Looking to hire an electrician? Why making sure they are registered is a good idea
Hi, i’m Simon Portillo a registered electrician belonging to the Competent Person Scheme. Authorized by the UK Government in 2014 it allows electricians to self-certify their work. Hiring an Electrician listed on the register means:
- Work is regularly assessed
- They have to demonstrate their ability and ongoing competence that meets the necessary standards.
- All electrical work is up-to-date with the latest wiring regulations and building regulations.
- The trades person is insured to work on your premises.
- Qualified in the latest edition of BS7671 (the standard for electrical safety in the UK).
- You will receive certificates upon completion of any major installation or electrical testing.
You can check my status by going to the Competent Person Scheme website. You can either type my name in (Simon Portillo), or enter my Postcode – CF5 3NU
Why did the electrical competent person register begin?
Stephen Williams the Minister for Communities said : “It’s often the dangerous or dishonest actions of a small minority of rogue electricians that get the attention. I want everyone to be able to get repair and improvement work done safely in their home and this new, single website provides an easy first port of call to find a registered, trustworthy local electrician.”
Before January 2005 there were no restrictions on who did electrical work in people’s homes or how it should be done.
The annual number of electric shock and electrical fire fatalities has fallen from around 90 in the mid 1990s to 55.
The steps to becoming registered
First decide on the Scheme operator to sign up with. Choices include:
All offer technical support and allow members to submit the necessary documentation to building control. Certsure (which brands NICEIC and Elecsa trade under) being the largest.
The application process begins by completing their forms. Some of the information they will ask for includes:
- Your trading name. Make sure you get this right! If you decide to change the name of the business half-way through the year you may incur additional costs.
- The business address. Some schemes require an application for every site you may have.
If you sub contract any of your services to others – like electrical design or heating and ventilation for example.
- The duty holder.
- The qualified supervisor. This is the person who will be overall responsible for the competent person and technical design. If its a sole trader type of electricians business, then this will be the same person.
- You will confirm competency with building regulations and show your BS7671 exam pass.
- Proof of public liability (usually 2 million) and employee insurance if you have staff.
- Have a complaint and warranty procedure in place.
Once your application has been processed you will be contacted with details about the technical assessment – usually in a few weeks time.
The technical assessment for becoming a scheme member
You will be assessed by a member of the scheme providers technical team at the registered business address. Lasting up to half a day, the purpose of the visit is to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of electrical installation and testing
- Show examples of recent work carried out that complies with building regulations and BS7671
- Show the assessor original copies of insurance, qualifications and current test equipment.
The assessment will be submitted for review. The outcome is successful or further evidence required. This could be missing paperwork or lack of recently completed work examples or certificates. Once successful, you will be annually assessed for compliance very much in the same way as initial registration. The area assessor will check your test equipment, recent certifications issued and current knowledge of the building and wiring regulations.
Electricians costs for registering
Most of the scheme operators charge in the region of £500 per annum registration fee. NICEIC offer an Approved Contractor and Domestic installer scheme. NAPIT offer several schemes including:
- Competent Person Scheme
- Electrotechnical Assessment Specification
- Portable Appliance Testing
- Electrical Inspector Scheme
- Electrical Duty Holder Membership
- Eletrical Third Party Certification
- Napit Associate Member
What if the person you hire for electrical installation does not belong to a scheme provider?
If you hire someone who isn’t a member of a Government backed scheme operator would you know if their work complies? Perhaps competent, but not insured or up-to-date with the latest wiring regulations? You won’t get the necessary documents you might need in the event of an insurance claim or house sale. Is it worth the risk?
Does a Part P electrician have the same meaning as a registered one?
Part P refers to the Building Regulations which electrical safety belongs to. In the context of electricians and electrical contractors, Part P and registered electricians are the same. “Registered” is the competent person scheme backed by UK Government in 2014. This allows the named person carrying out the electrical installation to self-certify their own work and provide Part P documentation.
My insurance company said i must use an NICEIC electrician when I needed one recently. Is this the same as someone who belongs to the competent person scheme?
One of the qualifying criteria for members of the competent person scheme is the electrician belongs to a scheme operator. The NICEIC being one of them. Other scheme providers are Elecsa (part of the Certsure Group with NICEIC), NAPIT and Stroma. I belong to the NICEIC and my registration number is 609099. If your insurer specified an NICEIC registered electrician it maybe a condition of your policy to use one for any repair, installation or electrical testing.
I am about to have my consumer unit replaced. The electrician i am hiring is not registered. I want the necessary paperwork so i don’t have any problems when i sell my home. How do i go about it?
You need to contact building control before the work starts. Their details are:
Questions you can ask before choosing which electrician to hire for notifiable electrical work
Which scheme operator they belong to.
Proof of qualifications.
Will the registered person be carrying out the work?
To certify all electrical work is a Part P electrician necessary?
Work that requires registration with building control includes:
- New consumer unit (replacement fuseboard)
- Supplying lighting and power to outdoors
- Work inside a bathroom
- Amendments in a kitchen
- A complete rewire