2.1 The building standards system in Scotland is established by the Building (Scotland) Act 2003. The Act gives Scottish Ministers powers to appoint Verifiers and approve Certification Schemes. At present the 32 Scottish local authorities are appointed as verifiers for their own geographical area.
2.2 Verifiers are appointed on the basis that they can meet conditions set out in:
Operating Framework 2021(https://www.gov.scot/publications/building-standards-operating-framework-april-2021/)
Performance Framework 2021(https://www.gov.scot/publications/building-standards-performance-framework-april-2021/).
The Operating Framework 2021 sets out the key functions of the verifier and requires that 'Verifiers must adhere to legislative procedures and deadlines, appeals processes and complaints processes.' This includes having:
- processes and controls in place to meet legislative procedures and deadlines;
- measures in place for managing decisions and non-compliance; and
- pro-active communication with applicants regarding key decisions.
The Operating Framework sets out the key legislative procedures. Scottish Government officials proactively monitor and engage with all verifiers over the term of the appointments.
This includes satisfying Scottish Ministers that the Authority is meeting, and continues to meet, performance measures. Scottish Government, Building Standards Division (BSD) monitors performance of all local authority verifiers on an ongoing basis through quarterly performance data returns.
2.3 The remit of the building standard system is to protect the public interest by setting the standards to be met when new building work or a conversion takes place, and providing a system for independent checking.
- Verification is the independent checking of projects against building regulations during the design phase (leading to granting the building warrant) and the construction phase (leading to acceptance of the completion certificate).
- Certification is the recognition of suitably qualified and experienced persons as competent to self-certify specific aspects of developments at design or construction stage as building regulation compliant.
- Local authorities are responsible for the enforcement role under the 2003 Act which includes building regulations and defective and dangerous buildings.