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Second report published as Building Safety Bill progresses

09 October 2020

Efforts to improve building safety are continuing to be driven by the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, with the publication of the Setting the Bar by the Competence Steering Groups report the latest evidence of this.

Released earlier this week, it is the result of collaborative efforts, including input from contributors such as Joint Industry Board (JIB), between partners and organisations on Working Group 2: Installers of the Competence Steering Groups.

The initiative is designed to assist the shaping of policy and deliver additional input to the raising of safety standards in the planning, construction, occupancy and demolition of facilities.

Publication of the latest report follows the first, entitled Raising the Bar, which was published in August last year.

The reports have been influential within the new Building Safety Bill, which will pass through the Houses of Parliament over the next few weeks.

Competency of service providers is a major theme within the latest report and the new bill, which recommends the forming of a new competence committee by the Building Safety Regulator.

Further to this, national competency standards - including sector-specific frameworks - and independent assessment and reassessment are also recommended.

A mechanism is additionally proposed to provide the necessary levels of oversight for those involved in assessing and certifying professionals.

Setting the Bar states that the "recommendations are intended to ensure much improved competences for installers and a means that will enable supply chains, owners and occupiers of buildings to recognise people who are competent to work on higher-risk buildings".

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) chief executive officer Sarah Albon said her organisation "fully supports the measures set out in the draft Building Safety Bill to move forward and enhance building safety across England".

She further stated that the HSE is working with government and others for the practical implementation of the new legislation.

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