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Fire safety

Fire safety

This page contains advice for the public, building owners, landlords, corporate occupiers and RICS professionals and information on fire safety on buildings with external wall systems.

Amongst all of the information available on this page, RICS professionals can find the latest industry guidance and news on valuing properties with cladding and personal indemnity insurance.

Building owners and landlords can access information on requirements and standards related to fire safety.

Members of the public can understand more about the EWS process, find out how RICS is involved in global standards for fire safety, and access the latest Government advice.

Built Environment journal

The Built Environment journal has lots of fantastic technical content on the topic of fire safety. If you are a member of RICS, you already have access to this exclusive benefit and can access the fire safety page here.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a member and all of its benefits, click here.

Valuation

The latest industry guidance and news from RICS on valuing properties with cladding.

EWS

How to make sure a property is safe and how to gain the qualifications required to carry out EWS assessments.

External Wall Fire Review Process

  • RICS issues Practice Alerts, such as this, from time to time.

    This is an important component of RICS’ regulatory role, which includes guiding the profession, and ensuring work undertaken by RICS Members and Registered Firms complies with RICS’ Rules of Conduct.

    This Practice Alert relates to the RICS, UK Finance and BSA External Wall Fire Review Process (EWS) launched on 16 December 2019. As a newly introduced process, and as one of interest to the wider public, we wanted to emphasise some of the technical aspects, and as such the importance of RICS Members and Registered firms ensuring they are competent to undertake this work before doing so.  

    RICS Members and Registered Firms operating in this area are reminded of their professional obligations, under Rule 4 within RICS Rules of Conduct for Firms and RICS Rules of conduct for members, to possess the necessary competency in this specialist field*.

    Those involved in the EWS process must have sufficient expertise to identify the relevant materials within the external wall and attachments, and whether fire resisting cavity barriers and fire stopping have been installed correctly if completing Option A of the Form, in addition, for Option B, expertise in the assessment of the fire risk presented by external wall materials.

    We advise Registered Firms to contact their insurance broker when taking on new areas of activity to ensure it will not impact their ability to maintain adequate and appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover under Rule 9.

    *A firm shall carry out its professional work with due skill, care and diligence and with proper regard for the technical standards expected of it.

    Members shall carry out their professional work with due care, skill and diligence and have proper regard for the technical standard expected of them

EWS Assessment training programme

List of successful completers

RICS congratulates all participants who completed the Ofqual Level 6 qualification in EWS Assessment Training Programme. The list will be constantly updated with new completers. Successful course completers should be capable of completing Option A or Option B of the EWS1 form below 18m but should self-assess their own competence and if the building is very complex or high risk, should consult an IEng or CEng fire engineer for advice on Option B if in any doubt. For high-risk residential buildings above 18m, it is still expected that this will be carried out by an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or a Chartered Engineer (CEng) registered with the Engineering Council by the IFE (or other professional body if demonstrable fire engineering competence), although a survey report of the wall by course completers may be instructed for a fire engineer to make the overall assessment. The Government announcement of an underwritten PII scheme for course completers may impose restrictions on the work to be carried out which is eligible for this PII cover. Further details will be announced as soon as possible.

See the successful completers

How to enrol to our training programme?

EWS Assessment training programme has been designed for Chartered Surveyors who qualified through the Building Surveying or Building Control pathways, work in the UK and are regulated by RICS.

You will learn how to:

  • Define the scope of work effectively through contracts and terms of engagement when taking instructions
  • Identify the legal framework and key standards affecting fire safety, and legal liability
  • Identify and interpret effective information required for inspections from stakeholders
  • Undertake the inspection process and intrusive inspection processes
  • Assess an external wall system including the materials, the construction and their fire safety performance in accordance with BSI PAS9980
  • Understand the fire risk presented by external wall materials and systems
  • Prepare a comprehensive report with recommendations.

Enrol Now

International Fire Safety Standards

Find out more about the UN adopted international standard that is helping the construction and real estate sectors reduce the risks of fire.

Professional indemnity insurance

Follow as we work with Government and the insurance sector to develop an appropriate professional indemnity insurance for chartered surveyors carrying out EWS assessments

Information for consumers

Understand the EWS process and visit our Frequently Asked Questions, along with the latest Government advice