Tag: competence

Technical Due Diligence ─ Redefined by RICS … adopted by ICM too!

RICS explain that Technical due diligence of property, when carried out by an RICS member or RICS registered firm, consists of the systematic review, analysis, discovery and gathering of information about the physical characteristics of a property and/or land (the property). The RICS member or RICS registered firm then undertakes an impartial and professional assessment of the property and provides a balanced and professional opinion of the condition of the property in the form of a technical due diligence report. This enables a prospective purchaser, occupier or financier of the property to make an informed assessment of the risks associated with the transaction from a technical perspective.

During the process of undertaking technical due diligence, an RICS member or RICS regulated firm may establish defects or deficiencies in the property that could have an impact on the asset and the life safety of occupants in its immediate, short-, medium- or long-term performance. The defects may include the need for repairs arising from:

• deficiencies in design and construction quality

• a lack of planned and actual maintenance

• neglect or misuse

• insufficient capacity in services items approaching, at or beyond the end of their useful or economic life

• deleterious materials and

• non-compliance with statutory or mandatory requirements such as planning and Building Regulations or Building Codes.

Matters may also arise that are not to the potential purchasers’, managers’ or occupiers’ required standards, e.g. relating to cultural, social or religious beliefs or requirements.Technical due diligence can be used for many purposes, including:

• providing a basis for optimisation of design of new developments and refurbishments

• gaining an understanding of the condition and design of the property

• establishing the suitability of the property for its intended use (if known)

• understanding the need for and quantity of future costs of repair and replacements and other liabilities

• providing a level of protection for the occupier, owner, institutional investor or funder

• providing a basis for price negotiations

• providing a basis for the allocation of risk

• providing a basis to improve life safety and

• providing a basis for performance improvement, improved sustainability and better decision making.

The ICM's Director of Education & Training David Jones is a Member of RICS and says " I welcome the timely publication of this excellent global guidance which I fully endorse ... "

You may download a copy of the RICS Guidance HERE


Fire Safety Training …

Fire Safety Training ...

Fire Risk Consultancy Limited work closely with the Fire Service to develop courses to meet their training requirements and have close links with large institutions such as RICS and LABC ─  are proud to be an Institute of Fire Safety Managers approved centre and offer IFE approved courses ...

The Institute of Construction Management recognise the quality and resources made available by Fire Risk Consultancy Limited who are committed to delivering high quality training which is flexible and customer focused

Fire Risk Consultancy Limited ─ Est 2000 ─ specialise in fire safety training and seminars for all businesses and sectors ─ deliver training both in-house and online in order to meet the clients individual needs and are constantly updating our courses to reflect changes in legislation.


  • This elearning package has been produced in response to the tragic incident at Grenfell Tower in which 72 people lost their lives.

  • This has been produced working with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service who have developed a robust and flexible system for dealing with high rise incidents.

  • This course will cover the areas of concern and how to mitigate the risk to firefighters and occupants alike.

  • This presentation has been produced to educate all those in the industry around the world.

ICM's Director of Education & Training David Jones urges all construction professionals to access the exemplary elearning produced by Fire Risk Consultancy Limited ─ all designers MUST have a clear understanding of what they do when designing any external cladding to buildings and MUST comply with Building Regulation B4-(1) read with Building Regulation 7 ─ WITHOUT COMPROMISE ─ Competence is Key!


Approved Document B addresses fire safety precautions which must be adhered to, to ensure the safety of occupants, firefighters and those close to the building in the event of a fire.

The document covers all standards related to this, including means of escape, the ability to internally isolate a blaze to prevent a fire from spreading, external fire spread, firefighter access to the building and facilities, fire detection and warning systems in place within a building.

It also addresses the internal spread of a fire due to the structure or lining used within a building and safety measures related to this.

Document B is separated into two volumes, this volume covers dwellings.

Both volumes address the same issues, but the information has been adapted for each type of structure, for example different guidance on escape routes depending on building type.

LATEST 2019 volume of approved Document supports requirements B1 to B5 of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010 as well as regulations 6(3), 7(2) and 38  ─ Effective from 30 August 2019 for use in England.

Approved Document B has been redrafted to clarify its language and content in line with the Department’s style guide for approved documents. This edition of the approved document replaces the 2006 edition including all amendments. There are no changes from the previous edition to the technical guidance within Approved Document B.

What is an approved document?

The Secretary of State has approved a series of documents that give practical guidance about how to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 for England. These approved documents give guidance on each of the technical parts of the regulations and on regulation 7 (see the back of this document).

The approved documents provide guidance for common building situations.

It is the responsibility of those carrying out building works to meet the requirements of the Buildings Regulations 2010.

Although it is ultimately for the courts to determine whether those requirements have been met, the approved documents provide practical guidance on potential ways to achieve compliance with the requirements of the regulations in England.

