Raising the bar-competence is king!


Raising the bar-competence is king!


Last week saw the release of the Steering Group on Competence for Building a Safer Future interim report – Raising the Bar. SPRA has been pleased to be an active member of three of the Working Groups set up to address this issue following Dame Judith Hackitt’s report.

SPRA provided expert advice and guidance to the groups looking at Installers, Products and Marketing Integrity and will continue to do so into the future. SPRA members have an important role to play to ensure that all those working in the single ply industry have the correct competencies to do so, and that the right products are being specified and installed.

It is good to see that in paragraph 53 (Residents’ understanding of professional competence is likely to be limited as they do not have access to the same frameworks as contractors. It is proposed that part of the function of the Building Safety Competence Committee must be support for residents and signposting to organisations holding competence registers. Ensuring residents are aware of this process and encouraging them to only accept work by those with the agreed competence is a marked change)  there is specific mention of residents needing to understand and access professional competence – for many years I have put forward the view that members of the public should understand and use the CSCS Card system to guide their purchasing choices. It should be done, and done quickly, but this will need a large and targeted publicity campaign as well as commitment from the industry to actually, and properly police the system we’ve already got in the commercial environment. We don’t need to reinvent any wheels – let’s make the systems we already have work for us!  As an installer, you know if you are not being asked for your hard-won CSCS card in single ply roofing. So if you aren’t being asked for it, ask why not and report it to SPRA. We can take this evidence direct to Build UK and CSCS.

It was also pleasing to see a call for government to take the lead in requiring all to meet competence standards. (Paragraph 54. Without a regulatory framework to ensure all businesses and individuals undertake their professional obligations, a risk that those procuring services do so for the lowest price will remain. It is proposed that Government take the lead and commit to requiring any company or individual working on a central Government construction project, including the ownership of completed buildings meet the competence frameworks set out within this report, and that Local Authorities and the wider public and private sectors are encouraged to follow suit.)  But the word is still ‘encourage’. We need to stop encouraging, and start ‘doing’! We can start the doing within SPRA. We can all look harder at the decisions we make and why we make them. It won’t be easy, but sometimes the hardest decisions are the best. Don’t just look at that bottom line for this year…look at the potential savings over future years for doing it right this time, and maybe even having the courage to sometimes say no.


Tell us your story about how you have made a change to improve competency in your company or made a tough decision based on quality and technical excellence which led to longer term company growth…


Source: Cathie Clarke, SPRA CEO