Jason Clemmit, Managing Director at Certass, talks through the incoming changes to the requirements for Minimum Technical Competence (MTC) and how they’ll affect installers and competent person schemes.
As everyone is, by now, fully aware, the Grenfell tragedy and follow-up inquiry have caused a huge sea change in the Building Control framework.
The work to make the required changes has been, in some cases, very public and in others, a product of a steady stream of work behind the scenes.
For those not yet in the know, the difference between new competence frameworks and standard qualifications is that your ability to do the job is regularly re-assessed, rather than the ‘test and forget’ nature that qualifications have traditionally worked to.
As an example, how many of us can actually remember how to use algebra since leaving school? Ensuring we use skills so we don’t lose them is exactly what the new competence framework supports, alongside regular testing of the behaviours and knowledge we gain to undertake a job role.
An update to the Minimum Technical Competence (MTC) requirements is one of those changes that has been rolling on in the background.
The existing fenestration MTC competence framework has been in place for a significant period of time and a full review of the competence requirements for low-rise domestic buildings, non-domestic buildings and the new requirements for higher-risk buildings has now taken place.
The new fenestration MTC has been in the drafting format now for more than 12 months. Other competent person scheme trades are now also nearing completion, and the full raft of documents should hopefully be published in the next few months.
Certass has been heavily involved in the drafting of the new MTC documents, ensuring balance, consistency, suitability, and attainability for installers.
The new format is designed to cover the work the company actually does, so it is spilt into three core aspects:
- Work on domestic low-rise buildings
- Work on low-rise, non-domestic buildings
- Work on high-rise buildings
For domestic and non-domestic the MTC is broadly similar to the existing MTC documents, but the criteria are now divided into skills, knowledge and behaviours.
The behaviours aspect forms new criteria which are mapped to ‘BSI Flex 8670 Built environment – Core criteria for building safety in competence frameworks’, a document with the objective of minimising safety risks and improving protection for consumers and occupants.
Certass has been trialling the new MTC (except high-rise buildings) over the last nine months and all our MTCs have been assessed in line with the new standard.
This means there will be no great rush to be assessed against the new MTC as the requirements of the new documents go live.
With regard to higher-risk buildings, we will start assessments against the new MTC standards when the new standard is live for any installation companies who work predominately in the higher-risk areas laid out by the Building Safety Regulator.