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Letter from Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, to local authorities about guidance to support the ongoing verification of building work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Update on the previous letter of 11 May 2020.
The Building (Scotland) Act 2003: guidance to support the ongoing verification of building work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak
I refer to my letter dated 11 May 2020 which provided guidance to support the on-going verification of building work whilst recognised the need for verifiers and developers to work together in flexible and pragmatic ways to deliver new homes and business premises during the COVID-19 affected period.
I am writing to confirm that this guidance to inform and encourage the appropriate use of remote verification inspection (RVI) remains in place recognising current physical inspection limitations and the advantages of limiting the number of people visiting construction sites to reduce the risk of transmission.
As advised in my previous letter this guidance was to be reviewed and I am pleased to advise that work in this respect is ongoing. The Building Standards Division (BSD) and Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS) set up a joint RVI group last year and will shortly begin working with the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, local authority verifiers, education and construction industry partners and a number of local authority verifiers to review and develop the RVI guidance in practice.
I am also pleased to note that a recent LABSS Digital Transformation Group digital capability survey confirmed that the majority of verifiers now have RVI capability in place and see RVI as a long term verification option. In this respect the review project will seek to support the on-going use of RVI by considering the potential advantages of its use and by developing best practice guidance.
Officials from Building Standards Division at Scottish Government will be available to respond to any queries that may arise, contact in the first instance should be via Stephen Garvin, Head of Building Standards Division (07836 504 781, Stephen.email@example.com).