Building standards: performance framework for verifiers 2024

Key performance outcomes used to monitor the work of building standards local authority verifiers.

1. Introduction

The building standards system in Scotland was established by the Building (Scotland) Act 2003. The system is intended to protect the public interest by setting out the standards to be met when building work or a conversion takes place, to the extent necessary to meet the building regulations. The public interest is a critical success factor in terms of ensuring compliance with regulations and, above all, keeping the public safe.

The objectives contained in the 2003 Act are:

  • To secure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in and about buildings and others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings
  • Furthering the conservation of fuel and power
  • Furthering the achievement of sustainable development.

Scottish Ministers appoint verifiers and considerations for their appointment include qualifications, competence, accountability to the public and impartiality. At present the 32 Scottish local authorities (LAs) are appointed for their own geographical area.

Verifiers provide independent checking of building work at design and construction stages. Their main functions are granting building warrants and accepting completion certificates.

Appointment of verifiers

The verification system was launched on 1 May 2005 and Scottish Ministers appointed verifiers for a six year period. Verifiers were required to submit an annual ‘balanced scorecard’ to the Building Standards Division (BSD) of the Scottish Government. This resulted in positive progress and a stronger focus on customer service but did not provide a consistent approach to monitoring and measuring performance.

In 2011, appointments were based on the understanding that a new performance framework be put in place to improve the quality, compliance, consistency and predictability of verification activities.

Performance framework

This performance framework was introduced in May 2012. It has been measurable since October 2012 and applies to those applications for building warrants and amendments to building warrants received on or after that date. It was developed by BSD and supported by Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS). It sought to address a wide range of actions and behaviours which, between them, demonstrate a strong customer-focused service. It allowed the assessment of building standards performance outcomes over a range of key national objectives.

The performance framework has built on previous achievements and aims to improve levels of customer engagement and compliance with the building regulations, particularly during construction. The framework is supported by an Annual Verification Performance Report, continuous improvement plans and a range of Key Performance Outcomes (KPOs) (seven in total).

The structure of the framework is based on the three core perspectives:

1. Professional Expertise and Technical Processes

2. Quality Customer Experience, and

3. Operational and Financial Efficiency

The two cross-cutting themes ‘Public Interest’ and ‘Continuous Improvement’ remain and are supported by a third theme ‘Partnership Working’. This reflects the importance of working collaboratively for example through industry engagement, benchmarking, peer review, sharing of best practice and accessing support through the Scottish Building Standards Hub.

Figure 1: Summary of the National Performance Framework:

Professional Expertise and Techncial Processes

Quality Customer Experiance

Operational and Financial Efficiency

  • Public Interest
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Partnership Working



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