Building standards compliance and enforcement review: report

Professor Cole's report on the review of building standards compliance and enforcement in Scotland.


33. The approach taken to the review of Compliance and Enforcement was to set up a Panel formed of experts from public and private sector bodies related to the design and construction industries in order to facilitate analysis of the issues from a full range of perspectives. A list of the membership is attached at Appendix 1. The Review Panel provided a forum for the presentation of evidence, with the opportunity to debate and test current theory and practice.

34. The Review Panel met formally on three occasions over the period December 2017 to April 2018. The members of the Panel provided evidence based on their experience with regards to the current operation of the Building Standards system, its strengths and weaknesses, the areas where it was felt changes were required and the nature of potential changes that could be introduced to address the identified weaknesses.

35. Throughout the series of meetings there was agreement as to the need for stronger enforcement of the regulations both in terms of procedural requirements and ensuring compliant construction on site.

  • Meeting 1: Initial wide-ranging discussions took place on the current operation of the system and the problems that have resulted in this Review. Particular reference was made to the Edinburgh School’s Report (Cole, 2017), and testing how the wider experience of the members of the Review Panel in relation to their involvement in both public and private sector projects aligned with the findings of the Report. The Panel received a presentation from officials from Ireland on their new model of Building Standards processes including a series of fundamental changes that they had recently introduced to address similar problems with non-compliance to those being experienced in Scotland.
  • Meeting 2: This meeting built on the findings of the first meeting. It was supported by position papers that were prepared by Scottish Government and approved by the Chair. These papers and Panel discussion facilitated a more detailed analysis of the issues raised at Meeting 1 and proposed approaches to address these issues were identified.
  • Meeting 3: This meeting considered the practicality and potential effectiveness of a collated list of proposed short, medium and longer-term recommendations identified in previous meetings as set out in a detailed briefing paper. Further input was provided in the form of written evidence and presentations on the day by members, including presentation from a representative of the Structural Engineers Registration Ltd. ( SER), and the panel members representing the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland ( RIAS), National House Building Council ( NHBC) and Local Authorities Building Standards Scotland ( LABSS).

36. The last of the meetings confirmed previously agreed views and wide acceptance as to a number of conclusions and proposals that should inform the development of the consultation paper.


Back to top