Door and window hardware suppliers will now have a greater role in forming industry competency standards now that the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers has joined two groups, the PAS 8671 standard steering group and Working Group 7 for building designers.

The organisation has been part of Working Group 12, for building products, since its inception and as a result of this work has now been appointed to these additional groups to have a direct influence on future competency requirements. 

As a member of the Competence Steering Group’s Working Group 7 (WG7) and the PAS 8671 standard steering group, the GAI will be representing the building products sector to help shape the competency frameworks for those working with fire safety products including principal designers, architects and engineers. 

The recently published BSI Flex 8670 standard provides an overarching framework for competence of individuals and as part of this specific Publicly Available Specifications (PASs) have been created for the duty holder roles identified under the Building Safety Bill: the principal designer (PAS 8671), principal contractor (PAS 8672), and the building safety manager (PAS 8673). 

One of the proposed measures in the new PAS 8671 standard is for the principal designer to establish a Change Control Plan and record design changes within it. 

GAI technical manager Douglas Masterson says this is a crucial step forward for the building products industry.

“The potential introduction of a Change Control Plan and ensuring that even the smallest specification change is documented is something that will be welcomed by not just architectural ironmongers, but the whole building products industry,” he said.

“Being part of wider industry groups like PAS 8671 and WG7 allows the Guild to raise awareness not only of the time and financial investment of the companies that write in-depth product specifications, but also the technical knowledge and experience of those producing specifications and schedules, only for them to frequently be changed and substituted with alternative products, that aren’t necessarily like-for-like, often due to last minute pricing decisions.”

He added: “The Guild has worked hard to improve the wider construction industry’s understanding of the critical role of architectural ironmongery for over 60 years. Alongside our education programme, we’ve developed a series of free Specifier’s Guides and corresponding RIBA-approved CPDs to cover a variety of specification scenarios including fire safety, the internet of things, specialist applications, accessibility, and security. Both products and standards are constantly evolving so it is crucial that anyone working with architectural ironmongery is keeping their knowledge up to date with the latest best practice guidance.”