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Archive 2011

NICEIC News Archive 2011 

2011 Press Releases

Green News - November 2011

Feed in tariff update - November 2011

Cowboy Traders cost £3.7 billion - October 2011

New Training Course - September 2011

NICEIC campaign gains valuable support - September 2011

MCS Success - August 2011

New Clothing Range - August 2011

TechTalks are back - August 2011

Changes to QS - July 2011

Apprentice News - June 2011

1st Amendment Courses - June 2011

MP Campaign Support - June 2011

Appeal to Government on Part P - June 2011

NICEIC Live lights up Epson - June 2011

MP backs Jobs for the Girls campaign - April 2011

eLearning Course proves popular - April 2011

NICEIC Live News - April 2011

New 17th Edition workshop - March 2011

Gemserve announce a change to MCS prices - March 2011

NICEIC produces new training prospectus - March 2011

Government support for Renewables - March 2011

NICEIC sponsors IET Young Woman Engineer 2011 - Feb 2011

NICEIC create blended inspection and test course - Feb 2011

Rogue Trader clampdown continues - Feb 2011

NICEIC unveils top industry event - Jan 2011

New Microgeneration Jargonbuster - Jan 2011

Fraudulent London Company Fined - Jan 2011

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New Microgeneration Jargonbuster

Do you know your biomass from your solar thermal?

2011 is set to be a key year for microgeneration and to ensure you don’t get lost in a world of ‘tech talk’ NICEIC has launched its very own jargon buster.

The guide provides clear definitions of the key terms commonly used within the industry and is a useful tool for those considering installing renewable energy devices on their homes.

“More than 100,000 homes in the UK currently have microgeneration installations,” said NICEIC’s Chief Operating Officer Emma McCarthy. “We expect this number to rise rapidly in 2011 as homeowners take advantage of the opportunity to produce their own ‘free’ energy. We predict that it won’t be long until private residential homeowners learn about the benefits of Feed-in-Tariffs and the incentives available.

“However, we also understand that to those not in the know, Microgeneration can seem a very complicated and confusing world – particularly with some of the scientific language involved. We hope this guide will go some way to giving people a clearer understanding of the industry and give them the confidence and courage to engage with professionals about microgeneration products and installations.”

NICEIC is at the forefront of the renewable industry and has been granted a licence to run a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), designed to protect the consumer by ensuring independent evaluation of microgeneration product and installers.

The jargon busting guide is available on the NICEIC website at:

www.niceic.com/householder/microgeneration 

Published 17 January 2011

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Fraudulent London company fined

Following the launch of its ‘Wall of Shame’ campaign, NICEIC has welcomed the action taken by Trading Standards against a building firm and its director who falsely claimed to be a member of the electrical accreditation body.

UKSmart Build.com and its director Ertan Gokay, from Enfield, were fined £8,630 and ordered to pay £1,100 in costs following a prosecution by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards.

The firm fraudulently said it was NICEIC registered and used the logo on their company website, stationary and billboards. Only approved electrical contractors are allowed to use the logo after having their work verified and checked by NICEIC.

NICEIC originally referred UKSmartBuild to Trading standards in early 2010 and the company was warned and ordered to take down any material using the logo. Further action was then taken when the firm failed to heed the warning and carried on misusing the logo.

“NICEIC is synonymous with quality and a job well done,” said NICEIC’s Chief Operating Officer, Emma McCarthy.

“We cannot have rogue traders going around posing as NICEIC registered when, in fact, the quality of their work has never been approved by our organisation. Specifiers need assurances that when they appoint a registered contractor that is exactly what they are getting.”

The NICEIC recently launched a campaign to name and shame any rogue traders it finds incorrectly using its logo on its website. 

Published 10 January 2011

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NICEIC unveils top industry event

NICEIC's first conference and exhibition.

NICEIC Live will be an unmissable hub of business advice and technical information for electrical contractors, as well as offering attendees discounted rates on the latest products and services.

