In its report, published on Tuesday 20th May, the government said there was no case to introduce a mandatory register for electricians. The government’s response noted the setting up costs and upheaval it would create for firms in the industry if a mandatory register was established.
The government also said it would be unreasonable to require every individual within the domestic sector to have a NVQ Level 3 qualification as many businesses employ trainees and apprentices to help carry out their work.
‘When the Select Committee published its report in March we urged caution and that an industry sense check was required,’ commented Emma Clancy, CEO of Certsure, which operates the NICEIC and ELECSA brands.
‘We welcome the fact government has listened to the industry and support its response. The Select Committee report put forward some positive recommendations which we supported, including the development of one single, easily identifiable mark and register for all Part P registered firms. However, we believe there were some points in the Committee’s report which were not explored thoroughly and did not reflect the true state of the industry.’
The 16 page government report backed the Competent Person Scheme (CPS) model saying, ‘The government does not believe that the case has been made for the introduction of a mandatory register for electricians or that a mandatory register would be more effective than the current arrangements. Doing so would involve costs for setting up and moving to a register, and potential upheaval in the industry as people working in the industry had to go through the registration process.’
Responding to a recommendation that all individuals carrying out domestic electrical work should have a qualification equivalent to NVQ level 3 the government said, ‘It would be unreasonable to attempt to require that every individual working in a business registered with a Part P competent person scheme must have competences equivalent to an NVQ Level 3 award. Many building and installation businesses employ unqualified or partially qualified workers, including trainees and apprentices, to help carry out their work.’
Commenting further on the government report, Emma added, ‘While there is always room for improvement we have to be careful not to tar those firms who work outside of the regulatory framework with the same brush as those who have demonstrated competence and strive to uphold the standards and safety requirements expected of them.
‘More than 70 per cent of firms registered to carry out work under Part P are sole traders where the Qualified Supervisor carries out the installation with full responsibility. In excess of one million jobs, notified to Local Authority Building Control, will be carried out by over 30,000 NICEIC and ELECSA registered electrical contractors over the next 12 month period – proof that Part P is working and contractors do adhere to best practice and the highest of standards.
‘We are also currently working with all scheme operators to create a single mark and register for all Part P registrants. This will make it easier for the consumer when it comes to choosing a registered electrician and help raise awareness of Part P – something both the committee and government have called for.
‘In addition, NICEIC and ELECSA have opted out of the third party certification scheme over fears that it will encourage a DIY attitude towards electrical work by people without the necessary skills or experience to do so.
‘Sometimes it can be easy to knock our industry, but I am proud of the commitment shown by our organisation and our contractors to ensure safety and standards increase year on year.’