Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (357, 364)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

357. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the reason architectural technologists are excluded from signing design certificates and completion certificates under the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, SI 9 of 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14965/14]

View answer

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

364. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government under the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, the qualifications that are necessary to become an assigned certifier; if there are provisions for a person with extensive relevant experience but without these qualifications to become an assigned certifier; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15088/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 357 and 364 together.

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI No. 9 of 2014), which came into operation on 1 March 2014, greatly 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.

The profession of Architectural Technologist is not a regulated profession in Ireland. However, depending on their personal background and experience, it may be open to persons who are Architectural Technologists, and who possess the requisite experience and competence in the design of buildings, to seek inclusion on either of the statutory registers in respect of Architects or Building Surveyors. This would enable a person so registered to sign statutory certificates of compliance as provided for under S.I. No. 9 of 2014.

The Building Control Act of 2007 also provides for routes to inclusion on the statutory registers of Architects or Building Surveyors in respect of non-academically qualified persons who are practically trained.

Persons who have been engaged in the design of buildings but who are not registered should contact the designated registration bodies (i.e. Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland or Engineers Ireland) with a view to identifying the most appropriate route to registration appropriate to their own individual circumstances.

I tasked Mr Garrett Fennell, Solicitor, to carry out a review of the routes to entry to the statutory register. Mr Fennell submitted his report to me last September and I intend to implement the report recommendations in full. This should ease access to the register, especially for practically trained persons.