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Webinar transcript: Fire safety competence and compliance
Hello, and welcome to today’s SHP webinar. I’m James Moore editor of if SEC global, which is SHP, SR title, and I’ll be the host and moderator for today’s discussion. We’ll be exploring fire safety compliance with a particular focus on competency, and how this can best be assessed within the field of fire risk assessment. Thank you to practice 42 for sponsoring this morning’s webinar. With today’s speakers, we’ll be looking to understand how organisations and dutyholders can ensure that their fire risk assessors are competent. How fire risk is risk assessors themselves going to show competency and how enforcement officers will assess compliance in line with the new competency framework, as well as several other related topics. We’ll get straight into the discussion shortly. But firstly, I just wanted to cover a few housekeeping notes before we get going. Today’s webinar will begin with a presentation and discussion from Nick and Adam. And we’ll then move on to a live question and answer section later on. We’ve got plenty on the agenda already. But this webinar is designed to be interactive, so please do have a look at the docket widgets on the bottom of your screen. These will allow you to learn about today’s speakers, take a look at some additional resources and share this webinar via social media outlets. Most importantly, it allows you to take part by asking questions throughout the q&a section. As I said, there will be some time for audience questions towards the end of the webinar, I would absolutely encourage you to send those in during that time. Apologies in advance if we can’t get through all of them. I know there’s lots of people on today, but we’ll do our best and can always follow up afterwards. All we’d ask is to please keep them relevant and appropriate to the discussion. And if you could please identify the Speaker The question is targeted at that always makes my job a little bit easier. Also to add this webinar is being recorded and within 24 hours, you’ll receive a personalised follow up email and a link to today’s presentation on demand. So if you do miss anything, or have any internet dropouts, don’t worry, you will be able to watch it back. Lastly, if you’re experiencing any technical problems, please just click the Help widget bound at the bottom of your screen or type your issue into the q&a area. And we will be glad to offer one on one assistance. So let’s get into the presentation, shall we? There’s a huge amount of new legislation and change in fire safety that has come about over the last few years. So it can be difficult to keep up with all at times. with particular reference to fire risk assessments there is more focused than ever before on competency and compliance as a result of various things, but particularly significant changes in legislation, as well as a push for culture change within the sector. And so today, we will look at exactly all of this. Fortunately, we’ve got some experts with us. So let’s introduce them, shall we? First we have Adam Clark. Adam, do you want to give us a little intro into your role and your background?
Adam Clarke 02:55
Yeah, thank you, James. So I’m the managing director of the consulting side of practice 42. And I’ve been a practitioner now for nearly 20 years. With a focus on fire health and safety. I currently help clients out at a strategic level. And we’re very much as an organisation looking at how we can make sure that competence both for our assessors and as an organisation that we can be at the top of our game for that. So really pleased to have Nick with us today, who will share with us a bit of an update and and his insights into all the changes that are happening at the moment. So
James, thank thank you, Adam. That moves us swiftly over to Nick. Nick, are you among other things you’ve been named on to if set global to top influential list and fire safety several times. I know you also work with the National 5g Council though, do you want to introduce yourself and what your current role is?
Yeah, so my name is Nick Kuhn. I’m technically employed by London fire brigade and have been for over 40 years. But since post Grenfell I’ve been seconded to the National Fire chief’s Council as their lead to introduce the new changes that have come into fire safety, through the Building Safety Act and the other changes to fire safety legislation.
Fantastic. Thank you both for joining us this morning. I’m now going to pass straight over to you Nick again. And I’ll let you get get on with the presentation.
Okay, thanks very much. Just gonna skip a few slides. I think we’ve done we’ve done our introductions. So yeah, so since the tragic events of Grenfell tower competency has been at the heart of improving the system, it’s not just in fire risk assessment. There are a number of other organisations looking at how they can ensure that the workforce through the entire like built environment is competence, but today, I’m going to focus on The fire risk assessment side of the competence work that’s going on. So what I’m going to cover is some of the legislative changes that fire risk assessors should be aware of, and also around what the changes come into the fire risk assessment competence in the future, look at some of the qualifications and how they can, you know, deem you to be competent. I’m going to also talk about the importance of CBD, especially in a time when we’re really busy. And pulling it still is, especially with a number of changes that are going on in the current climate, the role of specialists in fire risk assessment, and that’s more around compartmentation surveys or external wall surveys and where they fit in the fire risk assessment process. And then I’m going to have a look at the fire risk assess assessment registers that are available and how important they are to, to demonstrate competence and will be probably in the future. So I’m going to start with the Building Safety Act, just to say this act is coming to full. So it’s split in several parts. And some of the parts are not yet enacted. It’s an enabling act, that allows the government to bring bits in as and when it requires to now in the park five bit, there is a bit called Section 156, which is changes to the fire safety order. And I’ll be looking at them in a bit more detail. Carry on. So it was just as kind of remind people that I know this act is in not everything in the act is actually up and running as yet. So I need to take us back a little bit as well. The Fire Safety Act was one of the acts that had to be done, there was a lot of worry around, you know, external walls post Greenfield? And did they actually apply in the fire safety order? I think from a commercial premises point of view. They did. You know, I think the whole building was fairly clear, although I very rarely saw a fire risk assessment that considered the external wall in commercial premises. But what this Act did was it clarified that the structure external wall, front doors of flats and other doors and balconies should be part of the fire risk assessment for residential buildings. It changed Article Six really basically that the definition of a domestic premises and what it included and it also strengthen the article 50 guidance. And you may have seen last week, some short guides came out that actually bear a logo saying this is article 50 guidance. So make it very, very clear. And section 156 will also strengthen article 50 guidance as well which is going to basically say you really have to demonstrate why you’re not using that guidance, you know, rather than at the moment it was only guidance it’s kind of strengthened its regime. Then sorry,
just to jump to turn your camera on, just so the audience can see you. You’re asked to turn your camera on just so the audience can can can have a one Yeah.
Turn it off for now. I can’t I can’t I can’t see at the turn it back on now. It seems to have gone from my screen. Sorry. No, no, it’s not that one is it
should just be the everybody’s if you got it now. I think I turned it on.
Yep. Okay. Thank you.
