Building Standards

Building Standards – A New Compliance Plan Approach

January 12, 2024 by 2 Comments | Category Building Standards, Futures Board

In response to the recommendations made by the Review Panel on Building Standards Compliance and Enforcement in 2018, the Scottish Government’s Building Standards Division (BSD) has been working on a new Compliance Plan (CP) approach for buildings classified as High Risk Buildings (HRB).

The purpose of the Compliance Plan is to demonstrate that the duty imposed on the “relevant person” (usually the building owner or developer) is being managed robustly at the design and construction stages of a project, when certifying compliance with building regulations and when signing and submitting a completion certificate to deliver a compliant building.

Scottish Building Standards Futures Board Compliance Plan ApproachA new professional role, the Compliance Plan Manager (CPM), will be established.  The CPM will work on behalf of the relevant person (RP) and will be responsible for developing a CP with the design team and contractor (when appointed), in line with guidance provided in a Compliance Handbook.  The CP will detail the measures that will be in place to control the work on site, identify required inspection stages and will be used to collate the necessary evidence to deliver a compliant building.

The CP will be prepared and submitted by the CPM to the relevant local authority verifier for provisional agreement prior to the submission of the building warrant application.  The final version will be agreed at a later date, during the warrant application assessment stage, and issued with the building warrant approval. The CP will be required to be fully discharged at the completion of the project before the verifier can accept a completion certificate.

Early Adopters Scheme

To support the development of the Compliance Plan approach, an Early Adopters (EA) Scheme will be live by March 2024. The Scheme is aimed at owners/developers (relevant person) wishing to participate in early trials of the new CP approach.

Taking part in the Scheme will allow the RP to benefit from the CP approach before there is a legal requirement to do so. It is envisaged that legislation will be introduced circa 2025/2026.  The Scheme will also be used to support the development of legislation and guidance to develop a nationally consistent approach to delivering compliant buildings.

This work will be taken forward in partnership with Scottish Futures Trust, LABSS, local authority verifiers and building industry developers wishing to trial the EA Scheme.

The first phase of the EA Scheme will focus solely on new build HRB building warrant projects consisting of:

  • Domestic building or residential building with any storey at a height of more than 11 metres above the ground
  • Educational establishments (schools, colleges and universities), community/sport centres
  • Hospitals
  • Residential care buildings

Work is ongoing to finalise and publish an EA Compliance Handbook by the end of January 2024.  The Construction Quality Improvement Collaborative (CQIC), a Scottish based campaign for improving construction quality, is hosting the EA Scheme and further details and Expression of Interest Forms.  Whilst the CQIC website will host this information, BSD will be responsible for assessing applications, liaising with the appropriate verifier and determining suitable projects for participation in the Scheme.

A further update will be provided closer to the launch date.


  • Ian Robertson says:

    Has the Compliance Handbook been developed yet ,- if yes where can it be located, if not when is it anticipated to be released?

    • Simon Moore says:

      Ian – thank you for your comment. The Compliance Handbook has been drafted during the development work of the Compliance Plan workstream. It is anticipated that a version of the Handbook which will specifically focus on processes applicable to an Early Adopters Scheme will be available by the middle of February, in advance of the Scheme going live.

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