Building standards customer information and performance

Amendment Record
Date Issue No. Details of changes
April 2017 1 New Document
June 2018 2 Amended Document
September 2018 2 (Document Reviewed - no changes)
December 2018 3 Amended Document
March 2019 3 (Document Reviewed - no changes)
July 2019 4 Amended Document (and re-titled to 2019-20)
September 2019 5 Amended document - Tel calls
October 2019 6 Amended document - Visitors

Purpose of Building Standards Charter

The Building Standards Charter provides information about the standards of service that all verifiers should meet. This gives customers the reassurance that a consistent, high quality service will be delivered no matter which verifier provides the service.

It is divided into two parts:-

  1. National Charter; and
  2. Local Charter

Part 1: National Charter

Our Aims:

To grant building warrants and accept completion certificates.

  • to secure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in and about buildings and others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings
  • furthering the conservation of fuel and power; and
  • furthering the achievement of sustainable development

Our Vision/Values:

To provide a professional and informative service to all our customers.

Our Commitments:

We will:

1. Seek to minimise the time it takes for customers to obtain a building warrant or amendment to a building warrant.

2. Ensure continuous improvement around the robustness of our verification assessments to ensure compliance.

3. Meet and seek to exceed customer expectations.

4. Carry out local customer satisfaction research, such as surveys, focus groups etc.

5. Address feedback obtained through local and national customer satisfaction research (including a National Customer Satisfaction Survey) to improve the customer experience.

6. Provide information on local formal complaints procedures, the LABSS Dispute Resolution Service, and refer customers as required.

7. Provide accurate financial data that is evidence based.

8. Engage and participate in partnership working at local and national level to identify and embed service improvements at a national level. Matters to be dealt with:-

  • technical consistency
  • training
  • resource sharing

9. Adhere to a national annual performance report outlining our objectives, targets and performance.

10. Fully adhere to the commitments outlined in this Charter. including information on customer dissatisfaction in relation to building warrant processing timescales, processes and technical interpretation.

National Performance Targets:

Issue 95% of first reports (for building warrants and amendments) within 20 days (including building warrants and amendments issued without a first report).

Issue 90% of building warrants and amendments within 10 days from receipt of all satisfactory information (not including building warrants and amendments issued without a first report).

National Information on Verification:

National information on verification performance can be found at the Scottish Government website.

Customer Satisfaction:

Our target is to achieve a minimum overall average satisfaction rating of 7.5 out of 10 in any national customer survey undertaken by Scottish Government.

Part 2: Local Commitments

Pre-Application Discussions and Asking for Information or Advice

Where appropriate pre-application discussions are welcomed so as to encourage high quality Building Warrant applications. This will allow Building Warrants, when submitted, to be dealt with as efficiently as possible.

By having pre-application discussions it will ultimately save you and the Council time in assessing/approving your Warrant. It will pinpoint areas where compliance is not being achieved at an early stage, thus reducing costly mistakes in the design process.

Building Standards, if you require, can arrange joint meetings with other interested bodies such as Scottish Fire & Rescue (Fire Safety Section), Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Development Standards Section, Environmental & Consumer Protection Section etc. to discuss your proposals in order that they can ultimately be given approval from all the relevant statutory bodies.

Any advice given will be without prejudice to the formal consideration of your proposals include:-

  • Best Practice
  • Technical Consistency
  • Training
  • Appropriate Resource Sharing

Officers are available at Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar, during normal office hours. It is recommended that an appointment be made with the Building Standards Officer or Technician dealing with your application or if an application has not been made, the Building Standards Officer/Technician for the area. If an appointment is not made and the Building Standards Officer/Technician dealing with your application is not available, you will be able to see the duty Building Standards Officer.

  • If you are unable to call in to the office through disability or you may prefer to discuss your proposals on site, a site visit can be arranged.
  • We will provide a 15 working day response to formal letters, faxes and e-mails, irrespective of whether a site visit is or is not necessary.
  • No acknowledgements will be given in respect of normal correspondence, the emphasis being placed on early replies within the above framework.
  • Telephone calls will be answered quickly, normally within 22 seconds. Whilst every effort will be made to respond to your query, if the person dealing with your application or area is not available it may be necessary to take your details and have the relevant person ring you back, whenever possible within one working day. Sometimes it will be necessary, indeed in your own interest, to put the substance of your query in writing and to then receive a written response.

Building Warrant Applications

It is the applicant’s or agent’s responsibility to make sure that the application is submitted correctly. There are two methods of submitting an application. These are:-

Whatever method is used the warrant application must be accompanied by the correct fee before it can be validated. 

Building Standards staff are available to assist you in applying for a building warrant.

For a fee the Council can provide you with an Ordnance Survey site plan.

The following are the standards of service you can expect from us in dealing with Building Warrant applications. We may not be able to meet these targets in all cases but we expect to most of the time.