“This is an innovative and exciting event for the electrical contracting industry,” says Mark Smith, marketing manager at NICEIC. “It will be very much a learning experience with talks on industry related issues. We have put together the most comprehensive selection of seminars and speakers ever seen at an electrical industry event aimed specifically at contractors.”

The day’s packed programme of seminars will be delivered by a combination of respected electrical industry figures and high profile business people.  Speakers include NICEIC’s own Tony Cable, as well as former minister for trade and deputy chairman of Dyson, Sir Richard Needham. 

Political figures and MPs will also be invited to speak about industry issues and legislation.

Topics discussed will include the significant opportunities in the microgeneration industry, counterfeit goods and RCDs, home automation and environmental systems management, as well as advice on marketing a business and recovering from the recession. The live event builds on the success of NICEIC’s regional TechTalks which have attracted more than 5,000 attendees in the last two years.

“The response from both contractors and sponsors to our Tech Talks has been fantastic so it is a natural step to develop an exhibition and conference on a much larger scale,” added Mark. “I’m confident that NICEIC Live will become a permanent fixture on the industry calendar for years to come.”

NICEIC Live will be held on Thursday, 19 May, 2011, at Epsom Downs racecourse.

Tickets cost from £35 with early-bird rates available until February 25.

Attendees will receive a voucher book featuring discounts and special offers from leading electrical suppliers along with a free ticket to an Epsom race meeting. For more information on the event or to register for tickets, visit www.niceiclive.com

Published 17 January 2011
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Rogue trader clampdown continues

Rogue trader prosecuted

NICEIC has vowed to continue its clampdown on rogue traders after another electrician was found guilty of falsely claiming to be a member of the electrical accreditation body.

Newbury based Gary Crossman, who trades under the name of G C Electrical, was fined £2500 with £1500 costs, after Reading Magistrates Court found him guilty of falsely claiming to be registered with NICEIC.

Crossman used the NICEIC logo on his company website and in an advert on Yell.com. He is the second electrical contractor in a month to be prosecuted.

In January, Ertan Gokay, of U.K Smartbuild, in Enfield, was fined £8,630 and ordered to pay £1,100 in costs following a prosecution by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards.

NICEIC recently stepped up its fight against firms incorrectly using its logo by setting up a wall of shame. Contractors caught falsely claiming to be members will be named and shamed on the NICEIC website and their details passed to Trading Standards.

Published 10 February 2011

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NICEIC create blended inspection and test course

New virtual training course

NICEIC has announced the availability of its new ‘blended’ solution to the City & Guilds level 3 certificate in Inspection, Testing and Certification (2391-10).

Developed in association with Virtual College, the course is designed to reduce the amount of time contractors have to spend away from their work and follows on from the NICEIC’s highly successful 17th Edition online solution.

The new course blends e-learning resources with two days at a centre where practical training and assessment can be taken. Previously the time spent at a test centre was four days.

This innovative style of course provision provides a flexible approach to skills development and reduces any potential loss of income as a result of time away from work, job rescheduling and losing contracts.

Employers also stand to benefit by limiting the impact of staff training commitments on workload and minimising the cost of accommodation.

The blended 2391-10 course is now available for £540 + VAT and the first 50 applicants will receive a 10% discount (£486 + VAT).

Published 10 February 2011

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NICEIC sponsors 2011 IET Awards

As part of its campaign to encourage more women into the electrical contracting industry, NICEIC is to sponsor this year’s IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards 2011.

The award recognises young females who have made outstanding progress in the world of engineering – a traditionally male dominated environment which, in the past, often proved difficult to break into.

However, in recent years women have excelled in the industry and the award was set up to recognise these achievements and promote the opportunities to others considering a career in engineering.

“We are delighted to be associated with the IET Awards as they are a meaningful way to encourage female role models in our industry,” said NICEIC’s Chief Executive Officer Emma McCarthy. “Supporting the awards is also part of our wider Jobs for the Girls campaign which we will continue to push over the coming years. If we are to plug the skills gap shortage we cannot afford to dismiss half the working population.”

