12.1 Appointment of verifiers
12.1.1. Scottish Ministers may appoint individuals or bodies, either public or private, to verify applications for building warrants and completion certificate submissions. At present the only bodies appointed as verifiers are the 32 Scottish local authorities for all work in their own area.
12.1.2. Verifiers are appointed on terms and for a period specified by Scottish Ministers. Whenever the appointment of a verifier is terminated, Scottish Ministers must appoint another verifier to deal with warrant applications and completion certificate submissions still undetermined, including future completion certificate submissions related to warrants previously determined by the verifier.
12.1.3. Should it become necessary, Scottish Ministers may exercise the functions of a verifier.
They may also direct a verifier to refer a warrant application or submission of a completion certificate to them, in the following circumstances:
- the verifier requests Scottish Ministers to deal with the case; or
- Scottish Ministers consider that the verifier is incapable for any reason of exercising the functions of a verifier in this case.
12.1.4. A verifier is not entitled to verify any application in relation to which they have an interest, unless specifically permitted to do so by direction. At present, Scottish Ministers have directed each local authority that it may act as verifier for projects in which the authority has an interest subject to certain conditions. Having an interest in a building is taken to be where the verifier is the owner, tenant or occupier of a building, including any prospective building, or is acting as the developer, or has taken a substantial share in the equity/ownership.
12.1.5. The direction from Scottish Ministers, under schedule 2, paragraph 9 of the Act, also requires local authorities to issue and record in the building standards register a warrant for any such projects as would normally require a warrant.
12.2 Performance criteria for verifiers
12.2.1. Scottish Ministers may give directions to verifiers, of either a general or specific nature, as to how the verifier should carry out their function. These directions may be to a particular verifier, or to some, or to all.
12.2.2. The verification performance framework was updated for 2017 to support the aim of improving the quality, compliance, consistency and predictability of verification activities. The framework has been developed in partnership with all verifiers and builds on the balanced scorecard approach of previous years. The scorecard and performance framework covered three core perspectives, and these have been retained:
- Professional Expertise and Technical Processes
- Quality Customer Experience
- Operational and Financial Efficiency
These are supplemented by three important cross-cutting themes spanning all perspectives – Public Interest, Continuous Improvement and Partnership Working. The framework is supported by a range of key performance outcomes and targets, and further details can be found on the BSD website at https://www.gov.scot/policies/building-standards/.
12.3 Auditing of verifiers
12.3.1. The BSD, on behalf of Scottish Ministers, conducts audits of the effectiveness of verifiers, and engages with them throughout the appointment period to discuss progress with continuous improvement actions. The audit has regard to the appointment conditions of the verifier and representations made to the BSD by users of the system. Copies of verifier audit reports can be found on the BSD website at https://www.gov.scot/policies/building-standards/.
12.4 Lists of verifiers
12.4.1. Scottish Ministers must keep lists of verifiers available for public inspection at all reasonable times. Details of verifiers can be found on the BSD website at https://www.gov.scot/policies/building-standards/.
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