But overall registrations unlikely to rise substantially from current level

A three-month extension to the deadline for building control inspectors to get accredited will be enough time for councils to get their affairs in order, according to Local Authority Building Control (LABC). 

Lorna Stimpson, chief executive of the organisation, which represents the public sector side of the building control profession, had previously warned of a looming crisis which could have left local authorities unable to carry out building control after 6 April. 


Source: LABC

Lorna Stimpson, chief executive of LABC

Last week, the Health and Safety Executive announced that this deadline – after which inspectors who had not registered and received accreditation would not have been able to work – would be extended by 13 weeks to 6 July.

“This is going to be an intense period, but it is an intense period that we can use wisely and certainly I think we will be in a position where we won’t have local authorities or building control bodies who don’t have appropriate people,” Stimpson told Building’s sister title Housing Today.  

“I don’t think we will be taking our foot off the gas just yet. We have got a lot to do between now and July, but what we will have, I believe, is a regulated profession that will be fit for purpose come July.”

Under the rules of the extension, inspectors will still have to register with the BSR by the original deadline but will be given more time to prove their competency. 

“We are pulling out all the stops, putting in additional validation dates in so we can get as many people through as we possibly can,” said Stimpson, who also leads the Building Safety Competence Foundation, an LABC subsidiary and one of three accreditation bodies approved by the government.  

It is unclear how many people are currently employed as building control professionals in the UK but previous estimates have put the number at between 4,000 and 5,000.   

As of 14 March, 3,261 professionals had started their applications to register with the Building Safety Regulator, according to the HSE.   

Stimpson said she did not think the number of people registered would increase substantially by the 6 April deadline and said she suspected that the number of practicing as building control professionals on the private side may have been lower than previously estimated. 

But she acknowledged that the professionalisation of the sector, which has been pushed by the government in the wake of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy, will lead to some people leaving the sector. 

“We will naturally have lost people, because you would naturally lose people anyway – people retire, and I think it is a natural thing that happens when any profession is going through a registration process,” she said.  

“The skills of building control surveyors are now very highly sought from developers, from duty holders […] so we are naturally going to lose some people.” 

She said the deadline extension in England, which is roughly three months shorter than that agreed in Wales, would maintain a sense of urgency for professionals. 

“I don’t think we could have had any better news,” she said. “I am very confident that the building control profession will take this additional time and use it really wisely.”