No worries. Okay. So that’s fine. No, so So again, the the fire fire England regulations that came in. In February this year, though they came into they came into law. Last year, it gave us some time to get ready for their enactment. They basically implemented the Phase One recommendations of the Grenfell tower inquiry, the stuff that needed to be done by a change in law. And they talked a lot around providing stricter requirements on high risk residential buildings, including things like by find a signage, checks on fire lifts must be able to to assess the risk of external wall and a number of fire door checks, etc, etc. And when you’re doing your fire risk assessment, some of the information that is required under this legislation will probably be part of the role to confirm that it’s there in the Security Information box that they also have to require in some of the high rise buildings, but it goes even lower than high rise information to residents requires all buildings that have two or more residential units so that can be as small as your flat I am flat Bay in a domestic house and have to have something. And of course, the external wall bit applies to that bit as well. So quite strict to recommend a, you know, regime we’ve got now. And from an enforcement point of view, though, we’ll never get round all the buildings that there are as an enforcing authority. So we tend to target on the highest risk, and therefore, it’s them higher risk premises where you will see a bit more action from us, especially that our crews will be going around looking at the secure information boxes, ensuring that the information is correct up to date in there. And if it is, or isn’t, in there, we’ll put that back to our fire safety departments who will take further action where appropriate. So I talked about the part five, section 156. And so what does it bring in, it’s changing the original fire safety order. So currently, there is no requirement to give information to residents under the current fire safety order, just the information is to employees, and obviously, they’re not employees. So it’s going to bring that in. So information must be shared with residents. And that can include fire risk assessments, maintenance records, etc, etc. There’s also a new requirement about information to a new responsible person, it basically is going to say that an outgoing RP has to provide certain fire safety information to a new RP, which kind of is is running along the golden thread routes are information is passed from hand to hand. So we know how they, you know, the building, the building has been run. So it could be your fire risk assessment, although you did it for a RP, that RP is now leaving, and they could pass your fire risk assessment onto the new RP for them to look at as well. So that’s something you may want to consider in your business models. The the Building Safety Act brings in a new role, which is called an accountable person, rather than a responsible person. In a lot of residential tall buildings, there’ll be one on the sign. But there may be a difference in some multi occupied buildings, because you could only be an accountable person in a residential bit of a of a building. So if you take a block of flats for say, a Tesco is at the bottom of it, then there’ll be an IEP for the residential bid. But there’ll be an RP still for obviously Tescos. And there is a bit in 156, which talks about cooperation between the AP and the RP. So some of the other changes that are graphed the fire risk assessment is currently and this the these four are first talked about will definitely come in, in October this year. So the changes to the fire risk assessment is in our gonna have to show your fire risk assessment, the significant findings bit has kind of gone. And also the fact that recording it for five or more people has also gone. So even if you’re even if you don’t employ anyone or your own employee, one or two people, you will now have to record your fire risk assessment. And it’ll be a little bit so quite a big change there. And from an enforcement point of view, that makes it really easy for us to see the whole whole bit. There’s one bit in Section 156, that at the moment is not coming in. And this is where it makes it statutory duty to make people who do who are appointed to fire risk assessments competent. And I’ll talk a bit more about this in the next slide. So this isn’t coming in in October, but we’ll because yeah, sorry.
Adam Clarke 13:51
Sorry to jump in, Nick, just a couple of couple of minutes. Previous slide there. So in terms of providing information to residents, I mean, I like the idea of being being transparent. But I wonder how some organisations will help residents understand what it actually means, you know, what the fire risk assessment is saying? And and also do you think that this will increase the kind of the scrutiny and the accountability of organisations to actually plan and implement the recommendations that are going to come out of the fire risk assessment?
I think I think that definitely gives that more accountability. I mean, in the England regs, it’s also information to residents or if you remember Dame Judith review, it said residents should be at the heart of this because if you know some of the accounts in Grenfell, where they seem to be ignored and you know, they were raising issues, etc, etc. It didn’t seem fair. I think, what will I think this is, you know, if I’m honest, I think this could be a bit of a double edged showed, I think that there will be pimp there’ll be lots of people who will be not interested at all in In the in the information provided, but there’ll be some keen people who want to see, and then they’ll want to see how they are managing them risks, but will they understand the difference between the types of risks that fire risk assessor shows that’s the bit, I think it’s going to be difficult for education. And of course, there’s gonna be a mandatory reporting section in the Building Safety Act that kind of deals with complaints and and I can see some additional work for regulators where a resident will see some in a risk assessment hasn’t been done quick enough and will want to report their landlord or there are pra up about that. So I see it being a bit of a double edged sword until it buries in I think there is a role for regulators to assure residents that just because there are some deficiencies in the building doesn’t mean it, they are living in a death trap or at risk. And I think we need to be good at that as well. Because I think, you know, I’ve seen a number of risk assessments with quite a lot of defects, but they’re fairly minor. And it’s nothing I wouldn’t expect in a in a social housing block of flats, and then you can have some that mainly only have two defects, but they are very significant defects in that building. So it’s trying to get that as well as educating the residents. And there’s a role for the RPA P or the Fire and Rescue Service in that.
Adam Clarke 16:24
Yeah, okay. Yeah, I think, yeah, and really important there is that kind of when this does roll out that that’s, that’s an important message that’s coming out on all those different different angles, because I think it’s great that people are interested in in that, but like you said, you look at assess some assessments, and it’s actually it’s actually fine. And these things can be planned out over a number of years to build these, these recommendations in, it’s not then have to all be done immediately. But it’s important that there’s the right, that right amount of communication. And just to picking up the other one about cooperation with the new RPS, I think that’s a really good idea. But I just wonder the realities of how that’s gonna go if you’re an outgoing, if you’re an outgoing. Perhaps you’re not necessarily gonna be that that interested. And obviously, as an as an as the incoming, how easy it’s going to be to get your get your hands on that information. And obviously, what information is actually available?
Yeah, it’s a really good point, I think, I think hit the nail on the head. In legislation, it sounds like a really good idea, why wouldn’t you do it? But, you know, there’ll be times when the outgoing RP won’t even know the new RP is going to be? So what do they do? Just leave it on site? Or, you know, will that be practical, you know, and that kind of stuff, who, you know that it’s in the fire safety order. So it’s going to be the Fire and Rescue Service enforce it. So if we get a call from an, you know, an incoming RP who says, I’ve just taken over this premises, there’s no information for me, it’s up to you to cancel out, could be difficult. We might not even know who the old RP was, because we’ve never done a visit there. Or it was so long ago, our records up to date. So I think that’s one, I think we’re gonna have to see the test of time about how that will actually work. In reality, I really admire the sentiment, I think what you know, it sounds really good passing the information, keep that chain of information going, when you maintenance records were lost, and all that it does sound like the right thing to do. It’s just how will it actually work in practice is the right thing. I’m hoping there’ll be guidance on it from the home office, around how they see that working, you know, will it go to because ultimately, if it’s a kind of multi hop building, there might be an, you know, a head lessee or something like that. They might have to give it to them, you know, so but that’ll be more like in guidance really, rather than the law because the law basically says, new, you know, new, old RP to new RP doesn’t mention some of the other people. So yeah, I think that’s a really good question really around how that will actually work in practice.
