The BSCF’s VISION is to give confidence in those professionally responsible for a healthy and safe built environment. Our MISSION is to lead cultural change in the construction industry by instilling ethics and elevating competence and standards in those responsible for the regulation, design, construction and maintenance of our built environment.
The Building Safety Competency Foundation (BSCF) is a Community Interest Company, set up by LABC as a public interest organisation to provide a range of services to the construction industry. Working for the public benefit, public safety and consumer protection, the creation of the BSCF enables investment in the competence, ethics and culture of the wider construction industry.
Created in 2021; the BSCF delivers competence validation for those responsible for the regulation, design, construction and maintenance of our built environment.
The Foundation provides independence and credibility through a governance model which includes public service building control but with the addition of Independent Directors to ensure transparency and impartiality.
The Building Safety Competence Foundation Core Activities
Dame Judith Hackitt’s Final Report recommended that all those working in the construction industry must prove their competence. In 2018 LABC took up Dame Judith’s challenge to prove the competency of building control professionals. Working with the Institution of Fire Engineers, LABC developed a competency validation assessment for Building Regulation Fire Safety in Higher Risk Buildings. This led to the creation of the BSCF to ensure robust, impartial validation of building control professionals’ competence. This scheme of validation has since been extended to cover all levels of building control surveyors and all aspects of the building regulations and is open to both public and private sector practitioners.
The BSCF Competence Certification scheme for Building Control Inspectors (BCI’s) achieved Independent Assessment Scheme (IAS) status for the Registration of Building Inspectors (RBI’s) following approval by the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) in July 2023 and continues to be developed under UKAS and ISO/IEC 17024 (conformity assessment for bodies operating the certification of persons).
The following competence validation schemes are now in place:
- Domestic building control surveyor
- General building control surveyor
- Specialist building control surveyor
The competence validation process is scrutinised by the Impartiality Committee and for each scheme there is a separate Scheme Committee made up of pan-industry subject matter experts.
The certification process rigorously tests to see if the individual can prove their competence to perform the tasks associated with a specific technical specialism. Certification lasts for four years and includes a combination of:
- Passing examinations / assessments / interviews.
- Completing a portfolio of recent relevant experience performed to predefined levels of performance and standards.
Impartiality Policy and Public Statement
Building Safety Competency Foundation (BSCF) is the legal entity responsible for certification activities; reference to BSCF in this Policy and Public Statement Building Safety Competency Foundation BSCF refers to BSCF Training & certification activities and the BSCF Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the development of the Building Safety Competence Foundation (BSCF), safeguarding its financial security and ensuring its operational effectiveness.
The BSCF Board of Directors, Managers and Staff fully understand the importance of impartiality in undertaking its certification activities. BSCF will therefore ensure that in all its dealings with applicants, candidates, and certified persons, all employees or other personnel are and will remain impartial. To ensure that impartiality is both maintained and can be demonstrated the following principles have been established.
Statement of Impartiality & Public Statement
The BSCF Board of Directors, managers and staff fully understand the importance of impartiality in undertaking its certification activities.
The BSCF will therefore ensure that in its dealings with applicants, candidates and certified persons, all employees or other personnel involved in certification activities are, and will remain, impartial.
To ensure that impartiality is both maintained and can be demonstrated, BSCF has identified, and risk assessed all relationships which may result in a conflict of interest or pose a threat to impartiality.
Certification of individuals is based on objective evidence obtained by BSCF through a fair, valid and reliable assessment, and is not influenced by other interests or other parties.
The BSCF has prioritised and places the greatest importance on integrity, impartiality and potential conflicts of interests in carrying out all certification activities.
BSCF evaluates potential risks to its impartiality on an on-going basis using several mechanisms including internal audit, management review and consultation with appropriate interested parties. Where any such risks are identified, BSCF shall put appropriate measures in place to eliminate or minimise them. These measures are monitored for effectiveness.
The BSCF Board of Directors and the Management team conduct an annual risk assessment on impartiality and conflict of interest, which is reviewed by the impartiality committee. This is an independent committee made up of members representing key interests.
Furthermore, the BSCF will address issues arising from potential conflict of interest and objectivity through regular training sessions (at least annually) and contractually binding agreements, signed by all employees involved in certification activities, to ensure that all activities undertaken throughout the certification process are conducted in an independent and impartial manner.
The BSCF applies its policies and procedures in a non-discriminatory way, and its services are available to all applicants, candidates and certified persons working within the Building Control profession. Eligibility is not dependent on membership of any association or group.
The impartiality and objectivity of the certification services that BSCF provides are tightly controlled. All BSCF employees and independent service providers involved in assessment and certification activities are required to declare any potential conflicts of interest. Certification decisions are made by competent persons independent of the training and assessment(s) of the candidates and certified persons.
If any applicant, candidate, certified persons, or other stakeholders have concerns regarding the impartiality or objectivity of the BSCF. There are non-discriminatory procedures in place for handling complaints and appeals.
The BSCF is a non-profit distributing organisation, and all BSCF activities are overseen by the Board of Directors in order to ensure that impartiality is not compromised by commercial, financial or other pressures.
Should you require any clarification relating to this impartiality policy, please contact 020 8616 8120.
Director of BSCF on behalf of the organisation