About Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS)
Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS) is a not-for-profit membership organisation which represent Scotland's 32 local authority building standards services - the only appointed verifiers for their geographical area.
The Building Standards System
1.3 Purpose of the building standards system
1.3.1. The purpose of the building standards system is to protect the public interest. It is not intended to provide protection to a client in a contract with a builder. The building standards system sets out the standards to be met when building work or a conversion takes place, to the extent necessary to meet the building regulations.
1.3.2. The system is pre-emptive, designed to check that the proposed building work meets the standards. Inspections during construction and on completion are to protect the public interest in terms of compliance with the building regulations and to discourage avoidance of the legislation. The inspections do not provide a system to control work onsite. That is a matter for the contracts and arrangements put in place between the client and builder.
1.3.3. The roles established to operate the system are set out throughout the document. The role of checking compliance rests with verifiers and, in prescribed ways, approved certifiers. Enforcement is by local authorities. Updating is by the Building Standards Division (BSD) of the Directorate for Local Government and Communities of the Scottish Government, advised by departmental working groups.
Scotland's 32 local authorities administer the Building Standards System
A Career in Building Standards
Here you'll discover
- what it is that building standards surveyors do,
- information about building standards qualifications, and much more.
LABSS Governance and structure
The LABSS management structure confirms the roles and responsibilities of the organisation. For a full list of current office bearers refer to the LABSS Executive and Management Board page below.
The Executive is elected by the LABSS Council Members and is responsible for:
- overseeing the development of LABSS and providing strategic direction,
- safeguarding its financial security, and
- ensuring its operational effectiveness
Should you require to contact information please contact the Business Support and Communications Director on firstname.lastname@example.org
LABSS also enjoys a good working relationship with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service where a Memorandum of Understanding has been in place for a number of years.
Guidance for Members of the Public
Local Authority Guidance
With around 500 professional surveyors, inspectors and support staff local authorities provide a locally delivered, independent, transparent, accountable and impartial service with common aims and procedures. Our local authority members aim to protect the public interest by ensuring that all new buildings and those being altered, extended, or converted comply with the building regulations and technical standards.
Our members work in partnership with building owners, homeowners, architects, plan drawers, engineers, developers, building contractors and other professionals to ensure buildings are designed and constructed to be safe, accessible, energy-efficient and sustainable.
Our members approve plans for building warrant and agree on a site inspection process before the construction works starts. They inspect work on-site and seek to ensure that buildings meet reasonable standards to enable the acceptance of completion certificates.
In addition, our members provide the enforcement role for the industry in cases where construction works fail to meet the building regulations and we ensure dangerous and defective buildings are made safe by working in partnership with the emergency services.
Our Members are accountable to our customers through common goals and practices contained in a Key Performance Framework.
Other services delivered by Building Standards Verifiers are:
Cross-departmental liaison on Fire risk assessment and health and safety matters relating new build and alterations and extensions to licensed premises and other non-domestic projects in consultation with the SFRS,
Cross-departmental liaison on Housing standards under the new Housing (Scotland) Act and the associated Scheme of Assistance and Stock Management & Standards Working Group for all housing throughout the council area, and
Providing advice on disabled access matters to the local Access Panel.
Refer to your local Building Standards service for further information.
The principal role of the verifier is to consider and make decisions on building warrant and other associated applications and to consider applications for Completion Certificate through the process of reasonable inquiry. Scottish Ministers have appointed local authorities as sole verifiers for their own geographical area.
Verifiers should be impartial and their working practices, transparent, competent and consistent in their activity and accountable for their actions. In order to meet this requirement each verifier is required to comply with the requirement of a performance framework introduced in October 2012. The intention of the Performance Framework is to improve the quality of the verification service delivery as well as take forward the compliance with building regulations agenda to ensure consistency and predictability of verification activitiies.
The Scottish Government considered it necessary to have an ongoing, independent body to enforce building legislation, with local knowledge and resources. Enforcement is the responsibility of the local authorities and covers the following areas:
- Section 25 Building regulation compliance notices to enable Government, through local authority notices, to require the existing buildings to be brought up to current regulations.
- Section 26 Continuing requirements notices to ensure continuing compliance despite uncontrolled changes.
- Section 27 Building enforcement notices for work not covered by a building warrant, work not in accordance with a warrant or a limited life building has not been demolished by the expiry of the period for which a warrant has been granted.
- Section 28 Defective building notices for buildings that have defects that require to be dealt with to prevent significant deterioration.
- Section 29 Dangerous building action, either immediate or urgent, to prevent access to and/or demolish the dangerous areas to secure the protection of the public.
- Section 30 Dangerous building notices serve on the owner of a dangerous building that requires urgent action.
Where an owner does not comply with an enforcement notice, the local authority may then carry out the necessary work to make the building/work comply and can recover the costs from the owner.