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18th Edition Video Questions Answered

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 13th November 2018

We recently published a video in partnership with Prysmian on Facebook. The video has had an immense response and there were a number of questions raised by viewers of varying levels of experience. So, we thought it a great idea to bring all of those questions together into one blog post.

If you want to know the key dates effecting you check out this blog post here.

1. When do the regulations come into effect?

From January 2019, this means electricians need to have gained the updated qualification by then.

2. What does it mean for RCD breakers and how do they work?

The RCD is broken into two devices with no overload protection, it also has a built in circuit breaker. An RCBO combines a circuit breaker characteristics with additional protection given by the residual current device (RCD), which in turn monitors the earth fault leakage. An RCD on its own will not offer overload protection.

3. Differences in Inspection & Testing?

Inspection is simply a visual assessment of the electrical installation, whereas testing involves using measuring equipment to verify it is safe to into a service.

4. How are the changes to the way the PFC is measured and the changes in the certificate?

Chapters 61, 62 and 63 have all been deleted and replaced by chapters 64 and 65. No major changes to our approach to inspection and testing except ring final circuit conductors now fall under the “continuity of conductors” regulation 643.2. Supply polarity 643.6 needs to verify before the system is energised. PFC 643.7.3.201 is still required at all relevant points of the installation and appendix 12 goes into further details of the requirements and features for domestic installations. Regarding the new model certificates in BS7671 a few new columns have been added to the schedules of test results such as a maximum circuit Zs value, insulation resistance test voltages applied and a column for AFDD for functions tests (if applicable). A few other details have changed in the EIC, EICR and the schedule of inspections. The biggest change has to be the minor works certificate where more information is now required.

5. Why are the regulations updated so often?

The regulations are updated so often due to innovation and new and emerging technologies. The UK is a member is of Cenelec, a European committee who set the standards for electro technology which we are legally obligated to abide by. The likelihood is, we will remain in this commission post Brexit. The BSI (British Standards Institution) and IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) play a part in setting the new regulations. The IET collate new information and write the latest regulations and the BSI publish the documents.

6. When can we expect the 19th edition?

The likelihood is the first amendment will go ahead in approximately three years. Generally, looking at past editions a new edition will be published every 10 years.

7. Will the UK introduce flat twin and CPS with all conductors the same size and all insulated throughout their length?

The uninsulated CPS cable design developed and used in the UK for many years and we are unaware of any interest in changing it.

8. Are ‘YY type’ cables allowed for fixed installations?

In BS7671, it states all equipment we install should have a BS or BSEN specification standard. YY type cables have no specification, BS or EN so their use is discouraged. Technically this would be a departure from the BS7671 and must be recorded accordingly.

9. Are AFDD – Arc fault detection devices recommended?

In section 421.47 the Arc Fault is only recommended for providing additional safety against fire. However, it isn’t necessarily required for domestic properties but could be useful in the following types of premises:

- Any type of sleeping accommodation

- Fire propagating structures

- Properties such museums and art galleries with irreplaceable goods in

An AFDD will identify any Arc faults and they will isolate the circuit if any arc faults are detected to prevent fire.

10. SPD’s – what are they?

An SPD is a Search Protection Device. You have to install one of these devices when conducting an installation.  If you don’t, as a qualified electrician you have to provide a risk assessment as to why you don’t need to do this. An SPD detects current surges within an electrical system, these surges are monitored/picked up by SPD’s to protect the electrical installation. This is installed to reduce the risk of fire and protecting equipment.

11. What are fire resistant fixings?

These are generally steel or copper cable supports fixed directly to the structure of the building so that in the event of a fire cables remain in place for as long as possible. Before this clause cables were fixed with plastic which would not resist the fire and fallen cables would become a hazard to fire fighters. Four fire fighters died in two separate incidents as a result of their entanglement in the prematurely collapsed cables.