 

When you submit a Building Warrant application we will:-

  • register all “valid” applications within 5 working days of receipt;
  • notify you within 5 working days of receiving your application if it is “invalid” and explain what is required before it can be registered as “valid”;
  • provide you with a technical response, or issue your Building Warrant as applicable, within 20 working days from receipt of your valid application;
  • enter into agreement with you (customer agreement) to respond to your Building Warrant application within an agreed timescale.

Other than those applications covered by a customer agreement, if you have not received a technical response, or a Building Warrant, as applicable, within 35 working days from receipt of your valid application you have the right to request resolution to the matter. This may be done, in the first instance, by contacting our Building Standards Manager on 01307 492568 or by e-mail at ThomL@angus.gov.uk

You may also contact the Building Standards Division

Examples of applications where a customer agreement can be entered into are:-

  • applications which have an impact on the economic development of Angus
  • applications for adaptations to dwellinghouse to suit the needs of a person with a disability
  • applications which can be assessed under our Instant Plan Assessment Service

Property transfer procedures (pre 1 May 2005)

Requests for non-statutory “Letters of Comfort” in respect of earlier Building Warrant applications where no Certificate of Completion exists, minor unauthorised works undertaken without the benefit of a Building Warrant, - within 20 working days. See separate Application Form and Guidance Notes for details of services available and fees payable.

Work carried out without the benefit of a building warrant after 1 May 2005 shall be dealt in accordance with the Building(Scotland) Act 2003. This will require the submission of a completion certificate where no warrant was obtained.

Once your Application has been approved

We will:-

  • With your Building Warrant approval documents issue a Construction Compliance Notification Plan and associated checklist. The checklist issued will give full details on the documentation that requires to be submitted along with your Completion Certificate.
  • The Construction Compliance Notification Plan will give details of the stages of work that we require to inspect. It will also give details of the actions that require to be carried out by you as the property owner / developer.
  • Carry out routine site visits within 3 working days of the request if required.
  • If site visits reveal departures from approved plans or there are areas of work which do not comply with the Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 2004 the applicant/agent, if not notified on site, shall be notified of them in writing within office working days of the site visit. It is the responsibility of the applicant or his agent to notify us when the works are ready for re-inspection.
  • Full and accurate records of site visits and all drainage inspections/tests will be kept. the records shall indicate:
    • the date the inspection/test was carried out;
    • who carried out the inspection/test;
    • what works were inspected and whether they were found to be in order;
    • any departures from the approved plans;
    • the areas of work which do not comply with the Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
  • Respond to Certificate of Completion submissions within 10 working days.
  • An acceptance of Certificate of Completion will be issued within five working days of the last inspection/required documentation where:-
    • all work was found to have been completed in accordance with the approved plans and the Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 2004; and
    • all appropriate Certification has been received; and
    • the application has been made in the appropriate manner; and
    • if minor faults are noted, the applicant/agent shall be notified  of these in writing within five working days of the site visit. It is the responsibility of the applicant/agent to notify us when the works are ready for re-inspection.

TO KEEP EVERYONE INFORMED WE WILL

It is a requirement of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 that we keep a register of all Building Warrants, Amendment to Building Warrants and Completion Certificates. The register is in two parts.

Part 1 is available online

Part 1 contains a list of all applications including details of certificates from approved certifiers submitted in support of Building Warrants or Completion Certificates and decision and copies of notices served under Sections 25 to 30 of the Building (Scotland) Act when issued, altered or withdrawn.

Part 2 consists of copies of Building Warrants, Completion Certificates, certificates from approved certifiers, principal drawings and specifications and all other relevant documents.

We shall maintain Part 1 of the register in accordance with statutory requirements.

We shall maintain Part 2 of the register for 25 years and thereafter for such period in accordance with guidance issued by Scottish Ministers.

The disclosure or copying of documents from the Building Standards register shall not be permitted, where security concerns are raised, unless the owner of the building has consented, in writing, to the disclosure or copying. In addition where the relevant building is a residential building disclosure or copying of Part 2 of the register shall not be permitted unless the person requesting disclosure or copies of documents is the owner/occupier, tenant or prospective owner, occupier, tenant of the relevant building or adjoining building.

We shall make available the services of a professional Officer (unless by prior appointment, it may be the duty Building Standards Officer) to provide information on current and previous Building Warrant applications.

COMPLIMENTS, COMMENTS AND COMPLAINTS

Our purpose is to provide all our customers with a good quality service that gets things right first time.

We email out a Customer Survey Response with every Building Warrant approval and Completion Certificate Acceptance. This gives you the opportunity to tell us how we dealt with your Building Warrant and/or Completion Certificate. Alternatively you can complete our online survey.

Problems can normally be resolved informally by simply contacting us. If however you do wish to make a formal complaint, the Council operates a formal complaints procedure

You can record details of any compliment or comment on service delivery by referring to the Council’s Customer Care Standards.

