Westminster Social Policy Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Next steps for building safety and regulation in England - implementation, accountability and enforcement, and options for further reform

Morning, Tuesday, 10th November 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will discuss the future for building regulations in England.

It is bringing together key stakeholders and policymakers and stakeholders to assess next steps for improving the safety and standards of buildings, and the implementation of the new regulatory framework.

Key areas for discussion include:

  • priorities for the planned Building Safety Bill - and improving support for residents and their confidence in building regulation
  • implementing the new regulatory system
  • improving safety across a building’s life cycle, strengthening accountability and responsibility, improving industry competence
  • examples of best practice and where collaboration between industries has worked most effectively

Why this is particularly relevant now - the context:

The discussion in detail:

  • Next steps following the government response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of building regulations - assessing priorities and next steps for:
    • the Building Safety Regulator and its responsibilities for regulatory decisions at key points during design, construction, occupation and refurbishment of buildings
    • accountability - including the impact of the introduction of an Accountable Person and plans for a building safety manager to be appointed for every high-rise building in the country
    • the Fire Safety Bill - and what more could be needed to improve safety and identify risk earlier and in engaging and working with fire services
    • to what extent government proposals and forthcoming legislation addresses the concerns of residents, councils and industry, and whether more is needed to be done to accelerate changes to the regulatory system
  • Priorities for improving industry competence and compliance - with the Future of Building Control Working Group calling for:
    • steps to simplify and unify building control legislation, process and procedures
    • an independent designated body to oversee professional registration and organisational audit
    • introduction of a new competence framework to cover all persons working in building control, including those working on higher risk buildings in scope of the new regulator
    • a unified pan-industry Code of conduct for all Building Control Bodies and professionals, and career structure to set clear expectations of competence across the building control sector
  • Tackling the challenges for improving safety across a buildings life cycle and improving resident safety, including:
    • options for regulation and policy to ensure that building safety regulations are followed along the various stages of design, construction, occupation, and maintenance
    • developing Resident Engagement Strategies - and what more can be done to ensure that residents feel safe in their homes
    • whether the threshold for the combustible cladding ban should be reduced from 18m height threshold to 11m, following a government consultation and the impact of plans to provide sprinkler systems in all new blocks of high-rise residential buildings over 11m
    • learning the lessons from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry - its phase 1 recommendations and its ongoing phase 2

The agenda:

  • Building regulations: the current landscape and priorities going forward
  • The new regulatory framework and the Building Safety Regulator - local authority enforcement, industry compliance and competence, risk assessment and ensuring safety
  • Implementation challenges for improving safety across a building’s life cycle - strengthening accountability and responsibility, engaging with residents and embedding safety into design
  • Next steps for policy and the Building Safety Bill

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

Overall, we expect speakers and further attendees to be an informed group including leaders from local government, Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and other relevant departments, together with representatives from local authorities, combined authorities, housing associations, developers, the construction and construction products sector, architecture, business, skills, infrastructure, lawyers, academics, think tanks, environmental organisations, residents groups, those who work in energy efficiency, fire safety, the independent and third sectors, and others concerned with the issues discussed - together with reporters from the national and trade media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Helen Richman

Regulatory Interventions Transition Lead - Building Safety Programme, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government


Sir David Amess MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group


Dr Helen Carr

Professor of Law, Kent Law School

Gary Strong

Chair, International Fire Safety Standards Coalition

Senior speaker confirmed from Local Authority Building Control

Martin Taylor

Head of Regulatory Policy, Local Authority Building Control

Peter Baker

Chief Inspector of Construction, Health and Safety Executive

Peter Caplehorn

Chief Executive, Construction Products Association