BSI publishes competence criteria for everyone working on a building

04 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 minimize 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 practice, sets 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 programme1. It has been developed by an Advisory Group2 of built environment professionals.

Download the standard at no cost here.

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Notes to the editor:

1 Built Environment Competence programme  

The programme aims to tackle the competence shortcomings identified in the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, Building a Safer Future, conducted by Dame Judith Hackitt. It is a part of the package of measures recommended by the Steering Group on Competence for Building a Safer Future (CSG) which were set out in Raising the Bar. The government-funded programme is designed to support the delivery of regulatory policy and the new regulated roles responsible for building safety set out in the forthcoming Building Safety Bill, while also enabling the large-scale industry-led programme to raise competency across the sector. To learn more, please visit:  

2 Advisory Group

The following organizations are represented: BSI Built Environment Competence Standards Group; Build UK; Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists; Chartered Institute of Building; Construction Industry Training Board; Construction Industry Council; Construction Products Association; Electrical Contractors' Association; Engineering Council; Fire Sector Federation; Health and Safety Executive; Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management; Local Authority Building Control; Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; National Fire Chiefs Council; Royal Institute of British Architects; and United Kingdom Accreditation Service.