Following recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt as part of the Grenfell Inquiry, the Government has announced that the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) will take on responsibility for the national regulation of construction products.
Work to establish the new Regulator began in April 2021, with the OPPS leading and coordinating a new regulatory approach for construction products. The intention is that the National Regulator for Construction Products (NRCP) will become fully operational once the Building Safety Bill and subsequent secondary legislation have been approved by Parliament.
Evidence given during the Grenfell Tower Inquiry demonstrates that there is a clear need to confront poor practices in the construction products industry and to establish new norms that will restore public confidence in it. While the NRCP will encourage good practice, enforce the law, and educate the industry, the system cannot be fixed by regulatory intervention alone. All industry stakeholders have a part to play in changing the operational culture and must accept this responsibility, including:
- product installers
- warranty providers
- standards makers
- test houses
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is the lead Department, responsible for construction products. OPSS, in its role as the NRCP will act on behalf of and be funded by DLUHC. OPSS will continue to act as the national regulator for consumer products within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Once it is fully operational, the NRCP will work closely with other regulators to co-ordinate regulatory action, particularly the new Building Safety Regulator, within the Health and Safety Executive, which will oversee the safe design, construction and occupation of high-risk residential buildings.
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