The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) is helping to shape the competency frameworks for the wider construction products industry as part of the drive towards clearer and more robust fire safety standards.

Douglas Masterson, technical manager at the GAI, has been appointed as co-chair of Working Group 12, alongside Hanna Clarke, digital and policy manager at the Construction Products Association (CPA). He has represented the GAI in that group since its inception in October 2018 and was appointed as deputy chair of it in April 2020, at which time he also became a member of the Competence Steering Group (CSG).

The Steering Group on Competences for Building a Safer Future and its 12 sub-groups – set up to implement the recommendations of the Hackitt Review – have been continuing to look at specialist areas of construction practice. The groups consist of representatives from installers, fire, housing, construction and professional organisations from within the industry. Working Group 12 is focussing on competency in the construction products sector.

Douglas Masterson said:

“This role puts the GAI at the forefront of promoting increased levels of competency for the entire construction products industry. We have been performing the same role for the door and hardware industry since 1961 and advocating increased skills and knowledge for our membership is at the heart of what we do. It is a great honour to be able to lead Working Group 12, and to also represent the wider industry at the Competence Steering Group.”

The Setting the Bar report, published in October 2020, set out the competence requirements for those working on higher-risk residential buildings. As part of this, Working Group 12 discussed the construction product competency matrix that should be launched later this year.

Douglas and Hanna have taken over the chairman role from Peter Caplehorn, chief executive of the CPA. Joe Cilia, technical director at the Finishes and Interior Sector (FIS), will replace Douglas as deputy chair.