The Government has launched a new consultation on aspects of the package of legislative reform which will brought by the Building Safety Act 2022 ("the Act") and secondary legislation.
The consultation relates primarily to changes to the building control profession and the building control process for approved inspectors who will now be known as registered building control approvers), but it also covers other aspects of building control such as the registration processes. The key areas of consultation are:
- Proposals to the end of the approved inspector regime – under the Act approved inspectors must register with the Building Safety Regulator as building control approvers to continue to undertake building control work. This means that from day one of the new regime, it will not be possible for an approved inspector (who is not a building control approver) to submit a new initial notice or supervise any new work. However, this will clearly have implications for their existing work, and the consultation seeks views on various transitional procedures.
- Approach to higher risk building ("HRB") work – the Government intends to introduce a more stringent regulatory regime for the design and construction of HRBs overseen by the Building Safety Regulator. The consultation seeks views additional measures for HRB work currently overseen by approved inspectors to ensure that approach aligns with the new registered building control approver regime, as well as transitional processes to ensure responsibility for building projects can be easily transferred to the new regime.
- Views on proposals for the registration processes for building control professionals – under the Act individual inspectors who want to carry out key activities such as inspections of building work and to advise on important decisions such as issuing certificates must now register with the Building Safety Regulator, and meet set criteria, to be able to provide advice to building control authorities and registered building control approvers.
- Views on new professional conduct rules – the consultation seeks views on the new professional conduct rules which registered building control approvers will be required to comply under the Act and which will set out the expected behaviours and standards that registered building control approvers must meet.
- A dual register scheme - under the new system, the Building Safety Regulator will establish and maintain two registers - one of registered building inspectors and one of building control approvers. The Government have indicated that there will be different "levels" of registration, and that those who wish to carry out works in relation to higher risk buildings may need to demonstrate a higher level of training and experience. The building control approver register will be a register for private sector building control bodies (currently approved inspectors) who will need to register and meet certain criteria.
- Restriction of activities and functions for building control bodies, both public and private – the consultation proposes that registered building control approvers and building control authorities should be required to use an appropriately registered building inspector to carry out certain activities and seeks views on which functions should be covered .
- Views on changes to the system of initial notices and plans certificates – under the Government's proposed plans certificates will be made mandatory for any building work carried out under the building regulations on non-HRBs that fall under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- Amendments to the Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2010 which will be revoked and consolidated in new regulations to reflect changes brought by the Act.
The consultation is open until 14 March 2023 and those who wish to can provide responses by following this link.
As those that follow our blogs and articles will be aware, this consultation is the latest example of the Government seeking the industry's views on the more detailed framework which will sit beneath the Building Safety Act. Whilst we are still some distance from the finished product, we are at least now beginning to seek the direction of travel in relation to how the new regime will be applied.