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New fire safety programme to be launched by RICS in 2021

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Chartered building and building control surveyors can now further progress their knowledge in fire safety to help thousands of homeowners, by completing a new training course created to help speed up the EWS1 process.

As part of the announcement, made in line with Government, RICS is set to launch the new training programme, in January 2021, with the course projected to take up to eight weeks.

The programme is being launched following the Government (20/11/20) announcement and ahead of the Fire Safety Bill, which is set to receive Royal Assent in 2021, to increase the number of professionals who will be required to complete future mandatory fire safety checks.

The training programme is designed for chartered building and building control surveyors who already have a base knowledge to undertake external wall system assessments for low to medium risk residential buildings; increasing the number of professionals to support the current market demand. Buildings over 18m or those which require specialist testing will still require a qualified fire safety engineer to carry out the EWS1 assessments.

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The course will ensure professionals can:

  • Identify and interpret effective information required for inspections from stakeholders
  • Undertake the inspection process and intrusive inspection processes
  • Assess an external wall system including the materials, construction and their fire safety performance
  • Understand the fire risk presented by external wall materials and systems
  • Define the scope of work effectively through contracts and terms of engagement when taking instructions
  • Identify the legal framework and key standards affecting fire safety, and legal liability
  • Prepare a comprehensive report with recommendations

RICS CEO Sean Tompkins said:

“We recognise the acute market shortage of fire engineers to carry out EWS1 assessments and welcome the Government’s support to upskilling other regulated professions, such as Chartered Surveyors, to create additional capacity in the market.”

RICS will also work with Government and industry to address the ongoing concerns about the availability of professional indemnity insurance (PII) which will be an essential element to deliver the number of trained professionals across the UK

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