Building Safety Regulator: Changes for the Building Control Profession

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • What the Building Safety Regulator is.
  • Why the building control profession is being registered with the Building Safety Regulator.
  • How building control professionals can register with the Building Safety Regulator.
  • Where the latest building control jobs are and how to apply for them. 
  • What to do if you’re struggling to recruit building control professionals.

Changes are taking place within the building control profession. From April 2024, the profession will now be regulated by the Building Safety Regulator, in order to increase public trust and raise standards within the industry.

In our latest blog, we’re uncovering what the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) is, why it’s now a requirement for building control professionals to be registered with the BSR and how building control professionals can register.

What is the Building Safety Regulator?

The Building Safety Regulator was established under the Building Safety Act in 2022, to oversee safety in high-rise residential buildings, at least 18 metres in height. 

After the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, an independent review of building regulations and fire safety was conducted by Dame Judith Hackitt. The Hackitt Review discovered systemic failures within the construction industry and regulatory framework, which urged fundamental changes to improve building safety. 

In acknowledgement of the Hackitt Review findings, the UK government announced the introduction of the Building Safety Regulator as part of the Health and Safety Executive.

The aim of the Building Safety Regulator is to ensure that residents feel safe and have confidence in the safety and standards of the buildings in which they reside.

Building Control recruitment specialist, Joel Khambay, says “Residents should have complete confidence that the buildings they live in won’t be putting them at risk of potential health hazards.”

Joel continues, “Poorly maintained housing could lead to structural deficencies, risk of asbestos or even lead poisoning, which can all cause issues for a resident's physical health.” Poor indoor air quality, unsafe drinking water and environmental pollution are all additional factors that can affect the safety standards of the built environment.

The Building Safety Regulator is responsible for keeping a register of high-rise residential buildings, where there is one identifiable person known as the principal accountable person. It is their legal duty to engage with residents and manage any risks associated with fire and structural safety. The BSR must ensure that accountable persons are complying with the laws and regulations set out for managing an occupied high-rise residential building.

Through regulating higher-risk buildings, raising safety standards and assisting professionals with design, construction and building control, the BSR sets out to deliver constructive cultural change within the built environment industry. 

The establishment of the regulator signifies an important milestone for the ongoing efforts to improve building safety and prevent anything like the Grenfell Tower tragedy from happening again. 

Why is the building control profession being registered with the Building Safety Regulator?

As of April 2024, all building control professionals are required to register with the Building Safety Regulator. After this date, it is illegal to perform building control work or activities in England without being registered as a Building Inspector. Therefore, building control professionals must ensure their registration if they intend to engage in such activities.

There are a number of important reasons for the building control profession being registered with the BSR, including:

  • To ensure competency.
  • To enhance trust.
  • To improve accountability.
  • To support regulatory reform.
  • To simplify procedures.

To ensure competency

Registration with the Building Safety Regulator is essential for ensuring that building control professionals meet competency standards and possess the necessary skills and knowledge to uphold safety standards effectively.

For example, building control professionals must have a comprehensive understanding of relevant building regulations, such as accessibility, structural engineering principles and fire safety requirements. They must also have stringent attention to detail in order to identify inconsistencies within regulatory requirements and resolve them effectively. 

Joel Khambay says “It’s also essential for building control professionals to have expert analytical skills for them to assess complex construction plans and identify potential safety hazards like slip, trip and fall hazards or electrical safety risks.”

By verifying a building control professionals' qualifications and experience, the BSR is able to ensure that those responsible for overseeing building projects are able to guarantee compliance with safety standards. Failure to do so could be detrimental to the physical and mental health of people residing in such buildings.

To enhance trust

By registering with the Building Safety Regulator, building control professionals are able to demonstrate their commitment to upholding safety standards within the built environment.

This is essential for enhancing public trust within the competence and integrity of building control professionals.

As well as public trust, it is also important for residents and stakeholders to be confident in the skills and expertise of registered professionals. Building control professionals are accountable for the decisions and actions they make whilst overseeing construction projects. For example, building control professionals are responsible for conducting site inspections and determining whether work is being carried out in accordance with approved plans and regulations. If this isn’t found to be the case, a building control professional might issue a notice of non-compliance or request that corrections are made. 

A building control professional might also be responsible for providing technical advice to developers or engineers and therefore it is of utmost importance that they have public trust to act in an ethical and impartial manner, always ensuring that public safety is a priority.

