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Self certification warning to consultants

ICE news

CONSULTANTS COULD end up doing extra work for no more money if plans to let them self certify designs for Building Regulations compliance go ahead, the Association of Consulting Engineers (ACE) has warned.

An ICE/Institution of Structural Engineers proposal out for consultation suggests that the IStructE accredits engineers considered capable of checking Building Regulations compliance. This would enable them to self certify structural designs and plans for modified buildings.

Accredited engineers would then be able to issue certificates of compliance with Part A of the Building Regulations, which covers structural safety. This would free building control bodies of the need to carry out their own checks.

But an ACE spokesman warned that clients would expect their consultants to bear the costs of gaining approved person status.

They would also expect them to issue compliance certificates, especially for conventional buildings that made up most of the workload. 'If our members do extra work they are entitled to be paid for it, ' the spokesman said. 'And the extra responsibility might affect professional indemnity insurance fees.'

Working party chairman and former IStructE president John Hill said self certification would benefit developers whose planning applications could go through more quickly. He said self-certification would also clarify the central role of design engineers in matters of structural safety.

INFOPLUS www. istructe. org. uk/technical

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