First of all I must apologise for the apparent lack of news since the EGM.

Please be assured that the wider executive and the smaller Hackitt response group, comprising of myself, Diane Marshall and Paul Timmins, have been working extremely hard on behalf of all ACAI members.

Activity since the EGM includes:

  • Development of the ACAI’s formal response to the review which is available here and was submitted on 21st June 2018
  • Representation on the CIC Council, CIC EGM dealing with Hackitt, CIC Working Group A on the of the definition of HRRB’s, CIC Working Group B on the Joint Competent Authority and Building Standards
  • Representation at the Industry Response Group (IRG) Partners Events and the working group on competence
  • Representation at the Fire Sector Federation Steering Group and working group on the Joint Competent Authority
  • Continuing representation at the BCA and the BSPSAG
  • Engagement with the Minister and Junior Ministers within MHCLG

Last week saw some significant developments. Firstly we had two, 2-hour meetings with the MHCLG Implementation team to deliver and build on our submission in person. Attendance at an IRG Event at which Dame Judith stated that it ‘was not her intention to exclude Approved Inspectors from the Regulatory Process’ and later privately stated that para 2.43 of the report was not correct.

Thursday saw a written statement by the Minister which can be accessed here.

There is an interesting shift in the language used where reference is made to ‘Building Control Bodies’ rather than previous references to LABC – this is mainly due to none of the actual recommendations yet been agreed.

There was also the release of the Select Committee’s report which came as a bit of a shock as we were due to give evidence prior to the report being published. There are reports of some unhappiness in the secretariat that the report was rushed through before all evidence has been taken. We believe the Chair of the committee decided on early release to put some pressure on the Ministerial Statement. We are now working hard to engage with politicians to influence their response to the report which will be made after the summer recess.

MHCLG have announced that responses to the review will be welcomed up to the end of the month. We cannot emphasise enough how important it is for individual members to submit a response before this deadline based on the ACAI response. It may be that some of you are unconcerned as you do not work in the HRRB sector, however, it has already become clear that most of the industry wants any new system to apply to a much wider range of building types which will affect us all.

Many of you will have seen a lot of ‘news’ coming from LABC and may be concerned that we don’t appear to respond in kind. We are working hard with our communications advisers mhp to ensure our engagement is focused and targeted on those that are important in the decision making process. Having said that you will start to see a little more public activity from us over the coming days and weeks.

Finally, I would like to raise a word of caution. Our interaction and engagement with the whole review and implementation process has been made much more difficult by a small amount of evidence, mainly but not exclusively anecdotal, of poor professional behaviour amongst the private sector. We are currently under a huge spotlight so it essential we are all seen to be behaving in the professional manner our role requires of us.

In conclusion, we believe that our thoughts on the future process are gaining some traction but there is a very long way to go to address all the concerns raised about duty holders being able to choose their regulator and the perceptions this causes. We continue to work hard on your behalf and I will do my best to update you when I can.

Paul Wilkins

Chair ACAI