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Free Part P Guide for Beginners

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 1st October 2013

We get asked numerous questions every day about Part P. Many people who are new to the industry are confused as to what exactly Part P is and why it is important. As such we have compiled a handy PDF guide that you can download, print and read at your leisure. The guide answers some specific questions such as:

What exactly is Part P?

Which types of work require a Part P Certificate?

What is a special Location?

What are minor works?

What are Electrical Installation Certificates?

Why is this important for you?

How can you certify your work?

What do you need to do to join a Part P scheme?

The guide is intended to give you an overview of Part P and help you understand the impact it has on you as a new entrant into the industry.

The pdf can be downloaded by clicking the image above or this link below:

Download our Free PDF Part P Guide for Beginners Here

Need Adobe PDF Reader? Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: part p

Checklist for Joining a Part P Scheme

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 6th August 2013

Practically every electrician out there knows of the importance and advantages of joining a Part P Scheme. However with so many different opinions about the different scheme providers and what their joining requirements might be, we decided to speak directly to the main scheme providers to find out what the joining requirements actually are.

Part P was introduced in 2005 and became a defining minimum standard for electrical safety within domestic properties.  This means that electrical works notifiable under the Part P Building Regulations must be certified either via a local authority or through self certification schemes such as the NICEIC, ELECSA and NAPIT.

However at a cost of £150 upwards for a local authority to assess electrical work, it makes far more sense for electricians to join a Part P scheme and to date there are over 25,000 contractors registered with a Part P Scheme and over 1 million jobs per year are notified.

Who are the main scheme providers?

The main scheme providers are well known throughout the electrical industry as the NICEIC, NAPIT and ELECSA.  On the face of it, they all seem to offer the same essential services – that is to be able to certify electrical work and provide a warranty to the customer for work carried out.

Taking a look in the search engines, it is easy to see why it quickly becomes difficult to decide which scheme provider to select when taking a look at how each scheme provider describe themselves:

NICEIC – the home of contracting excellence

NAPIT – the complete solution

ELECSA – in a major partnership with the ECA and NICEIC

The ECA, NICEIC and ELECSA are operated by an organisation known as Certsure LLP.  A significant part of this partnership was the creation of the Electrical Safety Register which all electricians registered with the NICEIC, ECA and ELECSA are listed in.  Approximately 80% of Part P registrants are on this register.

NAPIT offer their members their own register known as the Electric Safe Register which was created at the same time as the Electrical Safety Register.  The Electric Safe Register is open to all 7 DCLG approved competent person scheme providers and all are encouraged to join.

How do I join a scheme provider?

Once you have achieved the relevant qualifications to join there are a number of things you will need to have in place.  To save you time, we have done the hard work for you by producing a checklist of requirements for the NICEIC, NAPIT and ELECSA.

Joining either ELECSA or NICEIC is straightforward.  Contractors undergo an assessment process covering a representative sample of their work, their premises, documentation, equipment and competence of key supervisory staff.

The assessment is split into 2 sections – office and on site.  The office assessment is there to ensure you have sufficient systems in place to provide a good customer service and the on site assessment assesses technical competence.

Office Assessment Checklist

Warranty: All installers must provide clients with a warranty for completed work.  Prior to registering with a self certification scheme, the work can be signed off by a local authority who takes responsibility for the work.

Certification: Adequately completed certificates should be available for review.  Again, if you are registering with a Part P scheme for the first time, these should be completed by the local authority signing off your work.

Technical Library: The latest copy of BS7671 and the On site Guide are to be held along with a copy of the Memorandum of Guidance to the Electricity at Work Regulations and Approved Document P.

Job Notifications: On surveillance visits, all work undertaken during the past 12 months will be checked to ensure work which is notifiable has been notified.  Surveillance visits can be carried out for both new Part P scheme joiners and existing members.

Public Liability Insurance: At least £2 million must be held and the certificate produced to prove the insurance is current.

Test Equipment: All test meters require a certificate of calibration or a record of regularly taken test results against a calibrated check box.