Trust within the building control profession is also essential for maximising resident interaction and collaboration. 

Positive relationships and effective communication between building control professionals and the public is essential for building trust and showing communities that their feedback matters. It is also vital for building control professionals to demonstrate that residents' best interests are at the heart of all decision-making. 

To improve accountability

Registration with the Building Safety Regulator promotes accountability for building control professionals. 

Whilst accountable under a regulatory body, professionals have a higher likelihood of adhering to professional standards and ethical conduct. The reason for this is that their decisions and actions are subject to regulatory scrutiny and should it be required, disciplinary action, such as suspension, a fine, or legal action, can be taken against building control professionals.

There are various mechanisms and processes in place to ensure that building control professionals are compliant with regulatory requirements and adhering to professional standards. For example, building control professionals are sometimes required to obtain a licence in order to practise in their field. 

Regulators within building control also have procedures in place to handle and investigate complaints made against building control professionals. Complaints may vary from professional misconduct to breaches of regulations. 

Joel Khambay says “If a complaint is made against a building control professional, it’s the responsibility of regulators to carry out an inquiry and decide whether disciplinary action is justified.”

Overall, registration with the BSR means building control professionals are subject to scrutiny through a combination of regulatory frameworks and quality assurance processes, designed to maintain professional standards within the sector and ensure public safety. 

To support regulatory reform

The decision to register the building control profession with the BSR is part of wider regulatory reforms that have been introduced to improve safety standards within the UK building control profession. 

Serious incidents, including the Grenfell Tower fire, have highlighted significant issues within the enforcement of building safety regulations.

Registration with the Building Safety Regulator provides a clear framework that can be used to identify and regulate building control professionals. 

Not only does this strengthen regulatory enforcement efforts and support regulatory reform, it allows for more effective monitoring, inspection and enforcement of compliance within the building control profession.

To simplify procedures

Registration with the Building Safety Regulator is an effective way to simplify procedures within the profession. For example, standardising practices and regulations within the BSR means it is much easier to oversee adherence and ensure that all professionals are complying with regulations set out by the regulator. 

The BSR is also able to simplify procedures by clearly laying out the responsibilities of building control professionals. By clarifying each member of a team's responsibilities across a project, this can effectively streamline the process and make sure that all parties involved understand their obligations. 

Building control professionals typically split their workload based on their specialisations, the complexity of a project and individual expertise. For example, one team member might be responsible for overseeing an entire project from initiation to completion, ensuring that there is coordination between all clients, engineers and contractors. In this case, this building control professional would act as a Project Manager. 

Others however, might be responsible for overseeing compliance with architectural and engineering plans or inspecting construction sites to ensure that work is being carried out in accordance with approved plans and building regulations. 

Registration with the Building Safety Regulator also ensures that there is effective communication between regulators, building control professionals and stakeholders. By improving communication, this ensures that compliance with health and safety regulations is always a priority.

How can building control professionals register with the Building Safety Regulator?

The Building Safety Regulator has established a register of Building Inspectors across the public and private sector, along with a register of building control approvers, meaning building control professionals who intend to carry out building control activity in England must be registered as a Building Inspector. If they are not registered after April 2024, they will be committing criminal activity if working in this role.

In order for a Building Inspector to register with the Building Safety Regulator, they are required to have passed an independent competency assessment, designed to examine their skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours in accordance with the building inspector competence framework.

Building Inspectors are also advised to read the code of conduct for registered building inspectors, which uncover the standards of professional conduct in which they are expected to abide by.

In order to successfully register as a Building Inspector, professionals must provide their personal data such as their name and home address, disclose the class of Building Inspector they are applying to register as and the details of their BSR-approved competency assessment.

Where the latest building control jobs are and how to apply for them

As specialist building control recruiters, we work alongside a number of local authorities and private sector organisations who are always on the lookout for outstanding building control professionals. If you’re seeking your next role, check out the latest building control jobs or upload your CV to our website today!

Planning recruitment services

As planning recruitment specialists, we support local authorities and private sector businesses nationwide with their temporary, interim and permanent recruitment needs. 

If you’re struggling to fill a vacancy, why not get in touch with our planning specialist, Joel Khambay on 01772 954200 to see how we can help?

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Established in 2017, we’re a vibrant and progressive recruitment agency based in the heart of the North West. 

We continually reimagine the recruitment process to challenge convention and defy expectations; from creating a better recruitment experience to remodelling employee engagement, we thrive off doing things differently and turning heads along the way.

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