The Engineering Council is leading a working group looking at the competence requirements for engineering professionals working on higher risk residential buildings (HRRBs), as part of the industry response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. One of the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of building regulations and fire safety is a new regulatory framework, including “A requirement on the dutyholder to present a safety case to the Joint Competent Authority (JCA) at regular intervals to check that building safety risks are being managed so far as is reasonably practicable”. Taking learning from other safety critical sectors, the Engineering Council working group is exploring what a safety case for HRRBs should contain, and the competences needed to create, assess and use it.
The Engineering Council is very grateful to Southwark Council for allowing members of the working group to visit one of its HRRBs to test out some of its thinking about what should be in the safety case, and how practical it would be to create and check this for an occupied building.
The working group will not be reporting on the building visited, or on Southwark’s management of it. The working group will use the learning from the visit to help it to develop recommendations to the Industry Response Group aimed at raising standards of safety across the residential building sector.
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Kate Webster, Engineering Council – email@example.com, 020 3206 0567
The Engineering Council holds the national Register of Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communication Technology Technicians (ICTTech). It also sets and maintains the internationally recognised standards of competence and ethics that govern the award and retention of these titles. By this means it is able to ensure that employers, government and wider society, both at home and overseas, can have confidence in the skills and commitment of registrants. For more information visit: www.engc.org.uk
 The Engineering Council-led Working Group 1: Engineers (WG1) is one of the 12 working groups established by the Industry Response Group Steering Group on Competences for Building a Safer Future [CSG]
 HRRBs are defined in the Review as multi-occupancy higher risk residential buildings that are 10 storeys or more in height.
 From Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of building regulations and fire safety, Building a Safer Future, page 13