The Jobs for the Girls campaign aims to highlight the exciting prospects available to females within the electrical industry.

“Our research suggests there is a growing demand from young women aged 18-25 to take up a career in these traditionally male dominated professions, such as engineering and electrical contracting,” added Emma.

“Women need to feel re-assured that there are significant opportunities available to them and that there are no barriers to entry. The IET Awards go a long way to support this initiative and that is why we wanted to back this worthy event.”

Nominations are now being accepted for this year’s awards with the winner to be announced in December. For more information about the awards log on to http://conferences.theiet.org/ywe

To learn more about NICEIC’s job for the girls campaign click: www.niceic.com/contractor/jobs-for-the-girls

Published 28 February 2011

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Government support for renewables

NICEIC welcomes announcement on RHI

NICEIC has welcomed the recent announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The announcement promises the £860m to increase green capital investment by £4.5 billion up to 2020, stimulating a new market in renewable heat. DECC claims the RHI will provide an incentive to increase number of industrial, commercial and public sector installations by seven times to 2020.

A full system of RHI payments will be available to households from October 2012 and before that more than a quarter of the first year’s budget is to be guaranteed for up to 25,000 household installations through a “RHI Premium Payment” to encourage take-up.

“We are delighted that the government has announced this major incentive for renewable heat,” states Emma McCarthy, chief executive officer for NICEIC. “DECC believes 150,000 existing manufacturing, supply chain and installer jobs will be supported by the incentives and NICEIC believes any boost to the trade through promises such as this are vital in the current economic climate.”

“Renewable heat is a largely untapped resource and an important new green industry of the future,” says Secretary of State Chris Huhne. “This incentive is the first of its kind in the world.  It’ll help the UK shift away from fossil fuel, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging innovation, jobs and growth in new advanced technologies.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has a huge task ahead of it; meeting the UK carbon reduction targets of 2020. The Climate Change Act 2008 set legally binding emission reduction targets for 2020 (reduction of 34 percent in greenhouse gas emissions) and for 2050 (reduction of at least 80 percent in greenhouse gas emissions), and introduced five-yearly carbon budgets to help ensure those targets are met. Renewable energy is part of the government’s solution in meeting these targets.

“With householders now given the incentives to install renewable technologies, the opportunities for the electrical, heating and plumbing trades are significant and NICEIC will be at the forefront of this industry, providing certification, training and advice,” adds Emma.

For more details on the scheme go to www.decc.gov.uk/rhi.

Published 10 March 2011

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NICEIC produces new training prospectus

NICEIC's new training feature

NICEIC has produced a brand new training prospectus featuring their widest ever range of courses.

The booklet contains information on more than 40 industry specific courses and covers a range of markets including electrical training, gas, water, automation and the rapidly growing renewable technology sector.

All the courses are developed and delivered by leading industry experts whose wealth of knowledge and experience ensures the training is clear, manageable and relevant.

Asad Majid, National Training Manager at NICEIC, said: “We are committed to providing the most appropriate and up-to-date knowledge, so that attendees to our training courses are equipped with the necessary skills to face the challenges of working in the trades profession.

“Through our dedicated training team and network of partners we are able to offer cost effective training at a range of centres across the UK. Our training rooms are fully equipped with modern technology and offer practical, hands on teaching which replicates real-life scenarios.”

In addition to its classroom learning, NICEIC has expanded its portfolio of courses available online.

Since its launch over a year ago the online training facility has proved very popular with contractors who find it difficult to take time off work. This innovative style of training allows users to gain the necessary qualifications at a time and pace that best suits them.

For more information about the courses on offer, and to request your copy of the latest NICEIC Training Prospectus please email courses@niceic.com 

Published 16 March 2011

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Gemserv Announce a Change to MCS Fees

New MCS Fees announced

The annual Gemserv license fee payable by all MCS Registered Installer will change as of 1st April this year. Excerpt from letter from Brendan McGarry, Delivery Manager, MCS Licensee (Gemserv Ltd)

MCS is not-for-profit, and is funded from the annual certification fees paid by manufacturers and installation companies, as well as by a charge levied ‘per installation’. Those charges have not changed in two years, and unfortunately have not been sufficient to fund MCS’s activities to date. As such the MCS Steering Group has approved their revision. These revisions are to ensure that MCS is properly self-financing, so that it is in a strong position to support the industry for years to come. The annual installer certification fee is rising from the current £100 to £110. The revised fee will apply to all new certifications from 1st April 2011, as well as any existing certification whose anniversary falls on or after 1st April 2011.


