Building control alliance say

“job done”

The five member organisations – CIOB, CABE, RICS, LABC and ACAI – forming the Building Control Alliance (BCA) have agreed (and celebrated) that there is no longer a need for the organisation due to the birth of the building safety regime.  They are satisfied that public advantage will be better served without the activities of the BCA being necessary as they would be a duplication of some of the activities of the Building Safety Regulator.

The alliance was formed in 2007 when politicians were hearing calls for abandonment of the independent third-party audit nature of building control.

The alliance issued a report in its first year entitled “A Building Control System for the 21st Century” suggesting that rather than abandoning the 3rd party audit nature of the building control system the Government should seek to strengthen the system with tougher enforcement powers and by making regulations and guidance easier to understand.  Their report also suggested that compliance responsibility should be strengthened and that the building control service should be subject to control by an overseeing single body.

Dame Judith Hackitt’s report included similar views and the Government agreed. As a result, we now have the implementation of the national Building Safety Regulator whose roles include providing a single performance checking role of the building control service and the adoption of tougher building regulation compliance enforcement provisions in the statute.

In 2007, in the absence of a national body being formed, the alliance set up a voluntary mediation process to assist in offering dispute resolution in cases of dispute between public and private building control sectors in their interaction on procedural matters.

They also provided some views on areas of uncertainty in regard to interpretation of what technical guidance was alluding to when grey areas were identified.  As was the case for the mediation offering there was no obligation on any party to heed the advice but in all cases it was offered with good intentions and in most cases accepted as valuable.

The alliance also provided Government with access to a unified single voice on building control issues from the organisations who have members and organisations delivering building control at the coal face.

With the advent of the new national Building Safety Regulator, the advisory functions that the alliance has been offering will be embedded into the new systems as a function of the BSR but, unlike as that previously offered by the alliance, with statutory status.  The BSR is also charged with the task of advising Government on matters arising both technically and operationally in regards to building regulation compliance issues.

As the building safety regime delivers to the majority of what the alliance was delivering, the member organisations have therefore opined that the formal activity of the alliance is no longer required.

It should, however, be clear that these organisations have been contributing hugely to the development of the new regime and they will all continue to provide total support to the regulator and Government as relevant to their needs and collaborate where relevant on any joint initiatives that will assist clarity and public advantage.