You will recall that over the past year we have issued advice and warnings to members about this form and its completion by members.
We continue to receive queries and complaints from property valuers, mortgage lenders, estate agents, solicitors etc., about members who have completed these forms. The most frequent enquiry is about a member’s qualifications, competence and experience to complete the form (both Part A and B).
The Institute, because of GDPR, will only confirm a member’s status and grade but we advise the enquirer to ensure that whoever contracts the member, they should carry out their own due diligence. There is also a professional expectation from the Institute that any member will carry out their work in a professional and competent manner and will not complete these forms unless they are sufficiently competent in external wall systems, and for Part B of the form, they are a fire engineer with registration through the Engineering Council as a chartered engineer or equivalent. Also, that they carry the correct PI insurance which we would advise clearly and overtly states that they are insured to carry out EWS1 inspections and complete the forms.
It is clear to both of us, from some of the names that have been part of the queries we have received so far, that those members may not be qualified and yet, are still completing these forms despite the advice we sent to all members last year on this topic. Members who are also members of the IFE will have received similar advice and updates from them as well.
We have already taken action under our Code of Ethics and Discipline and removed a member from the Institute who was not qualified or insured to complete these forms and whose actions could have brought the Institute into disrepute.
Up to now we have dealt with the enquiries direct by asking them to carry out their own due diligence, but all of this has taken a serious toll on both our time and resources. Because of this, we have taken the decision that in future, when we receive a query or complaint about an EWS1 form completed by a member, we will refer the enquirer to the member as before, but also send a copy of the query to the member involved so that they deal with it directly. Any complaint made by the enquirer following this may be dealt with by the Institute under its Code of Ethics and Discipline.
For the sake of clarity, we attach the advice note we issued to members last year and emphasise the point that being a fire risk assessor, or on our register does not on its own qualify a member to complete EWS1 forms.
One of our members, Malcolm Thomas, who is also a member of RICS and has completed their EWS course has produced an information and training video on YouTube which members may find useful:
D White (Chairman) and R Docherty (President)
for and on behalf of IFSM Council.