If you would like to watch the video head over to the Trade Skills 4U Facebook page: 

Also, if you would like to book onto an 18th Edition course we have a range of courses happening throughout the country as well as weekend courses. For more information click here:

Categories: electrical, training, 18th edition, electrician

Things to Consider When Pricing Up an Electrical Job

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 28th November 2016

If you’re newly qualified and decide to go it alone, then pricing up your first few jobs can be tricky if you don’t plan properly.

We’ve collated some processes to consider before dealing with customer requests. This will help you with your pricing structure and make sure you as the electrician are not left out of pocket.

Consumer Unit Change Over

When asked by the customer for the consumer unit to be changed’ it is always a good idea to carry out a Periodic Inspection or at least the ‘dead’ tests on the existing wiring.

It could actually end up costing you money if you fail to carry out the correct tests. If you have already agreed the change of a unit price and haven’t allowed for any unforeseen problems that need to be rectified post board change, you could be out of pocket, as adding on additional costs once you’ve agreed a price with a customer never goes down well. On top of this, you’ll most likely end up running over on your own allocated job time- and you know what they say?! Time is money!

Pre-board Change Over

Ze and Insulation resistance readings are always a good start with domestic properties. If the Ze is too high then this will need to be brought to the attention of the energy provider before you carry out the work. It would then be up to the energy provider to rectify any problems with the existing earthing to the building, this will need to be explained to the customer.

Remember always work safely and use the safe isolation procedure.

Hidden Problems With Electrical Wiring

As mentioned before, insulation readings are important, but even more so when changing a re-wireable BS3036 consumer unit to the modern split load RCD consumer units.

A fault to earth could have been there for a long time on the old fuse board, but with sensitive RCD’s being installed in the new consumer unit these existing faults could cause nuisance tripping. The saying ‘well it worked before’ could be the next thing you hear from the customer. In this instance, always ensure any repairs to the existing wiring are dealt with before the consumer unit change goes ahead. Remember you are the qualified electrician certificating the installation, the customer needs to take advice from you.

Price Accordingly

When pricing up a job, try and get as much information as possible from the customer when you carry out the initial visit. This information will help to ensure you adequately price the job and that you can allocate the right amount of time per job whilst ordering the correct materials and equipment. Another handy tip is, if you don’t know how long a job is going to take i.e. when fault finding, it might be beneficial to charge per hour rather than price for the complete job, this will provide you and the customer with an indication of a price.

So remember, planning, preparing and ensuring the correct electrical tests are completed before you get into the job will enable you to set a price that will in the long run save you time and money.


Categories: electrical, domestic, job, pricing

Why Soldiers Make Great Sparkies

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 11th July 2016

At Trade Skills 4 U we believe those from the forces possess the best characteristics to work as an electrician. As the company is ELC registered, service men and women can use enhanced learning credits towards any of our resettlement courses. Providing them the help they need to start a new career.

Traits between an electrician and soldiers are very similar including; discipline, patience and the ability to problem solve. Combine this with the UK’s current need for qualified electricians, there’s no better time to consider a long and fruitful career in electrical field.

They’re disciplined

Electricians have to follow a logical structure when it comes to installation, inspection and testing. There’s also policies and regulations to adhere to as well as a pattern and sequence that need to be undertaken on each job particularly when inspecting and testing. Soldiers are also excellent listeners and have been trained to follow instructions to the hilt.

They don’t mind hard graft

Soldiers are keen and committed to taking on a challenge and completing a job so it’s finished on time. They are used to both physical and mental hard work, which sets them in good stead to get a job done- big or small.

They don’t mind physical labour

Being an electrician is a hands on job, and can be physically demanding at times in a domestic or commercial setting. Coming from an Army background can be hugely beneficial when entering the electrical trade. Soldiers are at the peak of their physical fitness where stamina is part and parcel of the job. Therefore, they are the perfect candidate to take on a hands-on job.

They like to use brains and brawn

Completing an electrical job requires a combination of strategy building, design work, problem solving and manual labour. Being part of the forces requires soldiers to use their brain to retain information and think quickly. Some electrical jobs can be complicated but with the skillset of a soldier a hard task can be finished competently.

