powers and by making regulations and guidance easier to understand, as well as suggesting the building control service should be subject to control by an overseeing single body. Dame Judith Hackitt’s report included similar views and the government agreed.

As a result, the BSR’s role includes this, as well as the advisory functions that the alliance has been offering. In 2007, in the absence of a national body, the BCA set up a voluntary mediation process to assist in dispute resolution in cases between public and private building control sectors in their interaction on procedural matters. There was no obligation on any party to heed the advice, but in all cases, it was offered with good intentions and in most cases, accepted as valuable.

The BCA also provided views on areas of uncertainty with regard to interpretation of technical guidance and provided the government with access to a unified single voice on building control issues – from the organisations delivering building control at the coalface.

The BCA’s former advisory functions will be embedded into the new systems as a function of the BSR but, crucially, with statutory status. The BSR will also advise government on technical and operational matters on building regulation compliance issues. The BCA has contributed to the development of this new regime, and the individual organisations will continue to provide support to the regulator and government.

Image credit | iStock

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