Digitisation of the Regulatory Compliance Systems

The concept of automated checking can bring tangible advantages including increased efficiency and a reduction in the costs of compliance checking. The entire lifecycle of the built environment is governed by a variety of regulations, requirements and standards. The checking of compliance against these is a complex task and is currently highly resource intensive.  So far there has been no meaningful adoption of either the digitisation of regulations or compliance systems.

D-COM (Digital Compliance) has shown that the concerns raised in the Hackitt review of responsibility and departures from regulations are a systemic problem. There has been a significant rise in the formation of government expert groups to address some of these failings. D-COM is proposing not simply ‘plugging the leaks’, but a transformation of the regulatory compliance system. Digitising and automating this system will instil transparency and inherently build in the ‘Golden Thread’.

This is an opportunity to start overhauling the system. Why? Because the current system is extremely difficult to police. It lacks resource, there are too many compliance departures and ambiguous regulations and statements, as well as untethered and unauditable decision making processes. The list is relentless. 

The Digital Compliance (D-COM) Network was formed to meet the clear need for research, insight and leadership in the digitisation of regulatory processes and automated compliance checking.  D-COM is formed of a balance of industrial and academic capabilities. It has a multi-institutional and multi-themed approach with transparency, which it considers as significant factors in this journey.  D-COM was inaugurated as part of Centre for Digital Britain (CDBB) capabilities and research agenda.



Dr David-John Gibbs participated in the D-COM workshops, assisted in conducting interviews and drafting the report. He leads HKA’s global Building Information Modelling (BIM) services and gained his doctorate in BIM and dispute resolution. DJ has advised governments, public bodies and organisations on the development and assurance of BIM and digital requirements around the world, as well as facilitating cross-industry engagement and providing independent opinion on infrastructure innovation for not-for-profit organisations.

"D-COM is proposing not simply ‘plugging the leaks’, but a transformation of the regulatory compliance system. Digitising and automating this system will instil transparency and inherently build in the ‘Golden Thread’."
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