BC(A)R SI.9 | Who can be a Certifier?

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28 May 2015

Following on from our recent posts on BCAR submissions, we have received a number of reader comments about certifier qualifications. Here is an update based on the comments received:

  • Design and Assigned Certifiers can only be Registered Architects, Registered Building Surveyors and Chartered Engineers under the S.I.9. Building Control (Amendment) Regulations.
  • Registered Surveyor means Registered Building Surveyor and does not include Registered Quantity Surveyors or other SCSI members. Quantity Surveyors have a different register in the SCSI under the Building Control Act and are not permitted to be certifiers under the S.I.9 Regulations. SCSI membership includes ‘Chartered Surveyors’ (Geomatics, Quantity, Project Management, Agency, Minerals etc.) in different SCSI divisions. They are NOT entitled to use the title or become Registered ‘Building’ Surveyors, despite being ‘Chartered Surveyors’. There are approx. 250 Registered Building Surveyors and the list of  is available here: SCSI Public Register 
  • Chartered Engineer means an Engineer who is a Chartered Member of Engineers Ireland.  Engineers Ireland do not currently indicate which members are willing or competent to act as Certifiers. More importantly, the regulations permit all 6,400* Chartered Engineers to sign off on building designs and construction regardless of their specialisation. This means that engineers in Agriculture and Food, Bio Medical, Chemical and Process, Civil, Computing, Electrical and Electronic, Energy and Environment, Fire and Safety, Local Government, Mechanical and Manufacturing, Structure and Construction can legally be Building Control Certifiers. The list of all divisions of Chartered Engineers is available here: Engineers Ireland Membership
  • The RIAI operates a list of Registered Architects. The Architects Register currently does not indicate which members are willing or competent to act as Certifiers. Architectural Technologist members of the RIAI cannot be certifiers.  It is estimated that there are approximately 2,400 architects in Ireland and the Architects Register is here: The Register of Architects
  • A Register for Architectural Technologists (ATR) has been set up and will be operated by CIAT (http.Architecturaltechnologistregister.ie ). This register is not included in the 2014 regulations so Architectural Technologists are not permitted to act as Certifiers as yet. There are approximately 200 technologists on the AT register.

Building owners do not have any public list to find professionals who are willing and competent to inspect buildings at present. This also means that Local Authorities and the BCMS (Building Control Management System) cannot check Certifiers qualifications when they are validating Commencement Notices and Certificates of Compliance. 

Notes: 

*This number of 6,400 eligible engineering certifiers has been confirmed by Engineers Ireland to BRegs Blog on 08 May 2015. Membership breakdown can be obtained directly from Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland | Tel: +353(0)1-6651300; email: http://www.engineersireland.ie/Contact.aspx

Posts in the BC(A)R Submission Series:

BC(A)R SI.9 Submission Series No 3: The Legal Environment and Consumer Protection | Deirdre Ní Fhloinn

BC(A)R SI.9 Submission Series No 2: ‘12 Point Plan to fix S.I.9’ | UCD

BC(A)R SI.9 Submission Series No 1: IAOSB

Other posts of interest:

Are there enough certifiers? | RIAI Survey

Architectural Technologist – Platitudes, Head Nodding & BC(A)R SI.9

“The Assigned Certifier is the one in the lion’s den” Rory O’Donnell, solicitor

RIAI Past Presidents Paper #2 | The Building Regulations and Certifiers’ Liability

Homebond | Assigned Certifier + defects liability policy for €2,000?

Design Certifier | RIAI advise separate appointment

10 ‘must-read’ posts for Certifiers | S.I.9

SI9 Schedule of duties for Certifiers

Specialist Ancillary Certifiers, Template Inspection plan & form, 7 day notice

Who should be a Certifier- Part 3: Chartered Engineers + Building Surveyors?

 

6 thoughts on “BC(A)R SI.9 | Who can be a Certifier?

  1. Michael O'Neill MRIAI

    I am astonished!