On Site Assessment Checklist

Traditionally, this involves the checking of at least 2 previous jobs to ensure the work complies with BS7671:2008 and the Building Regulations.  The work must have been carried out within the last 12 months.

 

NAPIT has streamlined their joining system to make it easier for trades people to understand the membership requirements and what they are required to do. Once you have registered you will need to make sure you have the following things available:

 

Office Assessment Checklist

£2 million public liability insurance and £250,000 professional indemnity insurance

A calibration certificate needs to be issued to NAPIT

Technical Reference Documents: The latest copy of BS7671 and the On site Guide are to be held along with a copy of the Memorandum of Guidance to the Electricity at Work Regulations and Approved Document P.

On Site Assessment Checklist

An installation with a minimum of 2 new circuits will be assessed which can be located in a customers home, friends or family or even your own home.

Talking about the benefits of joining NAPIT, Martin Bruno NAPIT COO says “Our members chose NAPIT because they want to be able to legally self-certify their own work. They also join us to gain the esteem that comes with membership of a professional organisation and the ability to display the NAPIT logo as a mark of trust and assurance to their customers.

We offer a Complete Solution which can significantly reduce costs for those who need to notify across multiple trades, along with a host of additional benefits which include; technical support, a legal helpline, consumer publicity, an online forum, a work quality guarantee scheme for Competent Person Scheme members, a regular magazine and newsletters, discounted training, and competitively priced tools and equipment for both hire and purchase.

More importantly NAPIT are a Trade Association, giving our members a ‘voice’.  National Trade Association meetings between NAPIT Registered Installers are held throughout the year across the country to discuss the issues that effect them at a local level, these are then reported back and NAPIT assist in resolving them.  Along with industry surveys and consultations with our members, this is something we work hard at growing to support our membership.”

Conclusion

Contractors often find that they get a lot out of the assessment experience when suitably prepared.

Many electricians find it provides a useful opportunity to discuss technical issues of their own with the assessors, as although there to assess you they are always happy to act as a 'sounding board' by providing useful information to improve your electrical work and ultimately your business.

 

Categories: napit, niceic, elecsa, part p

Why DIY Electrical Work Is Not A Good Idea

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 17th April 2013

DIY electrical work seems to be hitting the headlines more often as more households continue to struggle in tough economic times.

Trade Skills 4U are highlighting the message that the temptation to carry out DIY electrical in your home is never worth the possible consequences that could arise.  With our homes being our main security keeping our closest family safe, its unfortunate that many householders take chances on the safety of their home electrics.

Every year in the UK unsafe electrical work in the home is the cause of 12,500 house fires, 750 serious injuries and 10 deaths.  Despite these frightening statistics, 60% of UK residents are still happy to carry out electrical DIY in their homes.

We're not talking about small jobs either.  Much of the electrical work carried out is notifiable under the Part P building regulations and worryingly it seems one in 10 householders are still unaware of Part P even though there continues to be a huge drive to educate home owners on the importance of Part P Electrical works.   It comes as no surprise to learn that three quarters of those doing DIY electrical work aren't aware that the work they are carrying out is subject to law under the Part P Building Regulations.

A report carried out by the NICEIC is urging householders to rethink their actions as much of this work is compromising the safety of themselves and their family.  DIY work is neither tested for safety not certified which could cause problems in the future if the home is sold.  This is in response to the report findings which reveals one in ten home owners have broken planning and building restrictions to carry out billions of pounds worth of home improvements.  Two thirds of home owners cited in the report would rather carry out electrical work themselves than employ a qualified electrician.

So what electrical DIY work are householders doing?  Over a quarter – 28% - would go so far as to install new garden lighting which carries the additional risk of being installed in damp and wet conditions.  The installation of garden lighting should always be carried out by a qualified electrician.  Over a third of respondents said they would rewire a socket, three in ten would fit a new light switch.  The NICEIC recommends that if a householder is determined to carry out their own DIY electrical work then the work must be notified to the local authority building control department who can inspect the finished job.

