Building Standards Futures Board minutes: May 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the Building Standards Futures Board on 9 May 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Craig Hatton (CH) Chair, Chief Executive, North Ayrshire Council
  • James Whiteford (JW), Delivery Model Hub Director, Fife Council
  • Alan McAulay (AMc), Delivery Model Hub Director, Fife Council
  • Steve Fawcett (SF), Homes for Scotland
  • Jocelyne Fleming (JF), CIOB
  • Stephen Good (SG), Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST)
  • Robert Toomey (RT), RICS
  • Robert Nicol (RN), COSLA
  • Mark Lawler (ML), SER
  • Colin Proctor (CP), Scottish Futures Trust (SFT)
  • Gordon Nelson (GN), FMB
  • Nigel Kerr (NK), Fife Council
  • John-Paul Breslin (JPB), LABSS
  • Neil Mitchell (NM), Scottish Government
  • Stephen Garvin (SGa), Scottish Government
  • Thomson Dyer (TD), Scottish Government
  • Frank Doherty (FD), Scottish Government
  • Colette Templeton (CT), Scottish Government
  • Fiona Sinclair (FS), Scottish Government
  • Cameron Murdoch (CM), Scottish Government


  • Dave Aitken (DA), LABSS
  • Linda Stewart (LS), Scottish Government
  • Ron Fraser (RF), Construction Scotland
  • Steven Scott (SS), Scottish Government
  • Robert Storey (RS), SER
  • Graham Martin (GM), RIAS

Items and actions

Note of Meeting on 14 February 2023 and Action Points Paper 72 (09/05/2023)

The note of the previous meeting was approved by the Board.

Action Points Paper 72

The actions will be covered throughout the meeting.


Construction Leadership Forum and Transformation Subgroup

CP provided an update.

Richard Lochead, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade has taken over the Chair with a number of new members in the forum and subgroup including Craig Hatton.  In the coming months a workshop will be held to inform the development of the Transformation Plan for the Construction Accord. The Group plan to meet monthly regarding this, programme support will be provided. The timeline for the transformation plan is summer 2023 with the aim for this to be ready by the end of August 2023.

The Construction Leadership Forum (CLF) is currently agreeing terms of reference.

The Chair agreed that the most recent CLF was an encouraging and positive meeting.

Building standards

SGa provided an updated.

A new First Minister (FM) has now been appointed and SGa confirmed that Patrick Harvie remains the Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants' Rights. The Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety, which has oversight of the work undertaken by the Futures Board, has been running since the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. At its last meeting there was agreement to undertake a review of its remit and this has now been expanded and agreed. Phase two of the Grenfell Inquiry is due to report near the end of the calendar year.

A Group has been set up to support the findings and recommendations from the Cameron House hotel fatal accident enquiry.

The Local Government Housing and Planning Committee (LGHPC) continues to consider building safety matters. The LGHPC have a session on 30 May 2023 to discuss areas around cladding assessment and remediation. It is expected that the work of the Futures Board in relation to the Compliance Plan Manager and Compliance Plan Process may also be raised.

Building Safety Act 2002 and New Building Safety Regulator in England

The Building Safety Act has been passed by the UK government. A majority of the legislation covers new regimes as well as the whole life of a building, not just planning and control. The Act has responsibility of competency within the industry and should take effect later in 2023.

The Chief Inspectorate (CI) of Buildings, Peter Baker, who was appointed in 2022 has now retired and an interim CI has been appointed for England. The next Building Regulations Advisory Committee has been arranged and is being held in Liverpool. SGa is attending and will provide an update.

BSD is reviewing energy standards with the aim of introducing changes from December 2024 that will require all new housing in Scotland to be built to the highest energy efficiency standards (Passivhaus). A new working group will be established to support this work.

The Building Standards Enforcement Handbook has now been published.

Compliance Plan Approach: Paper 73 (09/05/2023)

TD provided an update and presented Paper 73.

Three research projects have been taken forward:

  1. the development of the Compliance Plan Manager (CPM) role
  2. the impact of the new Compliance Plan (CP) approach on local authority verifiers
  3. how compliance is approached on low-rise volume housing sites

The outcome of the research on the development of the CPM has been shared with the Compliance Plan Working Group (CPWG). Comments have been provided by RIAS and CIAT and a meeting is being set up to take this forward and inform work to support an early adopters scheme in autumn 2023.

The most recent Compliance Handbook Working Group was held at the end of April 2023. The meeting focussed on the CP form and its processes. The intention is now to refine and develop a smarter form for use by early adopters.

Research on low rise volume housing considered what processes are in place to support compliance and looked at the practicalities of having a CPM on site. The output from this research did not provide a clear direction and further work will be taken forward with Homes for Scotland in the coming months.   

‘Introduction of a strengthened CP Process – Impact on Verifiers Compliance Workload’  – this research is looking at the cost and implications for verifiers. The research required input from all 32 local authorities, LABSS and the newly created Building Standards Hub (BSH). The project was delayed but the report should be received later in May 2023. The information from this research will support the work on compliance as well as used to inform work being taken forward on building warrant fees.

Trialling of the CP form is underway at the Dunfermline Learning Campus. The project is due to run until mid-2024. Feedback suggests that the project is running positively.

