ICE responds to publication of the Hackitt Review

ICE Director General Nick Baveystock responds to today's publication of the Hackitt Review into building regulations and fire safety.

Nick Baveystock, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Director General said:
“The Hackitt Review’s recommendations in many respects align with those put forward by ICE in its interim In Plain Sight report, which focused on the safety of infrastructure assets. It is important the construction industry continues to strive to ensure the highest levels of competence, working coherently to improve the governance of the development, management and operation of assets.
“We welcome and support the recommendation for a clear model of risk ownership, which is a similar approach to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 already adopted in construction. These regulations have been crucial in strengthening health and safety within the industry, by giving clearer accountability to professionals and clients, which is then reflected in training, development and contracts.
“The proposed introduction of an overarching body to provide oversight of competence requirements will play an integral role in ensuring the robustness of continuing professional development across all disciplines. The effectiveness of these regulations will rely heavily on the ability of industry to work together on their implementation, and ICE will fully support this.
“The new regulatory framework, as overseen by the Joint Competent Authority, will be key to ensuring the ongoing success of these changes. While the local authorities continue to have an important role to play, the introduction of a role for the Health and Safety Executive and fire and safety authorities will be critical in ensuring independence, quality and consistency is maintained through the regulatory system.
“The review makes the important point that we must begin thinking of buildings as a system. The UK’s infrastructure sector has recognised this, and is leading the way in adopting Building Information Modelling. This approach has changed the way in which we look at the whole life of an asset, by modelling and recording aspects of this complex system in a digital version.
“We recognise that this review and its recommendations are born of a tragic event which we hope, with the implementation of new regulations, will not happen again.

“Engineers and built environment professionals have the ability to enhance and improve people’s lives and in taking this responsibility seriously we need to ensure we do all we can to create safer infrastructure for the public, our customers.”
Notes to Editors
You can read the full Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety report on the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government website.

Background on In Plain Sight

In 2017, former ICE President Peter Hansford led an independent review into safety throughout the lifetime of infrastructure assets. Published in November 2017, the interim report, In Plain Sight, found there was no undue risk in the UK’s infrastructure. However, the report did find that there were areas that needed to be taken forward by the Institution in communication, professional development and governance to understand fully any future risk. 
Three groups were formed to take forward the recommendations from the expert panel, to progress the ongoing review into infrastructure safety.
The final report is due out in the autumn of 2018.
Project 13

The Hackitt Review found that one of the key issues underpinning the system failure within the built environment sector was that of indifference, with “the primary motivation … to do things as quickly and cheaply as possible rather than to deliver quality homes which are safe for people to live in”. Having itself realised that an outcomes-based and customer-focused business model would be more beneficial to all, the infrastructure sector, led by the Infrastructure Client Group, has, over the past two years, been developing a new way of doing business.
Project 13, launched on 1 May 2018, is an industry-led response to infrastructure delivery models that fail not just clients and their suppliers, but also the operators and users of our infrastructure systems and networks.  Through a collaborative enterprise-based model, it helps develop a broader definition of the value of infrastructure assets, based on customer outcomes. It puts the infrastructure owner at the heart of commissioning, delivering and maintaining the asset and reduces the focus on lowest capital cost as a driver of commercial strategy and procurement.
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