Whatever method is used to install home electrics whether by using a qualified electrician or carrying out DIY work, a Part P certificate must be obtained.

If you do really want to re-wire your own home you can get qualified in electrical installation and then notify any major works to building control who will issue your customer a Part P certificate. Our Bronze Course package will bring you right up to speed with the skills in installation, testing, wiring regs and building regs.

 

Categories: diy, part p

Are You Ready for Part P Changes on the 6th April?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 4th April 2013

Hopefully if you have been following our blog you will be fully aware of the changes that are taking place in the industry on the 6th April 2013 otherwise known as Saturday this week! Wow how time flies.

This has been a date in many electricians calendar for some time as on this date a number of changes will come into force that impact on 2 things:

1. How you notify work and the type of work that is notifiable

2. How you get qualified in order to register on a competent person scheme

So what do you need to know?

So for those already out there working in the industry actually it means that there is a little bit less paperwork to do. From the 6th April 2013 kitchens are no longer classed as special locations. As such minor works in a kitchen no longer need to be notified to building control or your Part P scheme. This is great news for kitchen fitters and the like, however the new Part P regs do stipulate that anyone installing electrics needs to be competent to do so and any installation should comply with the latest 17th edition regulations whether it is notifiable or not. If unsafe work is found then legal action can be taken.

Also from the 6th there will be a register of third party electricians who are able to sign off the work of others. Currently this role is only fulfilled by building control, however soon they will have competition from private electricians who will be able to inspect and test third party installations. It looks as if this register of third party electricians is a little way off just now. The industry is yet to confirm exactly who will be able to register on this. Anyone who has completed a 2391, 2395 or Qualified Supervisor course are most likely to get onto the register but at present this “third party register” is still to be finalised.

Currently you must have passed your 17th edition in order to register on a competent persons scheme. You must also be able to pass the assessments, which means you should be able to re-wire a house, be competent in inspection and testing as well as have a good grasp of the Part P building regs. However officially from the 6th April you will need to have also passed a qualified supervisors course before you can register. At present it appears that until these courses are more widely available in the UK some scheme providers will still register you under the current requirements. We don’t know how long this will continue so if you are looking to register the advice is speak with a scheme provider first so you know for sure you will get onto the scheme. We highlighted recently that ELECSA have already said they expect to register people under the current requirements for the foreseeable future. However that is a little vague, it does suggest at least for the next few months you should be ok, but don’t hang about if you do want to get registered.

 

Categories: part p

Are You Ready For Changes To Qualified Supervisor And New Part P Requirements?

Posted by Carl Bennett on 24th January 2013

For some time the industry has been looking at the qualifications and skills required to operate as a Registered Competent person, (now known as a Qualified Supervisor) to formalise with regulation those who might work with electrics in any capacity. After two years or more of deliberation they are set to change the qualification route and coincide with the changes to Building regulations on 6th April 2013.

Why The Change?

Well safety for one and raising standards for those involved in the installation of electrics is another, something that has been championed many times in this magazine.

Let’s face it, at the moment, anyone completely untrained or un qualified can go into an electrical supplier and grab anything off the shelf and install it with virtually no regulation check or legal consequence. Surely that situation can’t be right, not only is it potentially unsafe but it also undermines the electrical and related trade industries and makes it difficult for small contractor companies to compete with unregistered installers.

So the powers that be have got to grips with this issue and are bringing in a few important changes.

What are the most significant changes?

Well they’ve changed the status of some currently notifiable work to become non notifiable.

They’ve brought in ability for a Third party certifier to certificate another’s work.

They’ve raised the bar for the Qualified Supervisor requiring them to have a laid down set of qualifications and experience.

They’ve stated that anyone involved in the installation, inspection and testing of notifiable electrical work that would use the Building Control certification system, to be competent and qualified.

It enables long serving but unqualified ‘Sparkies’ a route to proper recognition of their experience to become Qualified Supervisors.

There are of course a number of other changes to building regulations in addition to the ones above but we think these are the most significant.

