2022 Act Regulates Providers
The Purpose of the Regulation of Providers of Building Works Act 2022 is to provide for the establishment of a register to be known as the Construction Industry Register Ireland, to regulate providers of building works. This registration body determines the standards and competence required of providers of building works and investigate and adjudicate complaints against them.
The Act provides that the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage appoints a registration body on a statutory basis. The main function of the registration body is to assess the competence of any entity who wishes to register, using criteria which is set out in legislation for each division or sub-division of the register. These criteria are relevant experience, relevant qualifications or a combination of both.
The registration body establishes committees to advise the Minister on these criteria, which will then be set out in legislation. Following this process, entities will apply to join the register and must demonstrate they hold the appropriate competence to do so.
Registrants are required to have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance if it applies. There is a statutory Admissions and Registration Board, and Appeals Board.
The Act allows for complaints against registered builders to be made on a number of grounds – in particular an entity providing building services in a category in which they are not registered. It provides for a range of proportionate sanctions to be imposed after investigation.
The Government may make an order to appoint a body to perform the functions under this Act and it outlines the requirements the Minister shall take account of when recommending a body to be appointed. The functions of the registration body may be transferred to another body.
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage may issue a policy directive to the registration body or the Board. The Registrar shall perform functions including ensuring the register is up to date. The body is funded either by fees received, or by the payment of grants to the registration body from funding provided by the Oireachtas as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public
The registration body shall keep proper accounts in such form as approved by the Minister, and that the registration body is audited as appropriate.It is to specify fees, which can only be fixed at a level sufficient to fund the statutory functions of the body and require the consent of the Minister.
The registration body may arrange for assistance for it or the Board and may make rules for facilitating and discharging its functions and the functions of the Board. It shall prepare an annual report in relation to the discharge of its statutory functions under the Act to be submitted to the Minister and laid before the Oireachtas. It may appoint inspectors who may be members of its staff or otherwise.
The registration body shall establish an admissions and registration board known as the “Board” which shall consist of a chairperson and 10 ordinary members who are appointed by the Minister. The Board may establish committees to assist and advise it and may delegate any of its functions to a committee.
An appeals committee determines appeals provided for in the Act. It consists of a chairperson and at least 4 other members who are appointed by the Minister. The committee may be divided into divisions and that it shall make rules in relation to the conduct of appeals which are published on a website.
The registration body may prepare a code of conduct for registrants, and that this is approved by the Minister and published in Iris Oifigiúil.
The registration body shall establish and maintain a register of providers of building works and outlines the details of the registrants that are included on the register. This includes details of certain convictions or sanctions or other information the registration body considers appropriate.
The register is divided into different divisions for each of the different categories of works and can be further divided into subdivisions. These divisions are recommended by the Board and prescribed by the Minister and this section sets out criteria to be taken into account when prescribing these divisions.
Corporate bodies are to provide a certificate of incorporation and a certificate of registration of business name where applicable.
The registration body is to publish in Iris Oifigiúil the minimum level of indemnity required to be held by providers of building works.
The Board shall determine the criteria of specific knowledge, skill and expertise required to become or remain eligible for registration in each division and sets out the legislation and standards to be taken into account when determining these criteria.
The Board shall carry out an assessment to determine the level of qualification or practical experience or combination of both by which a person can fulfil the competence criteria for each division. Following this assessment the Board shall make a recommendation to the Minister and the Minister shall then prescribe required qualifications or a level of practical experience or combination of both for registration in each division. Qualifications and practical experience gained in another jurisdiction may confer eligibility.
A provider of building works shall be or employ a person who holds a qualification or level of practical experience or combination of as required to be a “competent person” to fulfil the competence criteria required. The Board shall recommend a minimum number of competent persons to be prescribed to be relied on to become or remain eligible for registration in each division and failure to comply with this is an offence.