The current fee per installation is to rise from £5 to £15. To facilitate its collection, the MCS Installation Database will from 1st April 2011 have an additional feature whereby an installer can purchase credits via Paypal, which are then used up as a certificate is created each time a job is registered.


Fees for certificated products are rising by between £25 and £75 per certificated technology, with the new fee structure as follows:
· £425 pa for the first technology certificated;
· £325 pa for the second technology certificated;
· £225 pa for the third technology certificated; and
· £125 pa for each technology certificated thereafter.

These revisions have not been implemented lightly. They have been delayed as long as possible to give the current fees a chance to work. However, the revisions are unavoidable if the Scheme is to continue. To re-iterate, the Scheme is not-for-profit, so if the changes result in it consistently running a surplus, the Steering Group can revise the charges downwards again.

Published 29 March 2011
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New 17th workshop

Book your place on first amendment workshops

The first amendment to the 17th Edition wiring regulations is due to be published in July and NICEIC is offering contractors the chance to gain an early appreciation of the proposed changes by running a series of special training workshops.

The one day workshops will cover all the expected changes and are being run at various venues across the country.

Those who book now will also receive a special early bird deal which will include a place on the workshop, a free DVD (safe isolation procedures) and a copy of the The IET Wiring Regulations 17th edition BS7671:2008 incorporating amendment No1 2011– all for the special price of £155.

Alan Wells, Certification Director at NICEIC, said: “The first amendment will have significant consequences for everyone involved in the design, erection and verification of electrical wiring systems.

“These workshops will give those who attend an early warning of what to expect and arm them with everything they need to know so they can go about their work confidently and in the knowledge that it will comply with future regulations.”

The new regulations will come into force on 1 January, 2012 and among the expected amendments  are:  the inclusion of a new electrical installation condition report that replaces the periodic inspection report, new sections in Part 7 relating to medical locations and operating or maintenance of gangways, a new section in chapter 53 which deals with the installation of surge protection devices, modifications to chapter 44 in relation to voltage and electromagnetic disturbances along with changes in chapters 51 and 52.

To take advantage of the package deal on offer, visit www.niceicdirect.com and book your place now.

Published 29 March 2011
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NICEIC Live News

Celebrity line-up for NICEIC Live

Former Top Gear presenter Quentin Wilson is the latest big name star to sign up as a speaker for this year’s NICEIC Live, taking place at Epsom Downs on May 19th.

Wilson will be discussing the electric car and its potential impact on the electrical contracting industry at NICEIC’s first ever conference and exhibition.

He will be joined on the day by Sir Richard Needham, Senior Independent Director of Dyson, who will be discussing how contractors can grow their business; Peter Moule, founder of ChocBox and participant on Dragons Den who will be talking about his experience in front of the Dragons, while NICEIC’s very own Tony Cable will be discussing upcoming amendments to BS7671 and changes to PIRs.

“We have put together a diverse mix of speakers and presentations which will ensure there is something for everyone who has an interest in the electrical contracting industry,” says NICEIC’s Head of Group Marketing, Mark Smith.

“We want the day to be very much a learning experience for everyone who attends as well as a chance to network with suppliers and firms who have a close relationship with the industry.”

Lighting and home automation experts Niko will be headline sponsors for the day alongside product supplier Electricfix. Other exhibitors include Megger, Fluke, Ideal Industries, Brother, Milwaukee, Dehn, Phoenix Contacts, Wago, Peugeot, Clik, Mr Electric, Acksen and Castline.