    It is arbitrary and unreasonable that persons who may be qualified as engineers in disciplines unrelated to the building industry are allowed to certify buildings.

    Manufacturing, electronic and computing engineers – to name but three – appear to have no basis for claiming competence in relation to building compliance inspections or certifications.

    The right to issue Certification must be limited to appropriately qualified engineers only.

    Reply
  2. Andrew Alexander MRIAI

    That’s a very good question.

    My personal assumption is that professionals who hold memberships recognised by the professional bodies in Ireland (such as the RIBA etc) would have to (in the case of an Architect) apply for equivalent RIAI membership before practising as a Design or Assigned Certifier.

    On foot of that I would presume that one should then have to take out separate, additional PI Insurance to cover one’s work as a Certifier in Ireland.

    The issue (and problem) as I see it is that the role of the Certifier involves the acquisition of a set of competencies which are distinct from and additional to the day to day roles previously assumed by registered building professionals.

    In many cases these competencies are unclear and untested.

    For example one section of the legislation (i.e. SI.9) makes no allowance for elements of the work to go un-inspected and insists on absolute compliance whereas the Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying works acknowledges that it is not reasonable to assume that everything that is built can be inspected.

    One would assume that in a court of law the judge will refer solely to SI.9. In SI.9 the professional enters the realm of guaranteeing absolute competency and (I would argue) effectively indemnifies the mistakes of others – in particular those who have carried out design and / or construction and have offered (or have not offered!) a non-statutory Ancillary Certificates.

    Sadly all of these subtleties are not recognised and reflected in the statutory legislation.

    The legislation merely sets out to target the nearest “culpable” professional with PI Insurance – to be used as a scapegoat when defects become manifest and litigation arises.

    Entering into the realms of “guarantor” and “indemnifier” is a step beyond the competencies of a building professional in my opinion. Companies who engage in this type activity are normally equipped with teams of Actuaries and are bankrolled by investors with a bottomless pit of financial reserves.

    Reply
  3. Archie O'Donnell

    response to BCO

    In BCA 2007 SI21 of 2007 (http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2007/act/21/enacted/en/print)
    “43.— (1) The registration body shall establish a register for building surveyors.
    (2) ……………………… the following is eligible for registration in the register:
    ……
    (e) a fellow or member of the Association of Building Engineers, Building Surveying Section, who has at least 2 years practical experience of performing duties commensurate with those of a building surveyor;
    …..”

    A registered Building Surveyor must
    i) be a member of CABE’s Building Surveyor Section and demonstrate to the Registration board that they have 2 years full time experience performing the duties of a building surveyor.

    Reply
  4. Anthony Armstronv

    Hi Folks, sorry if Im dragging up a 2 year old chat, but can any one please point me to the section in BCA 2007 that specifically dictates that only Architects/Engineers/Surveyors can certify?
    from the reading the Act cover to cover I can only find 2 specific but seperate laws;
    1. that buildings now have to be certified with the BCA at specific stages during construction.
    2. that the titles of Architect, Engineer and Surveyor is now protected and cannot be used by anyone who is not registered with the respective professional bodies.
    but for the life of me I could not find anywhere in the act/law that states specifically that the person certifying builing work has to be one of above 3.
    if anyone knows the section that specifices this can you please point me towards it??

    Reply
  5. Michael Tweed

    This restriction on who can be appointed Assigned Certifier arises in the wording of the Notice of Assignment of Assigned Certifier in the Second Schedule to SI 9 of 2014 (page 17). Section 2 of this Notice states that “As the building owner, I have assigned the following person as Assigned Certifier, being a person named on a register maintained pursuant to Part 3 or Part 5 of the Building Control Act 2007 or Section 7 of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland (Chartered Amendment) Act 1969.” This restricts a building owner to only being able to assign inspection and certification of the works to a Registered Architect, Registered Chartered Surveyors or Chartered Engineers.

    Reply

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