The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will over the next twelve months develop a new mandatory test for all UK Chartered Members on “health and safety and building users life safety”.
“About time!” says Elizabeth Sinclair, Director of Epica Health & Safety.
“Too many times designers do not comply with their duties and responsibilities under Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and do not provide suitable and sufficient health and safety information.
“In some cases this year, I have seen designs where construction hazards could have been eliminated at design stage. However these hazards were either not eliminated or not identified to the construction team in the health and safety information for construction, or for the client at post construction.
“Not all architects are the same, some are great, however many do not understand the health and safety information required for construction and post construction phases of a project. Hopefully the new regime of testing and CPD will help them through the requirements of the projects they work on.”
The test is set to launch in 2019 and will cover:
- Roles, responsibilities and legislation;
- Design Risk Management; and
- Personal health and safety when working away from the office.
RIBA comments that the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and the Hackitt Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety have been put architects:
“under increasing pressure to demonstrate to the construction industry, clients and procuring bodies that they have appropriate skills, knowledge and experience in health and safety and life safety of building users and in their own personal safety on site.
Members are expected to already have appropriate health and safety knowledge as set by the architectural education criteria and ongoing requirements of at least two hours formal CPD in health and safety per year. Further to these requirements, under their Code of Conduct, Members can only accept work for which they have the necessary knowledge, skills and resources.
One Year to Pass the Test!
RIBA has been working with HSE and other bodies since 2015 to better position architects as professionals with appropriate health and safety knowledge to undertake the duties of designers, and in many instances the duties of Principal Designer, under CDM 2015. The new test requirement is a direct result of this work and the Hackitt Review’s call for professional bodies to raise competency in life safety issues.
Existing RIBA members will be given a year to pass the test before renewing their membership for the 2021 subscription year.
The RIBA will provide health and safety CPD in a variety of forms to help ensure RIBA Chartered Members have the appropriate knowledge and confidence in their existing skills and experience in health and safety.