Building and Fire Safety: Ministerial Working Group


The ministerial working group on building and fire safety was convened in June 2017. The group was set up to oversee reviews of building and fire safety frameworks, regulations and guidance, and any other relevant matters, to help ensure that people are safe in Scotland's buildings.

The initial focus of the group was on high rise domestic buildings, following the Grenfell Tower fire in London. It has also considered other buildings including housing, the NHS estate and schools.

In undertaking the work of the ministerial working group, the Scottish Government has worked, and continues to work, closely with the UK Government and devolved administrations. This work includes using research evidence, test results and technical advice as required to inform its considerations.

Ministerial Working Group actions


Actions taken by the Ministerial Working Group include the following:

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has distributed leaflets about safety in high rise domestic buildings. 


  • Shirley-Anne Somerville, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice (chair)
  • Paul McLennan, Minister for Housing
  • Patrick Harvie, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights
  • Siobhian Brown, Minister for Victims and Community Safety
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Scottish Government officials
  • NHS representatives

Cameron House Hotel Short Life Working Group


The Cameron House Hotel, Short Life Working Group (The Group) was created to examine the report and recommendations from the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI).

On 18 December 2017 the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) were called to a building fire at Cameron House Hotel. Two people, Simon Midgley and Richard Dyson, lost their lives in the fire due to exposure to smoke and fire gases.

A joint fire investigation took place between SFRS and Police Scotland. The investigation report on the incident was submitted to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service’s Health and Safety Investigation Unit on 31 October 2019. 

An independent Crown Office review concluded that a FAI should be held into the deaths. The FAI determination reported on 11 January 2023. The report confirmed how the fire started, spread and resulted in loss of life.


The Group provides an opportunity for relevant parties to meet together to consider the report and its recommendations in the round rather than as individual items. This includes, as relevant, the identification and examination of the short and longer term approaches to manage the risks set out in the FAI Report

The Group will meet to consider the issues involved and to provide a report for Ministers and other stakeholders on how the response to each recommendation will be taken forward. 

The Group has been set up under the oversight of the Building and Fire Safety Ministerial Working Group and will be chaired by senior civil servants. Scottish Government officials will administer the Group, set up meetings, prepare the agenda, meeting papers and meeting notes. Members may provide meeting papers and will be able to correct and / or comment on meeting notes. Agreed meeting notes will be published.

Membership of the Group may be expanded subject to agreement of the current Group members and Scottish Ministers.

The FAI report clearly indicated the responsible organisations or sector for each recommendation. The SLWG does not absolve any organisation or sector of responsibility for the recommendations. 

The terms of reference recognise that industry organisations and sectors have no power to mandate actions from others, but will seek the best outcomes by addressing the delivery of each recommendation within their remit. 


  • UK Hospitality
  • The Scottish Tourism Alliance
  • National Trust for Scotland
  • Historic Houses
  • Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • Local Authority Building Standards Scotland
  • The Scottish Bed and Breakfast Association
  • Hostelling Scotland
  • The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • The Scottish Government
  • The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Read the terms of reference.


Building and Fire Safety Expert Working Group​​​​


The Fire Safety Expert Panel has been created to look at the long term commitments outlined within the Cameron House Hotel Short Life Working Group Report and to review other aspects of Scottish Building Standards and fire safety guidance. This includes:

  • mandating of automatic fire suppression systems through the building regulations when traditional buildings are converted to hotels
  • the role of voids and cavities in fire spread in traditional buildings used as hotels
  • review associated guidance including the use of lath and plaster wall coverings, the presence of any fire-resistant material and low-level emergency lighting in hotels
  • the application of mandatory building standard 2.15 Automatic Fire Suppression Systems to alterations, extensions and conversions of buildings within scope of the standard
  • mandating of non-combustible external wall cladding systems in new build hotels, boarding houses and hostels over 11 m in height
  • miscellaneous issues in Section 2 Fire of the Technical Handbooks including external premises information plates for use by the fire and rescue services in new domestic buildings over 18 m in height


  • Pyrology Ltd
  • Scotland Branch of Institution of Fire Engineers (SIFE)
  • University of Edinburgh
  • CS Todd & Associates
  • The Fire Surgery
  • Federation of Master Builders
  • British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association
  • Association of Specialist Fire Protection
  • Local Authority Building Standards Scotland
  • Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • NLM Building Consultancy (on behalf of UK Hospitality Scotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance
  • The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • The Scottish Government
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Health and Safety Executive (Observer)
  • Northern Ireland Government (Observer)
  • Welsh Government (Observer)

Read the terms of reference


Related publications






Email General:
Email Cladding:

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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