Building Standards (Fire Safety) Review Panel 2021 minutes: May 2021

Minutes from the third meeting of the group on 26 May 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • Peter Drummond, RIAS (chair) (PD)
  • Sam Allwinkle, CIAT, (SA)
  • Colin Blick, Welsh Government (WG) (CB)
  • Charles Elie-Romeyer, MHCLG (CER)          
  • Colin Todd, Independent expert, (CT)
  • Craig Ross, RICS, (CR)  
  • Damian Fairley, DFP NI, (DF)
  • Fionnuala McKinney, DFP NI, (FMcK)
  • David Metcalfe, SFE/CWCT, (DM)
  • Eoin O’Dowd, DBLGH Eire, (EOD)
  • Jim McGonigal, IFE, (JMG)
  • Angus Law, UoE, (AL)
  • Merl Forrer, Independent expert (BS 8315 Chair) (MF)  
  • James Clark, SFRS, (JC)
  • Michael Barton-Maynard, HfS, (MBM) 
  • Brian Tierney, LABSS,  (BT)
  • Hywel Davies, BRAC chair / CIBSE (parent to SFE), (HD)
  • Bill Connolly, NHS, (BC)    
  • Clyde Ashby,  Independent expert, (CA)
  • Stephen Garvin, BSD SG, (SG)
  • Colin Hird, BSD SG, (CT)
  • Benny Rooney, BSD SG, (BR)
  • Steven Scott, BSD SG, (SS)
  • Scott Young, BSD SG,  (SY)


  • Peter Capelhorn, CPA, (PC)
  • Debbie Smith, BRE / FSH2, (DS)
  • Chris Getty, SFRS, (CG)
  • Jim Glocking, FPA, (JG)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed all members of the Fire Safety Review Panel and explained the meeting protocol; apologies were noted. 

The Chair asked for the group to be provided with an update from BSD SG following the Scottish Parliamentary Elections which took place on 6 May 2021.

The group was provided with an update and informed that building standards will sit within the remit of Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government as well as some involvement with Ben Macpherson MSP, Minister for Social Security and Local Government.

The group was informed of the new governments initial focus being on COVID-19 response and recovery as well as the 100 days plan, which includes implementation of the Single Building Assessment scheme.

The Chair reiterated the intention to have open, free-ranging discussions and the need for such discussions to be confidential although notes of meetings summarising key points and actions will be circulated by BSD.

The Panel should follow the general guidance for transparency set out by the Standards Commission for Scotland. Any declarations or conflict of interest should be noted in writing to the Scottish Government (SG) and updated as appropriate in the normal manner.

Papers were provided to members prior to the third meeting to allow discussion.

Minutes of 12 March 2021 meeting

The minutes of the previous review panel meeting held on Friday 12 March 2021 were agreed.

International comparisons – large and intermediate-scale façade testing methods

At the first meeting of the above review group on 11 December 2020, the Scottish Government’s Building Standards Division (BSD) were assigned to analyse the robustness of the BS 8414 fire test when compared with other façade fire tests adopted throughout the world.

SG Officials provided members with a brief summary of the origins of the BS 8414 test and a summary on the main points relevant to comparison with other international façade tests.

BS 8414 analysis of call for evidence

Members were provided with background detail of the inclusion of BS 8414 into the Technical Handbooks. A brief overview of the comments received in response to the Government’s call for evidence on whether or not BS 8414 and BR 135 should be removed as a route to compliance.

Members were informed of the circumstances surrounding the interim measure implemented in April 2021, which removes any reference to the test in the Technical Handbooks. 

Members discussed the Section 34 notice procedure requesting that LA verifiers are reminded to notify BSD when the BS 8414 test standard is cited in building warrant applications as a means of compliance with the regulations. The intent is that BSD will assist verifiers and provide an additional level to scrutiny, when such proposals are made.

It was indicated by one member that BS 9414 relates to the extended field of application of BS 8414 test results.

Members were provided with information on the comments received from stakeholders and were informed that the split was fairly even for or against the continued use of BS 8414 as a means of compliance with building regulations.

Discussion took place between members on the comments received from respondents and the approaches within the devolved administrations of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Competence and compliance - BS 8414 & BR 135

Members were provided with a brief on the content of the paper which considers the competence of designers, installers and verifiers when using and interpreting the results of fire tests of façade systems using the large scale BS 8414 fire test and supporting performance criteria in BR 135.

Members discussed the issue of competence as set out within the recent draft of PAS 9980 and also discussed the competency framework for installers within ‘setting the bar’.

Discussion was undertaken into the role of installers and the need to make sure that the tested configuration is actually constructed on site.

Panel members discussed levels of NVQs and comparisons with other academic qualifications.

Members indicated that the current draft of PAS 9980 was focused on England without considering the devolved administrations legislation. One member indicated that it was slightly unusual for BSI to produce an “English standard”.

Members discussed Role v Function and that competency was not necessarily provided by someone's title or role.

Members also discussed the competency of verifiers and the need for them to be qualified, trained and have their development promoted within local authorities.

Consultation proposals

Members were provided with a brief on the key issues discussed at earlier review panel meetings and the Building and Fire Safety Ministerial Working Group meeting held on 11 March 2021.

Members were provided with the opportunity to discuss the various consultation options.

Members consensus was that the three options indicated within the paper should be consulted upon.


One member informed the group that the Construction Products Association (CPA) has set up an alliance with the considerate contractors scheme re their building safety charter. CPA is working on a code for construction product information and a link can be circulated to members in due course.

Actions agreed - next steps

BSD to maintain a watching brief as the BS competence framework, PAS standards and sectoral competence standards as they are developed. 

BSD will explore the NVQ Level 2/3 Diploma in Cladding Occupations (Construction - Roof sheeting & cladding) in more detail to understand the extent of training relating to BS 8414/BR135 and any related third party certification schemes.

BSD to consider further wording to Standard 2.7 further to comments about inclusion of “inhibited, and does not unduly promote”.

BSD to check revised definition of MCM with MHCLG regarding substantial and non-substantial components.

Next meeting

A note of the meeting will be issued in due course with the date of the next meeting yet to be confirmed.

Back to top