POLITICAL Q+A: Members excluded from register: BC(A)R SI.9

by Bregs Blog admin team

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To quote Minister Hogan “There is no question of persons who are not included on the statutory registers being permitted to sign certificates of compliance.” Recent media coverage has focused on experienced qualified professionals who will face an unemployment crisis due to BC(A)R SI.9. Here is a recent political Q+A session concerning this issue. Many established construction professionals feel their employment will be significantly impacted upon with the implementation on 1st March of Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014). New registers of “competent persons” from which they are excluded will mean they will no longer be able to practice and undertake roles for which they were well qualified to perform.

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Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:

To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that under proposed legislation the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2013, SI No 80 of 2013 which are due to come into force on 1 March, 2014 will expressly prohibit CIAT Members to provide architectural services here; if he will acknowledge that members of this group have the prerequisite experience, knowledge and skills and should be therefore eligible to register under the Building Surveyors Registration Authority as an interim measure until CIAT members are granted a register in their own right; if he will acknowledge that failure to grant them eligibility will ultimately result in many unnecessary business closures and redundancies across the industry; in view of the fact that he has the authority to extend the regulations to include a register for chartered architectural technologists, if he will commit to reviewing the parameters of the register with a view to admitting members of CIAT to it; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– John Halligan.

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will consider amending S.I. No. 80/2013 – Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2013 to include architectural technologists in the schedule of those eligible to certify under this legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will examine the submission (details supplied); if he will detail the consultations he has had with this body; if he will respond to the substance of these complaints; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Ciara Conway.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 18th February, 2014.

Ref Nos:   8226/14, 8281/14 and 8282/14

 REPLY

 Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Mr. P. Hogan)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 523, 529 and 530 together.

New Building Control (Amendment) Regulations will, from 1 March 2014, strengthen the arrangements in place for the control of building activity, by requiring greater accountability in relation to compliance with Building Regulations in the form of statutory certificates of design and construction, lodgement of compliance documentation, mandatory inspection during construction and validation and registration of statutory certificates. 

The statutory certificates of compliance must be signed by a registered professional i.e. a person who is included on the statutory registers of architects or building surveyors maintained in accordance with parts 3 and 5 respectively of the Building Control Act 2007 or on the register of chartered engineers established under the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland (Charter Amendment) Act 1969.

Architects, Building Surveyors and Chartered Engineers are the construction professions typically involved in the design of construction works in Ireland and reference to these professions in regulation is entirely appropriate.

Depending on their personal circumstances it may be open to persons who are members of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), and who possess the requisite experience and competence in the design of buildings, to seek inclusion on either of the statutory registers referred to which would enable a person to sign statutory certificates of compliance as provided for under the new regulations when they come into effect on and from 1 March 2014.

There is no question of persons who are not included on the statutory registers being permitted to sign certificates of compliance.

My Department has had detailed engagement with CIAT subsequent to the public consultation on the proposed Building Control Amendment Regulations (which led to S.I. No 9 of 2014).  In this regard, my Department has outlined a number of options in keeping with the Building Control Act 2007 which could be pursued by CIAT with a view to progressing the registration of its Chartered Architectural Technologist members.

In May 2013 CIAT presented a case for recognition of Chartered Architectural Technologists as a route to inclusion on the register of persons entitled to use the title of Building Surveyor in accordance with Part 5 of the Building Control Act 2007, based on benchmarking the competence of Chartered Architectural Technologists against existing routes to registration as a Building Surveyor.    In June 2013 CIAT presented a similar case in respect of inclusion on the register of persons entitled to use the title of Architect in accordance with Part 3 of the Building Control Act 2007.  The Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI) and the RIAI, as the registration bodies for the relevant professions under the Act of 2007, and as the competent authorities in Ireland for the purposes of the EU Directive on the recognition of Professional Qualifications, are currently considering the cases put forward by CIAT.  Neither I nor my Department have any role in the assessment or validation of professional qualifications in this manner and cannot pre-empt the outcome in either case.  However, should the SCSI or the RIAI as appropriate determine that the competence of the Chartered Architectural Technologists is equivalent to the requirements for inclusion on either register, it would fall to me as Minister to bring forward relevant suitable amendments to the Building Control Act 2007. 

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