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Verulam

Structural Adequacy and Self-Certification Graeme Orr has written from Edinburgh, responding to Stan Lawrence (21 March): Self-certification has been the practice in Scotland for some years now: the local authority Building Control may accept for a building project either sufficient calculations and drawings or just the drawings backed by an engineer’s Design Certificate (a standard form 4A for new buildings, 4B for alterations/extensions, issued by each local authority). At present the ‘Approved Person’ signing these certificates need only be a chartered civil or structural engineer. In fairness to the Building Control Officers, most authorities require proof of current membership, and until they are familiar with the signator or his design engineer, they will raise queries on building warrant submissions to ascertain whether the signator is indeed competent to approve the design. However, no other checks are made, to my knowledge, as to whether the signator has professional indemnity or whether he is (say) a geotechnical engineer.