Adam Clarke 19:15
And I think from an enforces authority and all the new changes that are coming in having the resources to actually enforce on that it’s probably going to be one of the things that’s not going to be top of the priority list really, especially considering the scale that this this could find ourselves whenever you’re getting lots of lots of requests from new RP saying Hey, where’s my information? Yeah, can’t deal with all of them can we
know and I think this is where there is a need for especially some of the major local authorities and social landlords to keep registers of their property of their you know, their information, so it makes it easier. I was I was also asked about should it should, should the Fire and Rescue Service collect Assuming information, and then it’ll be there. But again, as you said, it’s, you know, we’ve got more more serious offences to look at sometimes. So I, you know, I appreciate the spirit of the change. You know, I’m, I’m a bit like yourself, I’m not 100 Perkins, Vince, how it will work in the future. But that’s not to say we shouldn’t try. So it’d be, it’d be interesting to see because, again, we can review this stuff most most new legislation as a review, period home office will look at it and we can see how it’s been working, or does it need to be strengthened? Or did it not have the effect it was meant to have? So we’ll get to that?
Adam Clarke 20:43
No, but I agree with you. It’s, we’re going in the right direction here. And the practicalities of it, and how does it what solution? Does it end up being in the future? We don’t know yet. But it’s gonna be aiming towards that. Yeah. Thanks, Nick.
Yeah, no rice. Okay, so I said that this is the bit that’s not coming in, in October in Section 156, that basically says the responsible person must not appoint someone unless they’re competent. Now, this is kind of changing the current legislation, because currently, the way you read it, you don’t actually have to be competent. Because it was written in a way to allow for a very small business to be able to do their own. And this is trying to still keep that. That’s why it uses the word, appoint someone. So what it’s still saying, if you don’t appoint someone, then as an RP, then do they have to be competent, it’s a play on words. But it’s something to what they didn’t want this to become not the original concept was not a consultants charter that no Mr. Smith or Mrs. Smith, who runs a very small corner shop has to get someone in to do their fire risk assessment. In small premises, like that, a lot of it is just common sense from they can read one of the small guides and be able to do it yourself. This is really more around the more complex and higher risk premises where companies have to appoint someone who can assess the risks in their building. And therefore, quite rightly, if you’re appointing someone, they should be competent, because they’ve got to do that role. And it goes on to say that if there is more than if the RP appoints more than, or there is more than one RP, then it must make arrangements for them to cooperate. One of the things that we find quite a lot in multi occupied buildings were that it is quite apparent that there is no cooperation coordination between the two, the two RPS and their fire risk assessments as well. And I think as well as from a fire risk assessment, well, you’ve got to start looking at the impact that your risk assessment will have on the whole building, and charge appropriately. If you’re going to go into other areas to make sure there is that cooperation, coordination, make sure you you’ve charged for that service, because it is important. And it is to make sure you do the right job. You know, now, what is competencies? Always the question that we get asked, and there’s been a definition definition in the Fire Safety Audit from the beginning that basically says, you know, you’re a goddess company if you’ve got sufficient training and experience or knowledge in other qualities, and we’re trying to really nail that down as well, because I think there are different competencies for different levels of complex of buildings, you can be competent to undertake. Now a small factory, say, but would you be, would you be competent to undertake something like buncefield or something like that. So there’s always been that differences, and it’s never going to be a one size fits all. And one of the key bits about competency is knowing when you’re not competent to do something. I think that’s a real key point. And you just say no, that, to me demonstrates you understand your limitations, and therefore, you understand your competence in that level. So a working group for fire risk assessments was set up following the Grenfell tower. And it was very similar to the group that was set up following the lakanal for our fire, which did the very first competency framework for fire risk assessments. It was a number of stakeholders that got together put through what they thought were the competencies required for fire risk assessors, and it was a list of topics from guidance legislation passive and active. And it really looked at actually, the technical bits of being a fire risk assessor. And what it didn’t really do is about skills and behaviours. They’re also required from a fire risk assessor. And I think one of the things that Grenfell showed around. And people kind of get misused around this is about they were a lot of the people involved in the Grenfell were technically competent, but their behaviours were left a lot to be desired. And they did things that they maybe shouldn’t have done because of more of their, you know, their, their moral compass for want of a better word, rather than their, their ignorance of technical standards, etc, etc. So, the fire sector Federation, which is an umbrella organisation in there, and it’s got a number of members, things like the fire Industry Association, the Fire Protection Association, IFA ifsm, so a lot of the big players in the fire sector come under this umbrella organisation, and they and they were the leading group and they’ve approved they, they produced this approved code of practice that you see on screen, it’s free to download, and I’m sure we can provide the link to, you know, that talks much more around the skills, behaviours, qualifications and the technical knowledge that you need to be a fire risk assessor. And it looks very much on, you should be third party certificated, by your UCaaS, or the ENTJ. Counsel to be a fire risk assessor is setting that high bar. So people know. And I think that that’s something that you know, you should aspire to do, if you really want to demonstrate that you are competent to carry out fire risk assessment. And I’ll talk a bit more about the third party and how I think, what will be needed third party and what won’t moving forward, because it’s because of the lack of number of fire risk assessors, you couldn’t bring it in immediately. A lot of people try and, you know, compare us with like, Kogi, or gas, safe registration. But you know, those who know the history after Rowan point, it was over 21 years before a scheme came out. So it was an instant after that disaster because they had to build up the register. And I think that’s what what home office and the fire sector Federation are looking to do. So qualifications are important, I think, you know, we, we’ve come from a background in the fire sector, especially in fire risk assessment, where it was majority retired ex Fire Service Officers who’ve done fire safety training through their either courses at Morton in the marsh, or they’ve done the specialised courses that happened. And there wasn’t really many courses available. Now this is this is changing. And so there is a proper read regulation qualification framework in England. And the levels are set. And you’ll see they are there from one to eight. And the basic starter for a fire risk assessor is normally around the level three certification. And then you can move on to level four, which is just like the low level of agency and the diploma, you also have to do a specialist fire risk assessment courses such if you can, and then then there are so many bolt on specialist courses that you can do. When I said I’ve been in the sector a long, long time, and it is one of them, ones where you’re forever learning standards change things happen. And therefore they’re always things you can you can vote on to learn. I mean, originally, apart from a set of retired Fire Officers, you may have had some people working in the insurance industry or of course, the health and safety professionals who have had a lot longer education in in risk assessment, and they now just bolt fire on as a bit of a hazard as well that they use. And so they’re becoming significantly more involved in this in this role.
