Working Group 2 Update - First stage complete in journey towards competent installer workforce

17 May 22

The JIB and ECS has welcomed the publication of the Phase 1 report from Working Group 2: Installers as part of the industry-wide initiatives to raise the bar on competence following on from the tragedy at Grenfell.
The report sets out the current state of competence arrangements for those installing products and systems in buildings in a number of pilot sectors, including Fire Detection and Alarm systems which is covered by the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS). This has also been welcomed by the Construction Leadership Council who work with industry, including CSCS and the Partner Schemes, to help raise standards and safety across the built environment.  
The report has been prepared by members of Working Group 2, set up as part of the post-Grenfell Competence Steering Group. Volunteers from Working Group 2 have worked with six pilot installer sectors – Domestic Plumbing and Heating, Dry Lining, Fire Detection and Alarms, Fire Stopping Specialist, Rainscreen Cladding, and Roofing – to benchmark existing competence arrangements.

This Pilot – Phase One stage sets a baseline to identify shortfalls and considers the changes needed to create competence frameworks that comply with the recommendations of Setting the Bar. In 2020, Setting the Bar outlined how industry must improve the competence of those procuring, designing, constructing, inspecting, assessing, managing, installing, and maintaining higher risk residential buildings. This work coincides with the Building Safety Act 2022 becoming law this month and the launch of the Building Safety Regulator. 
Today’s report recognises that good practice exists in each of the six sectors that allows them to demonstrate elements of competence, including elements such as the launch of Fire and Security apprenticeships across the UK nations and more arrangements in place to increase standards in training and assessment, and the ECS digital systems such as MyECS, the Employer Portal, and ECS Check.
Each sector will now move to develop sector-specific competence frameworks that play to existing strengths and close off any “red flag issues” raised in the report. Updates and the next phase of work is expected to take another 6 to 9 months to complete. 
The report also calls on other installer sectors to begin their own competence journey now, offering guidance to help them do so which Working Group 2 has developed during the pilots.
Mark Reynolds, Sponsor for the CLC’s People and Skills Network, said: “Publication of Working Group 2’s latest report marks an important milestone in progress towards improved standards of installer competence in the built environment. The CLC will continue to do all we can to assist with the pilots and I would urge other installer sectors now to embark on their own competence journeys, drawing on the resources which Working Group 2 has provided.”
To find out more, see the latest update on the Building Safety Act and other activities of ECS here.
A copy of the report is available here