Building Standards Futures Board – Update on the Seven Workstreams
The Building Standards Futures Board (FB) was established in May 2019 by the then Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, Kevin Stewart MSP, to provide guidance and direction on making transformative changes to the building standards system. The Board is chaired by Craig Hatton, Chief Executive of North Ayrshire Council and the 12th meeting was held on 15 June 2022.
The notes of each meeting are published on the Building Standards Futures Board group web page.
This post provides a progress update on the 7 work streams following our previous update in November 2021.
The team are working with Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS) to recruit a Learning and Development Manager into the Building Standards Hub Pilot (BSH Pilot) to provide strategic oversight and leadership of work to expand competencies in the profession. The Learning and Development Manager will work with LABSS to support the development and introduction of a new online learning environment. This will provide a training resource for all local authority building standards staff.
The new Construction Technical Modern Apprenticeship (MA) course started on 29 August with a first cohort of 17 building standards apprentices confirmed from local authorities. The MA has been implemented in collaboration with ESP and LABSS, and is being delivered jointly by Inverness UHI College and Fife College.
Compliance Plan Approach
A public consultation on Compliance and Enforcement ran from 11 November 2021 to 9 February 2022. A total of 91 responses were received and there was overwhelming support for the proposals including the creation of a new Compliance Plan Manager (CPM) oversight role for High Risk Buildings.
Work is now being taken forward to develop the CPM role through a pan-industry working group with key stakeholders.
At the start of 2022, an Enforcement and Sanctions sub-group was established with work underway to develop a new Enforcement Handbook for building standards services in local authorities to provide additional support for officials undertaking enforcement action.
In spring 2022, the CPWG members agreed to new Terms of Reference which will retain them for their advice and expertise as work is taken forward to provide strengthened compliance with building regulations within in the Scottish building standards system.
The Certification Strategy is now in place and work is planned with Scheme Providers to further develop a business-focused strategy. A catch up meeting took place on the 19 August and the Scheme Providers volunteered to join two groups to consider a business strategy and digital future.
A Scheme Providers meeting will be scheduled with plans for a Certifier and Verifier conference in 2023 hosted by the Building Standards Hub Pilot.
Guidance to support the verification of Modern Methods of Construction will shortly be published. Dissemination sessions for this will be scheduled early in the new year.
Research on Remote Video Inspections (RVI) is due to be completed by September 2022. RVI best practice guidance for building standards teams will then be issued including live trials and training materials.
BSD is taking part in the Civtech challenge, which was launched in April 2022. Work on the Exploration Stage is underway. The Challenge will investigate how technology can improve compliance in the building standard system.
There has also been significant investment with BE~ST on mobile app potential, SME compliance and data sources.
The new national customer satisfaction survey for building standards customers was launched on the 1 April 2022 enabling customers of the building standards service to provide feedback on the service received. This provides all local authorities in Scotland real-time customer feedback to support their continuous improvement.
The most recent National Customer Satisfaction Survey 2021 report for Local Authority Building Standards was published in December 2021.
Verification Delivery Model
Patrick Harvie, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenant’s Rights (ZCB, AT & TR) officially launched the BSH Pilot on the 15 June 2022. The Pilot will run for 18 months and Alan McAulay and James Whiteford have been appointed as Directors. The Pilot is undertaking work to transition existing LABSS building standards system services into the Hub and to introduce and develop other services that will improve the Scottish Building Standards system by consulting and working extensively with stakeholders.
Optimal Economics has been commissioned to undertake research to review the building standards income fee and level of re-investment in service delivery. This project is due to be completed in October 2022. After this, work is expected to begin on Part 2 research.