What is the Building Safety Alliance?

The Building Safety Alliance Ltd is a Company limited by guarantee, and currently has a number of interim directors. The Building Safety Alliance 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.

Supporters have joined together as an industry grouping established to drive culture change and competence in the safety management of residential 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.”

The requirement for an Accountable Person/Principal Accountable Person to appoint a ‘Building Safety Manager’ has now (as at March 2022) been removed from the Draft Building Safety Bill, however the other requirements placed on dutyholders remain.

While the details of legal requirements will remain ‘fluid’ until such time that the Building Safety Act passes into Law, (currently due to be included in the Queens’ Speech in May 2022). Nevertheless, there remains the recognition across industry that there is a need to improve the competence of those managing building safety in residential homes. The Building Safety Alliance continues to work towards this outcome.

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:

  1. The development, with others, of appropriate competence standards for both organisations and individuals with responsibility for residential building safety
  2. Potentially the provision of a publicly accessible register of those certified by the scheme. (Currently it is understood that no such register will be provided by the new Building Safety Regulator)

We are also, later, expecting to work with others to evaluate how organisations holding themselves as having the capability to deliver management of residential building management 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 required of those managing residential building safety?

The Building Safety Bill, published on 5th July, outlined the dutyholder’s (principal accountable person), obligations under Part 4 of the Bill.

The Building Safety Bill relates specifically to risks to residents relating to ‘spread of fire and structural safety’ in their buildings.

These duties are specific to the Building Safety Bill, and are additional to all those existing legislative ‘H&S related’ obligations that have long been required.

Owners of buildings (Principal Accountable Persons and/or Accountable Persons) have the specific obligations set out in Part 4 of the Building Safety Bill. These are different and additional to those that they also have in relation to all the Health and Safety legislation already in place.

Under the new regime it is anticipated that those, principally organisations, who provide the delivery of the health and safety obligations will now also deliver the additional requirements ‘for and on behalf of’ the Principal Accountable Person under Part 4 of the Building Safety Act (when it comes into Law).

How the Owners of buildings ensure that all their obligations are met is up to them and how they operate their organisations – it is the outcome of safe homes that is important. The Building Safety Alliance is working to develop appropriate standards of competence that can provide both the residents of the building, and the building owner the assurance that those delivering overall safety management of residential buildings have both the resources, and access to the appropriate competence (by way of a combination of skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours. )