Proposal to introduce new competence standards for individuals involved in construction products

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Under a new framework proposed by the Construction Products Association (CPA), all individuals who use, supply or otherwise work with construction products will be required to meet new standards to demonstrate competence.

In a recently published white paper, the CPA has set out its proposal for the built environment sector to unite behind a single agreed standard which will “determine, demonstrate and recognise construction product competence (CPC)”.  The white paper notes that radical change is needed, and Peter Caplehorn, CPA Chief Executive has warned that “regulators will no longer tolerate an industry which cannot evidence its competence”.

The CPA notes that all industries in the built environment sector use construction products, but their misuse could lead to ‘dangerous and potentially fatal’ outcomes.  They observe that there is currently no universal way for individuals who work with construction products to evidence that they have sufficient competence for the duties they carry out.

The new standard proposed by the Association would include five core levels of competence and additionally a methodology to define how the levels can be mapped out in a consistent manner across each relevant industry’s own competence frameworks. This would seek to ensure that every industry applies CPC in the same way.

The white paper is published in response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s investigation into the Grenfell fire and seeks to address the serious weaknesses in construction practices which were exposed during the investigations. The Building Safety Act, which came into force in June 2022, has introduced new requirements which the industry now needs to react to.

Peter Caplehorn also said: “The Building Safety Act is making clear that regulators will no longer tolerate an industry that does not evidence its competence. The CPC levels have been designed to provide a single framework for everyone to work to, and I would urge the industry to read this white paper and get involved in testing it together.”

Matthew Golightly, Associate Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professions says: “When considering allegations of negligence against a professional, the courts will carefully consider the relevant standards and regulations applicable in that particular professional’s sector. As such it is vitally important that all professionals involved in the built environment engage with these proposals and ensure they meet the relevant competence standards if and when they are introduced.”

The CPA has published a press release about its proposals on its website.  Reports about the proposals have been published by Building Design, Construction Management and Building.

ProfessionalIndemnity.com is owned by Brunel Professions, which is a leading professional indemnity insurance broker in the UK.  Click here to get a quote or call 0345 450 1074 to speak to a broker.

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