If you disagree with an interpretation of the building standards that we are adopting in the consideration of a building warrant that you have submitted or will require to submit you may request an interpretation through the LABSS (Local Authority Building Standards Scotland) Dispute Resolution Process.

HOW TO CONTACT US

Building Standards are based at Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Orchardbank, Forfar, DD8 1AN, telephone 03452 777 778. By reference to the Council’s website you can obtain details of all Building Standards team members.

Guidance notes and application forms noted in this Charter are available:-

  • by visiting the Council’s website at www.angus.gov.uk and accessing the Building Standards page or at any Council Office; or
  • by telephoning 03452 777 778 and requesting information to be sent to you, or
  • by e-mailing BSProcessing@angus.gov.uk

Performance (January to March 2021)

  • first reports issued or warrant approved within 20 working days: 9o% (target 95%)
  • building warrants and amendments issued within 10 working days from receipt of all satisfactory information: 97% (target 90%)
  • completion certificates responded to within 10 working days: 88% (target 95%)

Customer satisfaction

Customer contact summary of performance (April 2021)

  • calls returned within one working day: 100% (target 85%)
  • emails replied to within one working day: 100% (target 85%)
  • calls answered within 22 seconds: 100% (target 85%)

Customer survey

We value all of the feedback from our customers and are constantly working to improve the service as a result of the suggestions we receive. Please complete our customer satisfaction survey.

National customer survey

Balanced scorecard/Annual performance report

Amendment record

DATE: 06/04/2021                  

ISSUE NO.: 1.0

DETAILS OF CHANGE/S: New Document


Contents

1.0  Introduction to the Local Authority 

2.0  Building Standards Verification Service Information

3.0  Strategic Objectives

4.0  Key Performance Outcomes and Targets

5.0  Performance Data

6.0  Service Improvement and Partnership Working

7.0  Building Standards - Additional Data


1.0 Introduction

"The Annual Performance Report is a strategic planning and management tool that is used in business organisations to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organisation, improve internal and external communications, and monitor performance against strategic goals"

- Performance Framework

Building Standards Verifiers in Scotland are required to utilise the Performance Report to manage, monitor, review and develop strategies for their business and should focus on the performance framework’s core perspectives and cross cutting themes.

This document is the Annual Performance Report for the Building Standards Service of Angus Council for the year 2020-21.

Angus Council

Angus Council is located in the east coast of Scotland and has a population of 116,520 with a geographical area of some 218,179 hectares. The developed area of the Council is some 2% of the 218,179 hectares with the Scottish average at 2.5%. There are seven main Burghs in the Council area.

With approximately 73% of the population living within the Burghs, Angus Council has a large percentage of its population employed within primary industries such as farming, fishing, forestry and manufacturing with a low percentage employed within service industries

23902 Arbroath

32671 Rural

14048 Forfar

11394 Carnoustie

11955 Montrose

6085 Kirriemuir

7481 Brechin

8366 Monifieth

Secure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in or about buildings and of others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings.

Further the conservation of fuel and Power.

Further the achievement of sustainable development

  • Building (Scotland) Act 2003

2.0 Building Standards

Verification Service Information

“The purpose of the Building Standards system is to protect the public interest. The system sets out the essential standards that are required to be met when building work or conversion of a building takes place in order to meeting Building Regulations

The Building Standards System checks that proposed building work or conversion of a building meets standards; inspections are limited to a minimal necessary to ensure that legislation is not avoided. The control of work on site is not down to the system but is a matter for contracts and arrangements in place between a builder and client.

Verifiers, appointed by Scottish Ministers, are responsible for the independent checking of applications for Building Warrants to construct or demolish buildings, to provide services, fittings or equipment in buildings, or for conversions.”

Location: Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar. Find us by clicking HERE

Please note during the COVID-19 situation we will be working from home and we should be contacted by email or phone. For contact details and up-to-date info click HERE

The service is responsible for the following:-

  • Verification of Building Warrants under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003
  • Enforcement in relation to Building Standard matters under Building (Scotland) Act 2003
  • Improvement/Repair Grant service under Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
  • Raised structure consents under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982
  • Consultee to applications in relation to Houses in Multiple Occupation & Liquor Licensing

The services provided by the Communities Directorate make a major contribution to the quality of life in Angus. In delivering these services the service seeks to implement the principles of sustainable development whilst ensuring that the health and safety of the population is maintained in respect of the built environment.

