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Building Regulations Competent Person Self-Certification Schemes

Objectives of the consultation

This consultation set out and sought views on proposals by Communities and Local Government for changes to the administrative provisions for approval, monitoring and quality assurance of Building Regulations competent person self-certification schemes in England and Wales. The changes proposed in this document were designed to address perceived weaknesses in the current system, as identified by the Department, Competent Person Scheme operators and others. The changes were intended to both improve the level of compliance with the Building Regulations and to increase consistency across the schemes.

The consultation closed on 19 March 2010.

Supporting papers

To download the consultation document, please follow the link below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE believes that whilst the criteria for the authorisation of competent person schemes may be appropriate, the means of demonstrating that they are met needs significant further work. Many of the criteria would be met entirely through schemes being accredited by an accreditation body such as UKAS. A single accreditation provider would ensure appropriate and consistent checking both in initial application and ongoing monitoring. There are in fact a number of other criteria that could, and in CIBSE opinion should, be fulfilled through accreditation.

The proposed timetable for the consideration of applications to operate a competent person scheme seems appropriate. However, if DCLG were to adopt a UKAS based model, the process and timescale may need to be reviewed. If a scheme needed to be UKAS accredited prior to application, this should significantly reduce the work and the time required for Ministerial approval. Also, nowhere in the proposal is there any mention of open and transparent assessment criteria for specific scheme applications, which we believe should be provided.

A standardised approach to complaints and informing customers of scheme members of their rights is essential. However, there is no need to impose another duty on the OFT if all schemes are required to gain UKAS accreditation as they will be covered by UKAS complaints procedures.

CIBSE proposes that the whole process of evaluation and monitoring of schemes be undertaken by UKAS. It is agreed that UKAS accreditation should be required for monitoring schemes' performance but if a scheme is going to be accredited by UKAS for this element of its standards and performance then there are many other elements that could be administered by UKAS. Assigning responsibility to UKAS will free up DCLG from policing general scheme operation requirements and allow officers to concentrate on the areas that need to be governed by DCLG, such as establishing the technical competences required and selecting appropriate NOS. UKAS accreditation would introduce a common standard across all schemes, and would transfer the costs of this activity to schemes, leading to savings by DCLG.

To read the full CIBSE response, please follow the link below.

Results of the consultation and next steps

The Government published the summary of responses received from stakeholders in June 2012. To read the report please follow the link below.