Tool specialists, Irwin Tools will also be giving away a Lennox Holesaw to the first 100 lucky delegates to visit their stand.

Tickets are available from £35 with all attendees receiving a voucher book featuring over £250 worth of discounts and special offers from leading electrical suppliers along with a free ticket to a future Epsom race meeting.

Published 05 April 2011

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e-learning Course proves popular

1000th customer signs up online

One thousand customers have now registered for the City & Guilds 17th edition e-learning course with NICEIC.

Since its launch over a year ago the online training facility has proved very popular with contractors who find it difficult to take time off work. This innovative style of training allows users to gain the necessary qualifications at a time and pace that best suits them.

Les Keetch of Power Distribute Ltd, in Kent was the 1000th electrician to sign up - winning himself a free place on the 2392-10 blended course worth £495 in the process.

Les, 61, said: “I find e-learning a lot easier as I can easily fit it in around my workload. It allows you to learn at your own pace and you can go back and check something if you are not too sure.

“From my own point of view, it is much better than classroom learning as I find it harder to absorb so much information now, compared to twenty years ago. With the online learning I can go back over information if I need to know more and that’s easier than putting your hand up in class every time.”

Training in the 17th edition regulations could involve electricians spending up to four days in a classroom. Thanks to NICEIC’s partnership with Virtual College, contractors can now do the majority of training online – reducing the time spent away from work.

The course can be taken over a number of nights, weeks or months to suit the demands on the electrician’s time. The learning is structured into short assessments with revision tests available online so the learner is fully prepared for the final assessment in the classroom. The pass rate stands at a staggering 99% reflecting the quality and the success of the learning tools.

Alan Wells, Certification Director at NICEIC, said: “Our partnership with Virtual College is just one example of the work we are doing to make training easier and accessible for all contractors.

“The online learning facility provides a practical solution to the demanding challenge of trying to fit training in around work. Congratulations to Les and I look forward to seeing the 2000th customer very soon.”

For more information about the courses on offer please email courses@niceic.com or log on to www.niceic.com and click on training.

Published 15 April 2011
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MP backs Jobs for the Girls campaign

NICEIC’s Jobs for the Girls campaign has received the backing of Conservative MP, Andrew Selous.

The NICEIC’s campaign aims to encourage more women into the electrical contracting industry and dispel the myth that trade professions are a viable career path for men only. NICEIC is also looking to recruit more young females to its Apprentice Academy. The Academy, run in partnership with Bedford College, aims to provide young students with the necessary training and skills to meet the demanding challenges of the industry.

Mr Selous, MP for south west Bedfordshire, said: “There has never been a more important time to reach out to the public to address these issues and stimulate opportunity.

“NICEIC is very effectively leading the way for the electrical contracting industry. Through its ‘Jobs for Girls’ campaign it has highlighted a need to encourage more women to take up the mantle and supported by its Apprentice Academy, it will help bring more ladies forward.

“NICEIC’s ongoing initiatives support and boost the industry, whilst ensuring its longevity. They will help pave the way for younger generations to come and build a real future for the industry.”

NICEIC’s Chief Executive Officer Emma McCarthy added: “Our research suggests there is a very real interest from young women wanting to pursue this type of career and we hope more ladies will come forward and help to even the balance in what is currently an industry short on skills.”

The Jobs for the Girls campaign was launched in January this year and has received widespread media attention. For more information and case studies of women currently working with in the electrical industry please visit www.niceic.com/contractor/jobs-for-the-girls

Published 04 May 2011
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NICEIC Live lights up Epsom

More than 500 electricians packed out Epsom Downs racecourse on Thursday (May 19th) for the first ever NICEIC Live.

The conference and exhibition event brought together some of the biggest names in the electrical industry and proved to be a hive of activity.

“It was amazing to see Epsom covered in a sea of vans,” said TV star Quentin Willson, who presented a seminar on the future of the electric car. “There was a good buzz about the place and the contractors displayed a real enthusiasm for more knowledge. Electric cars are coming and electricians are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities this will bring.”