They are honest and usually true to their word

Everyone has heard of the horror stories about tradesman not being completely honest. Soldiers possess a sense of integrity and loyalty. Not only that they are used to following a code of behaviour which sets them apart from the average tradesman and makes them standout as the right man for the job.

They often have a great network of contacts

Being part of a troop and creating a close bond with those you work with in the army has many benefits when a soldier is out of the forces. They will generally have a wide network of connections which can be useful when either calling for additional help or planning a project that requires different disciplines.

They are organised, clean and tidy

There’s nothing better than an electrician who tidies up after them self! Strict regimes and structure are embedded into those who enter the forces from day one. Meaning there should be no mess during or after a job.

There’s many different courses that those from the forces can consider. A C&G 2365 will enable you to work in commercial, domestic and industrial settings, whereas the Bronze and Silver packages will give you the skillset and qualifications necessary to undertake domestic wiring. The qualifications are flexible which means some courses can be split into 4 parts at 1 week intervals (Bronze) that can be adapted to suit your needs. Whilst the 2365 is 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. This means if you are working whilst undertaking the qualification it gives you the option of working part time. You can also come back and complete elements of the qualification at a time that suits you.

Trade Skills 4 U is very supportive of those who have served in the forces. We want to help them succeed in any way we can which is why we offer a Forgotten Heroes bursary scheme. We offer free training in our centre every week for someone who has been recently injured in military conflicts or to one of our many Forgotten Heroes who are struggling to find their feet following their discharge from the armed forces. To find out how to access the courses speak to a member of the team today 01293 529 777 or click here for resettlement courses or the Forgotten Heroes Scheme.

Categories: electrical, qualifications, training, gatwick, help for heroes, warrington

David Blaine to be 'Electrified' following Electrical Safety Week

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 4th October 2012

Following on the from the 7 day long campaign to raise awareness for electrical Safety, Daredevil and illusionist David Blaine is going to take on his most shocking – excuse the pun- display yet as he is going to spend three days and nights being zapped by 1 million volts.

This new challenge will see the crazy 39 year old don a medieval style chainmail suit complete with wire helmet during the 72 hour task which he has aptly called ‘Electrified.’

The show – if you can call it that – will be projected live at the Truman Brewery in London from 7pm on Saturday and visitors are said to be able to interact with Blaine for an hour from 9pm.

Obviously it goes without saying this is certainly not something to be tried at home or anywhere else for that matter. As to why this gent likes to put himself through ultimate paces is anyone’s guess.

To get a full insight into the dangers of electricity; go on our newly accredited City & Guilds MOD1 & MOD2 courses. They provide a real insight into general electrics; both the installation side and the principles behind installation. 

Maybe we should have offered one to Blaine himself? I wonder whether he realises the effects 1 million volts will have on his body?

Bit late now eh? Nevermind.... :)



Categories: electrical, events

Combining the best to deliver better

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 25th September 2012

This week begins with an announcement confirming the beginning of an exciting partnership formed between TradeSkills4U and building services software company, Amtech. This brand new relationship, created to add value to each company’s current services, will provide both companies existing customers with a range of discounts on first class electrician training and a range of specialist software.


Yes software and exciting software at that. Amtech produces a real range of purpose built programmes aimed contracting companies who want to take the stress out of the everyday running of their businesses. From today, all Tradeskills4u customers will be able to receive discounts on a range of software which is guaranteed to start saving you time and money.

The best tool out there for TradeSkills4U customers has to be the ‘WorkSmart’ programme. Specifically aimed at smaller contracting companies, this programme is an easy to use tool which helps you produce correct estimates, price jobs and write up invoices. Powered by LUCKINS, WorkSmart houses thousands of products at their current listed trade price and will be automatically calculated using your preferred supplier’s discounts. Within WorkSmart you can add labour rates, mark ups and price up materials accurately, taking the stress out of the admin side of the job which most contractors tend to dislike.

Sounds good doesn't it? Tradeskills4u customers will be able to access this software at a discounted rate once they have successfully booked and paid for their courses.

To find out more about the partnership, visit our Amtech partner’s page.

Why not take a look at our recent Press Release about our Amtech partnership by following this link.


