The introduction of new Building Control regulation, S.I.9, earlier this year seems to have spawned an entire industry associated with the provision of S.I. 9 related Continuing Professional Development (CPD) seminars and training. This is being provided by many of the stakeholders associated with negotiating the regulations with the Department of the Environment including the CIF, EI, RIAI and SCSI. Several private operators, including HomeBond and CMG Events have also moved in to capitalise on the fears and lack of industry readiness of those whose livelihoods depend on having to implement the regulations. The month of November alone sees a rash of S.I.9 CPD in Cork, Dublin, DunLaoghaire, Galway, Liffey Valley, Limerick and Navan.
The provision of CPD is worth hundreds of thousands of Euro to the professional bodies providing it and a valuable revenue stream to those organisations. While there is widespread divergence of opinion among the relevant professionals as to the interpretation of the regulations, from the BCMS to Senior Counsels, the value of some of this CPD must be questionable. There has been a great deal of confusion around the definition of development exempt from S.I.9. Who is correct at this stage and who is accountable if the information being provided is wrong? Remember there is no corrective procedure associated with S.I. 9 if any Building Owner or Assigned Certifier makes a genuine error. Many stakeholder spokespersons argue that they have to provide something to their members and “that something is better than nothing”. The BRegs Blog Admin. does not agree with that contention and feel that if CPD providers are charging for their presentations than the paying attendees deserve the highest standards.
In the current information deficit in the construction industry about Building Control there is a real fear of a ‘king-making’ scenario developing where the one eyed man is stepping in to lead the blind.
Legitimate questions should be asked of any CPD provider in order to ascertain standards of quality, improve performance and provide credibility and these might include:
- Was the speaker involved in negotiating S.I.9?
- Does the speaker have any vested interest in its continuance or any potential conflict of interest?
- Is the speaker being paid for their presentation or a ‘volunteer’ receiving payment in lieu e.g. offers of other paid speaking engagements or were paid for previous speaking engagements?
- What qualifications, experience, training or CPD has the speaker undertaken in S.I. 9 or the subject on which they are speaking?
- What peer review or evaluation of the speaker’s presentations took place in advance of the presentation and what competences did those undertaking the review have of the subject?
- What liability does the speaker or the organisation providing the CPD have if the advice being provided proves to be incorrect?
Note: the BRegs Blog is an entirely free resource based on the concept of open source sharing of information and probably the format most suited to the dissemination of information on S.I. 9 in its current state of flux.
Note: Engineers Ireland put out a request for questions to be submitted in advance of their forthcoming CPD this week which the BRegs Blog requested readers to submit to us also. Soon the BRegs Blog hopes to post a series of questions received that we would like assistance in answering too. Perhaps if you are attending any CPD you may be able to seek answers on our behalf.
Other posts of interest: