Who can sign off an EWS1 form?
The signatory for Option A would need the expertise to identify the relevant materials within the external wall and attachments and whether fire resisting cavity barriers and fire stopping have been installed correctly. However, this would not necessarily include the need for expertise in fire engineering. The signatory should be a member of a relevant professional body within the construction industry, such as an RICS Chartered Surveyor or a member of the Chartered Institute of Building.
The signatory for Option B would need expertise in the assessment of the fire risk presented by external materials and should be a member of a relevant professional body that deals with fire safety in the built environment. This could be a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Fire Engineers or equivalent.
In January 2021, RICS launched a new training programme for chartered building surveyors and chartered building control surveyors, to enable them to undertake external wall system assessments for low to medium rise residential buildings. The newly qualified professionals will help increase the number of professionals qualified to carry out such assessments and support the current market demand. Buildings over 18m or those which are high risk and require specialist testing will still require a qualified fire safety engineer.
There have been reports that unqualified people may be signing off EWS1 forms. If an RICS member is completing your EWS1 form, you can check their membership on the RICS website. The RICS has published a list of suggested bodies to contact to source fire experts. This list is not exhaustive, nor does it constitute an endorsement or approval from RICS, UKF or BSA, and other bodies with relevant expertise may be able to assist. Anybody instructing an EWS1 form must be satisfied that the signatory meets the requirements as described above.