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CPA welcomes latest government Hackitt review response plans

Aims to tackle concerns identified in last year’s landmark independent building safety review is seen as a vital step to tackle concerns over industry accountability

A lack of transparency concerning the performance of construction products remains a pressing concern for the building services sector as the government commits to introduce a series of changes to safety regulations.

The claims have been made by the Construction Products Association (CPA), which has welcomed the publication late last year of an implementation plan by the government to address concerns over the effectiveness of existing building and fire safety regulations.

A series of shortcomings concerning the safety of buildings and key systems was identified during 2018 within an independent review overseen by Dame Judith Hackitt.

A joint regulatory body bringing together existing expertise around building safety was among the key commitments set out in a government implementation plan that was released in December to detail how it will reform regulation for construction projects.

This work will be supported through a number of upcoming consultations that are intended to transform the design, performance and maintenance of buildings.

Peter Caplehorn, policy director for the CPA, said that the implementation plan was a welcome attempt to ensure more effective regulation across the construction and maintenance sector.

He said, “The Construction Products Association believes there is a pressing need to address current issues around unclear regulations, roles and responsibilities, inadequate product quality, weak compliance and sanctions, and how we engage with users and residents of buildings.”

“We are pleased to have contributed towards Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review, as both Chair of the Regulations and Guidance Working Group and contributing to the Golden Thread and Quality Assurance and Products Working Groups.”

Mr Caplehorn added that the association’s concerns around limited amounts of information available for construction product performance had led to the formation of a cross-industry group with the aim to create a code of practice to address the issue.

The CPA added that it also remained part of an industry response group that was working with authorities to outline new competency frameworks and forms of accreditation to address wider recommendations set out in Dame Judith Hackitt’s review.

Mr Caplehorn said, “The work between government and the Construction Products Association to reach this point will continue, and we are pleased this has been recognised in the implementation plan.”

Some of the core commitments of the government’s implementation plan includes granting greater power to bodies regulating buildings to penalise compliance failures.

The CPA said that building developers would also face greater pressure to clearly detail and record compliance with safety regulations and ensure they are handed over to a building owner.

Greater oversight of construction products to ensure they are safe for purpose is another key aim of the plan, the association noted.

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