S01 Built Environment - Framework for competence of designers in England - Standard

Consultation on – S01 Built Environment – Framework for competence of designers in England – Standard

About this consultation

This consultation is hosted by RICS on behalf of all members of Working Group 7 – Designers which was established under oversight of the Competence Steering Group (CSG) to respond to recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and fire Safety.

The consultation will be open for an eight week period and we are seeking the views of individuals, organisations and bodies on a range of issues including how they will use this standard, and the specific drafting of the standard itself.

The draft Framework for competence of designers in England can be found at the bottom of this page where you can comment on specific parts of the document. PDF and Word formats have also been provided for convenience.


The consultation seeks the views of any person likely to be considered a designer under the new Dutyholding regime now enshrined in law as the Building Safety Act. The Dutyholding regime sets out new legal duties on Clients, Principal Designers, Principal Contractors, Designers and Contractors for all types of building work (including Higher Risk Buildings).

The text of the Building Safety Act can be found here, and particular reference should be made to Part 3 Section 34:


Factsheets on the new Dutyholding regime and requirements for industry competence are also relevant and should be reviewed prior to commenting on this consultation. Further information can be found at the links below:



About the standard – S01 Built Environment – Framework for competence of designers in England – Standard

In the period 2018-2020 Working Group 7 developed a competence framework for lead designers working on Higher Risk Buildings – typically this applied to architects, architectural designers and engineers. This lead role encompassed the key competences for both a senior designer and project management and coordination competences required to ensure that designs, if built as designed, would be safe.

Since that time, Government has clarified its intent to bring into effect a Dutyholding regime aligned with the current CDM 2015 regulations to ensure competence of those involved in all types of building work. This includes a specific lead coordination and safety management role in the form of a Principal Designer, and a separate set of legal duties on all other people who undertake design work.

As a result, working Group 7 agreed that:

  • The Lead designer framework should be reviewed to align with the new Dutyholding regime.
  • That the lead role in coordinating design and safety would be dealt with through the development of PAS 8671 :2022 Built environment – Framework for competence of individual Principal Designers and designated individuals working under the Organization Princip al Designer – Specification.
  • That a separate competence framework for all other designers was required to set expectations for all persons undertaking design work, including on higher risk buildings.

Who will use this framework?

This framework has been developed to be used by Framework Owners (bodies, organisations or industry groups responsible for developing and maintaining competence frameworks for specific disciplines, roles or activities) as a basis to develop their own contextualised framework for designer competence. The objective is to set common expectations for competence of designers across all disciplines and roles in the Built Environment Industries. It is therefore expected that this standard will be adapted to reflect the specific competences relevant to specific design roles (particularly in relation to compliance with the relevant requirements of the building regulations).

It is also intended to help in the successful implementation of the new Dutyholding regime in England by explaining what this means for designers in clear terms. Whilst PAS 8671 has been developed by British Standards Institute and is likely to be referenced in law, this standard has been developed as an industry consensus standard for voluntary adoption and use by industry. As a result there is no obligation to use this framework.

What happens next?

WG7 will review comments received as part of this consultation and amend the standard as necessary on a consensus basis. The intention is to publish the standard as soon as possible after relevant secondary legislation (the Appointment and Dutyholding Regulations) is finalised. This is likely to be the fourth quarter of 2022.

The standard will be published free to use for non-commercial purposes (and subject to copyright). WG7 will continue to monitor implementation and will review the framework within 2 years of publication to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Currently there are no plans to convert this standard into a full British Standard or PAS but the option to do so will be kept under review.


  • Opened
    10 Aug 2022 at 00:00
  • Closed
    5 Oct 2022 at 23:59

Consultation Documents