Recently the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced amendments to the Building Regulations. These amendments relate to the introduction of third party certification schemes for electrical work in domestic dwellings.
However, two of the UK’s respected regulatory bodies, NICEIC and ELECSA, have said they will not be running a third party scheme as they believe it will undermine registered electricians. Not only this, they also believe that the scheme doesn’t cover standards to ensure electrical safety and, in its present form, is far from implementable by the industry.
ELECSA and NICEIC have said they want to discourage unqualified DIY work on electrical systems in homes and that any work of this kind should always be left to qualified electricians who can safely carry out work to regulation standards.
The 2011 Part P review put forward third party inspections as a way for non registered and DIY homeowners to have their own electrical work checked and certified.
These inspectors will be registered and assessed to particular standards, although they won’t have official accreditation from UKAS. This is an issue for NICEIC and ELECSA as it means there won’t be any independent verification carried out on these inspectors to ensure they are meeting regulation standards.
Emma Clancy of Certsure, went further by saying that the third party certification scheme “...makes a mockery of competent person schemes and tens of thousands of registered electricians...”
Clancy went on to say that she believes there are flaws with the scheme and there are potential risks related to how long an electrical installation can be live before it is checked by an inspector, and that this combined with the Part P review has damaged the regulations and undermined those in the industry.
Electrical Safety First also issued similar concerns over the scheme. But is the scheme as risky as Electrical Safety First, NAPIT and ELECSA are claiming? The Government clearly thinks it isn’t as the scheme is underway.
It’s been no secret that many in the electrical industry have disagreed with the changes to Part P in recent years and it seems that this could be another of those cases.
So what’s your opinion, do you agree that the scheme is flawed and undermines registered electricians or do you disagree and think the scheme is a good idea and one that only improves Part P?
Written by Sara Thomson