Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building

Insight

CCS ready for key role in Building a Safer Future

22 June 2020 | By Will Mann

The Considerate Constructors Scheme has been appointed by the ‘Early Adopters Group’ to develop and manage the Building a Safer Future Charter. Will Mann finds out more from CCS chief executive Amanda Long.

What are the aims of the Building a Safer Future Charter and Early Adopters Group?

The Building a Safer Future Charter (BSF Charter) has been established to drive a culture change in the construction industry; to help to drive a culture that seeks to ensure that buildings are safe for those living and working in them and seeks to protect life by putting safety first, ahead of all other building priorities. 

We are focusing on raising standards in the industry and building public trust in relation to building safety. We will do this by providing a robust approach to benchmarking and independent verification of projects, as well as providing a public portal for anyone to raise concerns they may have about the safety of a building.

At the same time, we are currently developing the BSF Charter’s Learning and Excellence Hub to create a community where best practice on building safety is shared and relevant examples, case studies and other resources are signposted. This will help to provide the ongoing information and collaboration space needed to support behaviour change, continuous engagement, and relevance.

The BSF Charter is being set-up by the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), which was appointed by the Early Adopters in an open selection process earlier this year. To set-up the BSF Charter, we are working closely with the Early Adopters, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and other relevant organisations to take forward the BSF Charter. 

How will CCS be supporting the Charter as its administrative partner?

The CCS has set up Building a Safer Future, including the Charter, as a separate not-for-profit legal entity and is providing leadership and expertise to make the BSF Charter happen. We are developing the BSF Charter to help raise standards in the industry and build public trust in relation to building safety.

How will you be working with the Early Adopters group?

Early Adopters will be leading on sharing their examples of best practice in building safety through the learning and excellence hub.

We are in touch with over 100 key industry organisations requesting case studies and resources on building safety, to ensure we have relevant, fresh content which helps organisations across the industry and beyond learn from one another and apply these learnings to drive real cultural change.

This will help to provide the ongoing information and collaboration space needed to support behaviour change, continuous engagement and relevance.

How will the independent benchmarking and verification work?

To demonstrate that the BSF Charter has substance and is underpinned by benchmarking, it will be necessary to have an effective approach to independent verification.

We plan to work closely with, and learn from, the ‘Responsible Care’ approach adopted by the chemical industry. We intend to go beyond that approach and exceed their requirements in relation to independent verification.

Drawing from expertise in the industry and beyond, we will be establishing a working group over the summer to assist and advise on benchmarking and verification.

How will the independent public portal work, and how will engagement with the public on building safety be improved through the Charter?

Engaging with the public is a crucial element of making sure the BSF Charter helps drive forward the cultural change needed to rebuild public trust and confidence in building safety. Offering an independent and accessible route for the public to raise any issues or concerns is fundamental to underpinning the value of the BSF Charter.

How does this work with the Charter fit with the wider role of the CCS?

The BSF Charter’s ethos aligns and reflects the fundamental cornerstones of the CCS. Like the CCS, Building a Safer Future, including the Charter, is a not-for-profit entity and is established to help build public trust and raise standards in the industry.

For more information and to become a registered signatory of the Building a Safer Future Charter, visit: buildingasaferfuture.org.uk.