Council Structure

Chief Executive: Margo Williamson

Depute Chief Executive: Mark Armstrong

Building Standards sits within Planning & Communities in the Communities Directorate

Director of Communities: Vacant

Service Leader – Planning & Communities: Kate Cowey

Building Standards Structure

Lee Thom: Manager - Building Standards

Team Leader - Building Stds: Mike Millar

Building Standards Officers:

  • Andy Reid
  • Kris Ferrier
  • Brian Clark
  • Andrew Barclay
  • Gemma Jones
  • Vacant

Building Standards Technicians:        

  • Vacant
  • Sean Knox
  • Neil Macalister           

Quantity Surveyor:

  • Karen Butchart

Technical Assistants:

  • Pamela Tasker
  • Vacant

TOTAL: 14

Staff Age Profile

  • Under 30: 2
  • 30 to 39: 4
  • 40 to 49: 2
  • 50 and over: 3

3.0 Strategic Objectives

The Building Standards service is a consistently high performing and achieving one, accredited to both CSE and ISO 9001 2015 standards

Excellent Customer Service

Work in 2021/22 will continue to be carried out to meet the high standard of customer service as required by our (Customer Service Excellence) accreditation. The Building Standards team currently hold 28 compliance pluses.

Meet Requirements

As Councils are continuing to make significant financial savings the regular service reviews will present challenges in meeting various performance targets. This will continue to require to be managed and measures adopted to ensure that the high level of service previously provided is maintained. We shall also continue to raise awareness of Construction Compliance Notification Plans (CCNP's) through various aspects of service delivery.

Digital Delivery

We have achieved our objective to fully deliver the Building Standards service digitally and efficiencies are obvious. We shall continue to deliver enhance delivery and work on additional options for Remote Verification Inspections (RVI's) We shall continue to enhance our Document Management System.

Quality Management 

Work in 2021/22 will continue to be carried out to enable the Building Standards team to fully meet the requirements of and remain accredited to the ISO 9001 : 2015 standard. A new Lead Auditor will undergo Lead Auditor training.

Continuous Improvement 

We have achieved our objective to fully deliver the Building Standards service digitally and efficiencies are obvious. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic the way we work has been transformed and additional improvements will be realised. Building Standards will try to take steps within our remit to reduce the average time taken to issue a Building Warrant.

Angus Council Building Standards service has a goal to provide a consistent, high performing, customer focused and high performing service while ensuring the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in and around buildings.


4.0 Key Performance Outcomes and Targets

The national verification performance framework is based on three core perspectives:

· Professional Expertise and Technical Processes;

· Quality Customer Experience; and

· Operational and Financial Efficiency.

There are also three cross-cutting themes, comprising:-

· Public Interest;

· Continuous Improvement; and

· Partnership Working.

Summary of Key Performance Outcomes (KPOs):

Professional Expertise and Technical Processes

KPO 1

Minimise time taken to issue a first report or issue a Building Warrant or Amendment to Building Warrant

KPO 2

Increase quality of compliance assessment during the construction processes

Quality Customer Experience

KPO 3

Commit to the Building Standards Customer Charter

KPO 4

Understand and respond to the customer experience

Operational and Financial Efficiency

KPO 5

Maintain  financial governance

KPO 6

Commit to eBuilding Standards

KPO 7

Commit to objectives outlined in the annual performance report

Summary of Key Performance

KPO1 Targets

1.1 95% of first reports (for building warrants and amendments) issued within 20 days - all first reports (inc. BW's and amendments issued without a first report).

1.2 90% of building warrants and amendments issued within 10 days from receipt of all satisfactory information - all building warrants and amendments (not including BW's and amendments issued without a first report).

KPO 2 Targets

2.1 Targets to be developed as part of future review of KPO 2

KPO 3 Targets

3.1 National customer charter is published prominently on the website and incorporates version control detailing reviews (reviewed at least quarterly).

3.2 95% of BSD requests for information on a BSD 'Veri er Performance Reporting Service for Customers' case responded to by verifier within 5 days.

KPO 4 Targets

4.1 Minimum overall average satisfaction rating of 7.5 out of 10.

KPO 5 Targets

5.1 Building Standards verification fee income to cover indicative verification service costs (staff costs plus 30%)

KPO 6 Targets

6.1 Details of eBuilding Standards to be published prominently on the verifier's website.

6.2 75% of each key building warrant related process being done electronically

- Plan checking

- Building warrant or amendments (and plans) being issued

- Verification during construction

- Completion certificates being accepted

KPO7 Targets

7.1 Annual performance report published prominently on website with version control (reviewed at least quarterly)

7.2 Annual performance report to include performance data in line with KPO's and associated targets (annually covering previous year e.g. April 2018-March 2019).


5.0 Performance Data 2020-21   

KPO Target/requirement Q1 2020-21 Q2 Q3 Q4 Average
1.1 95% of first report (for BW's and Amends) issued within 20 working days 96.45% 97.54% 96.28% 89.71% 95.00%
1.2 90% of building warrants and amends issued within 10 days from receipt of all satisfactory info. 98.93% 94.27% 94.71% 96.98% 96.22%
3.1 National customer charter is published prominently on the website and incorporates version control detailing reviews (revised at least quarterly)

VIEW HERE

Published prominently

3.2 95% of BSD requests for information on a BSD 'Verifier Performance Reporting Service for Customers' case responded to within 5 days Zero cases Zero cases Zero cases Zero cases Zero cases
4.1 Minimum overall average satisfaction rating of 7.5 out of 10

