Competence

Introduction

In her report, Building a Safer Future, Dame Judith Hackitt spoke of the industry’s approach to competence as being “fragmented, encompassing a range of disciplines and different competence frameworks even within one discipline and without reference to other interacting disciplines”.

The Building Safety Act (BSA) 2022, together with supporting secondary legislation, has introduced a new regulatory regime, which requires the engagement of everyone working in the built environment, not just those involved in higher-risk buildings.

This includes new duties on individuals and organisations that commission, design, construct or refurbish buildings, to ensure they comply with Building Regulations. Duty holders, both individuals and organisations, are required to be competent to undertake their roles.

This page focuses on individual competence:

The Industry Competence Steering Group (ICSG), and those working within the groups, are leading the development competence frameworks for individuals. They need the help of those in industry to create, consult and promote competence frameworks.

For anyone interested in helping, please contact:

 

Legal Requirement to Demonstrate Competence

The Building Safety Act 2022 Section 11F defines individual competence as:

“Any person carrying out any building work or any design work must have –

(a) Where the person is an individual, the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours necessary” to carry out:

(i) The building work in accordance with all relevant requirements;
(ii) The design work so that the building work to which the design relates, if built, would be in accordance with the relevant requirements.

Industry Competence Steering Group

The Industry Competence Steering Group (ICSG) is a cross-sector working group, focussing on raising standards and the development of competence frameworks for the built environment. Initially instigated by the Industry Response Group, the ICSG has now been established as a working group under the Industry Competence Committee, one of three committees set up under the Building Safety Act, which reports to the Building Safety Regulator.

In 2018, ICSG (formally the Competence Steering Group – CSG) was formed of 12 groups, focussing on the creation of competence frameworks:

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With the establishment of the Building Safety Regulator, a competence structure is in place with a focus on broader industry representation, engagement and alignment across multiple competence programmes.

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The ICSG is now re-mapping the competence landscape, broadening the scope to the entire built environment with a focus on mapping the interactions across all disciplines. The CLC is contributing to this mapping.

Installer Competence

The CLC is providing support to the ICSG Installer Working Group (WG2). This group was established to address competence issues in the installer sector, focussing on the development of competence frameworks. WG2 focused on developing competence frameworks for 6 priority occupations. These priority occupations are:

  • Drylining  
  • Domestic Plumbing & Heating
  • Fire Detection & Alarms
  • Fire Stopping
  • Rainscreen Cladding
  • Roofing

Through the development process, it was identified that a comprehensive competence framework is made up of 4 distinct documents:

  • A Strategy – defining the scope of the competence framework, identifying the gaps in current competence and the steps in how to develop a competence framework and your overview of your competence framework.
  • A SKEB Statement – listing the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours required to obtain competence in the role(s) covered by the framework.  
  • A Route to Competence – showing the path (or paths) to obtaining, and then maintaining, individual competence in the occupation(s).
  • An Implementation Plan – identifying what further practical steps are required (as well as a timeframe) to allow every individual in scope to the competence framework to come into compliance with its requirements.

An Instruction Manual was crafted to guide the creation of competence frameworks, with the aim of industrialising this approach across all installer occupations.

(To use the Frameworks Competence Instruction Manual click on the link above and open the word document first, titled ‘Process for creation of Competence Framework’. This document references to all nine supporting files and documents).

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Installer Super Sector Programme

The Council is aware of the important role that installers play in the Built Environment, and has created the Super Sector Programme to deliver competence frameworks across industry sectors. The programme is categorised into 5 Super Sectors:

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Each sector above is requested to establish a diverse working group comprising of:

  • Sector employers (reflecting different firm sizes, sub-disciplines and positions in the built asset life cycle)
  • Member-led trade associations
  • Trade union(s)
  • Recognised sector skills bodies
  • Professional institutions (where relevant)
  • Manufacturers (as and where relevant)
  • CSCS/partner card schemes (as appropriate)
  • Relevant certification bodies
  • Relevant awarding organisations
  • Other recognised sector stakeholders (e.g., other relevant sector bodies, safety charities, bodies representing owners, users and/or occupiers of built assets)
  • Representatives from Government acting as observers (e.g., BSR, DLUHC, DBT, DESNZ, DfE, IfATE, UK devolved administrations)

 

This collaborative group is then tasked with crafting a competence framework utilising the Competence Instruction Manual, with a stipulated timeframe of 6 months for completion.

A breakdown of the current governance and Super Sectors can be seen below.

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Envelope, Engineering Services and Interiors Super Sectors have launched, with Civils and Structures to launch by mid-2024.

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Completed Installer Frameworks and Further Information

The WG2 CLC Super Sector Programme needs leadership and assistance from Industry, especially for those sectors in the org charts above with a white box and a TBC as the Lead Organisation.

For any further information or the volunteering of assistance, please contact, Faye Burnett: Super Sector Programme Director at faye.burnett@macegroup.com

Completed competence frameworks can be found here:

Disclaimer: The CLC does not own these frameworks and any feedback on these frameworks to be issued directly to working group.