Leading from the front – Delivering change

In this latest blog, Philip White, Director of Building Safety, explains how BSR’s recently published three-year strategic plan and new enforcement policy will deliver change for industry and stakeholders.

Philip White alongside of a blue high-rise building

This past year has demonstrated that change can happen quickly. Our newly published strategy shows that we are ready to drive and deliver further positive changes over the next three years. 

This dynamic and cohesive plan, coupled with our policy and approach to managing enforcement, will have considerable impact across all sectors of the built environment. 

So, I want to take this opportunity to reflect briefly on what this means as we gear up to become a more assertive and challenging regulator, working closely and in open dialogue with all our stakeholders, and continuing our commitment to lead from the front in creating a built environment fit for the future.

The BSR Strategic Plan

The BSR Strategic Plan sets out how we will carry out our building safety functions in the first three years of operation – April 2023 to March 2026 – and what we aim to achieve. 

It demonstrates our clear intention to create a built environment where everyone is competent and takes responsibility to ensure buildings are of high quality and safe, so residents and other building users are confident that the tragedies of the past will never be repeated. 

The strategy outlines well defined and cohesive goals and objectives across all the areas and sectors under our regulatory scope.

We will continue to deliver change by working with others – sharing knowledge, expertise, and information. And over the past two years we have been leading on driving a much needed and positive shift in culture and behaviours across industry and the whole built environment. 

Collaboration and collective responsibility must be the key for delivering better standards.

As a regulator we are squarely focused on protecting people and places. This first three-year strategic plan is a significant exemplar of this mission. 

It will come as no surprise that our strategy puts residents firmly at the heart of everything we do, and has a keen and critical focus on ensuring industry shows leadership and takes ownership as well as responsibility for delivering a safe system throughout the life cycle of a building.

So, the strategic plan will be a key benchmark in keeping us focused on our goals and priorities in delivering the new and rigorous building safety regime. We will be vigilant, keeping it under continuous review, ensuring that over the coming three years we have the right capability, capacity, knowledge, and skills to support those we regulate. 

Our overarching goals are to:

  • improve the safety and standards of all buildings
  • make sure residents of high-rise residential buildings are safe and feel safe where they live
  • help restore trust in the built environment sector

We will meet these goals by delivering on our strategic priorities:

  • ensuring consistent standards within the building control profession
  • overseeing and driving improvements across the built environment
  • regulating the planning, design, and construction of new higher-risk buildings
  • regulating those who are responsible for managing risk in existing higher-risk buildings so that residents are safe 
  • working constructively with co-regulators

BSR’s enforcement policy

Going hand in hand with our strategy is BSR’s enforcement policy. We believe in firm, but fair, enforcement of the law. It is our policy that all enforcement action should be proportionate to the risks, the level of non-compliance and to the seriousness of any breach of law.

In our oversight for building safety in England, BSR is a regulator with teeth and will take proportionate enforcement action when dutyholders are found to be failing to meet the legal standards required by law under the Building Safety Act 2022. 

I want to stress that the appropriate use of enforcement powers, including enforcement notices and prosecution, is important, both to secure compliance with law and to ensure that those who have duties under it may be held to account for failures to comply. 

Our Enforcement Policy Statement sets out the general principles and the proportional, consistent, and appropriate approach to enforcement that BSR will follow – detailing where we take action to enforce the law when issues of non-compliance, hazard or serious risk have been identified.

If enforcement action is needed, this will be appropriate, based on the specific circumstances. As ever, we will continue to engage with industry to help them navigate the new approach to enforcement law. Our focus will be to ensure that those who create risk take responsibility for controlling that risk and comply with the law.

In my continuing role as Director of Building Safety, I will continue to keep our regulatory programme on course against agreed timelines and milestones. 

And I will be leading from the front to ensure BSR evolves into a bold and effective regulator equipped to deliver on its remit.

Visit our enforcement policy statement.