– Number of building and contracting entities registered with CIRI is expected to increase from approximately 800 to at least 5,000 initially

– Legislation delivers on Housing for All commitment to embed compliance in the construction sector

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, has welcomed the publication of the Regulation of Providers of Building Works Bill 2021. The legislation will put the Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI) on a statutory footing. The Bill aims to benefit consumers and the general public by giving those who engage a registered builder the assurance that they are dealing with a competent and compliant operator.

The legislation is committed to in the Government’s Housing for All plan. Currently, entities providing building services can voluntarily register with CIRI, which has operated since 2014. Once the legislation is enacted, all entities providing building services will be required to register with CIRI.

CIRI was established by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), which is expected to operate the statutory register. This is a similar model to that of registration for Registered Architects and Surveyors. Approximately 800 building and contracting entities are currently included on the register. When the register operates on a statutory footing, it’s expected that initially at least 5,000 entities will be required to register.

The requirement to register will apply to builders of both residential and non-residential buildings that are subject to the Building Regulations. Employees of such building firms will not be required to apply, but sole traders will. Eligibility for registration can be achieved through qualifications, experience or a combination of both. The criteria required for registration will be clear and transparent and will be set out in regulations.

Once enacted, the statutory register is expected to help develop and promote a culture of competence, good practice and compliance with building regulations. The new measures will also address shadow economic activity in the construction sector and ensure fairer competition for compliant operators.

The Bill will also provides for the CIRI to receive complaints against registered builders to be made on a number of grounds, including complaints against an entity providing building services in a category in which they are not registered. The Bill provides for a range of proportionate sanctions to be imposed after investigation.

It envisaged that statutory registration will commence in early 2024 in initial categories.

The Regulation of Providers of Building Works Bill 2021 can be viewed on the Oireachtas website.

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