Blog by William Hamilton – Certification Officer
The use of certifiers of design and construction have become commonplace as part of the building standards system. However, the reports carried out after the Edinburgh Schools Inquiry and Grenfell Tower Tragedy have highlighted that an increase in the scope of certification could help to improve the construction quality.
This work is being delivered through the Futures Board, which has been set up to take forward the recommendations of the reports mentioned above. As we considered how certification could help strengthen the building standards system, we looked at current schemes and are looking at the option for future schemes. Our first step was to review the existing schemes and appointment of scheme providers. This was completed in October, with all Scheme Providers (SER Ltd, BRE, RIAS, NICEIC, SELECT and SNIPEF), being re-appointed for a period of six years.
The re-appointment process was delayed due to the pressures of COVID-19. Although optional, certification is currently playing a key role in supporting the delivery of building standards in Scotland by helping reduce verification site inspection visits and reducing the risk of COVID transmission. Certifiers, verifiers and Scottish Government are working together to keep the building standards service moving forward, safely and professionally.
The Scheme Providers have worked together to produce branding, which will allow members of the public to identify when work has been carried out by one of their members and the protection that this brings. Robert Jopling (SER), said:
“All of the Scheme Providers are pleased to have been reappointed by Scottish Government to provide certification schemes that are designed to give surety of compliance with the relevant building standards. We look forward to unveiling the new logo which may be used by our Approved Certifiers in the near future”
A representative from Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS) said:
‘’LABSS are pleased to note the reappointment of the scheme providers. LABSS will continue to promote the use of certifiers of design and construction as a way to support assurance in the building warrant process’’.
Scottish Government working with our partners in the building design and construction sectors and with verifiers, are also looking at elements of the building warrant process which could be helped by certification. The assurance of design or construction by a certifier, provides an additional layer of protection for building owners, supports Local Authorities in verifying a project, particularly for large or complex structures.
Certification and verification – raising building standards, together.