Building Safety Act Roles & Responsibilities

The Building Safety Act and secondary legislation defines new responsibilities for all those who design, build, own or manage Higher-Risk Buildings, which are in addition to existing duties under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM).

Accountable person in Building Safety ActContract law

Part 4 of the Building Safety Act outlines the responsibility of ‘Accountable Persons’ (APs) for high-risk residential buildings. This is the organisation or individual who owns or is responsible for the building, or for the maintenance of the shared parts of it, such as hallways and lobbies. This AP is accountable for taking all viable measures to prevent fire or structural failure, as well as to reduce any potential damage from an incident should one occur. If a building has multiple APs, the one responsible for the building's layout and exterior is the 'Principal Accountable Person' (PAP). If a single AP is assigned, they are the PAP.

Duties of the Accountable Persons (APs):

  • Taking all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of fire or structural failure, as well as to reduce any potential damage from an incident should one occur.
  • Register occupied High-Rise Residential Buildings with the Building Safety Regulator.
  • Register new High-Rise Residential Buildings with the BSR before they are occupied.
  • Prepare a safety case report for the building that show all building safety risks have been assessed and taken all reasonable steps to control them. This report must be given to the Building Safety Regulator on request.
  • Apply for a building assessment certificate when instructed by the Building Safety Regulator
  • Prepare a Residents’ Engagement Strategy
  • Develop a framework and process Mandatory Occurrence Reporting system.

Dutyholders within the Building Safety Act

The Building Safety Act 2022 introduces new duties on individuals and organisations that commission, design and undertake the construction of new buildingsArchitects at a construction site looking at the blueprints to ensure that they comply with Building Regulations.

The Act makes clear who dutyholders are:

Client - Commissions the building works

Principal Designer - In control of the design work

 Designers - Carries out design work

Principal Contractor - In control of the construction and refurbishment work

Contractors - Carries out construction and refurbishment work

*source BuildUK Guide

The regulations also set out the competence requirements (i.e. the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours) that dutyholders will need to have to undertake work and ensure that those they appoint are also competent to carry out that work. Dutyholders may be the same individuals or organisations that have health and safety responsibilities under CDM.

Dutyholders will need to work together to plan, manage, co-ordinate and monitor the design, construction and any refurbishment work, to make sure it complies with all relevant building regulations.