As the construction industry facing multiple challenges, David Frise explores what BESA has been doing for its members

2020 was a year like no other and as the world closed down, the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) got busy!

We ramped up our information programme to keep members on top of all the changes happening to them from understanding the Site Operating Procedures to the Job Retention Scheme and all the support available through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes.

Throughout the first Lockdown, we held regular webinars to help anyone and everyone access professional advice and support on the important issues and, even today, we continue to distil government measures down to what specifically affects our members – we do the reading and watching to save them on hard pressed time.

Not preparing for change now is business suicide

David Frise BESA. David Frise Chief Executive at BESA

A badge of quality

BESA is a membership organisation, and our mission is to act as our member’s voice, representing the best interests of firms active within the built environment at a local, regional and national level.

Our members are active in installation, commissioning, maintenance, control and management of building services and engineering systems in buildings of all shapes and sizes. Members also range from the smallest enterprises to the largest organisations within the industry.

We audit our members to ensure they are competent to run their businesses and have the technical capability to carry out their work.

Having the BESA ‘badge’ of quality gives members the edge when it comes to tendering for projects and we promote them to clients and specifiers.

We also provide a range of specialist services to assist our members in running their businesses including Legal & Commercial, Employment & HR, Health & Safety and Technical Advice.

That’s where relationships with market-leaders like Mitsubishi Electric are important as these larger companies can help us deliver this assistance.

Building a Safer Future

With everything that is going on in the World at the moment, it would be easy to forget the important things happening within the construction industry.

As an excellent example of this, we all need to take time to plan for the new building regulations that will emerge from Dame Judith Hackitt’s consultation : Building a Safer Future. 

These aren’t due until 2023, but the changes required to deal with them both within the industry and the companies involved, need to take place now.

These require a massive change in culture: to one of competence and evidence of compliance with the onus and responsibility falling on the contractor.

Dame Judith Hackitt is crystal clear about what she expects – not preparing for change now is business suicide.

But there will be rewards for ‘early adopters’ with a special accreditation … and a place far ahead of the competition.

We are making sure our members are fully aware and are ahead of the game. We have revised our competence assessment standard to make it more technically robust, ensuring the BESA Badge remains a sign of competence and compliance.

Building Safety Charter

BESA is one of the first organisations to sign up to the Building Safety Charter, which has been created to promote the required culture and behaviour change in the safety of the built environment.

It is about putting people’s safety first in how we plan for, design, build, maintain and look after the safety of the buildings we live, work or play in and protect those that use them.

David Frise is Chief Executive at BESA