IET comment on the HCLG Committee Report: Pre-legislative scrutiny
In response to the HCLG report relating to its Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the draft Building Safety Bill, Michelle Richmond MBE CEng FIET, IET Director of Membership and Professional Development, said:
“As the largest professional engineering body in the UK, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) welcomes the HCLG report relating to its Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the draft Building Safety Bill.
“We are pleased that the report emphasises that the lack of skills, knowledge, experience and process is a ‘major flaw in the current regulatory system’ (clause 92). The report makes some valuable recommendations to remedy this situation.
“The IET welcomes the report’s call for a national system of third-party accreditation and registration for professionals working on the design and construction of higher-risk buildings (clause 108). In addition, the report calls for a national system of accreditation for building safety managers (clause 163). However, to avoid any loopholes, the IET recommends that the Bill clearly enshrines in law such mandatory, individual national accreditation and registration standards for all building professions, throughout the full building lifecycle - from design to maintenance. This would be backed up by a legally binding code of conduct, ethics and behaviours. It would make clear the government’s firm commitment to resident safety.
“In the same vein, the IET believes that those who use the term ‘Electrician’ in the UK adopt mandatory Recognised Standards for particular electrical roles, such as via UK-SPEC, the established Electrician EngTech Recognised Standard. The public needs to be reassured that those who carry out electrical work are competent. Voluntary arrangements simply do not carry enough weight.
“Mandatory accreditation of all building professionals is the most effective way of bringing about the oft-cited culture change in the industry. It will increase quality standards, ensure accountability, raise confidence in practitioners and significantly improve the safety of residents.”