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BSI publishes competence criteria

10 May 2021

BSI, IN its role as the UK National Standards Body, publishes new competence criteria following two rounds of public consultation. The standard supports industry reform and intends to minimise safety risks and improve protection to consumers and occupants, including residents, in and about buildings.

People have the right to expect that buildings and their immediate environment are designed, built and maintained in a way that is safe. Occupants need to have confidence and trust in the people responsible for ensuring that their interests are properly considered and that safety is a priority. Competence of all who provide services and products throughout the life of a building is key to achieving this.

The new code of practice, named BSI Flex 8670 v3.0 Built environment – Core criteria for building safety in competence frameworks – Code of practicesets the core criteria for building safety competence, including fire safety, structural safety and public health for all individuals working in the built environment, to improve safety outcomes throughout the building life cycle. It will support progressive development of a more consistent approach in the development and use of competence frameworks across the industry.

Scott Steedman, director-general of standards at BSI said, “Dame Judith Hackitt’s report ‘Building a Safer Future’ called on industry to change its culture “to support the delivery of buildings that are safe, both now and in the future”. The new code of practice, published as part of BSI’s Built Environment Competence programme, provides an agreed, common approach for industry to embed building safety competence at all levels and across all roles, functions, tasks and activities. This is a major step forward which has the potential to support real change in the industry understanding of building safety in the years and decades ahead.”

Building safety minister Lord Greenhalgh said, “We are making the biggest changes to building safety in a generation. This new criteria, funded by the Government, will set a new standard for professionals across the sector - and will underpin our wider reforms to ensure that homes are designed, built, and managed more safely in future. I urge all sectors in the industry to adopt this.”

It is published as one part of the government-funded Built Environment Competence programme. It has been developed by an Advisory Group of built environment professionals.