Skip to main content

CROSS Safety Report

Has the role of building control changed?

Report ID: 810 Published: 5 September 2022 Region: CROSS-UK


A reporter raises a query about the role of Building Control.

Key Learning Outcomes

For all built environment professionals:

  • Be aware that the responsibility for the adequacy of submissions of calculations to building control lies with the originating designer

Full Report

Find out more about the Full Report

This section contains the Full Report submitted to CROSS and describes the reporter’s concerns or experiences. However, the text has been edited for clarity, and identifiable details have been removed to ensure anonymity and confidentiality. If you would like to know more about our secure reporting process, or submit a report yourself, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.


A Building Control provider asked a reporter if the organisation they worked for had a procedure where their structural designs are checked by someone outside of those who conducted the design. They informed the reporter that if this was the case, then they would not need to check the designs themselves.

The reporter has since become aware that numerous Building Control providers have been asking professional institutions, with structural engineers as members, if there are procedures to which their members comply in terms of carrying out checks and verification of structural designs. The reason for the question being that they often send structural design information they receive as Building Control providers to their checking engineers, and want to know if they can omit this check because it has been carried out by the structural designer's organisation.

The reporter has only worked in the industry for the best part of a decade but has been told by more experienced engineers that before this time, Building Control provided rigorous design checks and were highly skilled. So the question is, what is the role of Building Control with regards to checking structural designs? Has the role changed over time? Or did Building Control providers go above and beyond their duties in the past? Or, rather worryingly, are some modern-day Building Control providers not following their duties properly?

Expert Panel Comments

Find out more about the Expert Panels

Expert Panels comment on the reports we receive. They use their experience to help you understand what can be learned from the reports. If you would like to know more, please visit the CROSS-UK Expert Panels page.

It was traditional for Building Control to review calculations but with reductions in local authority funding, this became less viable.

In some cases, submissions were contracted out to consulting firms and in other cases, the level of checking would be reduced. In all cases however the responsibility for the design is that of the designer whatever the comments, or lack of comments, there has been from Building Control.

Submit a report

Your report will make a difference. It will help to create positive change and improve safety.

Our secure and confidential safety reporting system gives professionals the opportunity to share their experiences to help others.