We published the workforce strategy for the building standards verification service on 1 October 2020. The aim of the strategy is to strengthen the operational resilience of the building standards service.
The strategy is being implemented over a three-year period. It sets out national and local commitments and actions that will support verifiers to strengthen the skills and competence of the workforce, attract, recruit and retain people in essential job roles.
It is essential for verifiers to have a workforce with the capacity and capability to deliver a sustainable service. A key part of the strategy is for building standards staff to be afforded the opportunity to gain the relevant qualifications. The expected outcome is for a service that can respond to new challenges, such as advances in construction technology and the digital world.
Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS) and Building Standards Division (BSD) are working together to ensure strategy actions are appropriate and outcomes are in the best interests of verifiers.
Partnership working is achieved through a working group that has met on a monthly basis to review progress and determine priorities for delivery since the strategy was published.
Commitments and actions
The strategy has four themes that define our ambition for change with specific actions related to national and local level commitments for successful outcomes.
- a sustainable workforce
- a skilled workforce
- a professional framework
- a profession for everyone
Five delivery projects
Actions across the four strategy themes have been brought together into five core projects to support a coherent approach to delivery with all partners.
The five projects are:
- implementing the Competency Assessment System (CAS) - introduces a single and comprehensive set of competencies for all staff working in the building standards profession
- promoting the profession - raises the profile and esteem of building standards as a profession in its own right
- implementing a Professional Framework - introduces a consistent national approach to the assessment of competency for individuals in a specific job roles
- developing vocational pathways - create an effective talent pipeline supported by accredited vocational and academic courses that meet the needs of existing and future building standards professionals
- developing a learning and development hub - provides a peer-to-peer learning space by leveraging the wealth of expertise and knowledge in the profession.
Achievements in year one
Project 1 – Implementing the CAS
- the CAS was launched and implemented by verifiers on 1 June 2021
Project 2 – promoting the profession
- the Building Standards Ambassadors’ Network was launched in April 2021 with a first cohort of 12 volunteers to promote the profession through outreach activities
- research into the value of chartered membership of a professional institution in the construction sector was completed by April 2021
Project 3 – implementing a professional framework
- the professional framework was launched and implemented by verifiers on 1 June 2021
Project 4 – developing vocational pathways
- new and bespoke training modules have been developed and delivered for the Building Surveying Degree course by experienced building standards surveyors in conjunction Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU)
- a new Modern Apprenticeship (MA) route aligned with the building standards profession has been developed with LABSS and the further education sector. A first cohort of 22 apprentices will begin the course from August 2022
Careers in building standards
Information on building standards careers can be found on the Local Authority Building Standards Scotland website.
Further information on the building standards profession.
The Professional Framework provides a set of standardised job roles that ensures everyone working in the profession is aligned to the appropriate role representing the job they do.
Standardising job roles removes the variation in how the duties of a role have been defined by verifiers across Scotland. This level of standardisation improves transparency and makes the profession much more open and easy to understand. The structure of 12 clearly defined roles aligned to competence requirements supports effective recruitment and provides a clear career progression route.
Building standards ambassadors
An Ambassadors Network has been established by people working in the building standards profession from across Scotland. Ambassadors are currently taking part in outreach activities with schools, colleges and universities. Further volunteers are welcome to join the network and participate in activities that will raise awareness of what the building standards profession does.
Information on the Ambassadors’ Network can be found on the Local Authority Building Standards Scotland website.
Strategy awareness pack
The Workforce Strategy for Building Standards Verification Service Awareness Pack provides further information on strategy delivery and how to get involved. The pack is available on request.
Workforce data collection analysis report 2021
The Building Standards Workforce Data Collection Analysis Report 2021 provides a national-level view of the challenges facing the building standards profession in relation to resourcing, development of competencies and levels of turnover.
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