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The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) handles the registration and licencing of building control approvers.

First published:
30 January 2024
Last updated:

Building control approvers operating in Wales must be registered and licenced to undertake work.

What has changed

The Building Safety Act 2022 introduced new requirements about registration and licensing for building control approvers. The new term for this type of business is a Registered Building Control Approver (RBCA). Welsh Ministers have appointed the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) to oversee and enforce new requirements from this legislation.

From April 6th 2024 all private businesses operating as building control approvers must be registered with the BSR and licenced as Registered Building Control Approvers or you will be unable to undertake new work. 

What the BSR does

You must register with the Building Safety Regulator to carry out BSR-regulated activities (for example, assessing plans and inspecting). This includes all work conducted by Registered Building Inspectors (RBI) under your employ on buildings from domestic premises to complex, high-risk, multi-use structures. This scheme replaces the approved inspector register run by the Construction Industry Council Approved Inspectors Register (CICAIR).   

The BSR will publish a register of RBCAs and RBIs.  The register will include your business name, and details of BSR-regulated activities you’re registered to do. Guidance in the application will tell you which details will be published.

Your registration will be valid for 5 years, unless varied or cancelled.

Regulation of RBCAs

There are many laws and regulations that apply to RBCAs. A significant one is that when carrying out building control work, a RBCA must consider the advice of a RBI.

To operate, RBCAs must:

  • Employ enough RBIs of the correct class and category for the type of building control work the RBCA does to appropriately manage its workload
  • Have arrangements to manage the quality of work done by RBIs under supervision
    As part of the regulation of RBCAs, the BSR can serve notice of improvement and serious contravention. If an RBCA continues to contravene the rules, its registration may be cancelled.

Who should register

The application form should be completed by an employee of sufficient seniority to represent the business to BSR, for example an owner, director, partner or senior manager.

What you will need to register

During your application you’ll be asked to provide:

  • information about your business, such as name, address, email and phone contacts
  • the building control functions your business will do, and whether it offers additional services other than building control
  • information about the person who we should contact to discuss your application, such as name, email and phone contacts, and their role in the business
  • the number of registered building inspectors and building inspectors waiting to be registered which your business employs

You will be asked if your business is, or was, an approved inspector registered with CICAIR, whether it is subject to any ongoing action, such as sanctions, and whether you have any current higher-risk building projects in progress.

In addition, you will be asked to upload a diagram of the organisational structure of your business, including where it is part of a wider group structure.

Also, the application will ask for information about the names of current owners and directors, and:

  • any other companies they are directors of or hold an interest in that may cause a conflict of interest
  • whether they have any unspent criminal convictions
  • We’ll ask if the business or any of its managers or building inspectors have been subject to HSE enforcement action in the last 5 years.

There will also be questions confirming that your business has written operating procedures covering your planned building control work. You will be asked to confirm that your business has policies for:

  • recruitment and development
  • whistleblowing
  • conflicts of interest
  • money laundering
  • health, safety and wellbeing
  • data protection
  • staff conduct
  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • managing contractors
  • handling complaints
  • internal audit
  • insurance

As part of the process you’ll be asked you to confirm that you:

  • will comply with our professional conduct rules (PCRs) and operational standards rules (OSRs)
  • will update the information provided in support of your registration as soon after it changes as is reasonable
  • will consent to some details of your registration being published - the form will confirm which details will be published
  • understand that if you contravene OSRs the BSR and Welsh Ministers can serve notice of improvement and serious contravention. Continued contravention can lead to the cancellation of registration.
  • understand that the BSR is empowered to issue sanctions.

Costs for the scheme

You’ll need to pay £4,494 to register your business, plus £124 per hour for undertaking assessment of your application. You will also have to pay an annual maintenance charge of £3,439, due from the first anniversary after registration. Registration is for 5 years.

How to apply

To apply, call the BSR on 0300 790 6787. Your normal call-rate charges listed on GOV.UK will apply. They will ask for your email address and send you an application form, spreadsheet and ShareFile link with instructions on how to complete and upload your application.

After you submit the application

Once you have applied to register your business, the BSR will review your application and will contact you if they require any further information. They may ask you to provide copies of documentation or attend an interview. It is important to answer all questions on the application form, and provide sufficient information for your application to be fully assessed otherwise your application will be rejected.

You will be notified if your application is approved, approved subject to conditions, or rejected. In cases where the application is subject to conditions or rejected the BSR will tell you why.

There is a review process if you believe an application has been incorrectly assessed. You will need to contact the BSR to enquire how to begin that process.

Public register

There is a public register of RBCAs. This allows people to confirm which businesses are registered as RBCAs and the work they are registered to do.

The register shows:

  • name and address of the RBCA
  • the type of building control work the RBCA is registered to do
  • the starnd and end date of registration
  • details of any conditions of registration

Removal from the register

An RBCA can be removed from the register if:

  • the business stopes carrying out regulated building control work and asks to be taken off the register
  • you do not renew your registration
  • an RBCA’s registration is suspended or cancelled by the BSR

In the event an RBCA is removed from the register, some information may be retained by the BSR in line with their data retention policy.

To ask for your details to be taken off the register, you should call the BSR on 0300 790 6787

Making changes to your registration

If circumstances change you must notify the BSR within 28 days of any change that is relevant to your registration. Details that must be notified include:

  • a change of management structure
  • a change of director or partner
  • a change of ownership
  • a change to the main contact for the RBCA
  • any professional sanctions from other bodies
  • any unspent criminal convictions for either the owners, directors, partners or senior managers of the business
  • if the RBCA ceases to trade for any reason

You can make changes to your details by calling the BSR on 0300 790 6787. They will then send you a link with instructions on how to complete and upload your changes to their system.

Changing the details for your RBCA does not require you to re-register the business. You would only need to re-register every four years when the registration would otherwise expire.

You cannot transfer a RBCA registration to another business.