BSR is the talk of FIT

It was another fantastic week at FIT Show. It was great to catch up with so many of you and chat through some of the biggest issues affecting us in the fenestration industry today.

Of course, the main topic of conversation was the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) and the requirements set out by the Building Safety Act 2022. On the Business Pilot stand, we were running a reactive workshop, providing a forum for installers and fabricators to chat with us and share their concerns about the changing regulatory landscape.

BSR: what is it? 

There has been much confusion over what these reforms will mean for all of us, including consumers. In essence, the BSR is here to introduce a more stringent regulatory regime across the UK, creating a proportionate, evidence-lead regulatory framework that’s fit for purpose and ensures that residents are placed at its heart. 

Its job is to monitor and promote confidence across the entire built environment, whilst providing independent assurance at every stage of a building’s lifecycle. The BSR will have oversight of all building work in England and will regulate the entire building control profession, with a new register for professionals opening in October 2023. 

The Building Advisory Committee will oversee the building regulations and the approved documents, against which compliance will be judged.

The new Industry Competence Committee, which has oversight of competence in all buildings, is being formed this summer and will impact the different job role levels within our industry, as well as the organisations themselves.

What will this mean for glazing?

One of the main questions we received at our stand was, “What will I have to change to comply?” This is quite a simple one. The reforms set out by the Building Safety Act 2022 affect the compliance and competence of the entire built environment, and the issue is accountability. 

Tradespeople need to ensure their work is compliant with Building Regulations, that they’re keeping up-to-date with all the legislative requirements, and that they’re using the right products from reputable, accredited suppliers.

It’s about setting out a future for the industry where we can re-establish the trust that the public once held for us. All this will need to be recorded in a digital form as evidence of compliance; connecting the work we do in buildings to the Golden Thread of information.

There will also be an introduction of a new set of Mandatory Technical Competencies (MTC) towards the end of 2023, against which our installation professionals will be judged when using a competent person scheme, such as Certass.

The BSR’s wide-scale implementation will have a different impact depending on which sector of the built environment you work within. We’ll see the large-scale changes predominately affecting larger residential projects. The effects on smaller domestic installation companies will be far more proportionate but still significant.

Regardless, all of the changes we are expected to adhere to will be communicated by the BSR by October of this year. You can keep up to date with the regulations with us at Certass.

As the sole representatives from the glazing industry actively involved in the BSR set-up process, we’re best positioned to keep customers up-to-date and compliant with all the demands of the changing legislation.

As discussed with us on-stand, the changes should inspire more confidence from homeowners and the industry and promote the use of traders and installers committed to delivering best practice by doing things right. To ensure that residents feel safe in their homes, it’s crucial that we work with them to ensure their voice is heard. 

The time is now…

As chair of the IICC, I’ve been promoting the notion that competence goes far beyond skills, knowledge and experience. It’s also about behaviours and culture. As far as we’re concerned: compliance and competence go hand in hand. The time for debate is over. The wheels are already in motion. What installers need to do is keep themselves informed and ensure they are aligned with the requirements.

At Certass, we’re already communicating on various channels, as we want to make sure we’re all giving this transition the necessary time and attention it deserves, rather than reacting to the changes as soon as they’re implemented which is what our industry has done historically.

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