These changes represent a clear legal requirement for people to be qualified and competent, no matter how tenuous their involvement in electrical installation and gives realistic options for experienced operators and that must be a positive.

Couple that with the initiative of the Electrical Safety register and we are heading towards a voluntary upgrading of standards with an ambition of a fully perhaps mandatory licenced system in the future? Who knows .

The new changes reflect the diverse and developing nature of the many industries and trades that are involved in electrical installation work, whether you’re happy with the changes or not, they’ve been made, so we all must work within them, including training providers like Tradeskills4U. Smart businesses adapt, we will certainly have to.

Opportunities?

The entrepreneurs amongst you will have noticed a few opportunities, like becoming a Third Party certifier or a Qualified Supervisor of other trades, certainly the electrical contractors that can offer the most services will prosper. Maybe a register of third party certifiers is a good idea?

So the clear message from the Electrical establishment is get properly qualified, register on a Competent persons scheme and an Electrical Safety Register. Only by encouraging those involved in electrical installations in whatever capacity, to do the right thing, can the electrical industry progress for the benefit of all.

 

Categories: part p, qualified supervisor

Tradeskills4u discuss Part P changes with Clive Betts MP

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 29th October 2012

Tradeskills4u welcomed Sheffield MP Clive Betts to our Gatwick facility last week.

Mr Betts who has responsibility for reviewing the Building regulations and in particular Part P building regulations had a thorough and robust discussion with Trade Skills 4U MD Carl Bennett on the implications of the review in to building regulations initiated by the government’s desire to reduce red tape and over regulation.

Electrical safety is of course the most important part of building regulations and it is our view that there is no doubt that the Part P building regulations have driven up safety standards within the electrical industry. Prior to Part P it was a free for all; let’s just remember where we were back then, Part P was brought in to increase safety.

Unintended Consequences

We spoke about the merits of the competent person’s schemes and the potential unintended consequences of any alteration in the qualification standards of the persons responsible for signing off installations. We must be careful if we restrict the signing off of the electrical installations by registered installers to NVQ Level 3 electricians only. It will be like pushing ten lanes worth of traffic into one lane. Good for the NVQ Level 3 Sparkie, not good for the customer. And a Qualified Supervisor Sparkie rushing around signing off multiple installations undertaken by competent installers is restrictive to business, has unemployment implications, is unnecessary over regulation and hardly good for safety of the public.

We think the system works quite well for those properly registered on competent installer’s schemes allowing them to sign off their own work. Where it is undermined is where people whom are neither trained or qualified undertaking electrical installations and go undetected by building control.

Let’s make sure we understand who the bad guys are here. They are not in our view, the properly registered Domestic Installer or associated trades. These guys undertake training, take qualifications, register with scheme operators like the NICEIC, get assessed, obtain insurances and operate perfectly valid businesses.

The bad guys are the many thousands who fly under the radar, you will find them in queues in wholesalers up and down the country and they are helped by the under resourced policing of Part P and a supply system that allows unregistered installers to buy electrical equipment.

Encourage these people to take training, take qualifications and that will raise safety. It will also level the playing field for hard pressed sparkies.

Be careful what you change is our message.

 

Categories: clive betts, part p

A Step in the Right Direction for Electricians

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 25th October 2012

Every electrician is familiar with the frustration of competing with Bob from down the pub or Jim the handyman who covers everything from carpentry to electrics.  The types who can always do the job for half the price and don't see any point in a Part P certificate.

After years of electricians feeling like banging their head against a brick wall when seeing countless people purchasing major electrical installation equipment such as consumer units and cable from High Street stores, it looks as though there is finally some good news on the horizon for tackling this on going concern.

MP's are addressing the need for the greater use of Part P Registered electricians in a select committee report.  The report has issued key findings which identify some well needed improvements to Part P and the public awareness of it.

Greater control over electrical equipment sold from DIY stores is top of the agenda with instructions advising the buyer to use a registered electrician to install the equipment.  This is great news for electricians who have long been angered by the continuing unsafe practices of DIY stores.