So the document outlines the routes to competence, basically. And what it looks at, and quite rightly is it looks at the balance between experience and education and training. And it kind of says that basically, if you if you’ve got a many years of experience, then you then that that can balance against maybe not the level of education that we require. Whereas if you’ve got an extensive education and training, then maybe your experience is not so necessary. And then of course it talks about going on and getting a fire risk assessment course and then starting to do the practical experience of carrying out risk assessments, which should be monitored by by someone else and I know that’s difficult in small companies, but I think quality assurance is a really An important part in fire risk assessments that that is kind of neglected. Sometimes I think, you know, in some organisations, it’s becoming, you know, getting the numbers out getting the risk assessments out and actually looking at and quality assurance is such a, such a row. Now, I think there’s a role in this industry at any kind of level. As such, you know, you may just do what we call low risk buildings, and there’s enough of them around, you know, and it depends on where you want to go. And more education and more experience you get, if you want to move up, the more higher risk buildings, that the higher up the risk category you go, the more chances you will have of being audited by an enforcement authority, because I said, you know, we’ve got limited resources. So we have a risk based inspection programme, where we target the highest risk, which is any kind of sleeping risk care, homes, hospitals. So if you do that kind of work, the chances are, you will encounter us and, you know, and I’m not going to sit here and say, We’re perfect, we’re not, you know, we’re just, you know, trying to achieve the same thing. And I will say, too, and if you’ve been challenged about your fire risk assessment, you don’t think you should have been then challenge back. You know, there are routes that complaint around fire and rescue services as well. So, you know, don’t think just because, you know, I’m not going to win against the fire risk assessment, or the fire rescue service that you can’t challenge, because you can, we should be just as competent and do it right, as well. And I can talk at a later day about the compensatory routes that that are inspecting officers go through. So that’s the general. And then of course, what the guide talks about is that they are routes to competence in high risk buildings. Now, I think, you know, the way the way this industry is going from from a regulatory point of view is, there will probably eventually be some kind of need for a register. For people who are doing high risk buildings, the obvious ones to start with are the blocks of flats that will probably come under the building safety regulator, as part of the safety case regime will be your fire risk assessment. And I think it’d be much easier for people who are assessing your safety case, if you can say my fire risk assessor is competent, because they’re on this register. And this register caters for high risk buildings. And it’s the same way of getting into competence, because there is only one route to competence, it’s about education training experience, but then your experience comes in more in them higher risk buildings, you need to be able to demonstrate that you can do your care homes, you can do your if blocks of flats and your specialised housing and, and any other kind of sleeping risks that may come in the building safety regulator is meant to be a long lasting regulator that currently is going to focus on residential buildings over 18 metres or seven storeys. But because the Building Safety Act and enabling act allows for it to add bits on as the years go by. So you know, the ultimate aim is eventually we’ll bring in others, I mean, care homes and hospitals over 18 metres or seven storeys are in the gateway state to design and build stage or they’re not in the safety gates regime. And we can see that probably being pushed later on to all care homes and all hospitals, etc.
Adam Clarke 33:44
Nick, do you think then for new people getting into fire into the fire risk assessment, is this gonna make it more of a challenge? Or is it just going about in a different structured, structured approach so that we can kind of evidence that at various different stages throughout their induction and experience etc.
I think from from people getting new to the industry, I think there’s a proper pathway. Now, I think, and I’ll talk about some of the registers that have different tiers of of levels, you’ve got apprenticeship schemes. Now, as I said, I think where we’re moving away from that, I was in the fire service, therefore, I’m the only person who knows about fire. You know, I’ve seen I’ve seen, you know, people doing risk assessments who said I served 30 years in the fire brigade, they didn’t spend a day in fire safety. So, you know, and there’s that kind of run off it now. I think this is a proper pathway. And we need more diversity in the industry. You know, we need new people coming in a lower level who can who are gonna move up and become experienced and do that because one of the downfalls again of retired firefighters is they’re already in their 50s before they start, which doesn’t give us a lot of longevity in that level. So we do need to get some, some, some new blood into into the industry. And of course, you’ve then got the specialisms the fire engineering degrees, you know, and that stuff, which is really taken off, you know, and that So, and there’s a place for that, as well. So I think what we are doing here is a structured pathway, which I think we haven’t had for for many years. And I think health and safety though I’ve had this, for some time, that’s the thing and the qualifications and, and the membership bodies, you know, they are a good 20 years ahead of us. And I think we should look at their model and see what we can learn Don’t Don’t reinvent the wheel, let’s see what they did, there was Sephora, and they’ve got specialisms as well. And I think that might come in this regime as well, eventually.
So, specialist subjects, I think when when when the when the fire safety order was written, it had a heavy reliance on that building would have been built to some kind of standard, you know, building regs, you know, depending on the age of the building. And so therefore, the fire risk assessment was more around managing risks that were brought into the building by the processes or the or the tasks that the people they have there, we’ve kind of now realised, you know, that maybe buildings not built as well as they should be, you know, and they’re not particularly good. So therefore, it’s fallen to the fire safety order, and the fire risk assessor to fix problems that probably should have been fixed during the building Rick stage. So but we are stuck with that legacy. And I think we need to embrace that and understand how they interact now with the fire risk assessment. So the the structure one’s a difficult one, because of the fact that it will come in with the building safety case. And again, if you if you have any issues around the structure of the building, through what you can visibly see, and that will be difficult, a lot of the times for fire risk, you may need to employ a specialist where you will need in this next year to be a fire risk assessor and a structural engineer, then you will need some kind of specialist help on that. And it’s an external wall, as I said, external wall should have always been done in commercial buildings. And I think there was just an assumption that, well, it would have complied with before, so therefore, it must be fine. So as a fire risk assessor, I don’t really have to worry about external wall. Well, now you have to include it in your fire risk assessment. And there’s there’s a range of external walls out there from brick and concrete that, you know, a fire risk assessment about assess themselves to what you’ll find in some of the high rise buildings, not just a single kind of cladding system, multiple different from HPL, to ACM to tile to, you know, to EPS all in one building. So you’ve got to be able to assess how that works together. And again, that will need some kind of specialist help with that. And the past wi Net Zero has come out and done that. And again, compartmentation, we now realise that the compartmentation isn’t that great. And again, I think as a fire risk assessor, you have to push the boundaries about what you’re checking, you know, I think we got to a stage where if we couldn’t see it wasn’t happening, I don’t think we were lifting tiles and doing kind of like the basic tightening riser covers. I’m not talking about doing real intrusive risk assessments initial tasks to do that, because I don’t think that that’s the way it is. But if you see things you need to you need to do more. And what this means is that as a fire risk assessor, you may be going to a building, and you may need a specialist, a fire risk appraisal or external wall, or you might have gotten the results of a compartmentation survey. And what you need to do is be able to assess them reports to reflect in your risk assessment, just saying where it says compartmentation See compartmentation report dated the 27th is not good enough. I think that compartmentation report should tell you what the risk is. And you reflect that risk in your report same as external wall. I think that’s the way we do it. So you’re going to need some kind of understanding of the reports in that and being able to interpret and analyse and reflect them really, I think that’s the bit for the competent fire risk assessor to do.