8.9 out of 10 -

2019 results

8.9 out of 10 -

2019 results

8.5 out of 10 -

2019 results

8.5 out of 10 -

2019 results

 
5.1 Building standards verification fee income to cover indicative verification service costs (staff costs plus 30%) 107.46% 122.86% 138.92% 152.28% 130.38%
6.1 Details of E-Building Standards are published prominently on the verifiers website

VIEW HERE

Published prominently

6.2 75% of each key building warrant related processes being done electronically (Plan checking; BW's and amends (and plans) issue; verification during construction; CC acceptance)

100%

(4 of 4 done)

100%

(4 of 4 done)

100%

(4 of 4 done)

100%

(4 of 4 done)

100%

(4 of 4 done)

7.1 Annual performance report published prominently on website with version control (reviewed at least quarterly)

VIEW HERE

Published prominently

7.2 Annual performance report to include performance data in line with KPO's and associated targets (annually covering previous year)

VIEW HERE

Published prominently

2021-22 So far…(to be completed from July 2021)

Previous years' performance data can be accessed elsewhere on this page

Professional Expertise and Technical Processes

Protocols for Dealing with Work

Work in relation to Building Warrants, Late Building Warrants, Completion Certificates and Completion Certificates Where No Warrant Was Obtained are the subject of extensive and detailed protocols based on risk classifications, staff member competence levels and peer reviews. As the requirements of the Performance Framework gain momentum in respect of Construction Compliance Notification Plans, the protocols will continue to be suitably amended.

As part of our work to gain ISO 9001 : 2015 accreditation, all major procedures in relation to the above have been process mapped and amended, as appropriate. These procedures are also subject to internal and external auditing on an annual basis.

Performance Management Systems

The performance of the Council as a whole is maintained via Pentana Performance Management System. Actions relating to Building Standards are updated on a quarterly basis. Various ‘hit list’ reports are used to assist weekly performance. We have invested in Enterprise to further enhance our management systems and are staging migrating to using this as our primary performance and workload management system. We also regularly utilise the Uniform Statutory Reports and additional access reports to monitor performance.

Training and Development (CPD)

Appraisals which have a focus on training and development needs through the Councils performance management system, Pentana, are carried out on an annual basis and training requirements is a standing item on the recently refreshed Building Standards team meeting agenda. The Competency Assessment System (CAS) will be trialled for every member of staff this year. The service has a track record in committing significant resources to training over a significant period of time which has resulted in excess of 60% of verification staff (seven in total) holding chartered membership of the RICS. One member of staff is completing their structured training to work towards gaining membership of RICS. One other team member is supported through College Day Release through the Modern Apprentice programme which will run for 3 years. In addition the service has an open approach to training/CPD with all staff encouraged to undertake and collectively organise training, such as SBEM/SAP, fire risk assessments etc.  All training/CPD for staff is logged on our Intranet 'Sharepoint' site serving Building Standards. We also log a skills audit which records mandatory training where required. In addition, staff who are members of the RICS are obliged to carry out and record a minimum of 20 hours appropriate CPD and staff are encouraged/supported in this requirement where possible.

Benchmarking/Shared Services/Partnership Working

The Building Standards service of Angus Council is a member of the Tayside Building Standards Consortium and attends the regular meetings of same. There is a minimum of three meetings a year which discuss/agree various matters in relation to Building Standards. This also feeds into our support of Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS) which in turn supports the Building Standards Division (BSD). Building Standards has been heavily involved in partnership working with our Legal, Housing and Fire Safety colleagues in respect of work in relation to migrant worker accommodation, safety at sports grounds, public entertainment events and houses in multiple occupation. Building Standards in Angus are leading in re-starting a benchmarking group for building standards bodies who hold CSE. This group previously met regularly and the members of the group who all hold CSE, discuss issues in relation to customer service and highlight exemplar activities.

Succession Planning

As highlighted under the heading Training and Development (CPD) the Building Standards Service of Angus Council has invested considerable resources to ensure the Building Standards team are given the appropriate opportunities and training to allow them to become professionally qualified. Seven members of staff hold professional membership of RICS and there is one other who is completing their APC to become a RICS member. The Council run a suite of management training sessions and forums which the Building Standards Manager and Team Leader both participate in. This training includes extensive group sessions, 360 interviews with a range of staff and coaching on any identified areas for improvement. There is a wide age range of BS staff ensuring there are no know workforce resilience issues. Given this investment in training the staff of the Building Standards team are well placed to deal with any issues arising from succession planning.

Quality Customer Experience

The Building Standards team in Angus have held the CSE (Customer Service Excellence) standard since 2010. Presently the team hold 28 compliance pluses which in the words of our external assessor is exceptional. By holding this recognised external accreditation Building Standards in Angus provides a service which is :- Accessible; Knows and engages with its customers; Of high quality; Sets demanding standards in terms of performance and customer satisfaction.

