Beyond the Stable Door: Hackitt and the Future of Fire Safety Regulation in the UK

John Spinardi, Angus Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The key findings of the Hackitt review into Building Regulations and Fire Safety are described and discussed in relation to outcomes-based regulation, competency, and drafting of guidance. The Hackitt review identifies a systemic failure of the construction industry underpinned by ignorance, indifference, lack of clarity on roles and responsibility, and inadequate oversight. With regard to design and approval there are three key aspects of the Hackitt recommendations that appear commendable in their intentions, but potentially problematic in their implementation. These concern the outcomes-based emphasis, the need to improve competence, and proposed change in the nature and ownership of guidance documents. The first two of these are intertwined, as the focus on outcomes-based regulation depends entirely on addressing the competency issue; the latter has the potential to result in guidance that becomes bloated in an attempt to satisfy multiple commercial interests, and opens up a debate about whether rules-based guidance should continue to be used.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102856
JournalFire Safety Journal
Early online date14 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


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