InSite | What is competency?

What is competency?

Published date: 24 April 2023

One of the key recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s ‘Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety’ report was the development of competence regimes for all of those who work on or impact safety of people in and about Higher Risk Buildings.

This has expanded to all types of buildings and every professional that can have an impact on the safety of that building, including building control professionals.

For building control specifically, a new protected profession has been created by the Building Safety Act 2022 titled ‘Registered Building Inspectors’ or RBIs.

To be an RBI, professionals will need to be on the register that will be operated by the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) and will need to demonstrate their competency to enable this registration.

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So, what does competency actually mean?

In general, competency has many definitions and means different things to different professions.

BSI Flex 8670 v3.0 defines competence as an ‘application of skill, knowledge, experience and behaviour consistently to achieve a specific outcome’ and this is cemented in an amendment to the Building Act that defines a ‘competence requirement’ as one that relates to ‘the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours of an individual’.

The common strands that runs through these definitions are:

  • Skill
  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Behaviours

So when we talk about competence, we are talking about more than just qualifications (or knowledge) and must consider skills, experience and appropriate behaviours that develop knowledge into comprehensive competence.

Skills, Knowledge, Experience and Behaviours – What is SKEB?


The icon below reflects the definition of competence - skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours (collectively known as ‘SKEB’). We have related the definitions of each of these from BSI Flex 8670 v3.0 to help you understand what this means:


Competence frameworks are being developed for all sectors that cover the SKEB for the professions at different levels. For building control, the BSR have released a draft framework known as BICoF (Building Inspector Competency Framework) and are due to release the final version during April 2023.

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Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication (March 2023). Guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. For the most up to date Premier Guarantee technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the Premier Guarantee Technical Manual.
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