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Dos and don’ts when working in a domestic dwelling.

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 6th February 2015

electrician with eight arms

Working in a domestic dwelling requires strict etiquette unlike any other workplace you may find yourself in, it requires a certain level of respect for the home owner’s wishes and honour their need for privacy and most of all security.

We have collated a simple list of do’s and don’ts!

Toilets:  It's okay to use the customer loo, but... make sure you visit the loo privately at home before you arrive at an appointment. It would be polite to ask for permission if need to use their toilet should you be struck with an urge.


Tea’s and Coffees:  its okay to accept a beverage, but... don’t expect one. It’s probably best to bring your own refreshments and if your offered a drink. Bonus. (Don’t ask for alcohol please.)

Breaks: it’s okay to take breaks during the day, but... don’t take advantage of this. Your breaks should be closely timed and spaced appropriately apart. Also make sure you take these breaks away from the home in a vehicle or in a near-by location.

Cleanliness: It's NOT okay to bring dirt into the house, but... sometimes it may be unavoidable. Be sure to keep your workplace as clean as possible and make sure you bring paper towels and a disposable surface that collects dirt.


dog and cat

Animals: It's NOT okay to initiate contact with pets, but... if the homeowner says the animal is friendly and safe, then it's okay to stroke them, as long as the animal is not a distraction or could be exposed to any risks.

Smoking: It Okay to smoke but…. Be mindful where you’re smoking. Try not to smoke on the property and leave fag butts lying around, if you can help it. Also you will be a bit smelly after smoking, so do carry some mints with you.

Time Keeping: Make sure you arrive on time, don’t turn up too early and certainly do not turn up late. If you’re running late it might be courtesy to let the customer know your estimated arrival time. No-one wants to be waiting around for hours.


builders bum

Dressing Appropriately: It’s important to dress appropriately, don’t take your top off in somebody’s home, or wear offensive t-shirts, also some people find caps rude!  

Being pleasant and helpful: Do you remember that old fashioned saying where the customer is always right? Make sure your always courteous pleasant and helpful. If you’re asked to help out, do! It could mean you getting a better rating on Checkatrade.

Stay Positive: Use positive language you could accidently insult someone without meaning to, “your living room is small”.

Good Communication Skills: Make sure you understand completely what you’re talking about, don’t try and blag it. Always explain in detail what you’re doing and where their money is going.

Taking responsibility: If something has gone wrong always admit to this, problem solve and fix it. Try not to blame others for your mistakes this could lead to lack of trust and would lose business in the long run for dishonesty.

Mistakes: If you make a mistake, then you will unfortunately have to dig into your pocket and pay for this to be sorted.

Did this help?

This list of etiquette tips certainly does not cover everything you need to know about working in a customer's home, most of it is common sense, but you should now have a better knowledge of the basics. No matter what happens, keep in mind that you’re representing your employer or your company so conduct yourself properly and this will speak volumes!






Categories: domestic installer

Domestic vs Commercial? Which Way should I go?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 12th November 2013

When starting a new career as an electrician most people realise they have to make a choice between becoming a domestic installer or a fully qualified electrician that can work on both domestic and commercial projects. You will find yourself asking:

Which should you become? 

Which is best? 

Which will give you a better life and job satisfaction?

What is the difference? 

Well in the most simple terms, new entrant Domestic Installers are limited to installing single phase in domestic dwellings (houses, flats, bungalows etc etc) as where Commercial Contractors are not limited to just single phase, they can install a variety of cables including single and 3 phase in all sectors (Industrial, Agricultural etc.) However there is a lot more to it than that so don’t make your decisions just yet!


To start working you obviously need the qualifications and there is a considerable difference in time and cost to consider.

Typically you are looking at around 4 -5 weeks and £2200- 2500 for a full domestic package (Practical workshops, 2392 Inspect & Test, Part-P and 17th Edition) we offer this in our Bronze package for £2245.

The commercial qualification the City and Guilds 2365 takes around 16 weeks to complete and costs £6990 with ourselves.


