The April 2024 trigger-date for the start of the long-awaited regulatory overhaul, which invites Principal Accountable Persons (PAPs) to apply for their Building Assessment Certificates, is casting a long shadow over the UK construction industry. Especially as, for the first time, PAPs will need to produce their building-specific Safety Case and Safety Case Reports to demonstrate that the buildings they operate are indeed, safe.

Are you and your organisation primed for this significant shift?

The Building Safety Act 2022 was introduced following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, and demanded a monumental leap in safety measures, particularly for Higher Risk Buildings (often referred to as HRBs). In this blog post we will begin to unpack some of the key changes, potential challenges, and the essential steps you need to consider in ensuring a smooth transition to compliance, whether it be for existing buildings or going through planning and construction.

The New Regulatory Landscape

Defining High-Risk Buildings (HRBs) and Who's Impacted

Before delving into the specifics of navigating some of the new compliance requirements, let's clarify what constitutes a Higher Risk Building (HRB) and who the new regulations impact. Under the Building Safety Act 2022, HRBs are defined as:

• buildings at least 18 metres high or with at least 7 storeys; and

• containing at least two residential units.

This categorisation expands beyond traditional high-rise buildings, encompassing a wider range of residential and healthcare structures.

If your project falls under this definition, then the Building Safety Act 2022 and its stricter compliance requirements apply directly to you.

The Building Safety Act 2022 goes far beyond just simply adhering to safety protocols. It calls for, and mandates, a deep understanding of its nuances pertaining to understanding a building’s construction, inherent risks, and the operational shifts necessary for safe operation. The Building Safety Regulator (BSR), newly established under the Health & Safety Executive, is not just focussed on the safety of existing HRBs but also the design and planning of the construction of new or refurbishment/ alterations to existing HRBs. This includes both a new Planning Gateway Process and an entire overhaul of the Building Control regime for HRBs with a particular interest in:

Consistent Standards: Aligning with the Building (Higher Risk Buildings Procedures) (England) Regulations 2023, the BSR ensures consistent application of safety protocols across the building control profession.

Stringent Oversight: From planning and design to construction and beyond, the BSR will closely monitor HRB projects, enforcing the Act's rigorous requirements.

Ensuring Competence: The BSR has implemented, as of October 2023, a new building control registration process. Whereby, Approved Inspectors and Building Control Inspectors are required to register their competence.

Building Control Overhaul

On October 1, 2023, a new Building Control process for HRBs took effect, with the BSR becoming the authority for such buildings. Replacing local authorities (aka Building Control) or private sector control (aka Approved Inspectors). The new authority’s role includes:

• overseeing new HRB developments during design and construction,

• alterations to existing HRBs,

• changes in use of an HRB that elevate a building's risk level, and

• any modifications affecting an HRB status.

The BSR will make use of existing registered building control professionals to oversee these – the Building Control Approvers.

The BSR has also revitalised the role of the Building Inspector. Their duties involve assessing plans, inspections, and providing advice to the registered Building Control Approvers. Building Inspectors will also need to be registered with the BSR.

The aim of registration is to increase competency levels and accountability. Registration started on 1st October 2023 and, once registered lasts for 5 years before requiring renewal. Registration will be mandatory from April 6, 2024. Before registration, applicants must undergo a competency assessment.

There are four classes of registered Building Inspectors:

Class 1: Requires supervision and is suitable for trainees.

Class 2: Allows unsupervised work on specific building categories, categorised by height and type.

Class 3: Permits unsupervised work on broader building categories, including high-risk buildings.

Class 4: Technical managers responsible for team and process management, requiring additional qualifications.

It is only Class 3 and Class 4 Building Inspectors that can work on HRBs

For HRBs, the impact is immediate. If a Project is not deemed to be "sufficiently progressed" by April 6th 2024, the whole project will be subject to approval by the BSR. This entails far more than just administrative changes. It demands a recalibration of safety management systems, including, but not necessarily limited to:

Being able to demonstrate Compliance: The functional requirements of the Building Regulations must be demonstrably adhered to, requiring a robust system for managing and documenting safety procedures.

Aligning Contractual Obligations: Contracts with clients, contractors, and designers need to be revised so that they line up with the new regulations and responsibilities.

Competence Frameworks: Ensuring all duty holders possess the necessary skills and knowledge is crucial. The Act pays particular attention to upskilling and robust competence frameworks across the board.

What happens if the scheme is sufficiently progressed, but the Approved Inspector does not register?

Quite simply, the HSE has made clear through their guidance, that schemes where the Approved Inspector and associated organisation do not meet the registration criteria, the scheme will revert to the new regime and will be retrospectively assessed by the BSR.


• Building Safety Act 2022:

• Building Safety Regulator:

• Building (Higher-Risk Buildings Procedures) (England) Regulations 2023:


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