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EWS1 and FRAEW Surveys and Appraisal

We are Chartered Members of the RICS and an RICS regulated firm with OFQUAL/RICS government endorsed accreditation as external wall surveyors for medium and high rise buildings.


We have considerable experience in the external wall appraisal field. This means we are qualified and fully compliant with regards to the professional competency criteria required for the issue of an EWS1 certificate as well as for producing Fire Risk Appraisals of External Walls (FRAEWs) and are able to assess the external wall systems of buildings of any height.


Our team of Chartered RICS External Wall Surveyors, independent Fire Engineers and specialist intrusive works contractors enable us to provide a fully integrated team for all scenarios relating to your building.


The Fire Safety Act 2021 requires that the responsible person of a building of multiple occupancy ensures a fire risk assessment of the external walls is carried out. This should be carried out by a suitable expert in external wall systemsThe FRAEW in accordance with PAS9980 is the only assured way of ensuring compliance to these legal obligations.


An EWS1 assessment and a Fire Risk Appraisal of the External Walls (FRAEW) are not one and the same and should not be confused, however an FRAEW can be required as part of the EWS1 process for higher risk buildings.


The differences are explained below and there is some overlap but effectively the FRAEW relates to the Fire Safety Act 2021 and a responsible person's legal obligations in that regard whereas the EWS1 certificate process is a requirement implemented by financial institutions.




The EWS1 process is a set way for a building owner to be able to confirm to financial institutions that an external wall system on a residential building or attachments (such as a balcony) and fire barriers have been assessed by a suitable expert.

It is effectively a risk management tool used by financial institutions to ensure the fire safety of the external walls of a building is acceptable and that no expensive remedial works will be required, therefore providing the confidence they require before they may be prepared to lend or insure against a property.

An FRAEW may also be required in cases where an Option B sign off of a building is required and/or where it is determined that a detailed assessment of an external wall is required, which may or may not be in relation to an EWS1 assessment.




The FRAEW in accordance with PAS9980 ensures compliance with a responsible persons legal obligations under the Fire Safety Act 2021.

The PAS 9980 has been developed by the British Standards Institution drawing on expert advice from professionals across industry and followed a rigorous development process, including a public consultation.


PAS 9980 sets out steps that can be taken to identify and assess risk factors as well as mitigation steps that might improve the risk rating of a building via a holistic and fact-based assessment of a building’s construction.

In certain instances a full FRAEW may not be necessary and in such cases we can carry out a 'lighter' review of the building and its external wall system.


In order for our clients to be able to obtain a signed EWS1 form for their building/block we do as follows:

  • The service begins with an initial assessment of all documentation obtained relating to the external wall system which is assessed in detail culminating in findings, conclusions and recommendations that are provided to the client in a comprehensive 'Preliminary Review' report.

  • Assuming the outcome of the 'Preliminary Review' report has been successful we are also able to provide a signed EWS1 Certificate (under Option A).

  • In cases where the initial 'Preliminary Review' report advises that an FRAEW and/or input from a Fire Engineer (Option B) is deemed necessary, we proceed to carry out an FRAEW in accordance with PAS 9980 to enable a more detailed assessment of the building. In some instances this may mean working in conjunction with our Fire Engineering team who are highly experienced and qualified members of the Chartered Institute of Fire Engineers and are Chartered Engineers.

  • We manage Option B work on the client's behalf including, in cases where the requirement has been deemed necessary, organisation of our specialist intrusive contractors and coordination with the Fire Engineer.

Please contact us for further information and a quotation to obtain an EWS1 assessment for your building and an EWS1 certificate signed off by an appropriate professional or for where you require an FRAEW to ensure the responsible person has fulfilled obligations in relation to the Fire Safety Act 2021.

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