Dave Robinson, Head of Technical Support at British Gypsum, shares his thoughts on why the industry needs to step forward and do more in terms of fire safety and technical competency.
Since the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017 and the inquiry into what went wrong, the way the construction industry manages competency and provides complete transparency is crucial to ensuring that we build better and safer.
In Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, it was highlighted there is a need for significant cultural and regulatory change throughout the entire industry.
The main finding from the report is that “the current system of building regulations and fire safety is not fit for purpose and that a culture change is required to support the delivery of buildings that are safe, both now and in the future.”
Minimum competency levels
Following the review, the Construction Products Association (CPA) established the Marketing Integrity Group (MIG) to review the issues raised and undertook a call for evidence survey. By gathering views from across the industry, it was suggested that there should be a minimum competency level for individuals involved in establishing the performance criteria that products should adhere to, specifying named products, and proposing and approving alternative products for substitution.
To ensure that manufacturers produce and present information on their products hat is clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous, the CPA recommended the introduction of a Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) to be a new industry code of conduct.