CHARTER CHAMPIONS -
BENCHMARKING & VERIFICATION
THE BENCHMARKING FRAMEWORK

The Building a Safer Future (BSF) Benchmarking Framework has been designed to enable organisations involved in any part of the construction value chain to understand their safety culture and leadership effectiveness in relation to building safety. The framework aligns directly with the five BSF Charter commitments, which themselves were derived by the Early Adopters from the major conclusions of the Hackitt inquiry.

The framework helps to evaluate cultural and leadership maturity through both a comprehensive self assessment process across the organisation, and through corroborating the presence and practice of critical building safety elements which were at the root cause of both the Grenfell Tower fire and other events involving fires and structural collapse. Most importantly, the framework has been designed in such a manner so as to enable external verification of the responses by independent assessors so that key stakeholders, including residents and the regulator, can have confidence in the assessment process.

Those organisations successfully achieving the minimum expected level as a result of participation in the benchmarking framework and verification process can achieve ‘Charter Champion’ company status.

The starting point for companies wishing to seek to achieve Charter Champion status is via the BSF Portal where an organisation registers and signs up. A series of options are offered to enable the organisation to select its primary activities. This selection process will then determine which pathway the organisation is requested to complete. There are three pathways which focus on:

A Those who fulfil a Client, Accountable Person or Building Safety Manager Duty Holder role

B Those who fulfil a Principal Contractor or Principal Designer Duty Holder role

B Those who support Duty Holders.

The diagram (below) summarises this.

CHARTER CHAMPION COMPANY STATUS MODULAR PATHWAYS

CHARTER CHAMPIONS – A CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT JOURNEY

The organisation is then taken through a series of steps that lead to the completion of the culture and leadership assessments, and the relevant corroborating elements. Upon completion, and supported by the necessary supporting evidence, the assessments are submitted for evaluation and independent verification.

Setting a high bar

The Charter and this framework have been designed to help drive the leadership and culture shift required of the sector. At its heart, Charter Champion company status is about embarking on a journey of learning and continuous improvement to help your organisation reduce its risk profile. It is a mechanism for you to be able to identify blind spots and issues that need to be addressed and supports you on that journey.

Gaining Charter Champion Company Status

After due process, the organisation is either confirmed as a BSF Charter Champion or, if there are material gaps in the culture and leadership assessments or the corroborating elements, a report setting out these gaps that the organisation can use to plan improvements.

If there are up to two sub-category areas within the six corroborating elements requiring your attention or improvement, you can then undertake a re-assessment of those elements within a six month time frame. If there are three or more sub-category areas within the six corroborating elements requiring attention then you are able to re-apply at a later date once you feel that you have addressed those issues.

TOP-LEVEL FRAMEWORK SUMMARY

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION OF CATEGORY
LEADERSHIP AND CULTURE
- COMPLETED BY ALL
Organisational Culture The significant ways of thinking and doing, which underpin a positive building safety culture suited to the organisation, are identified and applied
Leadership Commitment Leaders set and communicate a clear direction that reinforces a consistent approach to building safety and act to reinforce the values, ethics and culture needed to meet the organisation’s building safety objectives
CORROBORATING ELEMENTS*
- RESPONSES DEPEND ON PATHWAY
Supply Chain Engagement Organisations effectively lead and manage their contractors and suppliers and those affected by their activities across the entire value chain, to mitigate building safety risks
Construction Product Management Assurance that the safety and quality of products used across the construction lifecycle are fit for purpose and supporting information is publicly available
Management of Changes and Refurbishment Works The total amount and pace of change or refurbishment is proactively led and managed to ensure the individual and cumulative impact does not adversely affect building safety performance
Stakeholder Engagement Leaders assure themselves that the organisation actively engages with residents, employees and other stakeholders about managing building safety risks and control measures, and its improvements plans, and ensures key decisions are visible
Assuring Competence Assurance that competent persons, including employees and contractors, deliver safety critical work during planning, design, construction and occupation stages
Audit and Review Management at all levels in the organisation ensure that building safety risks are identified, controls are in place, the controls work correctly, and that audit and review are used to support continuous improvement

