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RICS Raises concerns over building control professional registration deadlines in England and Wales

With the deadline looming for the registration of building control professionals in England and Wales set for 6 April 2024, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has voiced significant concerns. In communications with the UK and Welsh Governments, RICS highlighted the risk that a substantial number of professionals will not meet the deadline for successful certification and registration. This situation threatens the capacity of local authorities and Registered Building Control Approvers to perform essential building control functions beyond the deadline.

"Despite the best efforts of the profession and the independent assessment bodies, there is now a risk that a significant number of building control professionals in England and Wales will not achieve successful certification, and therefore registration, before the 6th of April deadline to allow them to continue their roles," RICS stated. The absence of appropriately registered professionals is anticipated to severely impact the construction industry, regulatory enforcement, and compliance, particularly at a time when the government emphasises the need for increased building safety and new housing starts.

The sector has already witnessed an exodus of critical expertise since 2022/2023, exacerbating the stress and workload on the remaining professionals. Reports of individuals facing extreme stress, anxiety, and depression have been increasingly concerning, affecting many families within the profession.

RICS attributes part of the issue to the short timeframe allowed for preparation following the final clarity provided by the Building Safety Regulator on the approval of the independent assessment bodies and their assessment criteria last year. "The profession has had insufficient time to prepare for such a significant impact," RICS remarked, noting that this was a concern shared with the Building Safety Regulator by various industry bodies last year.

In response to these challenges, RICS has requested an urgent review of the position of all local authorities and private providers in England and Wales concerning the likely certification and registration of surveyors before the deadline. Additionally, RICS continues to update its Building Safety Act FAQs to reflect the latest legislation, regulation, and guidance, advising building control professionals to stay informed through regular reviews.

In light of these concerns, there have been developments regarding the registration deadline. Julie James, Minister for Climate Change in the Welsh Government, issued a written statement on 4 March 2024, extending the registration deadline to 30 September 2024, to afford building inspectors additional time to register while still advancing standards in building control. "RICS warmly welcomes this significant and much-needed policy change," the institution commented on the extension in Wales.

Furthermore, on 14 March 2024, the UK Government announced a 13-week transitional extension in England, extending the deadline to 6 July 2024. This extension aims to allow those who meet specific criteria additional time to complete their competence assessment. While RICS expressed concerns that the 13-week timeline in England is tight, it acknowledged the importance of working with governments to maintain industry function and support professionals. "We are glad that they listen to our, and industry concerns," RICS concluded, welcoming the updates from both the UK and Welsh Governments on transitional arrangements and extensions for the registration of building control inspectors.


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