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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
September 4, 2018

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Architects to sit new health and safety test

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced it is to develop a new mandatory health and safety test for its UK chartered members.

architectThe new test, which will be launched next year, will cover roles, responsibilities and legislation; Design Risk Management; and personal health and safety when working away from the office.

Existing members will be given a year to pass the test before renewing their membership for the 2021 subscription year.

The RIBA will provide health and safety training in a variety of forms to help ensure its members have the appropriate knowledge and confidence in their existing skills.

The professional body said its members are expected to already have appropriate health and safety knowledge as set by the architectural education criteria and ongoing requirements of at least two hours formal training in health and safety per year.

Further to these requirements, under their Code of Conduct, Members can only accept work for which they have the necessary knowledge, skills and resources.

The RIBA has been working with the Health and Safety Executive and other bodies since 2015 to better position architects as professionals with appropriate health and safety knowledge to undertake the duties of designers, and in many instances the duties of principal designers, under CDM 2015.

The new mandatory test is a direct result of this work and Dame Judith Hackitt’s review, which called for professional bodies to improve competency around life safety issues.

Last month, RIBA also called for a comprehensive ban on the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings.

“The RIBA strongly recommends that the Government supports a comprehensive ban on combustible materials for all high-rise buildings,” said RIBA Executive Director of Professional Services, Adrian Dobson.

“Continuing to allow materials of ‘limited combustibility’ (A2 classification) is unacceptable in the wake of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower and the evidence from the UK and around the world that these materials do not provide adequate protection for the public,” added Mr Dobson.

“There is a lot of confusion in the industry over what materials are, and should be, permitted on both new buildings and in the retro-fitting of existing buildings. Banning these materials is the first step towards restoring the trust in our regulatory system and the building industry.”

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