Around the Block: As new regulations are enforced, register of competent building companies lags behind


As the March 1st date for enforcement of the new building regulations looms, the industry struggles to equip itself for the new code of practice designed to ensure the likes of another Priory Hall will never be built.

This week the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) invited construction companies and sole traders to join the first Construction Industry Register of Ireland (

This was established by the CIF following a request by the Government to create a register of competent and experienced construction companies and sole traders for consumers.

The new building regulations stipulate that construction workers should be able to demonstrate that they are competent and compliant and presumably the new register ( will provide a one-stop shop for consumers to choose their contractors from. So how many people are on the Register so far? Well, it turns out none.

But the new building regulations come in in nine days time and they stipulate that all commencement notices of builders and certificates of compliance on completion by builders will seek the CIRI registration number.

A spokesman for the CIF said it is currently only inviting construction companies and sole traders to apply for the listing.

But presumably following application, the process to qualify for the register will take time because there are a number of requirements that need to be met, including demonstrating construction competence and experience; demonstrating tax compliance; compliance with health and safety regulations and attending a CIRI induction course.

The CIF spokesman said the Register will build gradually towards achieving a statutory footing from 2015.

While the register is to be welcomed and certainly will create plenty of work for the CIF, which is currently operating it on a voluntary basis, its 11th-hour rollout looks like yet another fallout from a set of new building regulations that seem to have been imposed on the industry rather than developed in consultation with stakeholders.