Competence tables to help ensure delivery of safe high-rise buildings

The Engineering Council has announced that the competence tables for The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence and Commitment Contextualised for Higher-Risk Buildings (UK-SPEC HRB) have been published.

Following 2017’s Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Government commissioned an independent review of UK building regulations and fire safety led by Dame Judith Hackitt. This report informed the Building Safety Act 2022, ensuring that everyone undertaking design or building work on higher-risk buildings demonstrates a high level of competence and expertise. This ‘guarantees compliance with building regulations and, ultimately, public safety, security and trust’, says the Engineering Council, which has developed the UK-SPEC HRB competences ahead of the full Standard, due to be published in mid-2024, and Discipline Annexes, before the end of 2023. These detail how competence and commitment requirements apply to HRB registration.

The Engineering Council said: “As part of a collaborative initiative on the part of Licensees, these competence tables provide a shared framework for a range of engineering disciplines in order to deliver safe buildings throughout the building lifecycle. From the beginning, our working group recognised the need for competent maintenance and management of occupied buildings, as well as designing and constructing them to be safe for the public.”

Peter Wilkinson, Chair of the Contextualised Registration Steering Group (CRSG), said: “Being able to develop the competence tables for the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence and Commitment contextualised for Higher-Risk Buildings (UK-SPEC HRB), from a concept directly driven by the response to the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, is incredibly important. As chair of the Engineering Council’s CRSG, I thank all the volunteers and staff members involved for their hard work and dedication over the last few years. However, the hard work continues, as we encourage our professional engineering colleagues from across the built environment to demonstrate their competence and commitment to the public by registering”.

Paul Bailey, Engineering Council CEO, added: These tables will enable our talented engineers and technicians to further their own development, and demonstrate their commitment to practising professionally and ethically to deliver safe buildings in the public interest. Registration is an essential step in a professional’s career in engineering; it ensures that they are assessed to, and uphold, the highest standards in order to work on the safety-critical infrastructure projects across the country”.

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.

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