CPCNI Annual Signature Event


“New Thinking, Responsible Actions – Grenfell, NI Construction Professionals Respond” – the Construction Professional Council NI’s Annual Signature Event will take place on 2 April 2020 at 12:30pm in the Hilton Hotel, Lanyon Place, Belfast. RSUA is a member of the CPCNI.

Following the Grenfell fire, the Hackitt Report was commissioned as an independent review of building regulations and fire safety. The report exposed systemic failures in the construction industry and stated that the current building regulatory system is “not fit for purpose”. The recently published interim report, ‘Raising the bar’, by the Industry Response Group, raised many questions about the competence levels within our industry. Until now relatively little has been said about one of the most fundamental questions of all, how do we improve industry competence and culture?

Event speakers

Dame Judith Hackitt, Dame Judith Hackitt is a chemical engineer and is currently Chair of Make UK and Board member of HS2 Ltd. She was made a Dame in the 2015-16 New Year Honours for services to health and safety and engineering, in particular for being a role model for young women. Following the tragic fire which occurred at Grenfell Tower in London in June 2017, Dame Judith conducted an independent review into Building Regulations and Fire Safety related to high rise buildings for the Government. She now chairs the Transition Board which will create the new Building Safety Regulator as part of a major reform programme following her review.

Graham Watts OBE is Chief Executive of CIC and a member of the Industry Response Group, set up by the MHCLG in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and Chaired the Competence Working Group set up to assist Dame Judith Hackitt’s Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. Following the report publication he is now Chair of the Steering Group charged with implementing the recommendations on improving competence for all those engaged in designing, construction, managing and maintaining higher-risk residential buildings, this includes oversight of the competence work being carried out in the Fire and Rescue Services.

Professor John Cole CBE, an architect by profession, is currently an independent consultant, acting primarily as a strategic client adviser on a range of major international public-sector infrastructure projects. John is a member government’s the ‘Industry Safety Steering Group’ and also a member of the RIBA ‘Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety’. In 2016 he chaired the Independent Inquiry and wrote the ‘Report into the Construction of Edinburgh Schools’, which has resulted in an ongoing major review of construction. Following the Edinburgh Schools Inquiry, he was asked by the Scottish Government to chair a Review of Compliance with and Enforcement of Building Standards in Scotland. In November 2019 he was appointed to the Procurement Advisory Group of the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to develop and promote best practice in relation to procurement. He was also the founder and instigator of the Construction Professionals’ Council N.I.


12:30pmRegistration & lunch
1:30pmWelcomeDenise McMahon, CPCNI Chairman 
1:35 to 3:00pmSession 1Building a Safety Future – a call for leadership and culture change Dame Judith Hackitt
Raising the Bar, Changing the Culture Graham Watts OBE
3:00pm to 3:25pmAfternoon refreshments & networking
3:25pm to 4:15pmSession 2Quality Designed, Quality Delivered Professor John Cole OBE
4:15pm to 4:45pmQ&A PanelChaired by Joan McCoy, RSUA President
4:45pm to 4:55pmSummary of  event 
4:55pmConference Chair’s closing remarksDenise McMahon, CPCNI Chairman 


Tickets are available here and are priced £85