SELECT has joined with other vital certification scheme providers to work with the Scottish Government to identify and address issues during the COVID-19 lockdown and develop a strategy for the future.
The move comes after the Scottish Government’s Building Standards Division (BSD) set up a Building Standards Resilience Group to address short, medium and long-term issues created by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Group is now holding weekly online meetings, and will feed into discussions at the Construction Leadership Forum chaired by Kevin Stewart, the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning. The membership will not be fixed, but will have industry and local authority representatives.
SELECT, along with SNIPEF, the plumbing employers’ body, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, the certification body BRE Group, and NICEIC, the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting, will be represented in the Group by Robert Jopling, of the Structural Engineers Registration scheme.
Dave Forrester, Director of Technical Services at SELECT, said: “We continue to face uncertain times, particularly now that we are planning for the return to construction activity.
“Certification schemes form an important part of that planning and future activity, especially during periods of limited physical and social contact. We’re delighted to be represented by SER at this Group and look forward to a positive outcome for certification.”
Stephen Garvin, Head of BSD, said: “The impacts of COVID-19 on the construction industry and overall economy are uncertain. However, building standards verification services are key to ensuring that construction can return and be able to deliver new buildings and improved facilities across different sectors.
“The Group will bring together industry stakeholders, Scottish Government and Local Authority Building Standards Scotland to discuss issues affecting delivery of the building standards verification service as a result of the pandemic.
“Members will discuss the challenges experienced by industry and verifiers and take joint action including development of guidance to support the re-start of construction when that is deemed safe.”
The Group has already discussed revised guidance to verifiers on special measures to support the delivery of the service during the outbreak; the work of the Building Standards Futures Board in respect of remote site inspection technologies; and the development of measures for the safe restart and continuation of construction work.
Certification schemes help raise standards throughout the industry as work carried out by Approved Certifiers must be to a high standard and must comply with building regulations.
The Scottish Government Building Standards Division manages the Certification Register – the only authoritative source for approved bodies and certifiers. This database is used by clients and local authorities and successful applicants to this scheme will appear on this register.
To become an Approved Certifier an individual must belong to an approved scheme and meet rigorous standards agreed with the BSD. They must also be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of building regulations.