What does it mean? A guide to key terms in the Building Safety Act - Boodle Hatfield

Your lawyers since 1722

What does it mean? A construction and management guide to key terms in the Building Safety Act

The Building Safety Act was a landmark piece of primary legislation that gained Royal Assent in April 2022. Since then, a raft of secondary legislation has continued to bring this into force and we are aware that the legislation in its entirety may seem large, unwieldy and difficult to find a place to start. With this in mind we have set out an A-Z guide of key words and phrases that are specifically applicable to the construction and management side of The Act. If you have any specific questions or would like to speak to one of our experts, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


ACM – Aluminium composite material used in certain forms of cladding, found to have potential to contribute to the spread of fires.

Accountable Person (AP) – The person(s) or organisation(s) that own or have a legal obligation to repair any of the common parts of a high-rise residential building. The AP is responsible for assessing and managing the risks posed to people in and about the building from structural failure or the spread of fire including the management of the building safety case and the golden thread of data for the building. If there are multiple APs for a building, the APs must work together and share information about the building and each AP will be responsible for managing the risks in the parts of the building that they own or are required to maintain.

Building Assessment Certificate (BAC) – The certificate required by the BSR as part of the application to register a high-rise residential building. A High-Rise Building does not need a BAC before it can be occupied, but must be registered as a High-Rise Building before it is occupied . The PAP is responsible for keeping the BAC up to date.

Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA 2022) – The legislation introduced in response to the Grenfell fire and subsequent independent review of building safety. The BSA 2022 introduced complex and significant changes to the regulations relating to the design, construction and operation of high-risk residential buildings.

Building Safety Case – The information to be provided by the relevant AP in an accessible, digital format for the parts of the building that the AP is responsible for to include basic information about the building (number of floors, date of construction, plans etc) and information relating to any shared facilities and the surrounding area.

Building Safety Case Report – A summary report prepared by the PAP required as part of the BAC to be based on the information set out in the building safety case document prepared by the AP identifying the safety risks for a building and how those risks are managed.

Building Safety Fund (BSF) – A fund introduced in 2020 to cover the cost of replacing non-ACM cladding on high-rise buildings, providing funding to those with legal responsibility for the safety of a building.

Building Safety Levy – A levy to be paid by developers and charged on all new residential developments that require building control approval (regardless of height). The levy will be used to fund the financial assistance provided to remediate building safety the intent being that such costs do not ultimately fall on the taxpayer.

Building Safety Regulator (BSR) – The body that oversees the safety and performance of all buildings, as well as having a special focus on High-Rise Buildings. The Government has named the Health and Safety Executive as the new Building Safety Regulator.

Cladding Safety Scheme – Previously termed the ‘Medium Rise Scheme’ by the Government, a scheme to meet the cost of addressing life safety risks associated with cladding on residential buildings over 11metres in height.

Completion Certificate – The certificate required on completion of the construction of or works to a high-risk building. A completion certificate is required as part of the application to register a high-rise residential building with the BSR.

Developer Pledge / Remediation Contract – A contract entered into by many large developers, in which they have agreed to take responsibility for work to fix fire safety problems in buildings they have constructed in the last 30 years and reimburse any Government funding received via the BSF.

EWS1 Form A form used by mortgage lenders to ascertain if remedial works are required to the external wall systems of a building, giving an indication of the scale and costs of such works.

Fire Risk Appraisals of External Walls (FRAEW) – A comprehensive assessment process designed to evaluate the fire safety performance of external walls in buildings. When applying for the BSF, you are required to supply an FRAEW based on PAS 9980:2022.

Fire Risk Assessment – All multi-occupied residential buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises now require the Fire Risk Assessment required under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the Fire Safety Order 2005) to include an assessment of their external walls. Where the risk of fire spread, particularly in buildings with brick or masonry walls, is sufficiently low a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls may not be required.

Fire Safety Order 2005 – A separate piece of legislation (amended by BSA 2022) which also contains important provisions relevant to the safety.

Gateways – A series of three critical gateways introduced by BSA 2022 to enhance safety standards and oversight for Higher-Risk Buildings in the design, construction and occupation phases.

  • Gateway One (land use planning matters relating to fire safety) – Planning permission will not be granted unless a proposed design meets necessary safety requirements.
  • Gateway Two (building control approval for higher-risk buildings) – Construction cannot begin until the BSR is satisfied that the design meets building regulation requirements.
  • Gateway Three (completion certificate) – A “hold point” at the completion of a project before occupation can occur.

