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Assigned Certifier- Your Design Team FAQ

SI09 2014

SI09 2014

The Assigned Certifier is a registered professional appointed by a building owner to organise inspections and certify a building’s compliance with the Building Regulations. The role is precisely defined in law under the 2014 Building Control Amendment Regulations. The Assigned Certifier is one of two parties who sign the Certificate of Compliance on Completion; and together with the builder, is liable for all design and construction defects.Link to background information on implementation of new BC(A)R System

Main Aspects of Assigned Certifier Duties

This is a relatively new role, but  the systematic nature of the work is similar to internal quality control procedures within well run architectural practices. The exact legal duties of the Assigned Certifier are listed at the bottom of this page, but in plain English, I would summarise the duties as follows:

  1. To sign legal undertakings stating that they will carry out their duties at the start of the project, and to unequivocally “sign off” at completion
  2. To coordinate ongoing design and certification by everyone who makes design/ quality decisions on the project (“Ancillary Certifiers”)
  3. To identify who has a design role and liaise with them- this could range from plumbers onsite to technicians in a window factory.
  4. To coordinate their inspections of the actual work and collect their certificates
  5. To prepare the preliminary inspection plan, to make sure it is implemented and to update it as the build continues
  6. To maintain records of the process and communicate with the Building Control Authority.

What Will This Look Like?

In day-to-day practice, the certification process is based on a long list of building elements each of which has a critical function under the Building Regulations. Each one must be designed, inspected, and certified using official forms by a particular person or company. For a house extension, the list may be up to 10 pages long, including names and contact details of roughly 20 people who design parts of the build. The Assigned Certifier is in charge of this list.

Their work should involve a combination of:

  • Site inspections
  • Desk research
  • Phone calls and emails to coordinate inspections
  • Collecting certificates and material data from the building site

This role does not include contract administration, budgetary control or any form of site supervision. These duties are provided for by the architect and the builder under the building contract.The liability and responsibility  that arises is extremely onerous, and as such the Assigned Certifer is a separate appointment in addition to ordinary architectural duties, which must be identified separately in the fee agreement when your architect is appointed as Assigned Certifier.

Legal Definition of Assigned Certifier

The Assigned certifer must be a registered architect, engineer or building surveyor. The Building Control Amendment Regulations 2014, and Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Building Works, February 2014 list the duties of the Assigned Certifier as Follows:

“(a) provide and sign the relevant statutory certificates – the form of undertaking at commencement and the Certificate of Compliance on Completion;
(b) co-ordinate the ancillary certification by members of the design team and other relevant bodies for the Certificate of Compliance on Completion;
(c) identify all design professionals and specialists, in conjunction with the Builder, from whom certificates are required;
(d) identify all certificates required and obtain them;
(e) co-ordinate and collate all certification of compliance for completion in
conjunction with the Builder;
(f) in consultation with the members of the design team, plan and oversee the implementation of the Inspection Plan during Construction;
(g) prepare the Preliminary Inspection Plan and oversee adherence to this plan,
and on completion provide the Inspection Plan as implemented;
(h) on termination or relinquishment of their appointment make available to the Building Owner all certification prepared and inspection reports carried out;
(i) act as the single point of contact with the Building Control Authority during construction;
(j) seek advice from the Building Control Authority, in respect of compliance matters relating to the building or works where disputes or differences of opinion arise between the parties to the project; and
(k) maintain records of inspection.”

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