Regulators will ‘no longer tolerate an industry that does not evidence its competence’, Constuction Products Association warns

An industry group set up in the wake of the Grenfell fire is asking built environment professionals to review a set of proposals to create a single agreed standard for construction products competence (CPC).

The white paper, titled “Built environment – proposed construction product competence standard”, sets out the radical change that is needed in the assessment of the competence of those working with construction products.

It has been developed by the Competence Steering Group and led by the Construction Products Association (CPA), who are now inviting professionals from across the built environment sector - including contractors, designers and manufacturers - to consider how to apply the proposals in their industries.

Grenfell Tower wrapped


The standard has been authored by the Competence Steering Group, which was set up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire

CPA chief executive Peter Caplehorn said the construction industry needs to work in a “non-siloed” manner to ensure building safety.

The standard seeks to address the competence issues raised in Judith Hackitt’s report “Building a Safer Future” and the subsequent requirements set out in the Building Safety Act following the 2017 Grenfell fire, which killed 72 people.

It consists of five core levels of competence and a methodology that defines how these can be mapped consistently by the different industries to their competence frameworks to ensure everyone applies CPC in the same way.

This aims to assist regulators and duty holders in identifying what levels of competence are needed for those working with construction products.

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The standard is designed to give a clear path of progression through the necessary competences required for different levels of responsibility and accountability, and can be used by industries to map against their existing training and qualifications and create any additional training that may be needed.

The white paper also propose to add the standard to an existing standardisation approach, known as BSI 8670, which was developed in response to Hackitt’s review.

“Dame Judith Hackitt rightly pointed out that our industry needs to take responsibility for competence and work in a non-siloed manner,” said Caplehorn. 

“Now the Building Safety Act is making clear that regulators will no longer tolerate an industry that does not evidence its competence. 

“The CPC levels have been designed to provide a single framework for everyone to work to, and I would urge the industry to read this white paper and get involved in testing it together.”

The CPA said the aim is for industries to have had the time to practically trial the white paper proposals by the time they go through the formal standards process, so they are ready to provide feedback through a public consultation.

A series of panel-led webinars tailored to those working in design, manufacturing, contracting, operations and maintenance and distributors will kick off on 27 September, starting with a season for manufacturers.