Golden Thread of Data – The information that allows you to understand a building and the steps needed to keep both the building and people safe, now and in the future. Intended to be kept digitally to ensure buildings are safe and building safety risks are managed throughout the building’s lifecycle.

High-Rise Building – A building which includes two or more residential units and is 18 metres in height or higher, or comprises at least seven storeys. High-rise buildings are referred to as Higher-Risk Buildings under the BSA 2022 and are subject to strict safety requirements imposed by the BSA 2022 to address the potential consequences from the spread of fire and / or structural failure.

HPL – A form of cladding known as high pressure laminate.

Implied Lease Terms – Building safety duties that will be implied into certain new and existing leases of residential premises in a Higher-Risk Building under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 as amended by the BSA 2022.

Key Building Information – The information to be provided to the BSR relating to the building’s structure and fire safety.

Leaseholder Protections – See ‘The Building Safety Act Glossary – Leaseholder Protection‘.

Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR) – The PAP is responsible for the operation of a single MOR system for each High-Rise Building that it is responsible for. The MOR must enable prompt reporting (by all those working on or periodically visiting the building during construction) of all building safety incidents and risks that have or may cause death or serious injury.

National Regulator of Construction Products – A new body created to oversee a more effective construction products regulatory regime and lead and co-ordinate market surveillance and enforcement in this sector across the UK to ensure that new homes are constructed using safe materials.

New Homes Ombudsman – A new ombudsman created to assist owners of new-build homes to escalate complaints where the developer has been unable or unwilling to resolve the issue. Developers of new-build homes will be required by secondary legislation to become and remain a member of the new homes ombudsman scheme and secondary legislation will also set out the enforcement framework and sanctions for breaching requirements.

PAS 9980:2022 – A code of practice which sets out a method for competent professionals to conduct Fire Risk Appraisals of External Walls for existing multi-storey, multi-occupied residential buildings replacing the Government’s previously issued consolidated advice note with a more proportionate approach.

Principal Accountable Person (PAP) – Each higher-risk building must have a clearly identifiable person known as the PAP. The PAP is responsible for registering the building with the BSR and must make sure that the structural and fire safety risks are managed for the whole building including the preparation of the Building Safety Case Report. If there is just one AP they will also be the PAP. If there are multiple APs, whoever owns or has legal obligation to repair the structure and exterior of the building will be the PAP.

Register of High-Rise Buildings – The public register maintained by the BSR. The PAP is responsible for the registration of a High-Rise Building. It is a criminal offence for the PAP to allow a High-Rise Building to be occupied if not registered with the BSR.

Relevant Defect – A defect that arises as a result of anything done (or not done) or used (or not used) in connection with Relevant Works that causes a safety risk (being a risk to the safety of people in or about the building arising from the spread of fire or the collapse of the building).

Relevant Works – Works relating to the construction or conversion for residential use of a building, or to remedy a Relevant Defect in each case where completed between June 1992 and June 2022.

Remediation Order – Remediation orders were introduced under the BSA 2022 to ensure that essential remediation work required to remedy Relevant Defects takes place without delay. Regulatory bodies and leaseholders can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for a remediation order to compel a landlord to remedy Relevant Defects by a specified time.

Remediation Contribution Order – A civil remedy introduced by the BSA 2022. Should a landlord or building owner refuse to meet their cost liabilities under the BSA 2022 and associated regulations, an application for a remediation contribution order can be made with the intention of recovering costs incurred, or to be incurred, in remedying Relevant Defects.

Resident’s Engagement Strategy – A document setting out how residents and those that own a residential unit in a High-Rise Building will be included in building safety decisions. The PAP is required to prepare the resident engagement strategy working with all APs for the building. Required as part of the application for a BAC.

Responsible Person – Premises that fall within the scope of the Fire Safety Order are required to have an identifiable person – usually the owner or person with control of the building (this could be the AP or the PAP) that is responsible for keeping persons (rather than the premises) safe.

Part two: Leaseholder Protection

An A-Z guide that defines the common terms and phrases for landlords and leaseholders in relation to The Act and high-rise residential buildings.

Read more

Our building safety expertise

Boodle Hatfield offers specialist legal advice across the whole spectrum of the Building Safety Act, working with clients through the requirements to ensure compliance and minimise the risk of enforcement.