FireRite’s Commentary on Setting the Bar – Competence Steering Group

Delivering Competencies for a safer future
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Published in September 2020 by the Competence Steering Group, Setting the Bar (the final report of the Competence Steering Group),  represents two years of challenging work following the Grenfell Fire Tragedy.

Initiated by the recommendations within Dame Judith Hackitt's review “Building a safer Future” it identifies the need for competent persons within the construction and built environment industries to ensure buildings are effectively designed, maintained and managed with (fire) safety as a priority.

The focus on Higher Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs) stems from the tragic events that took place at Grenfell in 2017. However, it seems an appropriate time to acknowledge the failures and weaknesses within the built environment in relation to fire safety and deliver on the findings and recommendations within the Setting the Bar report.

There were 59 recommendations made in total. Specifically, recommendations 29-31 relate to provision of Fire Risk Assessors:

  • Recommendation 29: Assessor accreditation
  • Recommendation 30: Statutory duty to use accredited assessors
  • Recommendation 31: Register for fire risk assessors

These findings are seen as “core business” from the perspective of Firerite’s consultancy team.  We are pleased to see language and recommendations that are already enshrined within our working practices since our launch in 2015.

Firerite utilise the Level 4 fire safety certification as the gateway and foundation to the qualifications and competencies of our fire risk assessment team. Therefore, regardless of the design, size and use of the building our clients can be assured that the assessors have the relevant competencies and experience in a wide variety of building types to deliver a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment for their premises.

Third party accreditation through NSI Gold and BAFE SP 205 backed by UKAS has been in place since 2015 and also reinforces our commitment to excellence, integrity, and a quality service to our clients. These standards are specifically referenced in the Setting the Bar report.

The importance of continual professional development (CPD) and training of all staff within the Firerite family is a primary objective. Reviewed annually and captured within our third-party accreditation process; CPD ensures that both Firerite and the individual maintain core skills and knowledge within these challenging and changing times. Our Fire Consultancy, Active and Passive fire protection teams are kept up to date with core skills and competencies but also develop new skills to advance with the requirements of changing face of our industry.

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