The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has commission the British Standards Institution (BSI) to draft a new code of practice for assessors when examining external walls and cladding.

This will ensure external wall assessments are carried out to a high and consistent standard, giving building owners clarity on the fire risk of the construction of external walls.

The code of practice will help professionals provide consistent, risk-based and proportionate advice on whether remediation of the external walls is necessary.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will continue to work closely with government and industry to find solutions to help leaseholders.

This latest consultation, which will assist in the delivery of the Fire Safety Bill requirements for external wall assessments, is another step forward in solving these issues, said RICS.

The surveyors is already working to make sure that all professionals who undertake the EWS assessment training course are being trained to the highest standards and will be working to this latest proposed code of practice on carrying out external wall assessments.

Last month, RICS updated its guidance relating to cladding and revealed it was to work with the UK government and other stakeholders to ensure the guidance is implemented by 5 April 2021.

Building Safety Minister Lord Greenhalgh said: “As part of the biggest improvements to building safety standards in 40 years, we are taking firm action to ensure homes and buildings are safer.

“This includes investing over £5bn to help protect hundreds of thousands of leaseholders from the cost of replacing unsafe cladding on their homes.

“I welcome the launch of this consultation on a new code of practice, commissioned by government, which will ensure greater clarity and consistency for those completing assessments of external walls and a clear steer on where remediation is, or is not, required.”

Scott Steedman, director-general of standards at BSI, added: “BSI, in its role as the UK National Standards Body, has opened a public consultation on the proposed new code of practice to support building professionals to undertake fire risk appraisals and assessments of the external wall construction of existing multistorey, multi occupied residential buildings.

“We welcome all comments on the draft standard, especially from people living or working on or in these types of buildings, including residents and people from the construction, fire, housing and safety industries.

“The consultation closes on 20 May 2021 and we aim to publish the standard in the autumn, after all comments have been reviewed by the expert steering group.”