Although approved documents cover common building situations, compliance with the guidance set out in the approved documents does not provide a guarantee of compliance with the requirements of the regulations because the approved documents cannot cater for all circumstances, variations and innovations. Those with responsibility for meeting the requirements of the regulations will need to consider for themselves whether following the guidance in the approved documents is likely to meet those requirements in the particular circumstances of their case.

Note that there may be other ways to comply with the requirements than the methods described in an approved document. If you prefer to meet a relevant requirement in some other way than that described in an approved document, you should seek to agree this with the relevant building control body at an early stage.

Where the guidance in the approved document has been followed, a court or inspector will tend to find that there is no breach of the regulations. However, where the guidance in the approved document has not been followed, this may be relied upon as tending to establish breach of the regulations and, in such circumstances, the person carrying out building works should demonstrate that the requirements of the regulations have been complied with by some other acceptable means or method.

In addition to guidance, some approved documents include provisions that must be followed exactly, as required by regulations or where methods of test or calculation have been prescribed by the Secretary of State.

Each approved document relates only to the particular requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 that the document addresses. However, building work must also comply with all other applicable requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 and all other applicable legislation.


The UK construction industry still seeks a comprehensive solution to the problem of ensuring competence

The ICM fully applauds and supports the FMB's initiative ...

As things stand, many would argue that too few builders and contractors are subject to meaningful checks and balances. This is because, unlike the gas and electrical trades, anyone in the UK can set themselves up as a builder or tradesperson ...

At the heart of this problem is how we can ensure and promote competence across the whole of the industry. It is difficult to see how this will ever be possible without some mechanism by which we can regulate entrance to and exit from the industry to ensure commitment to basic standards accepted by all.

A comprehensive and mandatory licensing scheme would provide a framework through which to facilitate upskilling and promote understanding of, and adaptation to, technological and regulatory change. It would enable the removal of the worst elements, and over time serve as a mechanism to drive up standards across the board. The point of entry and the point of sanction would provide a means to bar from the industry those who are shown to fall below required standards. The point of licence renewal could also be used to promote upskilling in a way which drives professionalisation and leads to a step change in culture and productivity across the sector.


ICM Director of Education & Training David Jones says ─ " there was a time when anyone could get in a car a just drive it on a public highway " compulsory testing was introduced for all new drivers with the Road Traffic Act 1934 and the test was initially voluntary to avoid a rush of candidates until 1 June 1935 when all people who had started to drive on or after 1 April 1934 needed to have passed the test ─ " both safety and quality have fallen to alarming levels of incompetence ─ it simply is mindless and madness for the UK government not to actively commence to move to a new way of controlled working! " ─ says David Jones


FIA Guide to the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018

The Building (Amendment) Regulations which came into force in December 2018 introduce new restrictions on the combustibility of materials contained within external walls of “relevant buildings” in England.“Relevant buildings” includes residential and institutional buildings that are more than 18m high.

Materials used within external walls of those buildings will need to be either Euro Class A2-s1,d0 or Euro Class A1. Other test standards, or the use of terms such as “non-combustible” or “limited combustibility” would not guarantee compliance with those standards.

In practice, any materials which contains any significant amount of organic material (e.g. plastics or timber) are unlikely to achieve those standards. The new restrictions are very extensive and include all materials contained within the external wall (not just insulation and cladding).

This would also include materials which pass through the wall, such as ducts and pipes.

The restrictions also apply to certain types of “specified attachments” which includes balconies, solar shading and solar panels.

The Amended Regulations includes a list of materials which are excluded from the restriction, which includes window frames, doors, seals, gaskets, electrical wiring and membranes. That list is very specific, and if a material is not in that list, then it will need to comply with the combustibility restrictions.

One key issue is that the Amendment has been introduced directly into the Building Regulations themselves, rather than just into guidance documents such as Approved Document B. As a result, the new restrictions will be enforced much more rigidly than is the case for other aspects of fire safety in buildings. Whilst it is possible for local authorities to permit Relaxations against the new restrictions, it would be entirely up to the local authority as to whether they would be willing to do this.

As a result, if it is discovered during construction that a non-compliant material has been used within the external wall (even in small quantities) it is very possible that the material will need to be removed, even if that requires the entire external wall to be dismantled to achieve it. This could clearly have a very severe impact on the project cost and programme.

This is a much stricter level of control than the majority of the construction industry is used to. As a result, FIA strongly suggest that when working on these types of buildings, the design team should include a competent Fire Engineer to produce and maintain a specific register of materials that they have checked as being compliant, and only materials that are on that register should be permitted within the external walls. Site staff should be trained and site inspections carried out to ensure that only materials that are on that list should be used. If this is not carried out, there is a high risk of non-compliant materials being used, with potentially very severe implications on the project.

