How new responsibilities will affect principal designers and contractors

New regulations within the Building Safety Act mean those involved in designing and constructing must be sufficiently competent and will be held accountable for their work, in accordance with the Building Regulations 2010.

The Association for Project Safety (APS) said on Wednesday 23 August, new regulations – within the Building Safety Act – will mean that: 

  • those involved in designing and constructing will be accountable for what they do and will need to be competent to do it, in accordance with the Building Regulations 2010; and
  • higher-risk building will need to follow the more stringent gateway process and maintain a golden thread of information as evidence of their compliance. 

Association president, Raymond Bone, said the new rules were long overdue and should help improve how buildings are designed, built and managed to ensure safety of those who live and work in them.  

APS welcomed changes to technical details aimed at delivering a more robust regime for the design and construction of higher-risk buildings as well as wider changes to the building regulations for all buildings and the details of the new in-occupation safety regime for higher-risk buildings.

The association said reform to building control so the new Building Safety Regulator was ultimately responsible for all buildings – including blocks of flats, hospitals and care homes – was likely to make buildings safer for all users. 

APS highlighted key points it agreed would help change the culture in the industry and make the built environment safer: 

  • All those involved in designing and constructing buildings in accordance with the Building Regulations, including client, are required by law to collectively and collaboratively take all reasonable steps to the ensure the completed building work is in compliance with the relevant requirements of the Regulations; and are subject to criminal sanction, both personally and as organisations, if they are found to have failed to deliver a building that complies with the requirements of the Regulations; 
  • Those who appoint people to design and construct buildings in accordance with the Building Regulations must verify that those they appoint are competent to deliver the design or construction work on the type of project they are to be appointed on.
  • Those who design or construct work that needs to comply with the Building Regulations must only undertake work they have the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviour or organisational capability to do.
  • The design, construction and management on higher-risk buildings must follow a rigorous regular controlled regime to ensure that buildings meet the required standards and are safe for residents to live in throughout their lifetime.

APS President, Ray Bone, said: “The Association for Project Safety [APS] is pleased the government has further tightened building safety rules to make sure everyone is safer in their homes and at work.

"Introducing new duty-holders and competence requirements will facilitate the culture change that was asked for by Dame Judith Hackitt by forcing those involved to consider their competence before taking on new work and making those involved accountable for what they do. 

The new building control gateways on higher-risk buildings are also good news for residents who can be assured on projects that come into the new  regime that the building that they live in has been designed and constructed to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations and are safe.” 

Changes to the Building Regulations (Higher-Risk Building Procedures) (England) 2023 are due to come into force at the start of October 2023. 

APS is providing a series of occasional expert webinars on the Building Safety Act and its subsequent regulations. The webinars are open to everyone and free to members., they can be booked at: 

All previous sessions can be downloaded and watched again at

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