Building Standards Futures Board: Verification Delivery Model – Building Standards Hub Pilot
Scottish Government, in collaboration with Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS) and Fife Council are in the final stages of launching the Building Standards Hub Pilot, part of the work being taken forward by the Building Standards Futures Board. The expert Review Panels on Compliance and Enforcement and Fire Safety both concluded that, whilst the core elements of the current building standards system should be maintained, some reshaping and strengthening of the system is necessary to ensure that it addresses identified weaknesses. Verification delivery is one area that should be strengthened. The Panels identified the potential for a ‘national or central hub’ that would provide expertise in specialist and safety critical areas of design of complex buildings.
A Working Group was set up in March 2021 to support the Delivery Model work stream and proposals were agreed with the Futures Board that a central Building Standards Hub (BSH) model, with regional strengthening, will be tested with the establishment of the Hub Pilot for a period of up to 18 months. The aim of a central hub is to strengthen the current national local authority delivery model by providing a central resource with a stronger focus on regional partnerships and the sharing of specialist skills, such as fire engineering for complex buildings.
During this 18-month period, the Pilot will assist in providing a central administration and coordination resource, available to all local authority building standards teams in Scotland. It will also aim to strengthen and develop current LABSS building standards services and support the provision and sharing of specialist verification skills in areas such as fire and structural engineering. Other planned activities include the facilitation of workload sharing between local authorities to support customer service delivery during localised workload surges or temporary shortage of staff. The Pilot will also look to identify and support the development of other services required by local authority building standards teams and the work of related Futures Board work streams.
Work will also be undertaken on mapping the services, support and wider arrangements required for any permanent hub, with proposals and findings presented to the Working Group and Futures Board for their consideration.
The Pilot will be hosted by Fife Council who are providing the necessary HR arrangements, IT, administration support and office facilities. Funding has been made available through the Futures Board Programme for the initial 18-month period.
If you would like any further information on the work of the Verification Delivery Model or any of the other Future Board work streams, please contact us at BuildingStandards@gov.scot