Association of Residential Managing Agents

Members' Area

ARMA to Serve as Council Member of Building Safety Alliance

The Building Safety Alliance, an independent industry led ‘not for profit’ organisation, has launched with the purpose of implementing the certification of competent individuals wishing to deliver the role of a Building Safety Manager (BSM) and a publicly accessible register of those certified by the scheme.

As well as being a named Supporter of the Building Safety Alliance, ARMA will also serve as a Council member alongside other organisations from across the sector managing the occupation phase. ARMA's Health and Safety Advisor, Mark Snelling, will serve as one of the Alliance's three Interim Executives.

The Grenfell Tower tragedy brought to the fore how the safety of all buildings needs to be ensured.  Recognising the role they play in delivering safe buildings, representatives of both the public and private sector have come together to deliver the change in culture needed and the uniform standard of competence that residents should expect from those responsible for their safety. 

The Building Safety Alliance will deliver initially two functions:

  • The certification of individual Building Safety Managers (BSMs) or Nominated Individuals within the BSM (organisation) (both referred to as BSMs here); and
  • A publicly accessible register of those certified by the scheme. 

In due course, they will also work with others to evaluate how organisations who wish to deliver the function of the BSM can be assessed as having the organisational capability to do so and how to assist contractors and suppliers to higher risk buildings to deliver a competent workforce that understands how to ensure that residential buildings are safe for residents.

The Building Safety Alliance will play an essential role in helping to improve the competence of those responsible for managing buildings so they can deliver safe homes for people.  The Building Safety Bill, published on 5th July 2021, confirmed the new statutory role of the BSM, a concept first developed by Dame Judith Hackitt in her Review. 

Anthony Taylor, Interim Chair of the Building Safety Alliance said: “I’m proud to continue to take forward and implement the recommendations from Working Group 8 (WG8) of the Competence Steering Group.  When we were initially asked to develop the competence requirements for the new statutory role of BSM, we recognised that for the framework to work, we also needed to set up wider structures that would support the development of and drive for a recognised and uniform standard of competence.

“One of our key recommendations was the need for a register that would allow residents and accountable persons to check if the BSM for their building, meets the minimum competence requirements.  Government is looking at Industry to deliver this, so we stepped forward with our wide consortium from across both the private and public sectors.”

Bob Smytherman, Chairman of the Federation of Private Residents Associations (representing 1000’s of long -leaseholders across England & Wales) said:

“Our leaseholder members will find themselves with new duties and responsibilities under the Building Safety Bill to ensure our buildings are as safe as possible.  Our members will be looking to the Building Safety Manager as the stakeholder responsible for the day-to day building safety management of our buildings. 

“We have a crucial role to play in the Building Safety Alliance, to make sure Building Safety Managers are not only competent but also understand the resident perspective when appointed to make our buildings safe. After all, these buildings are our homes and we pay the service charges.”

“We look forward to the register coming into existence, so that we can feel safer in our buildings, confident that any of the certified Building Safety Managers on the registers will meet the national competence standard most appropriate standard for our homes.”

The WG8 Competence Framework is now being translated into a MHCLG sponsored Publicly Available Specification (PAS), and once finalised, this PAS 8673 will be the standard to which the Building Safety Alliance will certify candidate BSMs against, before allowing them onto the Register.  The PAS is being developed in parallel to the legislation to make sure certified BSMs will be delivered by the time the legislation becomes enforced.

 For further information and updates please register your interest by clicking here.

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