The following blog post was submitted on 12th May 2014 by a registered architect concerning recent draft documentation issued by the representative body for architects (RIAI) for members. As far as we are aware only the representative body for engineers (ACEI) have issued ancillary certifier documentation. As this is an opinion piece, we do not endorse or recommend any practices, interpretations or duties in this post.
Post 3: Registered architect on Ancillary Completion Cert – Inspection
“S.I.9 IMPLEMENTATION PAPERS” ISSUED BY RIAI, APRIL 2014
Some comments by an architect who has advised PII insurers on defending claims against other architects and who wishes to help colleagues protect themselves.
ANCILLARY CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE ON COMPLETION (ANCILLARY COMPLETION CERTIFICATE) – INSPECTION – To be completed by a specialist or unregistered consultant – 10th April 2014 (OCHRE-BROWN TOP)
Six points to consider if you are thinking of using this draft document
- Overall approach. This document looks very like the Orangey-brown paper, the ANCILLARY CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE ON COMPLETION (ANCILLARY COMPLETION CERTIFICATE) – INSPECTION – To be completed by the architect – in the previous section. But as the architect you should consider taking a completely different approach to these two documents, to protect yourself. Why? Because in the previous document, you, the architect who are so often the last man standing, want other people to take their own responsibility and for you to avoid being lumbered with responsibility for other peoples’ mistakes. In this document here, you want to make sure the “specialist or unregistered consultant” does actually take responsibility for what they do. How often have you or a colleague been the “last man standing” when it comes to being sued? Is this fair? So you might take very divergent approaches to the wording of these two documents which otherwise resemble each other so strongly.
- Element of work. Describe this fully and exactly. “The design, installation, testing and certification for compliance with the requirements of the building regulations of all the fire-resistant doorsets.” “The design, specification, testing, commissioning and certification of the fire detection and alarm system.”
- To design in conjunction with others. Having described their work fully and exactly, consider omitting the phrase in conjunction with others. They are responsible, nobody else and especially not you.
- Testing by others. Consider drafting and obtaining a dedicated Ancillary certificate from every person who does the testing, so that there is none of this reliance on others and a way for people to get our of their responsibilities. This may mean a lot of dedicated Ancillary Certificates, but the more properly-worded such certs you have, the better chance you have of protecting yourself against future claims.
- Relying on the Ancillary certificates scheduled and on the test results. No: consider taking these words out. Don’t give the specialists this “out”. Describe what elements they are responsible for, and make them responsible. No let-outs!
- Company stamp, company seal, signing personally, personal liability: same points as before.
Attached .jpeg form mentioned above (version dated 10th April 2014):
NOTE: This series of “Registered architect on…” posts are not meant to undermine or be in opposition to any professional advice from registered representative bodies: rather it is to offer additional technical aids to those that find themselves in the position of having to deal with SI.9 in it’s current form at present. As with all information posted on the Blog we urge all practitioners to check with their respective professional bodies before assuming any roles or duties under Building Control (Amendment) regulation (SI.9 of 2014). We hope this information that may be useful to professional implementers working within these new and difficult regulations.
If there are any registered engineers with similar concerns on ACEI documentation we would be interested in hearing from them also. At time of writing there are no SCSI/CIF (representative bodies for surveyors or builders) draft documents available to their members. We suggest professionals contact their respective professional bodies with concerns or queries.
Other Posts in the series:
Post 1: Architect’s Ancillary Cert (Design & Completion) – click link here
Post 2: Architect’s Ancillary Cert (Inspection) – click link here