You need to ask yourself what sort of lifestyle you want with your new career.

Most domestic installers that train with Trade Skills 4U tend to become self-employed and set up their own company’s. There are pros and cons to running your own company however wouldn’t it be nice to choose your own working hours and for you to be financially rewarded for working that little bit harder than the guy next to you?

However if you are looking for the stability of a yearly salary and set hours then the commercial route may be your preferred option, below I have listed the advantages to both routes:

Uncapped Pay

Better social working hours


Variety of jobs

Face to face interaction with customers

Quicker and low cost of training

Good salary

Job security

Length of jobs

Working in a team

Working in exciting sector and venues

Good career progression

Lower initial start-up cost (tools, van)

Areas to specialise

What do our customers tend to do?

Below is a table showing the split of courses that new entrants to the industry take with Trade Skills 4U. We can see that domestic installers appear to be the more popular option:


















However with 24+ loans and the economy on the turn we have noticed a shift in 2013 of learners taking the longer course options to get full qualified.

At the end of the day everyone’s situation is different so you have to weigh up the pro’s and con’s for yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

1. How much time and money can you afford to spend training?

2. How quickly do you need to start earning?

3. Do you prefer working on your own or as part of a team?

4. Do you want to run your own business or would you prefer to be employed?

Generally we would summarise it as simply as this, if you are a mature career changer then the domestic route has a lot more to offer you. We say this on the basis that people normally have family’s to support and bills to pay, the domestic route gets you working within the industry much faster and gives you all the skills you need to work with a firm or become self-employed.

At a later date if you want to up skill to offer commercial skills then you can finish the modules in order to do so but you will be working in the industry and find it much easier to support yourself.

If you are looking to start your new career and have the time and finances then the commercial route is the obvious course to select as you will be trained in a much broader spectrum of work and will be able to take on more work.

Categories: commercial electrician, domestic installer

NICEIC Clarifies Routes for Domestic Installers & Qualified Supervisors

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 26th July 2013

Since the 6th April 2013 there has been much confusion in the industry with regards to the qualifications required to register on a Domestic Installer Scheme. Changes published by the IET in the EAS Scheme Document signalled that a new Qualified Supervisors Course was to become the main entry point to the industry.

Trade Skills 4U (as well as numerous other establishments) informed all our customers of the upcoming changes and naturally people looked to get registered before the 6th April deadline as there was a definite answer as to which qualifications would be required. Since the 6th of April there has been a lack of clarity in the industry as to who can register on a Domestic Installer Scheme.

This week NICEIC and ELECSA have been the first scheme providers to come out and firmly say that realistically it is business as usual, and that there are in fact several routes through to application. They have published a press release stating:

As of April 6 this year the technical competence requirements, as set out by the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification Management Committee (EAS), changed for proposed Qualified Supervisors.

A new “Level 3” requirement was developed and introduced for anyone wanting to apply to become a Qualified Supervisor after April 5th. Believing this may have caused some confusion, NICEIC and ELECSA have moved to allay the concerns contractors might have, and have introduced some factsheets that explain the requirements.

“In the run up to April both NICEIC and ELECSA noticed a sharp rise in applications for its schemes as contractors sought to 'beat the new requirements' – largely due to stories circulating in the media saying the new requirements would make it harder to become a Qualified Supervisor,” commented Alan Wells, Certification and Standards Director at NICEIC.

“We want to let contractors know that this is definitely not the case. The new qualification was designed to produce safer working practices within the industry and those with the relevant experience and technical competence really have nothing to fear.”

There are now five different routes for domestic installer schemes  through to satisfying the requirements for registration as a Qualified Supervisor, including on-site assessment, off-site assessment, a mixture of both and the gaining of appropriate qualifications.

To help contractors understand the new requirements NICEIC and ELECSA have produced some handy information sheets. 

To download them click here.

Categories: qualified supervisor, domestic installer

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Domestic Installer Qualification Route Changing in APRIL 2013

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 21st November 2012

We did say in our last update that we were sure that the changes being made to the domestic installer qualification route would not be pushed back again and we were correct. However nobody expected the deadline to be brought forward to the 6th April 2013.