Adam Clarke 39:49
So that’s an interesting point, Nick, but then I wonder if somebody’s gone and undertaken a fire risk assessment, which then leads to some specialists being needed, especially as reports being committed. shouldn’t, and then the risk assessment needs to be updated afterwards? For the responsible person with potentially adding quite a lot of extra cost to the fire risk assessment process and whether or not that’s going to have an impact?
Yeah, I mean, it again, it’s, you know, I know a lot of this comes down to costs, but it is, it’s something again, you know, I’ve, I don’t do fire risk assessments myself, obviously, because I’m an enforcement agency. But you know, I often wonder, how do you how’d you get the right price and the right because in a case, you might not know what you’re going to find when until you turned up. So as you said, you might commission the external wall report or the compartmentation survey, but you need to then tell the RP that, once the reports are done, I need to analyse them and reflect them in my fire risk assessment. Because from from an unforeseen point of view, we want to really see the FRA reflecting it, or we don’t want to have to go through these bolts, not really our role, our role was awarded a fire risk assessment. So I do take your point, I think, again, this is changing industry about getting it right, because once you’ve done a compartmentation report and external wall, as you make changes to that, it’s a one off job, isn’t it. And so from then your risk assessments, forward going on in this has been any material changes to the building. All right, so you get it right. At the right time, it’s the same as if it was built correctly, and you had all the right paperwork, then you wouldn’t need that compartmentation report or external wall because the paperwork will show and therefore you can just analyse it and take the risk as has been, you know, as low as you can, because it’s been done correctly in the first place. And that’s what I see, as I said, I think we’re going to be in a number of years of legacy issues around the built environment. And then eventually, when the building safety regulator really kicks in and starts doing the gateway process, where they are gonna have hard stops, if it’s not done correctly, you won’t need this so much in that bit. But I do take your point around cost, and around and around. And again, people will say, Well, I’ve done the fire risk assessment, I’ve commissioned the probes, that’s me done, that’s fine. Because we’ll go to the RFP and say, your risk assessment isn’t super efficient, because it doesn’t consider them reports. And then we’ll have to go and get someone whether that’s the original risk assessor, or someone else anyway. So we’re going to assist you in kind of getting that work because that’s the way we’re going to do our role.
CPD, I can’t emphasise how important CPD is is so difficult to keep up with the changes that are going on you got a new regulator come in is there’s newsletters you can sign up so changes to legislation, you know that there’s things virtually coming out on a on a daily, weekly basis now, but it is really important if you want to be that competent to try and do it. And the idea is to try and plan your CPD, look at your gap analysis around where you are, what kind of buildings you doing, or you haven’t done before and how you’re going to get there. You know, we need to look at both formal and informal for so formal is like a training session or submit. Now you know where it’s informal, but he’s just important research, looking at guides, you’ve identified a problem. I’ve always seen the thing about fire risk assessment, it’s about problem solving. So you go to a building, you find something you’re not quite sure about, you go away and research and you find the answer you do your best, that CPD and do that. And in your, in your learning outcomes, you know, you know, I see a lot of CPD because I do a lot of stuff that the IFP and it says, I read triple nine one, and please you get out of it. What did you learn as you apply that to your next fire risk assessment job or whatever, and it’s that that’s really important. Most professional bodies look for 25 hours per year. So if it’s two hours a month is two hours a month, we’re asking you to give up to ensure that you are keeping yourself up to date with the most relevant stuff, when new standards come out, etc, etc. It’s probably not enough 25 hours, but we understand that, you know, you’re working and some people, you might be lucky in a company that you know, really encourages CPD, but you know, it’s more in the fire risk assessment world there is a lot of, you know, very small sole traders etc, etc. who think that 25 hours is 25 hours, I’m not working on earning, okay, and I kind of get that but the better you are, the better become the more charts, you’re reducing your risk of making errors in your fire risk assessments. So it’s money well spent in my view.
So that leads us on to the registers there. And so as a sister document to the approved Code of Practice, there’s a guide to choosing a competent fire risk assessor. Again, this first born out of the original fire risk assessment competency Council. And, you know, it was it was it was for the public really, to say, well, you know, what do I look for, and it’s got a number of questions you can ask. And then of course, at the end of it, it talks about registers, and there they are on the left hand side. And there are two types of schemes. There’s a company scheme, and there’s an individual scheme. And so, base is a UCaaS accredited company scheme with their SP 205 and IFC certification also have a company scheme. And then you’ve got the individual schemes from the F Bo, and ifsm, IFA and Warrington. Warrington is currently the only UCaaS accredited individual scheme. IFP scheme is now third pi accredited through the Engineering Council. The ifsm have this three tiers which I think it’s a really good idea. So you can start off at the very level that the third tier, their top tier, they draw from other third party accredited registers. So to make up their registers, and if POA is another individual register, that still sets out the same criteria, but currently is not third party accredited. So you know, from from the if the government were to look at saying, Okay, if you want to work on H, HL B’s, they’ll probably be looking at some of the individual company registers, but they might my feeling is they would only accept those that are third party accredited I’ve for UCaaS, or the Engineering Council. So we’ve got a number to choose from. But the actual numbers of people on the registers at the top level is not particularly high. And I think the reason is, is there is no reason to do it. If you’re earning money as a fire risk assessor, you know, and you’re ticking over fairly nicely not getting any problems. You look at these registers and go, Oh, I’ve got the membership fees. It’s all Yeah, and it can be, it’d be quite a few 100 pounds a year. So it’s not stopping me getting any work while to do it. And, and so once it starts saying if you want to work on certain buildings, you need to be on a register, then that will be a personal choice for people to say, Do I want to do that work? Do I not want to do that work if I do need to get on these registers. In Northern Ireland, they did it slightly a different way through their equivalent of the Care Quality Commission CQC that registers care homes, they pipe made as part of their licence that you couldn’t get their CQC licence to the care home unless your fire risk assessment was done by a person on Well, professional registers. And again, it was another way of them putting that competency in. And that seems to have worked quite well. That was following the rose Park fire in Scotland, they decided to do that. And we’ve been campaigning for our English CQC to do that, but they’re not ready for it yet they reckon. Okay, that’s that’s me.