Categories: electrical, company news, partnerships

Back to School; Autumn Term Begins

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 18th September 2012

The month of September resonates the beginnings of a new academic year. The ‘back to school’ nostalgia, imbedded deep within like January’s ‘new year new start’ romanticism always leaves us with the desire to reinvest in our most prized possession; ourselves.

So as the joys of our last bank holiday are forgotten and we climb into the autumnal season, it is hardly surprising that education is front page news. With controversy over the latest GCSE results and government announcing reviews to course material and exams over the coming years, it seems change is at the forefront of the academic agenda.

Even though these expected changes have been brought about in a negative manner, they will no doubt help improve the relevancy of these qualifications and help ensure they are appropriately fulfilling for the future generations.

Standing knee deep in the digital era it is important that our educational routes are updated alongside the marvellous technology our world continues to develop. Proactive revision to course materials and examinations can only highlight the strategic commitment and dedication to the course subject itself and we too are introducing some changes for the new academic year.

City & Guilds, one of our main governing bodies, have recently launched a range of new courses of which we have begun to successfully deliver. The City & Guilds 2394, 2395 and 2396 are all new courses that are taking the place of the well-known 2391-10 and 2391-20 courses. These new quals are more rounded replacements and have additions such as ‘three phase.’ Having been updated and sculpted for  those looking to verify, test, inspect and certify; candidates taking these courses can be assured that they are taking the most up to date and relevant qualifications in their industry.

On a similar note the new City & Guilds 2365 (full commercial electricians course) is currently in full flow within our centre. This electrician’s course replaces the very successful City & Guilds 2330 courses which are due to expire in December 2012.

We have also introduced specialist NAPIT courses such as the  NAPIT Blueflame ISO 17024 Course and the 27 day NAPIT 17024 Electrical Installer Package which are exciting and unique courses in their own right and brand new for 2012. 

In line with these new courses (and our passion for digital) we have also updated our brochures online. Customers can now view our brochures both interactively online in Flash format or download them to keep and print as PDF’s.

To view our brochures online, visit our brochures page or contact one of our customer advisors who will be happy to send you one via email.

So whether it’s an update course or the means to a completely new career, September is the ideal time to take the leap to train. Visit our electricians courses page to view our entire range of qualifications or call us on 01293 529777 to speak to our experienced advisors. Either way be assured we’ll be on hand to guide you through the options we have available.


Categories: electrical, electrical courses, new courses, city & guilds, company news

Government rolls up their sleeves to create 140,000 jobs

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 6th September 2012

In a statement released today, David Cameron has released details of his plans to help revitalise the construction industry. His statement highlighted details of how the cabinet are pursuing the removal of some of the restrictions that currently surround measures to gain planning permission.

This announcement comes at a time where the construction industry has received a slight dip in growth due to the amount of hurdles homeowners have to overcome in order to begin works on their homes. According to the independent “almost 200,000 households apply each year for permission to make improvements such as conservatories, rear extensions and garage conversions;” however the process of gaining planning permission can take years. By temporarily removing the bureaucracy surrounding planning permission, homeowners will be able to expand with no need to ask their local authority. This rule will apply to shops, offices and industrial units during this time.

The current rules stipulate that single-storey extensions can be construction freely without the need for planning permission providing they do not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by a set distance. The limit for semidetached properties is 3 meters whilst an extra meter is given to detached properties looking to extend in this way. Under the new rules, set to be enforced next month, these limits will be doubled however these changes are not currently set to apply to loft extensions.

“The measures announced today show this government is serious about rolling its sleeves up and doing all it can to kick-start the economy,” Cameron said.

“Some of the proposals are controversial; others have been a long time in coming,” he said. “But along with our housing strategy, they provide a comprehensive plan to unleash one of the biggest homebuilding programmes this country has seen in a generation. That means more investment around the county; more jobs for our people; and more young families able to realize their dreams and get on the housing ladder.”

George Osborne’s ‘£60 billion’ investment into the infrastructure is also set to help first-time buyers who will be offered equity loans of up to 20% of the property value that can be used as a deposit.


