16th March 2020
Assent are adjusting working practices due to the outbreak of Covid-19 which is now a globally established viral pandemic. The risks to most individuals still remains low but for some (especially the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions) it can be fatal. As a business we need to made changes to protect our most vulnerable staff, their families and our clients.
The UK government on Friday shifted in policies and we are now in delay phase. We all have a part to play in slowing the spread of the infection to protect the vulnerable, reduce the impact on health services and protecting each other’s livelihood. Fortunately, as a business Assent is well prepared to face this kind of challenge.
Government advice is that there is no need to cancel or postpone activities at this time, but it is possible that this may change as current situation is changing daily, advice is to continue business as normal and to remain fully operational.
The stance from CICAIR is that Building Control Performance Standards, which is the home for the site inspection standards should continue to be adhered to and while remote inspection techniques using photos are acceptable in some circumstances they are not to be relied upon as a complete alternative method of ascertaining the compliance of work on site.
Should inspections be suspended following government advice, or as an operational decision by managers as a temporary measure we can however accept extensive photographic evidence from clients for intermediate inspections. This will be followed up by sampling of completed works once inspections resume. This would not however apply to commencement and completion inspections. You should prepare to delay works starting and be aware that completion inspections and certificates could be delayed.
All of the above actions taking into account guidance in the government published ‘Risk assessment decision making tool for building control bodies’ document’ and will be fully documented in our digital DCC system.
External Business Meetings
We recognise the need to reduce the number of meetings/inspections at this time and if you are asked us to attend a meeting we will still look to take part via Webex or MS Teams in order to reduce the possibility of infection.
As a business we recognise the situation remains fluid and information continues to change on a daily basis. Therefore, we will continue to evaluate the situation and will try to mitigate any impact where necessary.
We remain committed to providing the industry standard in building control and we will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.