Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (563)

Dan Neville


563. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government regarding the building control amendment regulations, the specific competencies that were determined as being required to perform the functions and fulfil the roles of assigned certifier under the legislation; when the selected building professionals deemed competent to perform the roles were chosen, noting that the selected professionals do not include all of those listed within the BCA2007, nor are they limited only to those listed within the BCA2007; and if he will consider amending this or other legislation to allow for the inclusion of other qualified and legitimate building professionals who meet the same previously determined competence criteria, in order to allow them to perform the functions and fulfil the roles under the legislation, in the interest of competition and the consumer. [23063/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

New Building Control (Amendment) Regulations have, since 1 March 2014, strengthened 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. Inclusion on the statutory registers of architects and buildings surveyors is not confined to members of the registration bodies but is open to persons from other professional groupings who can demonstrate that they possess the requisite competence in the design and surveying of buildings. It is also possible to prescribe by regulation further educational bodies and courses that may lead to inclusion on the various registers established under the 2007 Act.

Neither I nor my Department have any role in the assessment or validation of professional qualifications. However, should the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland or the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (who are the statutory registration bodies and competent authorities in relation to building surveyors and architects respectively) determine that the competence of any professional grouping 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.