Governance and leadership post Grenfell, post Covid-19
The Draft ‘Building Safety Bill’ promises a wide range of new responsibilities for the ‘Accountable Person’, (AP) effectively the ‘Client’ in developers’ terms, and the ‘owner/freeholder’ in terms of occupied residential property. In particular they have specific legal obligations in regard to assuring themselves, that their contractors, (eg: PC/PC and Building Safety Manager), are fit and proper. The new Regulator (within the HSE) has oversight of the new Law(s) (anticipated as an Act Q1 2022).
As is common in H&S Law the majority of responsibilities sit with either the ‘Owner’ or the ‘Employer’ , As the Owner and Employer in the case of the Accountable Person there are a raft of new obligations, including to their (residential) tenants. There is a specific requirement for the AP to have an appropriate contact under UK Jurisdiction – this is only for one reason!
There will be new ‘implied’ clauses in Leases setting out obligations of occupiers to landlords and vice versa. The Building Safety Manager will carry out the day to day responsibilities of the AP (owner), however the Legal accountability remains full square with the AP.
There are very specific expectations in regard to ‘The Golden Thread of information’ over the building’s lifecycle. All of the above is pressing for increased transparency and the expansion of the requirements for individuals to be demonstrably competent and organisations to be demonstrably capable and resourced to execute on their obligations.
Since Grenfell (July 2017) industry has been exhorted to deliver best practice without waiting for the Law(s) to be in place – in regard to Residential Accommodation this has been easier for social housing providers, whom have had both the means to ‘hold’ their portfolio long-term and the culture associated with provision of social housing. The Private sector tend to focus on shorter-term profit (for investors) and may have a more rapid asset turnover program, thus are tending to await regulation before investing in anticipated changes.
The on-going investigations into the Grenfell disaster are likely to result in prosecution of organisations, if not of individuals…..it has been apparent the ‘eye’ has been off the ball within the construction and property management industries, this will change. It will be relatively fast and will require leaders with strategic vision and the capability to drive cultural change towards much greater acceptance of responsibility of individuals at all levels of seniority from tradesmen, through supervisors and ‘checkers’ to those acting as the ‘Controlling Mind’.
Highly experienced in delivering cross-discipline risk management and corporate governance/compliance (GRC) using innovative approaches where necessary; dedicated to the delivery of effective systems and processes to ensure transparency of risk. An accredited mediator, (commercial and workplace),
H&S Director for Avison Young, continues to Chair Working Group 8 of the ‘Industry Response Group’ which was charged with recommending the competence requirements of the BSM. WG8’s report ‘Safer people, safer homes: Building Safety Management’ was published (with ‘Raising The Bar’ the Industry Response Group’s full report) in early September.
A 35 year career in governance, risk management and H&S has included employment both UK and internationally, within a number of different industry sectors including construction, insurance broking, tour operator, local authority and for the last 12+ years within real estate.
Anthony currently chairs the RICS H&S Advisory Board, IRPM H&S Committee and Greenwich University’s Industry liaison board (seeking to ensure that the University is aligning their education with the industry’s anticipated needs). He is also a past Chair of the Managing Agents H&S Forum, now the ‘Property Risk Management Forum’.
Anthony is currently working with HSE and BSI to further define the competence requirements, and assessment process for Building Safety Managers and, potentially, a national Register of ‘Regulated Roles’ as set out in the forthcoming Building Safety Act anticipated Q1 2022