SUPPLY CHAIN ENGAGEMENT

Organisations effectively lead and manage their contractors and suppliers and those affected by their activities across the entire value chain, to mitigate building safety risks.

supply-chain
REF DESCRIPTION OF SUB CATEGORY
SC1 Contractor and supplier selection is based on clearly defined competency requirements and evidence gathering
SC2 Active monitoring and auditing of supply chain for uptake and upkeep of established safe practices
SC3 Any identified non-compliance and non-conformance are reported in a timely manner through a defined process with necessary approvals
SC4 Responsibilities and accountability are clearly defined across the supply chain
SC5 Supply chain processes are streamlined and there is read across of any lessons learnt

CONSTRUCTION PRODUCT MANAGEMENT

Assurance that the safety and quality of products used across the construction lifecycle are fit for purpose and supporting information is publicly available.

REF DESCRIPTION OF SUB CATEGORY
CPM1 Appropriate tests and certifications must be carried out through a clear testing regime to ensure product performance and limit the use of assessments in lieu of tests
CPM2 Effective specification system is in place to ensure the delivery of safe building outcomes
CPM3 Robust labelling, tracking and traceability system in place to enable correct application of products and allow for non-conformance reporting and product recal
CPM4 Product record and change control systems in place covering the whole building lifecycle
CPM5 Confirmation that construction products impacting upon fire safety have been installed correctly and according to the appropriate standard or certification

MANAGEMENT OF CHANGES AND REFURBISHMENT WORKS

The total amount and pace of change or refurbishment is proactively led and managed to ensure the individual and cumulative impact does not adversely affect building safety performance.

REF DESCRIPTION OF SUB CATEGORY
MC1 A proactive approach to identifying material changes to people, processes and projects exists
MC2 Risks arising from individual changes are assessed and suitable controls are identified and implemented
MC3 The amount and pace of change is reviewed to ensure the organisation can manage the cumulate risk
MC4 Management periodically confirms that the actions to manage risks from changes have been implemented

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

Leaders assure themselves that the organisation engages with key stakeholders (main focus being on residents, employees, the regulator and contractors) about managing building safety risks and control measures, and its improvements plans, and ensures key decisions are visible.

REF DESCRIPTION OF SUB CATEGORY
SE1 Arrangements are in place to identify and seek the views of key stakeholders with particular focus on residents
SE2 Decision making is risk based, transparent and explains how residents’ voice was considered
SE3 Outcome of safety critical decisions is communicated in a suitable and effective way to residents
SE4 Key decisions regarding building safety risks are shared by suitable means to ensure visibility within the Golden Thread

ASSURING COMPETENCE

Assurance that competent persons, including employees and contractors, deliver safety critical work during planning, design, construction and occupation stages.

REF DESCRIPTION OF SUB CATEGORY
AC1 The organisation has arrangements in place to measure and assess competence requirements
AC2 There is a structured training needs analysis (TNA) process to develop suitable knowledge, skills and behaviours
AC3 Duty Holders and/or the Accountable Person reviews the effectiveness of competency development
AC4 Duty Holders and/or the Accountable Person ensure that residents understand and are able to meet their obligations

AUDIT AND REVIEW

Management at all levels in the organisation ensure that building safety risks are identified, controls are in place, the controls work correctly, and that audit and review are used to support continuous improvement.

REF DESCRIPTION OF SUB CATEGORY
AR1 Independent, systematic audits check that risk-control systems and management arrangements within the safety management system are effective
AR2 Proportionate, targeted monitoring provides feedback on the implementation and effectiveness of safety management systems
AR3 Proportionate investigation of accidents, incidents and near misses is conducted to learn from adverse events
AR4 Management reviews check that policies and plans remain appropriate and effective in light of monitoring, investigations and audit findings