National CDM Competence Registry™® launched by The Institute of Construction Management …

National CDM Competence Registry™® launched by The Institute of Construction Management …

... the sector needs a new culture of managing safety on HRRBs and fire risks during cladding and insulation removal and replacement ...

On a sound foundation the ICM proudly launched the National CDM Competence Registry™® at London Build 2018 the leading construction & design show at London Olympia on 23 October.   David Jones Director of Education & Training at ICM was invited to open the conference at the Skills Hub and be the chairperson for the day ...

... the sound foundation for this derives from an earliest record of an organisation representing construction site supervisors and now part of the Institute of Construction Management is that of the London Provident Association of Builders Foremen and Clerks of Works, founded in 1842 - that later became the Institute of Construction Management [ICM] ...

The ICM are making the National CDM Competence Registry™® available as a cross-sector facility open to all construction and property professionals, their supporters and commissioning clients ... essentially to foster a new culture of safe construction fit for the future ... the time is right for this ...

The ICM CDM Competence Registry™® is unique in its purpose – a purpose central across the sector needs to be controlled to keep it true to its intended purpose so that all who come to trust and rely on levels of understanding will know the standards applied and the capabilities of those registered members ... so the ICM has protected this under an international Trademark simply to ensure the central core pillars are not corrupted ...  those core pillars of competence ~ skills – knowledge – expertise ...

The ICM CDM Competence Registry™® has protection under the widest Trademark Class 35 which totally encompasses the intended unique purpose ...   but this is not about creating commercial exclusivity for the ICM or any other body, it’s more about building a true standard to focus the sector onto the original safety intent as a cultural measurable set of competences of all construction professionals ...

The ICM CDM Competence Registry™® will provide the special competence registration needs of those property professionals who will eventually be appointed by the responsible person owners of High Rise Residential Buildings [HRRBs] to operate in the appointed statutory 'Building Safety Manager' within compliance and regulation of the proposed Joint Competence Authority [JCA] ... 

The trusting ordinary folks who place their lives in the expertise of construction professionals are seeking answers in the aftermath of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire that broke out on 14 June 2017 in the 24-storey block of residential flats causing 72 deaths.    major exercises that involved opening up and taking samples for testing have taken place to identify all other social sector buildings clad with the similar Aluminum Composite Materials [ACM] and/or foam polymer insulation materials and/or any defective fire stopping.

This disaster is the deadliest structural fire in the UK since the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster and the worst UK residential fire since WW2 - and has also opened the wider focus on cladding and identified the problem also extends to standard grade high pressure laminate panel materials too, which have been extensively mis-specified or incorrectly supplied.   The full extent of the problem is still being assessed but, so far, there are hundreds of tower blocks that have failed ...

Many of these remaining high-rise residential buildings [HRRBs] are most likely to need to have urgent removal and re-cladding works undertaken.  The removal and replacement of underlying insulation on such buildings will depend on its flammability or whether it is bonded to the outer metal sheet as a composite (sandwich) panel ... and designers will need to be competent to assess and specify the replacement systems - but, more than that, the teams of professionals and contractors will realise that many of the buildings around the UK are high-rise residential tower blocks that will need to remain occupied during the replacement of the external cladding ...urgent interim active fire safety monitoring measures by fire marshals have been put in place to protect the residents who are having to live waiting at considerable risk.

... Art 25(b) RRFSO appears on face value, to place general fire precautions [GFP] within the enforcement remit of HSE ... but taken in conjunction with the 2015 CDM Reg 36 [which replaced the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regs 1994] - Reg 36 provides that where construction sites are contained within or form part of premises occupied by persons other than those carrying out construction work, or any activity related to this work, in which case it will be the FRS who are the responsible statutory enforcing authority for Regs 30 & 31 (so far as they relate to fire) and Reg 32 ...

The Grenfell Inquiry continues to investigate into the disaster and is only currently going through the evidence and experts reports ... however, the duality of authority is very akin to how it can imagined that Dame Judith Hackitt hopes to see her recommended new Joint Competence Authority [JCA] set up ... 

The sound proposals in the Hackitt Report around establishing the JCA include the need for the freehold owner of each HRRB nominating a Building Safety Manager [BSM] with the relevant skills, knowledge and expertise to assist in discharging their duties.    The combined pillars of the JCA will encompass the HSE, FRA, and Building Control authorities - thus, the relevant knowledge base of a BSM would need to have proven expertise in the CDM Regulations, RRFSO, and The Building Regulations.   Additionally, the BSM will the point of contact for residents and occupiers too and will need to regularly liaise with the JCA.   Details on the Joint Competent Authority (JCA) being established to oversee safety for high-rise buildings are gradually becoming clearer.   It is encouraging that the Hackitt review mandates that the principal designer should present detailed specifications “in respect of fire and structural safety as a minimum” prior to the start of construction.

Those professionals who design the replacement solutions will need to understand the current uncertainty of the phrase 'adequate resistance to spread of fire' in Building Regulation B4-(1) and get that defined in context of height, use and position of each building.    The conundrum is that these deep uncertainties raise questions as to exactly what is considered compliant!

Leading experts are calling for the MHCLG to confirm exactly what is considered compliant so that designers will have the confidence they are doing the right thing.   The experts consider if the Ministry does not know the Building Science behind Building Reg. B4-(1), or the lack of Building Science, and openly question how on earth is James Brokenshire currently attempting to amend the Approved Document after the three periods of consultation?   Trying to interpret Advice Notes (which in the case of 11., 14. and 16. are even being revised as time goes by) is no way for the construction industry to get on with the job at hand which it needs to do urgently, competently and positively because peoples' lives remain at risk!    In the uncertainty of  achieving full compliance, Professional Indemnity Insurers are hiking their premiums, while Local Authorities and Housing Associations don't seem to know what to do.

The ICM are aware the proposed HRRB Building Safety Manager [BSM] statutory role will need to prove competence not only in the three pillars of the proposed JCA - Fire Safety; Construction Design & Management Safety; and Building Regulations - but in the specific detailed knowledge and understanding of risk at any particular HRRB - this is because the BSM is also to be the Point of Contact for tenants and residents to bring their safety concerns to and the BSM will need to report to the JCA.   The ICM realise that to properly discharge all the functional component parts of the JCA the UK gov't will almost certainly need to consider registering competent BSMs to specific HRRBs as a one-size-fit-all approach to competent discharge of duty in this scenario simply won't work!  

The ICM will be consulting and engaging widely and with gov't to ensure how the central portal of the CDM Competence Registry™® will be arranged to provide ALL with a robust reliable online search and contact point for competent property professionals ...

Ed.

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