Thank you very much, Nick. There’s loads and loads of insight there. And I think you’re answering questions throughout. You know, we’ve got, we’ve got loads of questions coming in. So thank you everyone, for sharing. And asking, we’re probably going to try and go over by by by few minutes. Over the hour, that as I said earlier, this is being recorded. So you can always watch it back. If you can, if you’ve got to jump on into another meeting. That’s absolutely fine. But if you are without further ado, we’ll get we’ll get straight in some of these questions. And for the first few, I’ll try and round up, you know, a few that have come in, they will all have similar sort of areas. We’ll start off with Nick if that’s okay. How much are the new Acts and the change is specific to residential premises compared to commercial premises?
It’s a good question. I think predominantly, you’d have to say it’s around residential. I mean, you know, Grenfell tower happened in a residential block and they’ve obviously identified some gaps but but I think we need to the rest of vulnerable people is just as high in care homes hospital with some of our specialised unit as it is in residential blocks of flats have a mixture of of communities living in them. So I think although we focused on residential at the time, I think it doesn’t mean that we should take our eye off the ball in the non-residential, I think from from from an investor’s point of view the fire safety Oh, was always a good piece of legislation for workplaces, it was only really in in the housing sector where you didn’t have control over the whole premises where it became slightly difficult because the risk in people’s homes is normally in their homes, you know, etc. And we couldn’t really go in there as such. So, you know, although the new legislation hasn’t pushed them boundaries on that, I think it strengthen some of the stuff to improve it as best as it possibly can.
Thank you. And on a similar note, how much of these changes are specific to buildings over 18 metres? You know?
Yeah. I mean, one of the first questions they don’t understand is, how do you measure a building? You know, I mean, you know, it might sound really simple, but you know, buildings on slopes, which is why the seven stories has come in to make it slightly easier, because if you’ve reached that threshold you’re in. And I think, yeah, be careful around the measurements. We had, we had a query around some premises around Pimlico, which are the older children mansion houses as such, because when you read it, it talks about the ground floor, but in them buildings, you can imagine their big house, so they got basements were originally the serving quarters were because the windows go above the ground floor only by a few inches, they are counted as floors, because they’re not below ground. So they are now well in some of the legislation as well. So it’s a peculiar thing. And height doesn’t always equal risk. But you know, I think, again, they, because of the tragic events, were 72 people lost their lives, the government have had to focus on that, you know, as high as as a kind of, you know, barometer.
Yeah, makes sense. Quite a few questions here about actually fight, you know, the virus protector certificate is a new Bosch fire fire risk assessors certificate still valid as part of the qualification framework?
Yeah, I think it is, I think, again, but it’s like, I think one of the points I were hoping was trying to make is, it’s not just about qualifications, you know, for me, you can’t go on a on a, on a risk assessment course, and come out the next day after it doing doing risk assessments, there’s a lot more that you need to do around the knowledge experience, and that kind of thing, which is why I’m really, I’m really encouraging, you know, apprenticeships younger people coming in, being mentored, like, like they would in any other kind of trade or business to get people up, I think our problem is, is we’ve allowed people to do courses and just go out and running. And the chances are, they haven’t done particularly good work, but they won’t get caught. Because we don’t go into a lot of the low risk premises, you know, our foot foot inside premises is fairly, you know, fairly small. I mean, there are millions of premises that are foot up that are covered by the fire safety order. And I think last year, the UK FRS did about 65,000 audits. So, you know, it, you know, it’s is the lottery, you know, and so, and then again, you’ve got the ignorance of the people not employing Congress, this, this whole system only works if everyone does their bit, the person who’s employing the fire risk assessor does their due diligence to, to employ the right person to do that job. I mean, there is a story, as I’m sure a lot of you know, about the fire risk assessor who went to prison, he worked, he worked in a pub, so he, he drunk in a pub, and the landlord said, oh, you know a bit because he was a fire extinguisher salesman, you know, a bit about fire, do my fire risk assessment, and he did a terrible one and ended up going to prison on that. But did the did the LP really showed you the energy and he just asked a bloke in the pub, you know, you wouldn’t you wouldn’t you wouldn’t ask the bloke in the pub to service you Mercedes, would you? You know, unless you knew was Mercedes mechanical, obviously. But you know, and it’s that kind of thing. We need to get this whole system working correctly, that everyone knows their role in getting the right person to do the right job and asking the right questions. You know, you have lots of competent fire risk assessors who say I can’t do care homes and that’s quite right you know, so you know, we need to be able to you know, ensure that the person running the care home asked the questions but have they done care home for for today understand that they work or they got any evidence of that so they get the right person for the job. Don’t just pick a risk assessor because he might have done a care home before.
Yeah, I know care homes are very much in the news last year with a couple of couple of major major issues prosecution’s around those questions. fairly early on, which was the day these changes apply to Scotland? Where are the regulations are really up to date there? And you know, the difference between Scotland and between Scotland and England?
Yes, that’s because of devolved assemblies, you know that. So the fire safety England regs are talked about, we’re about England, obviously, the Fire Safety Act. Some of the bits apply to England, Wales, but not Scotland. And the Building Safety Act only applies to England at the moment, okay. They’re all doing similar things in different way. What I do find around the dissolved December is, they normally like England have a guy, we mess it up, and then they come back with better legislation, that the Scottish legislation is better. They’re also ahead of us on sprinklers. And so the Welsh so yeah, so it’s not UK wide. If you just for the clarification, just say everything I spoke about was about England, really? And that that will that will clarify, there are some bits around Wales, but it’s too small to mention. So just think my presentation was around England.
Make sense? Can you can you confirm that green walls and roofs are part of the AWS of the building and therefore come under the new legislation?
So can you just repeat that you just you just dropped out then?
