Following the revised Part P document issued in April, it is now possible to certify notifiable work using a registered third party as an alternative to using building control. However it remains unclear as to where the 3rd party 'register' is, so whilst the new changes were implemented on the 6th April 2013, it seems that there is no register of installers and electricians who are willing to sign off another persons electrical work.
The Part P regulations clearly stipulate that you can only use a registered third party to certify your installation so ringing round your local electricians is not an option. The register has to be in place before this service is available.
At TradeSkills4U we have decided to do some digging around and try to find out what the situation is with regard to the register of 3rd party installers, and if, indeed there are plans to have one.
What happening now?
After speaking to the current scheme providers, it has come to light that responsibility for producing the register ultimately lies with the government. It is the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) who ultimately decide on the scheme architecture, such as who ultimately qualifies to go on the register and minimum technical competences.
The DCLG are working in collaboration with scheme providers with representatives from NICEIC, NAPIT and ELECSA to ensure that the final register is meaningful and useful to the public.
One scheme provider stated “Section 3 of the recently revised Part P document introduces certification by a registered third party. This is in addition to self-certification by a registered competent person and certification by a building control body. The legislation necessary to enable the introduction of Third Party Register(s) isn’t in place yet. Work is under way within the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to set out the scheme architecture and requirements for the register and the minimum technical competences required. We do know that the scheme will be UKAS accredited.”
Although the details of the register are being finalised, the DCLG have been able to say that third party installers must be registered with a DCLG-authorised third party certification scheme. This will be in addition to a competent person scheme. This will enable registered electricians to do what is currently being done by building control bodies – inspect and test electrical installation work and certify compliance to the building regulations.
DCLG hope to invite applications to run third party certification schemes within the next few months and schemes that pass the assessment process will then be listed in amended building regulations.
The IET are also working with the DCLG by developing a special Part P inspection and test form which registered third party installers will complete as part of their certification process.
More about the third party certification
There are many changes happening on a daily basis and the final legislation is not expected to be in place until July 2013, however for electricians and domestic installers who are eager to know more, particularly as to whether they will qualify may be interested to know what the current position is with regards to the third party register.
The scheme will be based on EN 45011 and be required to be UKAS accredited
The technical requirements for the scheme are in development
The scheme covers England ONLY
Photo ID will be required for the individual showing competencies
A separate register of named individuals will be made publicly available – probably on the Competent Persons website
Professional Indemnity Insurance will be required
Work that is third party certified will have to be notified to the scheme provider
There is a bespoke form being developed for use when ‘certifying’ third party work
Applications from interested parties to operate a scheme will be invited potentially in July 2013
There is ministerial support for the schemes
When will the register be finished?
Remember this is a guide only and there will be amendments and updates issued frequently. There is a suggestion that the first scheme could be launched by October 2013, however this is a very optimistic deadline. This is simply because once the DCLG have finalised their part in defining the scheme architecture, the scheme providers will then need to look at the requirements and set up the scheme. There is no way of really telling how long this will take until the providers know exactly how the scheme will need to operate. So don’t hold your breath it probably won’t come into force until the new year.
What happens in the meantime?
Electricians have cited concerns about insurance and whether scheme providers will insure electricians and provide the usual guarantee when signing off other peoples work or whether they need to arrange their own additional insurance for this purpose. As there is nothing set in stone yet, Trade Skills 4 U would recommend that electricians do not sign off anyone else’s work at the moment until details of the upcoming register have been finalised and clarified by the DCLG.
Within the industry there is also much debate as to the value of the Third Party Register. Some see it as an opportunity to generate an extra revenue source whilst others have concerns and misgivings about signing off the work of others. A recent survey by Professional Electrician Magazine is showing a near 50 / 50 split in opinion on this.