Categories: david cameron, electrical, company news, government

Stand up and say 'I am' with the NICEIC

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 16th July 2012

Today the NICEIC has announced a new national advertising campaign that will be targeting a wide range of consumers and specifiers. Aptly called ‘I am’ the campaign is intended to raise awareness of their database of over 25,000 fully qualified electrical contractors, whilst focusing on the message ‘The Electricians Britain Trusts.’

I am will be seen by “landlords, facilities managers, architects, builders, letting agents, local authorities and housing associations over the next 6 months will hopefully help raise awareness of the important of hiring a qualified electrical installers,” said the NICEIC in a press statement.

“The eye catching designs will feature in a host of popular national titles including the Daily Mail, Daily Express and Sunday Telegraph.”


Trade Skills 4U are very proud to have the NICEIC on our list of accreditation bodies and have come together to offer an exclusive fast track service to becoming registered on the many schemes the NICEIC have to offer. Both companies believe it is important to not only promote the benefits of becoming registered but also make the process as easy, cost-effective and time efficient as possible, helping you the electrician get to work and start earning. This, along with a variety of discounts available to Trade Skills 4U customers, training with the UK’s premier electrical trainer couldn’t be any better!

To read about our fast track service with the NICEIC see our NICEIC fast track page.

We also offer a similar service with NAPIT. Visit our NAPIT offer page here.


Categories: electrical

Part P to reform

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 11th July 2012

Today we can reveal the government’s response to the Parliamentary Select Committees report on Part P of the building regulations which comes in the form of a 14 page document confirming that Part P will be made mandatory but improved.

This comes as no surprise seeing at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) indicated these findings in their report which was published in earlier this year. The report outlines the need for revisions however as government are “satisfied that Part P has been successful in driving up standards and in reducing the number of electrical faults. We would therefore be reluctant to endorse any diminution of the scope or operation of Part P, which might reverse that trend.”


In attempt to raise public awareness over electrical safety in the home, the government have said they “have introduced new provisions, which require scheme operators to promote and publicise the benefits of Competent Person Schemes and raise public awareness of the responsibility to comply with 12 the Building Regulations. We see merit in the scheme providers working in partnership with retailers and manufacturers and will encourage them to do so.” 

However the government feels that “There are already good examples of retailers providing the public with information on the Building Regulation and safety requirements.  The Government would welcome further voluntary action by retailers and manufacturers but at present the Government does not believe there is a need for regulation."

The DCLG have confirmed they will be “actively seeking all available evidence” before any final decisions. Any changes are likely to come into place in April 2013.

The full report can be downloaded here.


Categories: electrical, part p, government

New Quick Links To Buy Electrical Books

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 11th July 2012

In an age where you literally want to see – click – own, we understand the need to make the ‘online shopping process’ a smooth and effortless one. Seeing as we specialise in a service not a product, we have never really been able to actively present and display merchandise on our site, let alone point you to the products you may need the most.

As we provide technical know-how and an education as such, this requires more of an explanation to the service you will be receiving rather than visual prompts for shiny new tools. However in a twist of fate our service does come hand in hand with some recommendations and those recommendations are reading materials.

Now when I say reading material you know what I mean, it’s just a rather sophisticated way of saying books that you will need for your course. Books like the ‘onsite guide’ and ‘Electricians Guide to the Building Regs’ are books that you will not only need for your course, but blinking good books to have for reference in your career. As these are prone to revision so there is a real necessity to make sure we’re pointing you the most up to date editions. So behold our new quick click links which direct you straight to amazon (a website that allows you to buy pretty much everything at a great price) so you can buy the books you need with little hassle. Pow!

You will find these links on the bottom of most course pages that included recommended or required reading material. 

They look like this:

All you have to do is link the links and buy the book. We don’t mind if you want them delivered here or you’d prefer to have them delivered to your home address ready for some bedtime reading before your course – either way as long as you’re equipped with the bits you need to better your life and career then we’re happy. 

So enjoy your new stress free booking buying experience and remember -you owe us one.






Categories: electrical, company news