Customer Communication Strategies

The service engages with customers on various levels and are continually looking and adapting to new or more relevant ways of customer engagement such as:

  • Agent Meetings - virtual
  • National and local surveys
  • Customer suggestions forms
  • Customer Service Excellence(CSE) annual review meetings/reviews
  • Targeted/direct consultations regarding specific issues/projects
  • Newsletters/mail drops
  • Relevant Social Media posts

Customer Feedback(national/local)/analysing and changes to system

The Building Standards service engages in a continuous customer survey which is continuously maintained and reported on quarterly. In financial year 2020/21 95% of our customers were either very satisfied or fairly satisfied with our service which increased from 94% the previous year. The target set is 90%. The results of the most recent national customer survey in 2020 show that the overall score for the Building Standards team is still well above the national average at 8.5 out of 10. The national average is 7.5 out of 10.

Accessibility of the Service

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions Building Standards have all worked from home with no face to face office contact since March 2020. We have provided a virtual Duty Officer service during all normal office hours while embracing the ‘agile’ environment that Angus Council have provided. We can also be contacted fully by phone, email and letter. We can carry out virtual meetings through Skype and MSTeams and have utilised these methods along with Youtube for reviewing live and pre-recorded Remote Verification Inspections (RVI's). Further progress with agile, home and office working due summer 2021.

Customer Charter

The Customer Charter is published and reviewed quarterly to ensure its ongoing suitability. It clearly sets out our commitments to the customer and the requirements of a national charter have been incorporated into our Local Charter.

Pre-application Advice

Pre-application advice where relevant is welcomed and allows Building Warrants when submitted to be dealt with as efficiently as possible. Building Standards will also arrange joint meetings with other interested bodies such as Fire Scotland, Scottish Environment Protection Agency(SEPA), Development Management etc.

Customer Agreements

The Building Standards Team offer customer agreements where the standard 20 days is not appropriate such as our ‘instant plan assessment service’. This example allows the assessing Officer/Technician to enter into an agreement to assess the application within a different timescale (i.e. 3 days, 1 week etc.)

Customer Dissatisfaction (Technical or Procedural)

Customers can make complaints, comments or compliments and these procedures are detailed in our Local Customer Charter. Technical Decision disagreements can be escalated in house when requested or customers are referred to the LABSS Dispute Resolution Service.

Recognised External Accreditations

As noted previously the Building Standards team in Angus has held the CSE standard since 2010. In 2012 it was successful in being accredited to ISO 9001 : 2008 making the successful transition to the 2015 standard in 2016 at the first time of asking. In 2016 and 2017 the Building Standards team in Angus were awarded the outstanding team award by LABSS (Local Authority Building Standards in Scotland) and received a commendation in 2019.


7.0 Operational & Financial Efficiency

Team Structure

The Building Standards team in Angus had previously altered it's team structure and priorities to react to reduced resources and put additional emphasis on inspections and agile working practices. In addition, Building Standards Technicians deal with lower risk defective and dangerous buildings. In 2020 we took on a dedicated Building Standards Modern Apprentice which supports the workforce strategy and full succession planning. A Processing team of two serve Building Standards. They deal with all processing matters in relation to Building Warrants, Completion Certificates etc. They migrated from Clerical Assistants to Technical Assistants in 2020. In addition there are additional staff resources available to deal with other Business Support duties and I.T. requirements.

I.T. Systems

Building Standards in Angus, as indicated earlier is part of the wider Planning & Communities Service and has since 1998 used the CAPS/IDox software system as its main operating system. Prior to that and from 1993 the Ludhouse software system was used. We have implemented the Enterprise workflow system as an improvement although this is due to be enhanced throughout 2021.

Digital services

As part of our ambitious work to deliver an end to end digital service we have invested a considerable sum of money to purchase electronic devices to enable Building Warrant files to be taken to site in an electronic format. This investment has allowed us to destroy all paper files (with the exception of a relatively small amount from 1998 – 2004 which have still to be quality assured for scanning purposes. This has also led to a transformation as to how we receive, assess and approve building warrants which now fully digital provides efficiency savings to both ourselves and the customers. This allowed us to migrate to homeworking during the Covid-19 restrictions seamlessly. This work and decision results in us holding Part II of the Statutory Register electronically.

Time Recording System

The time recording facility on Uniform is used to capture the time spent by staff on verification duties. This is used to provide our Finance Division with the necessary information to allow them to provide details on the costs of Building Standards staff involved in verification. Staff costs not directly involved in Building Standards, but providing a service to Building Standards whether it be management, administration, financial can be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Financial Monitoring/Governance

All fees received are logged on Uniform and our Integra Finance System which permits fee income to be monitored continuously. The income levels and matters relating to revenue/capital budgets are reviewed formally on a monthly basis and overseen by the Service Leader and Finance colleagues.

Finance Systems

All monies received in respect of building warrant fees are logged on Uniform and in addition are also recorded on the corporate financial system, Integra. This permits monies received and budgets to be monitored by the Building Standards Manager and Finance colleagues. Monthly monitoring updates are given to the Manager for information and action.

