Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
July 30, 2021

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Central register launched for building safety managers

A new central register and a certification scheme have been launched for building safety managers following the final report and proposals for Working Group 8 – part of the industry response group tasked with developing a new framework of competence for the new Building Safety Manager role (part of the Building Safety Bill). 

The Building Safety Alliance, an independent industry-led ‘not for profit’ organisation, has been formed by representatives of both the public and private sectors. It aims to implement certification of people wishing to deliver the role of building safety manager (BSM) and produce a publicly accessible register of those certified by the scheme.

In due course, it will also work with others to evaluate how organisations that wish to deliver the function of the BSM can be assessed as having the organisational capability to do so. It will also look at how to assist contractors and suppliers involved in higher-risk buildings in delivering a competent workforce that understands how to ensure that residential buildings are safe.

The role of the Building Safety Manager, which the accountable person will have to ensure is in place, will be to comply with a number of tasks including:

  • Ensuring the conditions in the Building Registration Certificate are complied with to the satisfaction of the Accountable Person and the Building Safety Regulator
  • Ensuring those employed in the maintenance and management of the building’s fire and structural safety have the necessary competence to carry out their roles
  • Engaging with residents in the safe management of their building by producing and implementing a resident engagement strategy
  • Reporting to a mandatory occurrence reporting regime.

READ: Building Safety Managers – the future for compliance?

The Building Safety Bill, published on 5 July 2021 and which recently received its second reading in UK Parliament, confirmed the new statutory role of the BSM, a concept first developed by Dame Judith Hackitt in her review following the Grenfell fire.

Anthony Taylor, interim chair of the Building Safety Alliance

Anthony Taylor, interim chair of the Building Safety Alliance and recently named as one of IFSEC Global’s Top Influencers in Fire Safety, said: “When we were initially asked to develop the competence requirements for the new statutory role of BSM, we recognised that for the framework to work, we also needed to set up wider structures that would support the development of and drive for a recognised and uniform standard of competence.

“One of our key recommendations was the need for a register that would allow residents and accountable persons to check if the BSM for their building, meets the minimum competence requirements. Government is looking at industry to deliver this, so we stepped forward with our wide consortium from across both the private and public sectors.”

Bob Smytherman, Chairman of the Federation of Private Residents Associations (representing 1000s of long -leaseholders across England & Wales), said: “Our leaseholder members will find themselves with new duties and responsibilities under the Building Safety Bill to ensure our buildings are as safe as possible. Our members will be looking to the building safety manager as the stakeholder responsible for the day-to day building safety management of our buildings.

“We have a crucial role to play in the Building Safety Alliance, to make sure building safety managers are not only competent but also understand the resident perspective when appointed to make our buildings safe. After all, these buildings are our homes and we pay the service charges.”

The Future of Fire Safety: download the eBook

Is the fire protection industry adapting to the post-Grenfell reality fast enough? At FIREX International 2019, Europe's only dedicated fire safety event, some of the world's leading fire safety experts covered this theme. This eBook covers the key insights from those discussions on the developments shaping the profession, with topics including:

  • Grenfell Inquiry must yield “bedrock change” – and soon
  • After Grenfell: Jonathan O’Neill OBE on how austerity and policy “on the hoof” are hampering progress
  • Hackitt’s Golden Thread: Fire, facilities and building safety
  • Fire safety community has to “get on board” with technological changes

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Simon Ince
Simon Ince
August 2, 2021 9:50 am

Interesting idea, but surely UKAS accredited 17024 and 17065 certification from an independent CB would offer better assurance as that is inline with Government policy? In addition they may be competent but what about ongoing surveillance of their performance? The requirements for occupied buildings are significant and represent an enhanced management system; firms and individuals may be competent and on a register but without surveillance the register lacks assurance and doesn’t sit within the parameters of the overarching competence framework. A 17021 UKAS accredited certification scheme would be a good way to assure stakeholders especially residents.