BCMS Q+A: Part 2 | I.T. Issues
by Bregs Blog admin team
This is the second of three posts on the BCMS Question + Answer series. On 7th August 2014 the BRegs Blog posed a series of questions to the Building Control Management System (Link:). These were an edited compilation of questions that we received from our readers. The idea was that it would make for an efficient use of the BCMS resources if they replied to us in one email and we shared the information with our followers through Social Media.
We are very grateful to the BCMS Project Manager for her very swift and comprehensive response. As it is so detailed we decided to publish it as a series of posts linked by the subject matter of the questions to ensure maximum exposure. Monday’s post on general issues may be accessed here (Link:). The third post will follow tomorrow.
To summarise the response on I.T. issues below it would appear:
- It may be possible to submit Completion Certificates online at the end of September 2014 (at present hard copy only)
- Improvements to the system are ongoing
- Only the Assigned Certifier may upload design changes after Commencement Notice
- Editing of documents post-commencement notice validation may be possible by contacting the Building Control Authority.
Q.7 When will it be possible to submit Completion Certificates online?
Development of the BCMS electronic module is under-way, an exact date cannot be given at this stage but an indicative date is end of September 2014. In the interim the Certificate of Compliance on Completion notice may be downloaded from the BCMS; completed and submitted with the supporting documentation by email to the relevant Local Authority, where it will be uploaded to the “Supporting Documentation-Completion Certificate” tab in the BCMS.
Q.8 Is it correct that it is not possible to submit ancillary certificates and supporting documentation with Completion Certificates?
No. The Completion Certificates process will be quite similar to the CN submission process and all relevant documents may be uploaded. In the interim the notice may be downloaded from the BCMS, completed and submitted with the supporting documentation by email to the relevant Local Authority, where it will be uploaded to the “Supporting Documentation-Completion Certificate” tab in the BCMS.
It is very important that the Annex to the Certificate of Compliance on Completed is completed in full, notwithstanding the fact that compliance/ancillary certificates may be uploaded i.e.
|ANNEX Table of Plans, Calculations, Specifications, Ancillary Certificates and Particulars used for thepurpose of construction and demonstrating compliance with the requirements of the SecondSchedule to the Building Regulations and showing, in particular how the completed buildingor works differ from the design submitted to the Building Control Authority prior toconstruction.(Details of relevant plans, etc. may be listed below and attached hereto)|
Q.9 Do the BCMS maintain contact details of those using the system in order to advise them directly of ongoing changes e.g. the recently introduced “role acceptance”?
BCMS will endeavour to place notification of major upgrades on the BCMS site, while conscious that emails pertaining to site upgrades may be considered a nuisance by some people.
Q.10 Is it possible to introduce a facility to edit documents prior to and/or post validation?
Users have the ability to edit, add or delete documents attached to any building project up to the point where it is submitted for validation.
Validation is based on the documents supplied.
The Valid Commencement Notice and Documents uploaded as part of the notice submission cannot be amended or deleted.
However additional documents can be added throughout the building project.
Q.11 Do the BCMS intend to provide a user guide to the system?
The BCMS oversight group are in the as forms are being completed is favoured as “Guides” and “Manuals” have not proven to be the most successful means to deliver support to the process of completing a guide to the system but the provision of “live” guidance user of online systems. The system will be continually monitored to find ways in which ease of use can be improved and suggestions from users are always valuable in this respect.
Q.12 Do the BCMS intend to provide comprehensive predictive answers or hints on the system?
Improvements to the system are ongoing, this includes the provision of help text / hints. See answer to Q.11 above.
Q.13 How does the Design Certifier upload additional documents for design changes during the construction phase or ensure that the correct documents have been uploaded at or before completion?
As the Assigned Certifier solely has access to upload and review documents throughout a building project post Commencement Notice lodgement, such changes as may be provided by the Designer(s) can only be uploaded by the Assigned Certifier.
Q.14 Are there any plans to increase the speed for uploading documents and negotiating between pages on the system?
This should have improved considerably recently.
The BCMS team are working to continuously improve the system.
Q. 15 Is there a limit on the capacity of the system and/or individual uploads?
Document types should be in PDF and not greater 8mb in size.
Q.16 Is the Local Government Management Agency correct in their statement that the BCMS will not be fully operational for 18 months after 1st March 2014?
The BCMS is not aware of this statement. The BCMS is designated to be developed through three initial phases comprising launch on 1st March 2014, a second phase that introduces machine-based interrogation for Risk Analysis purposes that will commence in September 2014 and a third phase that allows the use of electronic devices throughout the BCAs that are pre-populated with all information uploaded on the system to enable higher and improved levels of oversight by BCA staff. Elements of this third phase are already incorporated in the recently-published “Framework for Building Control Authorities” document.
Q. 17 Does the BCMS have a published API such as REST that external applications can use to read and write to the BCMS system? If yes, are there examples of its usage? If not, do you plan to introduce this functionality?
External access to the system is not allowed.
Q.18 Who are the website developers and were they procured through the public / E-tender procurement process? There is a story (attributed to you) doing the rounds that the reason there are so many glitches with the system is that the developer’s first language was not English!
The developers were procured in accordance with public procurement requirements through the E-tender process. The companies are Irish SMEs located in Dublin and Galway.
Q.19 Is it planned that a Commencement Notice can be deleted once started?
Once a Commencement Notice has been submitted for validation it cannot be deleted.
Q. 20 Is it planned to have an easier online method of unlocking documents to upload newer versions other than contacting Local Authority
Users have the ability to add, delete and review documents attached to any building project up to the point where it is submitted for validation.
When a notice is submitted for validation, documents uploaded as part of the Commencement Notice submission are locked. If, at the discretion of the BCA, further information is required, the BCA may unlock the building project and allow documents to be added or deleted as requested. The building project will then be locked again to allow validation to proceed.
Please note, additional documents can be added throughout the building project to completion stage.
The BRegs Blog Admin. Team would like to thank Mairéad Phelan, Project Manager for the BCMS (Local Government Efficiency Review, Programme Management Office), for her prompt and informative response to the questions above.