SELECT welcomes building standards review and calls for mandatory use of approved certifier schemes
The campaigning body for Scotland’s electrotechnical trade has called on the Scottish Government to seize the chance of a new review into building standards to make sure that its own approved certifier schemes become mandatory across the construction industry.
A Review Panel on Building Standards (Compliance and Enforcement) was prompted by an independent report into the closure of 17 Edinburgh schools last year after the collapse of a wall at Oxgangs Primary, and the subsequent tragic events this year at Grenfell Tower in London.
Industry body SELECT welcomed the review panel and said that it looked forward to working with the relevant bodies with a view to helping to introduce real change into the Scottish building standards system.
Dave Forrester, head of technical services at SELECT, said: “Parts of the building standards regime work very well at the moment. Technical standards, for instance, are flexible enough to accommodate change and innovation.
“However, there are a number of issues surrounding approved certification which we think the review could profitably address in order to remove anomalies and build confidence in the certification process.”
Mr Forrester pointed out that approved certifiers are directly responsible for the work that is certified under a building warrant. Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS), the membership organisation representing verifiers, has issued guidelines regarding certification services.
Some local authorities, however, are still either unaware of or ignoring the LABSS guidance and accepting forms of certification without detailed scrutiny.
Mr Forrester said: “The review is an excellent and thoughtful response to the issues raised by recent tragic events. It is an opportunity to really consider the regime of compliance and enforcement and to embrace meaningful change.
“This is the ideal moment to make it a mandatory requirement to use the existing approved certifier schemes, particularly for Government-funded work, and to extend the process to all Schedule 3 work .”
SELECT, Scotland’s largest trade association has over 1250 member companies who account for around 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland. They have a collective turnover of around £1 billion and provide employment for 15,000 people.