No, of course. Can you confirm that green walls and roofs are part of the external wall assessment of the building and therefore come under the new legislation?
Again, there is a definition of one external wall is it depends on what the type of roof is? green walls? Yes, they are part of it, as far as I’m concerned. And there is a lot of debate around room walls and a lot of stuff that’s going on. Again, I think in the sector, we have a battle between sustainability, and things where we have unintended consequences of stuff that happens, you know, you could you could talk about the overcrowding, Grenville was trying to solve one problem, and created another problem. And I think we’ve got the same around green walls, and in EVs and, you know, battery storage systems that are coming into homes and into buildings, where I don’t think that there is a joint of approaching government between departments who are pushing agendas, you know, quite rightly, you know, they’ve got, you know, sit net zero is one of the ambitions of the government. So, therefore, they’re pushing some of this new technology, but I don’t think they’re doing the joint up work that they need to do with what them unintentional risks are.
Thank you. And similarly, I would nonresidential buildings, such as schools, libraries, offices, museums, would they need to have an external wall system assessment?
See, this is a really good question. Because yes, they should have done because all the time since the fire safety order came out, because it covers the whole building, if it’s a non residential, I think what you need to do as a fire risk assessor is try and get some of the paperwork, if you can, of what, what what the issue was, and don’t forget, the height of the building makes it you know, in this kind of thing, because of the damage it can cause makes, it makes a significant difference to what you can do. And then if you can see that it’s obviously concrete, brick, make a note in your risk assessment, I’ve looked at external wall doesn’t appear to be you know, combustible, etc, etc, and make that comment on it, I think you’re gonna start to see fire and rescue services looking for that in non residential buildings. But again, it’ll probably be around the higher risks like care homes and hospitals, where shopping centres is another one we’re looking at as well. So yes, the answer is yes, you should be looking at, but what I would do is, you know, look at try and get some history on how it was built. members do that risk assessment? If it’s a if it’s a ground floor school, does it you know, does it really matter? Really, everyone’s going to be out anyway. So you know, from that point of view, so let’s be proportionate and pragmatic around it in some of the other buildings.
To be relevant, jumping around a little bit here. There’s so many questions that are coming. So thank you, everyone, for sending them in, I guess. Spend a few more minutes just going over some questions. How would you envisage CPD being recorded? I also has adopted the new blueprint system? Would it be something similar to this?
Yeah, I mean, I think if you remember if any of the professional bodies, they’ve all got their own scheme of recording, you know, you could even start you know, if you’re not a member, but you want to do CPD, then you can just start your own log, you can go I think you can go and download it even if you Google CPD, those will come up, but obviously, electronically As a way forward, you can provide links, you can put certificates in, you can even put links to the presentation you actually watch, which then means you can then go back at a later date. So you think, Oh, I remember that, that that guy did a did a thing about competency, I can go back and check and really look at it and get some bits out of it. So, you know, I think that’s the way forward. You know, I would, I would encourage anyone in in the sector to, you know, join a professional body for the benefits it gives you. Yes, it does cost money, but I think there are benefits to it.
Absolutely, I’m looking at an enforcers point of view here, what is considered an acceptable period before nfra should be reviewed and updated? The FSO says on a regular basis unless it is valid.
Yeah, it’s, again, one of the the age old questions that we get around when he’s regular. And again, to me, it depends on the type of building and the type of use and the changes that may have been made. And I’ll get I’ll use the care home again, because although there might not have been any kind of structural changes to the building, we have found that there is a massive turnover of staff in in, in in these types of premises. So therefore, the record and the risk assessment to ensure that they’ve been trained, etc, etc. So there is an there is a it’s annually if there isn’t that kind of answer. I think, you know, I’m probably not helping the person. But the answer is it is it does depend on the type of premises and the changes. And again, you could argue in lower risk premises, if you get it right the first time, could the RP then do the review? Because if there’s been no changes to the major stuff, they could do the review as well, you know, you know, that might be taking some money out of you. But as I said, there’s lots of other work to be getting on with. So I think there’s enough to go.
Absolutely, I was, there’s a few questions around, you know, what, what is considered an accountable person, as you mentioned, this might come up a few times. You know, one specific question for a multi tenant, tenant ID office building is the landlord, the AP.
So if it’s an office building, it won’t have an AP, because the AP is only for residential buildings. So in a multi occupied office building, there will be a number of parties, okay. And that will include the person who is responsible for the common parts, it could even be the owner, depending on the contractual arrangements between how things are maintained and done. So there’ll be a number of RPS, but there won’t be an IEP because the AP can only be in a residential building, according to the act.
On a similar low in private blocks of flats, there are still grey areas as to who is the RP, is it the managing agent? Or is it the directors of the freehold management company?
I could be fun and just go yes. But again, our thinking, our thinking? Yes, I mean, leasehold and private blocks of flats are a nightmare. They are because there are a number of different kinds of ownership models, you know, in a workplace, you have the hierarchy of employer, you know, and that that hierarchy of RP depends to me, the answer to the question is about the control, who has the control, if the directors have to sign off the money, so if you’ve got to put fit a smoke alarm system in the building, and only the directors can sign off that cost, then they are responsible? Okay. So it is about the accountability and the responsibility that each one of them bits, if they’ve kind of offloaded all their responsibilities to a manage an agent who has that agreement to be able to do things, then they of course, will be RP. So I would imagine, in cases I’ve dealt with in that kind of thing, it’s a bit of both, basically, you have to find out who’s responsible for what, and then go after that particular person.
Thank you. And you’ve got time for like one or two more questions. So I’ll try and get for as a couple more. But as I mentioned earlier, we will be able to put these questions across to the neck a bit of mine afterwards. And we will look to publish an article with some some more of the questions covered. The dclg Risk Assessment guides does not appear to give any guidance on external walls. So I would argue that hadn’t been part of most fire risk assessment training. Well, the dclg guide to be changed.
Good credit. I mean, I think that’s a really good question. It’s exactly right. It’s one of the reasons why they had to bring in the changes to the The Fire Safety Act because it wasn’t considered before. So the new guide so so if you don’t know lot last week three short guides were released by the home office, you can see them on their website, their article 50 badge. And that whole suite of dclg guides are being updated as we speak, there’s a plan going forward to change them. And every one of them will mention external walls. It’s really funny that the purpose built blocks or flat sky did mention external walls in that guide. So they it was in that one, but you’re right, it hasn’t been in any of the other suites and guides. But it will be moving forward.
