Collectively through Working Group 8 (WG 8) of the Competence Steering Group we have worked across sector with colleagues from the housing, fire safety, construction and FM sectors to develop a national competence framework for those that manage or own multi-occupied residential premises. The framework document is intended to provide standalone  guidance on competence as set out in the Safer People, Safer Homes report. Further information can be viewed here.

Following a number of recent fires in residential buildings which has resulted in tragic loss of life, there is a need to improve building safety performance by focusing upon improving the competence of the workforce at all levels across the housing sector. This requires organisations to have robust systems and processes, governance, resources, and right level of expertise to be able to ensure that risks are well managed and resident safety is at the forefront of all decision making from initial concept throughout the life of building through design, construction and occupation stages.

In practice, this will require you to have systems in place to manage competencies and employ staff who can demonstrate the right behaviours. This will foster the commitment and delivery of a competent workforce, that has the right mix of skills, knowledge, experience, and behaviours to ensure a positive culture is established and delivers the effective management of buildings throughout their lifecycle. Individual competence will need to be established and monitored on a regular basis to ensure the organisation and its workforce remain competent in its function to deliver safety and manage risks effectively.

This will be an important factor when developing and setting out the requirements of the safety case regime and meeting the wider regulatory requirements, ensuring that your organisation has robust systems, processes and a competent workforce aligned with a positive culture that puts residents at the centre of all decision making. It is expected that this in turn will provide improved assurance to residents, members of the public, landlords, boards, and regulators.