Dame Judith Hackitt reflects on significant milestone for building safety regime

April 2024 marks a significant milestone for BSR as the new building safety regime is fully established in law.

In her latest blog, Dame Judith Hackitt provides her reflections on the journey so far, and calls for everyone to continue working together to ensure the new regime works for us all.

Dame Judith Hackitt in front of a teal high-rise building in a halftone pattern

When I agreed to carry out the review of Building Safety and Fire Regulations almost seven years ago I had no idea how deeply I would become involved and for how long. But I do believe this has been one of the most important work programmes I have ever undertaken.

Like everyone else, I was shocked to the core by what happened at Grenfell Tower in 2017 and even more so by the subsequent discovery of the poor practices that were widespread. Understanding how we had arrived at this sorry state was not enough for me – seeing through the much needed changes became a very personal and passionate mission.

This month marks a very significant milestone on the journey, but we all need to be crystal clear that this is not the end of the journey. In many ways we have made huge progress in getting this far and we now look forward to rebuilding confidence in the safety of residents in their homes wherever they live.

The Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG), which I have been privileged to Chair has recently published its fourth report. The report shows where progress is really being made, but also highlights the many players in this complex system who have yet to wake up and stand up to their responsibilities.

We have recently concluded that there is an ongoing role for the ISSG to support the work of the BSR and Government more broadly as reform of various aspects of building safety continue. We will continue to challenge those who wait to be told rather than seizing the opportunity to do what they already know they should be doing. But we will also highlight and praise good practice where we see it and hold it up as an exemplar to the rest of industry.

My biggest concern remains the number of people who persist in finding reasons not to act – most often cited as waiting for someone else to provide the detail.

As we pass this huge milestone this month my greatest wish is for us all to commit to work together to make the new building safety regime work for everyone – but most of all – for all residents everywhere .

We will continue to learn as we move forward and we know there are challenging issues still to be addressed, but this once in a generation change is a reality.

Sadly, it is the case that many industry sectors have learned hard lessons from tragedies. Now is the time for the built environment to pledge to do the same.

Dame Judith Hackitt

Watch BSR’s short animation reflecting on the progress made during the past year

Reflecting on 12 Months of progress at the Building Safety Regulator

Read a transcript of this video