What is the Building Safety Alliance?
The Building Safety Alliance is a Company limited by guarantee, it is comprised of organisations representative of, and from across the industry sector managing the occupation phase. The ‘Council’ of the Building Safety Alliance include members and experts coming from the social housing sector, commercial and residential management, facilities managers, fire safety experts. Most importantly, it includes the resident voice.
Members want to drive culture change and competence in buildings to give residents safe homes. Many of us first worked together as Working Group (WG8) to develop the competence framework for BSMs, under the auspices of the Competence Steering Group. WG8’s report Safer people, safer homes: Building Safety Management was published on 5th October 2020. The report looked at wider recommendations, to make sure that wider culture change and upskilling in the occupation phase could be facilitated; its recommendations included the development of a central register. In the Government response to pre-legislative scrutiny by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, published on 5th July, Government said that “Industry should look to this now for guidance on how to prepare for the new role and engage with the BSI process as the PAS is developed.”
The Building Safety Regulator is not planning to have an open register of competent BSMs. We want to make sure residents can check if their BSM is competent to do the job and that Accountable Persons can find the right, competent people who have validated that they can deliver building safety to the nationally agreed standard, with the right behaviours. Having the Building Safety Alliance register and certification system in place should help to make sure that residents can be safe in their homes and further tragedy can be prevented.
Owned and led by its inclusive Stakeholder Council, it will provide resident and Regulator confidence in the functions it delivers by seeking third party accreditation to assure appropriate governance, transparency, complaints process, appeals process, and sanctions.
The Building Safety Alliance is an independent ‘not for profit’ organisation.
The full list of members/supporters can be obtained from the Secretariat.
What do we do?
The Building Safety Alliance will deliver initially two functions:
- The certification of individuals wishing to deliver the role of BSM as an individual and those individuals wishing to act as a nominated individual for organisations delivering the BSM function; and
- A publicly accessible register of those certified by the scheme.
We are also, later, expecting to work with others to evaluate how organisations holding themselves as having the capability to deliver the function of the BSM can be quality assured to deliver this role, and potentially looking to assist contractors and suppliers to HRBs to meet the requirements of BSI Flex 8670.
What is the Building Safety Manager?
The concept of the Building Safety Manager (BSM) first featured in Dame Judith Hackitt’s report, Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. She wanted to make sure there was a clearly and identifiable person who was responsible for the day-to-day management of a building and who act as the point of contact for residents.
Crucially, Dame Hackitt stipulated that this BSM would need to have the right skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours (SKEB) to take on the role, which would need to contribute to holistic, whole building safety for higher risk buildings.
Since May 2018, there have been several consultations and even a draft Building Safety Bill (BSB), which have refined the BSM role.
The Building Safety Bill published on 5th July, outlined the “building safety manager” as a person appointed by the principal accountable person for a higher-risk building to carry out such duties relating to the planning, managing and monitoring of Part 4 functions as may be specified in the appointment (the “BSM duties”). This means that their principal role is to support the Accountable Person in complying with their obligations under Part 4 of the Bill, in so far as the contract between the principal accountable person and the building safety manager outlines the specific duties.