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

Morning, Tuesday, 10th November 2020

***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 to assess next steps for improving the safety and standards of buildings, and the implementation of the new regulatory framework.

The discussion at a glance:

  • priorities for the Draft 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

The context at a glance:

  • the Draft Building Safety Bill - with plans to introduce a new Building Safety Regulator as part of the Health and Safety Executive
  • the Fire Safety Bill currently before Parliament
  • the Planning for the future White Paper - setting out proposals to reform England’s current system
  • the Independent Review into Building Regulations and Fire Safety - conducted by Dame Judith Hackitt
  • Application of building regulations where additional storeys are provided to existing buildings - MHCLG’s additional information for local authorities on the fast track approval process for homeowners who intend to extend their homes and changes to the Manual to the Building Regulations following Dame Judith’s enquiry
  • the Grenfell Tower Inquiry
  • the impact of COVID-19

The discussion in detail:

The future of building regulations

Next steps following the government response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review - assessing priorities and next steps for:

  • the Building Safety Regulator - including its decision-making responsibilities 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
  • concerns of residents, councils and industry - and whether more is needed to be done to accelerate changes to the regulatory system

Industry competence and compliance

Priorities for improvement - with the Future of Building Control Working Group calling for:

  • simplification - including unifying building control legislation, process and procedures
  • governance - an independent designated body to oversee professional registration and organisational audit
  • a new competence framework - to cover all persons working in building control, including those working on higher risk buildings
  • a code of conduct - for all Building Control Bodies and professionals, and career structure to set clear expectations of competence across the building control sector

Safety across a building’s life cycle

Tackling the challenges for improving resident safety, including:

  • options for regulation and policy - ensuring 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
  • thresholds - such heights for the combustible cladding and plans to provide sprinkler systems in all new blocks of high-rise residential buildings over 11m
  • the Grenfell Tower Inquiry - learning the lessons, and examining phase 1 recommendations and its ongoing phase 2

The agenda:

  • Building regulations - the current landscape and priorities going forward
  • Stakeholder perspectives on the new regulatory framework and priorities for 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
  • Next steps for policy and the Building Safety Bill


Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords and the House of Commons Library, and officials from MHCLG; the Health and Safety Executive; BEIS; Defra; the Government Legal Department; HM Revenue & Customs; the Law Commission; and the Welsh Government.

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

Keynote Speakers

Helen Richman

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

Peter Baker

Chief Inspector of Construction, Health and Safety Executive


Bob Blackman MP

Member, Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee

Sir David Amess MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group


Gill Kelleher

Impact Director for Assurance, Construction Innovation Hub

Dr Helen Carr

Professor of Law, Kent Law School

Gary Strong

Chair, International Fire Safety Standards Coalition

Dr Daniel Slade

Policy & Project Manager, Town & Country Planning Association

Martin Tolley

Head of Capital Investment and Repairs, Birmingham City Council

Martin Taylor

Head of Regulatory Policy, Local Authority Building Control

Peter Caplehorn

Chief Executive, Construction Products Association

John Miles

Technical and Business Development Manager, Assent Building Control