The committee will be writing to key DIY stores advising them to produce this important advice on their electrical products.  This essential advice will address the need to increase public awareness of electrical safety in the home as well as highlight the important work a Part P registered electrician does to ensure the safety of householders in the UK.

There is also talk of the possibility of introducing mandatory registration (or licensing) to prevent unlicensed individuals from purchasing such electrical equipment.  The committee will be looking into this possibility during a review in 2 years time.

The news has been welcomed by NAPIT who say they've submitted evidence to suggest that 90% of its members support the introduction of mandatory registration.

At Trade Skills 4U we also welcome this move.  No member of the public should be subjected to dangerous works from unregistered electricians.  We always advise home owners to check their electrician is registered with a Part P scheme such as NAPIT or NICEIC and to ensure their electrician has completed appropriate electrical training

As a trainer in electrical courses, we cannot recommend enough the importance of only using a qualified Part P electrician to undertake work in your home.  All persons working on your electrical installation should have completed an electrical course and be Part P registered before commencing work.  Please check qualifications and check their registration by calling the Part P scheme directly to confirm their membership.

Categories: part p, diy

QUALIFICATION UPDATE: Domestic Installer Quals Changing July 2013

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 8th October 2012

THIS UPDATE IS NOW OUT OF DATE AND HAS BEEN SUPERCEDED BY THIS POST

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: domestic installer, part p

Was Part P introduced following the death of MP’s Daughter?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 3rd August 2012

Time has a way of twisting the truth and since Part P was introduced a number of rumours have been going around as to why. The main one that most people in the industry believe to be true is that Part P was introduced and rushed through the parliamentary process because an MP’s daughter was electrocuted.

The rumour is based on some facts as Mary Wherry, the Daughter of MP Jenny Tonge was tragically killed when she was electrocuted in her own home.

 

The circumstances of her death were a direct result of shoddy workmanship and bad luck. A new kitchen had been fitted in her home back in 1999. 2 years later her husband had fitted a drainer below the extractor fan. A cable connected to the fan had been fitted at a 5 degree angle meaning it veered into an area he did not expect it to be. When he screwed the drainer into the wall the screw was left almost touching the wire. As the drainer moved slightly over the years it finally came into contact with the wire electrifying it.  This in itself would not usually result in a deadly shock, however Mrs Wherry's shock proved fatal because her leg was touching a metal-fronted dishwasher door, completing the circuit.

However the above incident occurred well after the Part P building regs we in consultation stage. In fact the timeline of events are as follows:

May 2002 - The consultation document for Part P was issued.

September 2002 - The results of the consultation were published.

13th July 2004 - The first Part P amendment to the Building Regulations was made and laid before Parliament on 22nd of July 2004.

31st July 2004 - Mary Wherry, Jenny Tonge's daughter, was tragically killed.

The incident would have highlighted even more just how important regulation of the electrical trades is. Since they have been introduced Part P has been shown to save many lives and in a recent consultation looking to reduce red tape it was recommended that Part P be retained. The report said:

"From the evidence we have received, we are satisfied that Part P has been successful in driving up standards and in reducing the number of electrical faults,”

“It is the only legal framework in England which protects the consumer from unsafe electrical work in the home and is vitally important considered that every week in the UK, one person dies from an electrical accident and well over a quarter of a million (350,000,000) are seriously injured every year.”

The tragedy again highlights how dangerous electricity can be and how the simplest of deviances from normal procedures can cost lives.

It is clear from the above that Part P is here to stay and that it was no knee jerk reaction but a carefully planned and required step to help save lives and reduce electrical faults. If it had been in place before Mrs Wherry’s kitchen was installed then it is quite likely it could have prevented the tragic accident.

These days all installer need to be Part P registered. In order to register on a Part P Scheme installers must ensure they are up to speed with the Part P building regs and 17th edition wiring regs. Most will attend Part course and 17th edition training in order to prove competence in these areas.

 

Categories: part p

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

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