Hackitt report: The industry must step up and play its part too

Peter Caplehorn

Legislative change takes time and we need to start changing now

Dame Judith Hackitt’s much-anticipated full report has now been published: so, what happens now? The report answers this question, at least in part, and gives us some direction as to what will need to change, and even some clues as to how. The rest is up to us.

Hackitt’s report is in many ways what we expected – fleshing out many of the themes identified in December’s interim report. As promised, very little has been left unconsidered. The report proposes a new regulatory framework authority – the Joint Competent Authority (JCA) – and new mechanisms for compliance with regulations, with real penalties for failings, as well as a rationale for checking work. Many who contributed through the working groups and the wider community will be pleased and supportive of the report. 

But Dame Judith also challenges the industry and government alike to put its house in order. The key points that she identified were symptoms of systemic failure: a broken system that requires cultural change. Undoubtedly, in the post-Grenfell era, the construction industry needs to reflect, learn and act. But can we agree on the direction of those actions?

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