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In the Building Act 1984 there came into force legislation which would allow private persons to act either as Approved Inspectors or Approved Persons. This had resulted from the Government’s intention to make building control more open to competition and to allow professionals to be involved in certifying not only their own work, but also that of others. The legislation, which was carried further by the coming into force of the Building (Approved Inspector, etc.) Regulations 1985, set down certain of the details which would be required to be satisfied which included, among other things, the matter of insurance. It was principally on that one point that the scheme foundered from l985 until the latter part of last year. B.A. Cox
Serving and protecting the profession In our column for 19 October, Hugh Woodrow, Chief Executive of the Association of Consulting Engineers, drew attention to the services provided by the ACE to chartered engineers, including structurul engineers, in private practice. This was in response to the need which had been expressed in a letter by Ken Burr (l7 August) for ‘a trading organisation representing the chartered structurul engineer in business’. Mr Burr responds as follows: It is interesting that Hugh Woodrow should respond to my recent letters under this heading. I took the opportunity to telephone ACE to discover whether it provides the type of service I feel is needed by me in particular and to members in private practice in general. The answer is a clear NO. The prime reason is that, to join ACE, applicants need to be either Fellows of the Institution or agree to seek election to Fellowship within 5 years. This could start another debate, but I for one cannot see the advantages of seeking Fellowship of the Institution. Also the interests of ACE are too diverse. It invites membership from about 14 Institutions and appears to be expanding this to include non-chartered engineers, yet has a membership of only about 700 firms. Mr Halstead is clearly a member of ACE and seems to think that so are we all. Verulam
The question is, what is the legal effect of using the word ‘certify’ as opposed to some other wording such as ‘to the best of my knowledge and belief or ’in my professional opinion’? J.A. Welsh