The only option for permitting non-compliant materials is now to achieve a “Relaxation” from the local authority and would be entirely down to the local authority as to whether they would permit this case-by-case, and at present, it is not clear as to whether local authorities would be willing to consider this approach.

This would mean that if it is found that a material was used within an external wall which does not comply with the Amended Regulations, and the local authority will not issue a Relaxation, then it has to be removed. Even if the remedial works would incur major costs and delays, then it will still have to be carried out.The consequence of non-compliance with the Regulations could therefore potentially have a very severe impact on the project budget and programme.

Under the Building Act 1984, it is possible for the local authority to relax most requirements of the Building Regulations if they consider “that the operation of a requirement in building regulations would be unreasonable in relation to the particular case to which the application relates”.

Relaxations can only be issued by the local authority and cannot be issued by Approved Inspectors.

As this is a new change to regulations, at present it is not clear whether local authorities would be prepared to issue such Relaxations. If they were, it would require an application to the local authority (not Approved Inspector). In order to consider issuing a Relaxation, the local authority would need to be satisfied that enforcing the regulation would be “unreasonable”. The level of evidence required would depend on the specific situation but would be likely to be influenced by the consequences of fully compliance.

For example, if, at a late stage of construction, it is found that a non-compliant material has been used in small quantities, the local authority may be more sympathetic to the application for a relaxation as the consequences of enforcement might be to remove and rebuild the external wall. However, there is no guarantee that the local authorities would be prepared to issue Relaxations on this issue.  Design teams should only consider the use of Relaxations when absolutely necessary. If designers intend to apply for a Relaxation, they should communicate this with the local authority at an early stage in order to confirm whether they would be open to this approach ...

There will be many people within the construction industry who are not used to this level of control and so there is a risk that even if the design is compliant to the Amended Regulations, there may be a substitution of materials later on, or that the contractors on site may use certain materials which are not specifically shown in drawings or approved details.

For example, contractors would often use products such as washers, rawlplugs etc. which may be plastic (or of other non-compliant materials). If those components are in the list of exclusions, then that is not a problem. That list includes “fixings” which FIA would presume would cover washers and rawlplugs. However, if the products that have been used are NOT COVERED BY THE LIST OF EXCLUSIONS, then they WILL NEED TO BE REMOVED, even if they are only used in very small quantities. There is no flexibility in the regulations on this issue.If this happens, and it is only identified late in the construction, it will be necessary to remove the non-compliant materials. Depending on their location, it may be necessary to dismantle the external wall to access them. Clearly, the impact of this on the costs and programme could potentially be extremely severe ...

ICM's Director of Education and Training David Jones urges all to fully understand these new rules - they save lives! - and David Jones comments " extreme vigilance and quality control is needed on site to ensure things are installed and fixed properly - I urge all those who commission any building project to ensure a competent Clerk of Works is engaged to monitor the works " ...



T Levels – new courses coming in September 2020 – ICM Registration

Reforming technical education and developing the T Level qualifications for post-16 students

The Institute of Construction Management [ICM] already provide early training on risk management and hazard identification into secondary education at Year-8 Level - and will support and register post-16 students undertaking T Level Apprenticeships ... these will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work -

ICM recognise the vital important role competent workers play in the construction industry - and intend to provide Registration of Attainment and create a cost effective membership level with a searchable facility to display achievers seeking employment and to provide ongoing support ...

T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship

Students will be able to take a T Level in the following subject areas that will registered and recognised by ICM:

  • building services engineering
  • craft and design
  • cultural heritage and visitor attractions
  • design, development and control
  • design, surveying and planning
  • digital production, design and development
  • digital support and services
  • financial
  • maintenance, installation and repair
  • management and administration
  • manufacturing and process
  • onsite construction

The Institute of Construction Management is planning to commence to open a new unique End Point Assessment Organisation ─ ICM staff are discussing arrangements with the ESFA

Watch the short video that explains all about the duty of the EPAO ─ CLICK HERE ─


Autumn 2020

First T Level courses start for specific occupations in 3 industries:

  • digital production, design and development
  • design, surveying and planning
  • education

Autumn 2021

T Level courses start in these subject areas:

  • building services engineering
  • digital business services
  • digital support and services
  • health
  • healthcare science
  • onsite construction
  • science

Autumn 2022

T Level courses start in these subject areas:

  • legal
  • financial
  • accountancy
  • maintenance, installation and repair
  • manufacturing and process
  • design, development and control
  • human resources
  • management and administration

Autumn 2023

T Level courses start in these subject areas:

  • animal care and management
  • agriculture, land management and production
  • craft and design
  • cultural heritage and visitor attractions
  • media, broadcast and production
  • hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • catering

T Level Action Plan 2019


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