Time for Change

18 June 2024


Last Friday saw the seventh anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy that took 72 innocent lives. It was amazing to see our LinkedIn feeds full of well-intended, heartfelt posts, and rightly so – it should never be forgotten and should never be allowed to happen again.

However, an annual LinkedIn post won’t fix our industry’s problems, and certainly won’t help prevent future tragedies from occurring.

Fortunately, those tasked with overhauling our industry’s regulations, in the wake of the tragedy, sought to make a tangible difference.

Five months after the fire, on 18 December 2017, an Interim Report was published, which called for a ‘universal shift in culture‘ and on 16 May, 2018 the final report, Building a Safer Future, Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report, was published, setting out more than 50 recommendations for government on how to deliver a more robust regulatory system.

In response to these recommendations, the Industry Response Group (IRG) established a Competence Steering Group (CSG) to develop proposals in relation to Building Safety competence. The CSG was set up to tackle competence shortcomings identified in the 2018 Hackitt Review, Building a Safer Future.

Twelve Working Groups were subsequently formed for individual sectors to develop competence frameworks, which would report to the CSG. These Included WG2 – Installers, WG9 – Supervisors and WG10 – Project Managers.

WG2, the Installers group, identified some key principals for development, which importantly included:

Many in the industry have embraced the changes called for by the Working Groups, which, following the Building Safety Act, are now primary UK legislation (law). Indeed 2024 has been our busiest year to-date. However, there is still resistance, with many refusing to accept the recommendations and do the right thing.

So going forward, yes let’s continue to remember those who lost their lives, but let’s also do more than that; let’s actually do something meaningful. How many will join us?

Actions speak louder than words.

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