Where the competent person relied on ceases to be available, the registrant shall give notice to the registration body. It sets out the steps to be followed by the registration body in circumstances where less than or equal to half of the minimum number, more than half of the minimum number or all of the competent persons cease to be available. Failure to comply with this provision is an offence.
A provider of building services that is a subsidiary may fulfil the competence criteria by relying on a competent person of a superior company, where the superior company is a registered person. Where a sanction is imposed on the provider or superior company, it may be imposed on the provider or superior company or both.
Prohibition unless Registered
There are prohibitions against operating as a provider of building services while not registered, or if a registered person is operating in a division in which they are not registered.
There are requirements for registration and the application process. The criteria for how the Board determine an application for registration is provided. There are requirements and the application process for renewal of registration
There are certain matters that a registered person must notify to the registration body. Failure to comply with this is an offence.
There is to be a system of continuing professional development by the registration body and requires providers of building works to comply with this system.
There is provision for establishment of an induction course by the registration body, which all persons must attend in order to be eligible for registration. The applicant for registration or renewal of registration to hold a tax clearance certificate.
Complaints and Enforcement
There are provision for the making of complaints and the legislatoon sets out the grounds for valid complaints. There are procedures for investigation by the Board and provides for the appointment of an inspector by the Board. Notice of an investigation is to be given to the registered person to whom the complaint relates.
Inspectors have powers, including powers to enter a premises, to require a person to produce documents or attend before the inspector. An inspector may require a person to answer questions under oath. An inspector may apply to the Circuit Court to compel a person to comply with these requirements. Also, an inspector may apply to a judge of the District Court for a warrant to enter a private dwelling.
The inspectors report is to be considered by the Board. Sanctions may be imposed by the Board following determination of whether improper conduct has occurred. The Board may apply either a major or minor sanction. A major sanction means removal from the register, suspension from the register or the removal of a registered person from a particular division or any combination thereof.
There is an appeal to the appeals committee by any person adversely affected by a decision of the Board. These are a range of actions available to the appeals committee on hearing an appeal.
The Confirmation of the High Court is required before decision to impose major sanction takes effect. There is an appeal to the High Court by a registered person subject to a decision of the appeals committee. This section also sets out the factors to be considered by the Court in considering the appeal and the actions available to the Court on hearing an appeal.
The registration body is to apply to the High Court for confirmation of a decision to impose a major sanction where a registered person does appeal the decision to impose that sanction.
Sanction and Effect
The matters to be considered by the Board, the appeals committee or the High Court in determining the sanction to be imposed are set out.
There is an appeal to the appeals committee if the Board fails to make a decision regarding registration or renewal within 90 days. Certain matters to be absolutely privileged.
It sets out the procedures for restoration to the register following removal or suspension from the register. The registration body publishes certain sanctions and convictions imposed under the Act.
The Minister has power to prescribe the time period following which registration becomes mandatory following establishment of a division of the register.
Where a body corporate has committed an offence, a director, manager, secretary or member of that body corporate shall also be guilty of an offence where the offence was committed with their consent or connivance.
The registration body to apply to the Court seeking an order to impose a prohibition on a person who has been convicted of an offence that caused loss of life, serious injury or substantial economic loss.
Criminal proceedings under this Act for an offence where a sanction has already been imposed for that same offence under this Act.
The registration body as the competent authority in Ireland for providers of building works under the Professional Qualifications Regulations.
There is set procedures for oral hearings
The term of office of Board members is set out.There are procedures for removal from office of a member of the Board or appeals committee by the Minister. The Minister may appoint an independent person to hold an inquiry into a proposed removal of a member. The powers of this independent person are also provided for
A member of the Board or appeals committee may appeal to the High Court a decision of the Minister to remove him or her from office.
There are procedures to be followed when a vacancy arises on the Board or appeals committee.
There are procedures for meetings of the Board or committee members.
The circumstances that would cause a member of the Board or appeals committee to no longer be qualified for office are specified.