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Freelance journalist

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Ron Alalouff is a journalist specialising in the fire and security markets, and a former editor of websites and magazines in the same fields.
July 13, 2022

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Building safety

Building Safety Regulator publishes draft conduct rules for building control professionals

Ron Alalouff examines some of the draft conduct provisions for building control approvers and inspectors that have been published by the Building Safety Regulator.

The Building Safety Act 2022 aims to reform building control in England by introducing a new framework for registration and regulatory oversight, setting new requirements and standards that apply across both the public and private sector parts of the profession. It aims to ensure consistency, drive-up standards and help building control bodies to plan and deliver their services to consistently high standards.

The Building Safety Regulator has published draft professional conduct rules for registered building control approvers. The rules go to the heart of a newly regulated building control profession, where the emphasis is on individual and organisational responsibility and accountability for decisions, actions and behaviour.

Registered building control approvers are expected to be guided by the spirit as well as the substance of the rules in professional conduct and practice. A breach of the professional conduct rules may lead to disciplinary proceedings and include the following:

Honesty and integrity

Building control approvers must always be honest and truthful and act with integrity. They should never make statements or give advice that they know to be false, misleading or inaccurate. Approvers must always be clear and transparent when explaining the policies and procedures of how work is undertaken, explain how decisions can be challenged, explain the process used to resolve issues, and publish policies which can be easily accessed by the public.

Approvers must also reject bribery and financial impropriety, deter or prevent others from engaging in such activities, and report any instances where this has taken place. They must also publish a whistleblowing policy that enables staff to raise concerns in confidence, which is visibly supported at the top of the organisation, and which is actively promoted to the workforce.

Professionalism

Approvers must always uphold the highest standards of the profession by undertaking their role in a fair, diligent and conscientious manner. As well as being accountable for their decisions and for the duties and tasks delegated to others, they must always adhere to the codes, guidance and legal requirements of the building control profession, as well as the Operational Standards Rules.

Building control approvers must always keep proper and detailed records of advice and decisions, which are able to show how opinions are justified. They must also be suitable for auditing, quality assurance and regulatory purposes.

Competence

Approvers must always ensure that they are competent to undertake any work they agree to, understand what their professional roles and responsibilities are, and only undertake restricted activities and functions for work they are registered to do. They must always act within their competence, ensure others within their organisation act within their own competence, and ensure people undertaking building control work on their behalf maintain their competence. Approvers must not accept work if they do not have the capability or capacity to meet the necessary service standards.

Cooperation

Approvers must always work cooperatively with the Building Safety Regulator and other statutory regulators, and ensure continuing effective arrangements for working with Local Authority Building Control.

The full set of draft professional conduct rules for registered building control approvers can be found here.

A similar set of conduct rules has been drawn up for registered building inspectors who, in addition, must refuse any work and report it to their employer if they are asked to act outside their competence and always state restrictions that apply to their registration.

The Building Safety Regulator has also drafted a competence framework for Building In inspectors which can be accessed here.

 

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