Industry told to collaborate on skills ahead of Grenfell summit

Dame Judith Hackitt announces spring summit to address competency issues

An example of collaboration across the professions at the London Energy Transformation Initiative

Professional and accreditation bodies must come together to raise the levels of competency in construction, according to a key recommendation in Dame Judith Hackitt’s interim review of fire safety following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The review states that raising levels of competence within the industry should be led by professional bodies. Work on a new system would be launched at a summit in early 2018, said Dame Judith, whose recommendation calls on bodies ‘to demonstrate they are capable of establishing a robust, comprehensive and coherent system covering all disciplines’.

Dame Judith said a system was needed to ensure competency was measurable and transparent, and offered a means of recourse for substandard work.

‘This is a challenge to the current, less rigorous and disjointed approach to registration or certification, which allows many individuals to practise with questionable qualifications or without a requirement for competence to be assessed and accredited,’ said Dame Judith.

The recommendation wants professional bodies to work together to ‘develop a joined-up system covering all levels of qualification for relevant disciplines’. This will give a framework for regulation mandating the use of qualified professionals who can prove their skills are up to date.

Dame Judith added: ‘I would ask these bodies to work together now to propose such a system as soon as practicable.’

Professions covered include: engineers; fire engineers; fire risk assessors; fire safety enforcing officers; building control inspectors; and those responsible for installing and maintaining fire-safety systems.