NAPIT – The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers – has welcomed many elements of the thorough review conducted by Dame Judith Hackitt, after her Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety was published today (May 17).
The review was ordered following the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017, in which 71 people died after a faulty fridge caught fire in a fourth-floor flat, causing a blaze which spread across the building. Dame Judith’s recommendations have included support for the self-certification model, by which people who are members of a Competent Person Scheme are able to certify their work as compliant with the Building Regulations. This work will, however, be overseen by a Joint Competent Authority in residential properties of ten storeys or more.
The NAPIT Group’s Chief Executive, Mike Andrews (pictured), said “We are pleased to see that this report has seen the clear benefits of the self-certification model. Since our foundation 25 years ago, NAPIT have believed in self-certification as a way to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations, and we go further than the recommendations suggested by Dame Judith by requiring that all operatives, rather than just a qualifying supervisor, are assessed as competent in the registration process. We welcome the creation of a Joint Competent Authority to ensure that work done in higher risk properties reaches the desired standards.
“We support the suggestion that bodies which accredit competence should themselves be accredited. Schemes which are accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) require installers to be competent and to be regularly assessed to demonstrate their ongoing competence. This approach is currently in use by all Competent Person Schemes, including those run by NAPIT, and by the Quality Mark being developed in the wake of the Each Home Counts Review. All members registered on our Competent Person Scheme receive a card outlining their competence, and this has worked successfully in practice. ECS Gold Cards for electricians, which are mentioned in the report, are not UKAS accredited and do not require the ongoing assessment of actual installation work.”
One concern expressed by many observers was that the review fell short of banning flammable cladding, however Housing Secretary James Brokenshire has announced today that the government is to consult on such a ban having “listened carefully” to others on the issue.
NAPIT looks forward to hearing more about how Dame Judith’s recommendations will be implemented, and will work closely with partners across industry to bring about positive change and dramatically improve the safety of buildings across the country.
For more information on the standards that NAPIT members adhere to, visit www.napit.org.uk/home-owner/why-choose-a-napit-member.aspx.