Preparing for the National Regulator for Construction Products

As part of its Building Safety Bill, the UK government has included a National Regulator for Construction Products to oversee and enforce the rules. With power to make regulations to require that construction products placed on the UK market are safe and can be used safely. This specifically includes requiring manufacturers to supply clear and accurate performance information when placing such products on the market. And includes creating powers that allow for action to be taken where false statements or other misleading or inaccurate claims are made about the performance of a construction product, for example claims made in marketing, or advertising material.

Although the Building Safety Bill is primarily about fire safety, it is not a problem for just manufacturers supplying safety products. There is a general awareness across the industry of manufacturer failings and a greater rigour from specifiers when reviewing information. So, a key task for all building product manufacturers and suppliers in 2022 will be to put processes in place to ensure the information they provide is accurate and up to date, so they meet these requirements.

From our experience developing and implementing specification strategies for manufacturers the two most likely causes of inaccurate information are:

      – A product has changed but not all points where the information is available (website, literature downloads, product specifications, CPD seminars, blog articles, product directories and of course standard emails used by technical and sales staff) have been updated. Its important to maintain a record of where your data is available, you will be surprised how many places there are.

      – Although your product has not changed, the tests and legislation it meets have changed. As a result you are quoting conformance with an out of date standard.

The Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) has been established as an industry response to the Building Safety Bill. A voluntary code of practice, it aims to provide a structure for manufacturers and suppliers to follow to ensure the information they provide is clear and accurate. The code is in its early phase of introduction and it remains to be seen if it will be widely asked for by specifiers and contractors. But in developing it, the organisers have made information and advice freely available and you should take the opportunity to view and download the guidance.