Internal Communication Strategies

Good internal communications are delivered in a number of ways. At a corporate level the Council produces a weekly electronic newsletter and also communicates continuously via the Council intranet and Yammer pages. Every one to three months there is a Leadership Forum with all managers from the Council attending. The regularity of this increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition Middle Managers’ Forums and First Level Forums are held by the Deputy, Chief Executive or other senior staff. At departmental/divisional/team level there are a number of meetings held to allow communications to be cascaded up and down the structure. The Building Standards’ team hold a minimum of 11 team meetings a year where, a virtual meeting set agenda, meeting the standards set by ISO 9001 : 2015 is followed. The improved Building Standards 'portal' on the corporate Sharepoint site is key to good, consistent communication and the sharing of information. It now serves as the focal point for all procedures and quality matters in relation to Building Standards. It continues to be enhanced on a regular basis.


6.0 Service Improvements and Partnership Working

In the previous 12 months 2020/21 we achieved the following:

1. Enhance workflow tasks in Enterprise work􀃦ow system to efficiently automate performance management

  • Timescale: 2021
  • Status: ongoing

2. Complete the transition from Clerical Assistants to Technical Assistants for Processing staff.

  • Timescale: July 202
  • Status: complete

3. Produced a series of short Building Standards Guide videos

  • Timescale: Dec 2020
  • Status: ongoing

4. Hold a collaborative customer engagement event with various customers and stakeholders

  • Timescale: late 2020
  • Status: incomplete (COVID-19)

5. Carry out all work including internal audit to ensure ISO 9001 : 2015 accreditation is achieved.

  • Timescale: Nov 2020
  • Status: complete

6. Carry out all work to ensure our CSE registration is achieved and investigate modern methods of customer engagement

  • Timescale: Jan 2021
  • Status: Complete

7. Carry out a detailed analysis of the requirements of the Operating Framework (condition of our appointment) and prepare how we meet same.

  • Timescale: Mar 2021
  • Status: New frameworks now in place

8. Continue to enhance digital delivery of Customer Communications

  • Timescale: Mar 2021
  • Status: Ongoing

9. Organise the first meeting of the re-formed CSE Benchmarking group

  • Timescale: Unknown
  • Status: Covid-19 – on hold – reorganise virtual event

In the next 12 months 2020/21 we will do the following:

1. Enhance workflow tasks in Enterprise workflow system to efficiently automate performance management

  • Timescale: 2022
  • Status: ongoing

2. Publish a series of short Building Standards Guide videos

  • Timescale: 2022
  • Status: In progress

3. Hold a customer engagement event or events with various customers and stakeholders

  • Timescale: Late 2021
  • Status: Arrange virtual event

4. Carry out all work including internal audit to ensure ISO9001:2015 accreditation is achieved.

  • Timescale: Nov 2021
  • Status: ongoing

5. Carry out all work to ensure our CSE registration is achieved and investigate modern methods of customer engagement.

  • Jan 2022

6. Enhance RVI options and/or guidance for customers.

  • Timescale: July 2021
  • Status: Ongoing

7. Continue to enhance digital delivery of customer communications

  • Timescale: March 2021
  • Status: Ongoing

8. Organise the first meeting of the re-formed CSE benchmarking group

  • Timescale: Aug 2021

9. Implement the Competency assessment system (CAS) for all staff

  • Timescale: May 2021

10. Review guidance and implement dedicated Safety Advisory Group for Safety at Sports Grounds

  • Timescale: 2021-22 Football Season
  • Status: ongoing

In the previous 12 months 2019/20 we worked with:

1. Tayside Building Standards Consortium

  • Technical Issues
  • Benchmarking Meeting

2. Scottish Government

  • E-Development – attendance at Stakeholders
  • Meetings, digital meetings and voluntary testing work

3. LABSS

  • Member of STAS
  • STAS/RD Assessment
  • Participated/Respond to enquiries from Technical Working Group
  • Attendance at all General or Annual meetings
  • Team Leader – LABSS Executive Board member

4. Customers

  • Offered 1 to 1 advice/help to customers on use of eDevelopment Portal
  • Provided 2 presentations to in house Agents and stakeholders
  • Provided guidance and links to BSD disseminations on the new regulations
  • Worked with to trial new online payment methods

5. Other Local Authorities

  • Benchmarked and shared good practice

6. CSE Benchmarking Group

  • Initial meeting organised by Angus – Postponed and on hold due to Covid-19 situation – virtual event TBC

7. COSLA Safety at Sports Grounds Working Group

  • Attendance at quarterly meetings and working with the SGSA

8. RICS UK BS Sector Advisory Board(new)

  • Manager attendance and inputs at quarterly meetings

In the next 12 months 2020/21 we will:

1. Tayside Building Standards Consortium

  • Technical Issues
  • Benchmarking Meeting
  • Surveyors Meetings

2. Scottish Government

  • E-Development – attendance at various Stakeholders Meetings
  • Attend working groups
  • Liaise with for any future re-appointment processes

3. LABSS

  • Member of STAS
  • STAS/RD Assessment as required
  • Participate/Respond to enquiries from Technical Working Group
  • Participated in any relevant training
  • Attend LABSS Quarterly Meetings
  • Team Leader – remain as an Executive Board member

4. Customers

  • Provide virtual Agents meeting/event/s
  • Liaise with regarding any improvement
  • Enhance engagement with the local and national surveys

5. Other Local Authorities

  • Continue to benchmark with other authorities and share good practice

6. CSE Benchmarking Group

  • Host First re-started CSE Benchmarking Group meeting(virtually)

7. COSLA Safety at Sports Grounds Safety Working Group

  • Continue to attend quarterly meetings and implement any requirements

7.0 Additional Data

2020-21 Statistics

Building Warrants and Amendment to Warrant Applications:      

  • 943 Submissions
  • 823 Decisions

No's of Completion Certificates:                                                          

  • 789 Submissions
  • 475 Decisions

Certification                                                                                            

  • 391 Certificates of design submitted
  • 168 Certificates of construction submitted

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)                                            

  • 284 Copy certificates received(domestic)
  • 5 Copy certificates received (nondomestic)

Statement of Sustainability                                                                  

  • 257 Copy certificates received (domestic)
  • 5 Copy certificates received (nondomestic)

Enforcement                                                                                           

  • 5 Notices served under sections 25 to 30
  • 0 Cases referred to procurator Fiscal
  • 0 Cases where LA has undertaken work

View Our Building Standards Charter HERE

Your views are important to us, please complete our survey HERE

View the newsletter on Infogram

General updates

Welcome to the new look edition of our Newsletter, we hope you like it? We would love to hear your views! Send us an email to BSProcessing@angus.gov.uk to let us know.

Due to a change in the council's telephone supplier we have all had our direct dial telephone numbers changed. Please click the link below to access these numbers.

We are currently investigating solutions for being more contactable while also working in a more agile environment and we will contact you in due course regarding any further changes or improvements.

Newest members of the team

Rhys MacKenzie – Building Standards Technician – Rhys joined us after completing his Building Surveying degree. Rhys is mostly covering domestic inspections to the central and east of Angus (Forfar, Arbroath, Letham etc) as well as assessing applications across Angus.

Sean Knox – Building Standards Technician – Sean  joined us as the Graduate Building Standards Officer from Perth and Kinross Council but has already been successful in being appointed as our third Technician covering mostly the north of Angus domestic inspections (Kirriemuir, Glens, Brechin, Edzell and Montrose). Like Rhys, Sean also assesses applications throughout Angus.

Both Sean and Rhys made an instantly positive impact in the team!

2019 Technical Handbooks

The Building Standards Division of the Scottish Government have now published updated versions of both the Domestic and Non-Domestic Technical Handbooks. They will apply to building warrants applied for on or after the 1st October 2019. The changes include:

  • Revisions throughout Section 2 (fire) covering fire performance of external cladding systems in high-rise domestic buildings and certain higher-risk non-domestic buildings; provision for means of escape, evacuation alert and signage in high-rise domestic buildings.
  • Under standard 3.12, introduction of provision for Changing Places Toilets in larger new non-domestic buildings, extensions and conversions.

View the technical handbooks

Key Performance Outcomes

Building Standards sections throughout Scotland have to work to challenging performance targets on a number of areas of our works. Ones you may mostly be familiar with are:

  • Respond to Building Warrants within 20 working days
  • Approve Building Warrants within 10 working days of all satisfactory information.
  • The targets for the first bullet point have increased in recent years from 80% to 95% which is a very challenging target. Whilst we are streamlining and monitoring various aspects of what we do we can’t achieve this level of improvements alone and need your help. We would ask you do the following wherever possible:
  • Allow us the timescales above to assess or approve your application before contacting us for an update on your application.
  • Submit all information through the E-Building Standards portal which is the most efficient way of us receiving and processing the information you are submitting
  • Ensure you clearly highlight all amendments when responding to our assessment letters
  • Once you submit information via the Portal, we will respond, please don't email the information in as well as this creates additional work which impacts our overall service.


We will shortly begin sending automated 'acknowledgement' emails when we receive email correspondence. This will hopefully improve our communications with you and keep you up to date with the relevant timescales above.

Performance April to June 2019

Building warrants approved within 10 working days: 98% (target 90%)

Building warrants assessed within 20 working days: 99% (target 95%)

Your views

We would like to highlight the importance of your views and comments. They are integral to our continual improvement and help us to ensure we have a customer-centred approach to our service. Opinions will help shape future improvements. 
 We also would encourage you to complete our quick customer survey for every application you deal with us, the more responses we receive the more we learn