Race against time before April: Are we heading for a building control inspection crisis?


LABC fears a shutdown of building control services in April due to a lack of certified inspectors. How worried should we be? asks Daniel Gayne

On 6 April this year another milestone will be passed in the government’s overhaul of UK building safety. This date marks the deadline for building control professionals to register with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR). If they don’t they will no longer be able to practice legally. 

Is the industry ready? It is not looking good.

Lorna Stimpson, chief executive of Local Authority Building Control earlier this month wrote to the government to warn that a “significant number” of local authorities will be unable to undertake building control services from April unless a deadline to register and achieve certification is extended.

Many surveyors will have to pass new competence examinations before they are able to register at the appropriate level. But the BSR’s schema of registration classes and sub-classes is complex, and nobody is quite sure exactly how many are currently employed in the sector (the loose consensus is between 4,000 and 5,000), let alone how many are needed at each level of qualification.  

But while the situation is complicated, the bottom line is simple. Gavin Dunn, chief executive of one of the bodies tasked with overseeing the accreditation process, puts it bluntly: “I can tell you this, if it is 4,500 [needed], there won’t be 4,500 people available in April.”

So how did we get here? Why is it proving difficult to get people registered in time and what is at stake?

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