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Building Safety Act: Key Requirements by 6 April 2024

6 April 2024 is a major date for the construction industry in England and Wales: 

  • Dutyholders’ regime under the Building Regulations (England only): any building work which has been benefitting from the transitional provisions but has not started by 6 April will be subject to the new regime, including the requirement for the appointment of a principal designer and principal contractor (where applicable).  

    Those intending to use a JCT building contract may be interested to see how the JCT choose to tackle this in the JCT Design and Build Contract 2024 edition due to be published later this month. Will the provisions, for instance, take a similar approach to how it addressed the CDM Regulations in Amendment 1 to JCT 2011?  
     
  • Higher risk buildings: in order for the work to continue as if it were not higher-risk building work and stay with the local authority as the building control authority, works must have ‘sufficiently progressed’. Moreover, for works which were the subject of an initial notice issued before 1 October 2023, the approved inspector must have registered as a building control approver before 6 April.  

Those carrying out works within the transitional period will need to ensure that they have issued to the local authority the requisite notice not more than five working days after the day on which the work is to be regarded as sufficiently progressed (and before 6 April), with a copy to the approved inspector (if applicable).

  • Registered building control approvers (RBCAs): all private sector businesses that want to do building control work must have registered with the Building Safety Regulator in order to operate as RBCAs.  

For non higher-risk building work which has an appointed approved inspector unregistered as at 6 April, the transitional arrangements will allow work to continue beyond that date but only until 1 October 2024 when the initial notice will be cancelled. 

  • Registered building inspectors (RBIs): to undertake regulated building control activities such as assessing plans, inspections and giving advice to building control bodies that carry out regulated functions, they can only be undertaken by RBIs who have registered by 6 April.  

There are 4 classes of RBIs and classes 2, 3 and 4 must also have completed an independent competency assessment, albeit the deadline for completing that assessment has been extended in England to 6 July 2024; those in Wales have been given a longer extension period of 6 months to complete the competency assessment.   

The HSE’s decision to extend the competence assessment deadline for RBIs was given in the wake of significant concerns raised by local authorities and other parts of the construction industry and addressed in a letter from the Director of Building Safety to the industry. 

Having not fully acquiesced to the industry’s cry for more time for registrations, with no extension given to the deadline for RBCAs, the extent of the impact on the construction projects pipeline may start to become apparent in the coming months.

We are tracking developments on our Building and Fire Safety Hub. If you have any queries about building safety, please do not hesitate to contact Melanie Hardingham or your usual Charles Russell Speechlys contact.

The Building Safety Regulator has listened to the concerns raised by the profession, including the potential impact on the construction industry if there are not enough inspectors registered to practice by the legal deadline.

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