EWS1 Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below answers to frequently asked EWS1 Portal questions. Please click on the relevant question to expand the section to see the answer. For more information please get in contact with us at [email protected]
What is an EWS-1 Form?
Valuation and home survey processes were previously insufficient to establish whether or not external cladding on high rise buildings [over 18 m height] contains combustible material and therefore would facilitate the spread of fire. Following the Grenfell tragedy, RICS [Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors] along with UKF [UK Finance] and BSA [Building Societies Association] developed so-called EWS-1 forms as a means of enabling competent fire experts to assess whether these buildings are fire safe and if not, to identify that remedial work needs to be carried out.
Why is an EWS-1 Portal required?
The provision of EWS-1 forms has proved successful in creating a clear and consistent means by which the market understands the documentation required to support the buying, selling or re-mortgaging of properties in high rise buildings. While the EWS-1 form has been downloaded from the RICS web site over 8,000 times, there remain some key issues to be resolved in order to create a fully reliable and accessible process for the upload and retrieval of these forms.
The FIA has stepped in to meet this requirement. In consultation with MHCLG and in collaboration with RICS and other stakeholders including lenders and insurers, it has developed a unique portal which will provide a central readily-accessible location for EWS-1 forms and, for the first time, the ability for Fire Engineers to complete the forms on-line.
Will this eliminate fraudulent activity relating to EWS-1 forms?
Regrettably, fraudulent EWS-1 forms have been identified in the market which can place lives at risk. A rigorous approach has been applied to the portal to include manual checks at various stages of the process. Each Fire Engineer wishing to submit forms must present evidence that they are fully qualified and competent to do so and this is interrogated prior to enabling their forms to be submitted to the portal. In addition, all existing forms and online submissions are subject to further checks to determine their validity before they appear as publicly-available documents.
How do assessors register to submit EWS-1 forms?
Suitably competent and qualified assessors must first register with us in order to be able to upload EWS-1 forms. A list of applicable memberships of professional bodies and qualifications will be available on the website and evidence of these must be submitted for review prior to registration being approved.
How are EWS-1 forms submitted?
Existing EWS-1 forms may be submitted as pdf files and these will be checked prior to uploading onto the site. New EWS-1 forms may also be completed online and these will also be checked prior to upload.
Who is funding and providing this portal?
The FIA is fully-funding this portal and has employed software specialists to create an effective, efficient and user-friendly web site that has been approved by the RICS Forum.
When will it be available?
The web site is currently in an advanced stage of development and is expected to be fully functional as a public service by the end of November.
Are charges to be applied?
Viewing and downloading of EWS-1 forms is free of charge and is fully publicly available to property sellers and buyers, insurers and mortgage lenders among others upon entering a valid e-mail address.
There is a charge for each pdf form and on-line form uploaded, with pricing to be confirmed shortly.
What is the FIA?
The FIA is the largest fire protection trade association in Europe with over 900 members, a not-for-profit organisation that is a major provider of fire safety training. Its objective is to promote, improve and perfect fire protection methods, devices, services, and apparatus and achieves this through the representation of its members and providing technical support, guidance, and opportunities for professional advancement through education and appropriate regulation. It promotes and shapes legislation and the professional standards of the fire industry through close liaison with government and official bodies as well as other key stakeholders and also provides funding for research projects in line with its principal objectives.
Matters within the FIA concerning Fire Engineering are addressed by the Fire Engineering Council which is chaired by Jon Pagan and which represents our fire engineering service providers. Its key role is to present the collective views of the sector including representation to government and other external bodies.