Find out more below!


So what does this mean for you?

Simply put if you are looking to register on a Part P scheme with NICEIC, ELECSA or a similar scheme provider under the current rules then you will need to ensure you have registered by the 5th April 2013. In order to register by this date you must have passed your 17th edition wiring regulations. If your registration is made on the 6th April 2013 it will be too late!

Looking to get qualified?

If you are looking to qualify under the current scheme you only have 4 ½ months to get trained and then register with a scheme provider. As long as you register before the 5th April 2012 the current qualification route will be valid and a course such as our Bronze or Silver package will suffice in terms of training requirements.

Already Part Qualified?

There are also lots of people out there who have some but not all of their required qualifications. The current requirements for Part P registration are as follows:

1. Installation Skills (Our MOD1 Course covers this)

2. Inspect & Testing Skills (Our C&G 2392 course covers this)

3. City & Guilds 2382-12 17th Edition Course passed

4. City & Guilds 2393 Part P Course passed

If you need one or a few of these quals then don’t delay and get in contact ASAP. The crucial one will be the 17th edition course, however you should meet all of the criteria above to register with someone like the NICEIC or ELECSA. If you don’t register by the 5th April then you may have to repeat some elements of your training in order to complete the new qualifications.

More information will be available shortly, however if you have any questions please call us on 01293 529777.

Download the press release from the IET here!


Categories: qualifications, domestic installer

QUALIFICATION UPDATE: Domestic Installer Quals Changing July 2013

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 8th October 2012


IMPORTANT UPDATE: Domestic Installer Qualification Route Changing in July 2013

You may remember that last year there was a lot of noise about changes to the domestic installer qualification route. Essentially City & Guilds are developing a new course which will wrap together all the training required to become a domestic installer, as such the rules governing what training is required before you can register on a Part P competent persons scheme will be changing.

The changes were due to come into force back in January 2012, however it was clear that the industry and City & Guilds were not ready with the new qualification and as such the date for implementation was pushed back to April 2013. However since then it has been pushed back further and is now set for the 6th July 2013.

Looking to get qualified?

If you are looking to qualify under the current scheme you still have 9 months to get trained and then register with a scheme provider. As long as you register before the 6th July 2012 the current qualification route will be valid and a course such as our Bronze or Silver package will suffice in terms of training requirements. This sounds like a long time, however it is likely there will be a rush of installers looking to complete their quals before the deadline. As such it is worth getting trained asap to avoid missing out.

Already Part Qualified?

There are also lots of people out there who have some but not all of their required qualifications. It is very important for these guys and girls to all get qualified before the deadline otherwise they may have to take the new qualification and repeat parts of their training. For instance this could mean if all you currently need is your 17th edition regs then you could be forced to sit a 6 week course and NVQ to get registered as a domestic installer. It is possible that we will be able to map people with previous quals into the new course, however this is not guaranteed and currently there is no mapping in place.

Want to do the new qualification?

If you are unable to register before the 6th July 2013 then you will need to ensure you train in the new qualification which is due to be ready for delivery very soon.

It is likely that the new qualification will be 2 weeks longer than our Bronze course and also include NVQ elements. As such it is likely that it will cost more and take longer to get qualified. It will also mean that you will have the latest qualification.

The new qualification will be called the City & Guilds 2397 Level 3 certificate in “Installing, Testing and Ensuring Compliance of Electrical Installations in Dwellings”. Now that is a mouthful and a half and as such we will mainly be referring to the course as the City & Guilds 2397 Domestic Electrician Course.

This is likely to be launched within the next month and rest assured that we will be one of the first centres to offer this in the UK.

We expect it to run over a 6 week period and also once you have finished your training you will then need to complete a portfolio of work before gaining the NVQ certificate.

More information will be available shortly, however if you have any questions please call us on 01293 529777.

The goal posts have been moved a few times on this but we are certain that the new deadline is not going to move.

For more information you can visit the IET website.


Categories: part p, domestic installer