Building safety updates: Proposed competencies for Building Safety Managers

Joe Parish

By Joe Parish

22 October 2021

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has provided further clarification on how it sees the role of Building Safety Managers (BSMs) developing as a part of block management.

Currently at draft stage, the proposed framework includes an extensive list of all the competencies a Building Safety Manager will be required to have, as well as additional detail around the grading and measuring of Building Safety Managers and how to assess someone’s mastery of the competencies required.



The BSI anticipates Building Safety Managers will need competencies in the following areas:

  • Governance
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Building systems and safety
  • Building operations
  • Risk management
  • Change management


They’ve further stipulated that they see the following areas as core competencies:

  • Appropriate behaviour
  • Fire safety, structural safety and public safety
  • Knowledge of building management
  • Knowledge, management and communication skills
  • Understanding of buildings systems, IT systems and construction products



Specifically, the draft calls upon Building Safety Managers to be well-versed in and able to explain legislation relating to the design, construction, management and operation of a building, as well as having a robust working knowledge and expertise in the legislation relating to external enforcement agencies and the legislation relating to residential property management, leases and tenures. It expects the BSM role to handle compliance for the building for everything from management of communal spaces to fire and safety management. In short, a Building Safety Manager will have to wear a lot of hats to fill this role.



 So far, the draft contains no firm details as to how the competency of a Building Safety Manager will be assessed but options include external validation, self-assessment and the continuance of existing CPD (Continuing Professional Development). The draft does recommend revalidation for BSMs every three years, with a commitment to continuing CPD in the meantime.


Competency levels

 Within the draft is the suggestion to create three different levels of competency for BSMs: foundation, intermediate and advanced, each level containing its own competence profile.

At foundation level, the BSM would be expected to understand key concepts and recognise and apply appropriate practices, while requiring supervision and guidance at times.

An intermediate BSM would understand concepts and have a reasonable degree of both technical and non-technical knowledge and be able to apply appropriate practices and determine the suitability of practices performed by others. They would require less supervision than a foundation level BSM and know when to seek advice.

An advanced BSM would possess extensive knowledge and be able to apply appropriate practices and assess the work of others. They would identify situations that require specialist input or support and apply a risk-aware mindset to the role at all times.

As the draft has now closed for comments, amendments are not only possible but extremely likely. It is, however, good to see some progress beginning on the role of the BSM, although much clarification and further development is required.

The proposal closed for public comments on September 15, 2021. It has an approval date of November 16, 2021 and a publication date of February 1, 2022.


This article is intended for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions related to issues in this article, we strongly advise contacting a legal professional.
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Joe Parish

By Joe Parish

22 October 2021

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