12th August 2022
In September 2020, Assent Building Control (Assent BC), one part of the wider Assent group of businesses, was found by Luton Crown Court to be guilty, of an offence under section 57(1)(b) of the Building Act 1984. This was due not to any deficiency in the company itself, but due to the actions of two former associates with whom Assent has long since ended its relationship.
Whilst Assent, as a responsible and professional company paid its fine, as the Judge observed, the Judgment was:
“a bitter personal and professional blow for the [directors] as well as to their company. The [directors] are not individually culpable, the criminal behaviour of their associates is attributable to the company. …. I have no doubt that, despite this conviction, that they have been and will be a reliable and valuable company within the industry”
On 25 March 2021, Assent’s industry regulator CICAIR held its disciplinary hearing, the outcome of which saw the panel impose a level three sanction requiring Assent BCs withdrawal from the CICAIR register for two years and the publication of that withdrawal on CICAIR’s website. This decision was challenged by Assent Building Control and an appeal process was instigated.
The decision of CICAIR Appeal Panel was to uphold the original decision, requiring Assent BC to be withdrawn from the CICAIR register for two years. The directors of the business are naturally incredibly disappointed and maintain that it is unwarranted. Assent is immediately seeking Judicial Review of this decision and is confident that it will, in due course, be overturned. While this process is undertaken Assent remain on the CICAIR register and can continue to operate as an Approved Inspector discharging its duties without prejudice.
That CICAIR has reached the conclusion it has, despite this being an isolated issue due to the actions of specific individuals, in the context of an otherwise excellent record covering over 75,000 inspections carried out by Assent every year, is extremely disappointing.
In order to continue to provide its clients with the highest quality of service, Assent will use its multi-licenced operation, to ensure that all projects can be successfully certified and to mitigate any adverse impact upon the industry as a whole. Assent has and will continue to accept and service new projects through its regionally structured network of offices.
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