It’s intended that an Early Adopters (EA) scheme will be in place from autumn 2023. This will be supported by a version of the compliance handbook for EAs. Work will also be undertaken with verifiers to put in place a memorandum of understanding to support High-Risk Building projects.

BSD will continue to work with stakeholders and the CPWG going forward. Meetings with insurance representatives are scheduled for later in May 2023.

Work Stream Update February 2023: Paper 74 (09/05/2023)

CT delivered Paper 74 providing an update on the work streams not covered by the main papers at today’s meeting.

The RAG status measuring progress on each is:

  • Digital Transformation – RAG is currently green.
  • Workforce Strategy – RAG is currently green.
  • Certification – RAG is currently amber.
  • Verification Standard – RAG is currently green.
  • Technical Strategy – RAG is currently green.

Under the Workforce Strategy update the Chair noted the importance of local authorities supporting and investing in the Modern Apprenticeship (MA) Scheme going forward. CH agreed to discuss this again with SOLACE.

Verification delivery model: paper 75 (09/05/2023)

CM provided an update and presented Paper 75.

At the FB meeting in February an update was provided on the workstream with the Hub Directors providing a presentation on the Report on the Business Case (BC) for the BSH. Work is being undertaken to commission a project to develop a strategic business case for the Hub that will be presented to the August meeting of the FB before presentation to Ministers. No tenders have been received for this work and alternative options are being explored.

The Hub Pilot has been live for approximately a year. The project plan has been revised and the duration of the Pilot has been extended to May 2024. A Fire Engineering Hub is being considered and the Stage 4 Fire Working Group has been set up to support this.

The draft final report on the Fees Part 2 research has been received from Optimal Economics. This research reviews the current fee model and considers the future potential cost of the service. The output from the research will be a new building standards warrant fee model.

The Delivery Model Team are preparing the public consultation on increases to the building warrant fees. It is expected that the consultation will be issued in June 2023.

Stakeholder engagement is ongoing and BSD continue to work with Fife Council, LABSS and the Hub via the BSD/LABSS DMDG. Regular update meetings with COSLA officials are also ongoing. An update paper was taken to COSLA’s Environment and Economy Board (EEB) in March and this was well received.

To support the consultation the research for Fees Part 1 and Fees Part 2 reports will be published. Before publication the reports will be issued to the relevant working groups for information.

SGa advised the Board that the consultation will run for at least 12 weeks. With no tenders received for the development of the strategic business case, members were asked for suggestions on any appropriate channels/consultants that could be used to undertake this task.

Action: FB members to provide BSD with any consultants details they may have who could be contacted to support the development of the BC.

CP asked for further information on what the increase in fees would cover. The Board were advised that a rise in building warrant fees would provide additional resources for verifiers as well as providing additional funding for other changes to the system which the Board had approved such as the BSH and strengthening compliance. The changes to the fees will also propose the introduction of annual inflation uplift.

Delivery model hub update – Paper 76 (09/05/2023)

The Directors provided an update to the Board focusing on the response to the report on the BC from the February FB meeting.

In February the Board provided comments on the report on the BC, asking for consideration on a quicker implementation of the BSH. This has been further considered and it was recognised that funding could potentially support this. It’s important that a phased approach is adopted to ensure the relevant personnel will be available to the Hub as well as making sure there is staff within the Hub to lead on recruitment. The request to have an earlier implementation on fire expertise will be taken forward and the implementation phases will be reduced from 4 to 3 phases, in line with comments provided at the previous meeting.

Job role grading is being undertaken and will be matched to the grading system of Fife Council at this time. A Fire Engineering Officer will be brought into the Hub earlier than had previously been proposed.

To support the transition from Pilot to full Hub discussions took place in relation to securing agreement for a ‘host in principle’. CH advised that a discussion has taken place with BSD and it was important to get agreement from local authorities on where any permanent Hub will be hosted. It has been agreed that a paper will be taken to the next meeting of SOLACE to give local authorities the opportunity to express an interest in being the permanent host or alternatively ratifying Fife in the role.

JW advised the Board that the report on the BC and structure of the BSH is being revised to highlight changes suggested at the previous FB meeting.

AMc provided an update.

Stakeholder engagement continues to be beneficial. The first meeting of the Stage 4 Fire Working Group took place on 02 May 2023 and was positive. The aim of the meeting was to inform members while looking at formalities such as the Group’s terms of reference. The next meeting is scheduled for June 2023.

The Chair thanked the directors for their update and ongoing work.

Futures Board risk management

CT delivered Paper 77 and updated the Board on the position of current risks.

Risk Register – Paper 77 (09/05/2023)

Risk 1 has been closed.

Risks 2 and 3 have been closed and reassigned as they are covered under Risks 5 and 7.

Risk 4 the Digital Team Leader post still remains green at this time.

Risk 6 was highlighted as red at the previous FB meeting however, this has been reduced to amber.

Risk 7 is a new risk and is highlighted as red. This has been added regarding the development of the Certification Strategy while also taking account of previous risks 2 and 3. Two posts in the Certification team were lost and these won’t be replaced, which will require a reallocation of resources.

Other risks are reported under the individual FB workstreams.

Any other business

Dates of 2023 meetings:

  • 24 August 2023 – in person
  • 14 November 2023 – in person


  1. FB members to provide BSD with any consultants details they may have who could be contacted to support the development of the BC.
  2. Paper to be prepared of Chair to present to SOLACE.
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