Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC): Cross Sector Working Group minutes - 13 September 2023

Minutes from the meeting held on 13 September 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Scottish Government
  • Scottish Courts
  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Homes for Scotland
  • Scottish Funding Council 
  • NHS Scotland Assure
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Falkirk Council
  • City of Edinburgh Council 
  • Bield Housing and Care
  • Police Scotland
  • West Dunbartonshire Council/ALACHO
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • NHS
  • University of Dundee and SAUDE
  • North Ayrshire Council/LABSS
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Scottish Futures Trust 

Items and actions

Feedback from meeting with UK Government (UKG) Cross Government Working Group

Officials confirmed that the Institution of Structural Engineers guidance remains valid and relevant. Department for Education (DfE) revised approach changes their appetite for risk not the process for RAAC identification and management. The UKG is considering the survey techniques and potential for more rapid identification of RAAC.

Cabinet Secretary statement

The meeting noted the statement made in Parliament by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Thursday 7 September.

Position across sectors, including publication of data

Higher and further education 

  • officials noted that 15 higher education institutions have reported the likelihood of RAAC in their estate (to date). A communications approach is being implemented by institutions. Universities and colleges are individual legal entities so the approach taken by NHS Assure may not be applicable to the sector
  • the current focus remains on understanding and assurance of RAAC identification in accordance with IStructE guidance


  • officials reported that 16 local authorities have reported RAAC information, 12 of those have made full returns. 41 Schools in those authorities identified as having RAAC (to date). 96 schools still need to complete their surveys, continuing to work with local authorities on the timeframe for this. 16 local authorities where RAAC has been identified have published a list and undertaken communications with parents and carers
  • it was noted that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Jenny Gilruth MSP, had a positive meeting with education trade unions.  The meeting noted a positive difference in engagement with Scottish Government compared to UKG


  • officials and NHS Assure discussed the about approach taken by NHS Scotland Assure to RAAC surveys in the health area. First stage was comparison of each building to criteria. Where multiple criteria were hit, building added to desk top survey. The timeframe criteria was 1950-1990. Desk top survey results in a risk ranking of high to low 
  • all buildings part of the desk top survey will be surveyed starting with the high risk buildings. Survey is by visual survey, followed by intrusive survey where panels found to be compromised at visual survey
  • there are approximately 1800 NHS Scotland buildings, of which around 400 are being visually surveyed

SFRS estate

SFRS is commencing work to understand the effect of RAAC in four previously identified situations and whether it presents heightened risk.

Early learning and childcare

  • officials reported that eight nurseries attached to schools identified with RAAC, but no stand-alone local authority nurseries have identified with RAAC (to date)  
  • a communication will urgently be sent to private ELC providers requesting work to identify RAAC and establish the risk from it. Providers are not being asked to return information for central collation, in-line with the approach to adult social care

Care homes 

  • it was noted that care homes should be assessed as part of the local authority estate, no numbers of buildings with RAAC separately identified 
  • private social care providers to be written to and pointed to guidance to aid them in undertaking their own assessments. In total there are approximately 136 local authority care homes and 900 care homes from other providers


  • RAAC has been used in housing but the extent is difficult to estimate, although some homes are starting to be identified and surveyed. This will be a matter for social housing providers as well as private owners
  • there is a forthcoming local area meeting with representatives of Registered Social Landlords about actions they are taking for their own assurance on actions to identify 
  • RAAC and mitigations to be undertaken
  • Homes for Scotland have contacted members to understand if RAAC may be present in legacy developments. Particular comment made on commercial premises which may have built with RAAC then later converted to housing 

Action AP3.1

Michael Cameron to contact Stephen Garvin on domestic properties.

RAAC guidance, competence and capacity building

It was noted that time will be set aside at the next meeting for a detailed discussion.


Consistency was sought on language used for RAAC investigation stages and clarity sought on reporting of the investigation stage buildings are at. Detailed discussion proposed for meeting 4.

Any other business

  • it was noted that the DfE has identified a building in England with RAAC that was constructed in 1996. However, there is no evidence for use of RAAC in current construction
  • on Freedom of information, it is for building owners to publish data, and proactive publication of data is supported

Action AP3.2

  • items for next meeting
  • competence and capacity – is the appropriate workforce available for the work and can they be appointed
  • quality assurance framework - whilst this is for building owners, collective effort would assist the appropriate level of assurance is gained around information gathering and risk identification

Date of next meeting – 21 September

The next meeting is scheduled for 21 September 2023, 2pm – 3.30pm. This could be subject to change.


  • SG to seek clarification on definition of what physical measures are deemed appropriate within the guidance 
  • SG to attend SHOPS meeting, to discuss wider LA estate and schools    
  • meeting between SG officials to discuss care home sector (BSD and Care Divisions)    
  • meeting of SG officials and housing organisations to be set up   
  • SG to confirm standard lines or provide a link to Scottish Government response updates  
  • all members to make sure that Nicola Paterson has your details if you want to be included in the calls:
  • Michael Cameron to contact Stephen Garvin on domestic properties data gathering    
  • items for next meeting to be added to meeting agenda
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