Great. Interesting question. We talked a bit about commercial properties and residential properties and the difference between them. If commercial properties have sleeping accommodation, for example, offices where employees can sleep on site in dedicated bedrooms? Would they need a building safety case?
That’s a really good question. And it goes it comes down to the definition of what is a residential unit? My understanding is it will be where, you know, it is kind of like their home. So if they are sleeping there for their work purposes, and it’s not their home, then I’d imagine it probably wouldn’t be because things like hotels are not included in the new building safety regime, because they’re not, although they sleep there all night, and they’ve got all the facilities, they’re not seen as a residential unit. So you’d have to look at the definition for that. But I think the example you’ve quoted, be unlikely. However, we have got some interest in buildings in London, where they are things like the shard where people don’t understand they’re actually like residential units in the shard, as well as the hotels and the bars and the restaurants and all that. So that probably will come under the new regime. So it’s a good question. But I think what you’re describing to me, probably not.
Thank you. Yeah, I think that that question did actually come from someone from the City of London. So it makes sense. There’s a lot of slightly different buildings, I suppose in the capital. Final question, and it is just above view as a kind of concluding statement. If there was one message that you’d like our audience to take away from today’s session, what would it be? Nick, we’ll start with you, and then we’ll bring it out. And
I think for me, it would be about competency, you know, understanding your your role in that, and knowing when to say no, and just, you know, join the professional bodies, and keep learning, it’s a terrific industry, you’re doing a great job making people safe, you know, makes our job easier, but just ensure that you’re competent to do what you got to do. And final bit I know you anybody worry about behaviours. If you know, I said, I think a lot of stuff in Greenfield was about it wasn’t they weren’t technically competent. They they were pushed by cost and driven by cost to go against what should have been their behaviours about doing the right thing. So if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
But then Adam.
Adam Clarke 1:08:28
And I suppose just a slight bit to add on to that is the experience piece that Nick put a lot of emphasis on. And when you’re knowing, knowing that maybe you’re within your limitations, go and contact other people that do fire risk assessments go out and spend the time to shadow them. And, you know, use the appears that you’ve got access to when you’re, you’ve got questions around things that you’re seeing, because, you know, buildings vary massively, you know, question you’re thinking quite often it might be that somebody else says to Yeah, that’s does that sounds like what I would do? If not someone might offer you an insight. And it’s, it is about lifelong learning. There’s, there’s brilliant podcasts, webinars, guidance, that’s all available there. Just keep, keep going.
Absolutely. And part of that is webinars like this today. Unfortunately, that is all the time we have for questions today. Thank you so much to everyone for sending your questions and your thoughts in loads of loads of questions coming in. It was it was challenging to keep up with it, but we like a challenge. So it was it was good. And hopefully we covered as much as we could. And obviously a huge thank you to Adam and Nick for joining and sharing their expertise today. And thank you as well to our sponsor for this webinar today. Practice 42 really interesting presentation, and I’m sure many of today’s audience will have taken plenty away from this up last hour. A lot has changed in the last few years as legislation has been enacted regulations have been updated and amended. So it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re complying with the latest standards as a fire risk assessor and you know, duty holders and response responsible persons accountable persons need to reward to ensure that they’re aware of the updates, and can feel confident that they are employing competent professionals. Before I go, I just like to point a point towards a couple more webinars we’ve got coming up. I know everybody loves people messages coming in now already saying thank you for a brilliant session. So, you know, there’s another couple next in the next couple of weeks. Next week on the 12th of April, we’ll hear from expert lawyers who will provide updates and advice on the building safety app that was mentioned today. The COVID-19 inquiry, the Protect duty and the online safety bill as well as a few more things. One a week later on the 19th of April, you can find out the latest updates on the working at height regulations. Hearing from those with first hand experience of what shouldn’t happen, I suppose highlighting why the regs are in place. And who would be remiss of me not to say that we’ll look forward to seeing everyone at Fire X and Safety and Health Expo at London’s XL between the 16th to the 18th of May. There are some fantastic content sessions taking place at the events, including a panel discussion well, we’ll hear from residents of Irish buildings and two sessions. I’m particularly excited for attendees at safety and health expo can hear from Professor Sir Jonathan Van Tam, and Dame Joanna Lumley. As they give keynote speeches, I’m sure they will be absolutely fabulous. Registration is now open to Fire X Safety and Health Expo and they’re co located shows and you can get your free ticket in the link in the resources section as well. Also in the resources section is a link to our latest fire safety ebook covering everything from the new fire regulations that were mentioned today to the growing risk of lithium ion battery fires and plenty more besides, so do check it out. We’ve got 10 minutes to spare. Finally, this webinar was recorded so you will receive a personalised follow up email with data details and a link to today’s presentation on demand in the next 24 to 48 hours. Please do feel free to invite your colleagues and your peers who may not have been able to listen to the event. But that’s everything on behalf of Adam Nick and I thank you so much for all your time and have a great day. Thank you
Since the tragic events of Grenfell tower, competency has been at the heart of improving the system.
This webinar will explore how organisations can ensure the person they appoint to undertake their fire risk assessments are competent, and how enforcement officers will assess compliance in line with the competence framework.
This webinar focuses on:
- Legislation changes regarding the Building Safety Act, the Fire Safety Act, and the Fire England Regulations 2022.
- Competence for undertaking fire risk assessments.
- Relevant qualifications for fire competency and the routes to competence.
- CPD and fire risk assessment registers.
Nick Coombe MBE Eng Tech FIFireE | NFCC Protection & Business Safety Vice Chair | Building Safety Programme Lead
Nick is the NFCC Protection & Business Safety Vice Chair and Building Safety Programme Lead, and was also named as one of IFSEC Global’s top influencer in fire safety in 2020.
He has 39 years’ service for the London Fire Brigade which has spanned many roles including, Head of Fire Safety Training, Enforcement Manager and Head of Fire Safety Policy. He has helped write DCLG guides and as the Chair of CFOA Enforcement working group helped produce policies and guidance on the RRO to Fire & Rescue Services.
He is a member of the Joint Regulators Group and the newly formed Protection Board and is also a member of the Industry Safety Steering Group led by Dame Judith Hackitt to hold industry to account on the progress of post Grenfell change.
Adam Clarke | Managing Director (Consulting) | Praxis42
Adam began his career in Occupational Health and Safety as an apprentice and is now leading a successful consultancy. Adam’s wealth of knowledge and experience comes from working across a diverse range of industries, and he continues to seek new ways to improve health and wellbeing, empowering ownership of risk and utilising technology to make compliance easy.