Other guest speakers on the day included ITV News’ economics editor, Daisy McAndrew, who spoke about the optimism returning to the UK market; entrepreneur and founder of the chocbox, Peter Moule, who discussed his appearance on Dragon’s Den and former Minister for Trade, Sir Richard Needham.

In a lively talk on innovation, Sir Richard discussed how bravery was key to success in business. “No matter what the size of the organisation, you have to be bold and confident in what you are doing, and convinced that what you do makes a difference,” commented Sir Richard.

There were also technical presentations on the upcoming first amendment to the 17th Edition wiring regulations and opportunities surrounding renewable technology from NICEIC’s Tony Cable and microgeneration team.

On the exhibition floor visitors snapped up the latest offers and information from exhibitors and industry specialists such as Niko, Phillips, Megger, Fluke, Ideal Industries, Brother, Milwaukee, Dehn, Phoenix Contacts, Wago, Peugeot, Clik, Mr Electric, Acksen and Castline.

As well as hosting a prize draw for iPads, the home automation specialist, Niko, also brought along the £1 million automation bus – giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about the latest in lighting technology.

“This was something new for us and the industry as a whole,” said NICEIC’s certification director Alan Wells.

“The response was just fantastic. It was great to see so many people from various sides of the industry come together for such a special day.  There was something for everyone to enjoy or learn from, and we hope it is the first of many such days to come.”

Published 01 June 2011
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Part P news

Appeal to Government on Part P

NICEIC, the UK’s largest registration body for the electrical contracting industry is asking government to listen to its registered contractors over proposed changes to Part P of the Building Regulations.

Part P is currently under review by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), formerly known as the Office for the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) which launched the original legislation in 2005.

 “NICEIC is lobbying for Part P to be amended sensibly, with focus particularly on maintaining confidence in the legislation, enforcing compliance by non-registered contractors and ensuring consistency in these troubled times,” explains Emma McCarthy, chief executive officer of NICEIC.

“Our great concern is that the electrical contracting industry will be left in 2013, as we believe was the case in 2005, with an imperfect regulation, with little enforcement support from Local Authorities and very little publicity from government.”

NICEIC has surveyed its customers to get their view on Part P and what they would like to see happen to the legislation.

“There is no doubt registered contractors quite rightly want to see Part P amended for the better, and naturally they have very little regard for DIY electrical work,” Emma continues. “I find it quite remarkable that this review was inspired by comments, many ill-informed from DIYers, on the government’s Your Freedom website. Electrical installation work is potentially dangerous and should be left to the acknowledged experts. The electrical contracting industry’s voice must be heard, otherwise there is a danger the industry will be left with a shell of a regulation and the householder not knowing where to turn for a safe job.

“The argument that Part P of the Building Regulations is “red tape” and a barrier to DIY electrical work in the home has formed the basis for this questionable review. That is fundamentally wrong and there is a danger this premise will compromise safety. Electrical contractors want confidence, consistency and compliance from legislation and that is what we will campaign for.”

The comprehensive survey was sent to NICEIC’s email database of registered contractors with 1500 completed surveys returned.

•           85% said retain Part P but amend and improve it

•           73% say public listing of their company for consumers is strongly valued or critically important (ie a business benefit)

•           49% of NICEIC contractors have seen an improvement in the standard of electrical work since Part P was brought in

•           95% said no to allowing DIY work without the need to notify

•           90% said that all installers carrying out electrical work under the Building Regulations should be required to register as Competent Persons

•           62% agree with Risk Based Assessments 

•           93% want to see more frequent and significant action against non-compliance

•           73% want schemes to jointly fund consumer publicity  

•           96% want DCLG to recognize the need for increased public awareness

The consultation for Part P will begin in October 2011 and NICEIC intend to share the results of its survey with civil servants, government and other stakeholders.

Published 10 June 2011

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MP campaign support

Minister gives backing to Jobs for the Girls

Equalities Minister, Lynne Featherstone, has added her support to NICEIC’s Jobs for the Girls Campaign.

The Liberal Democrat MP is a former director of an electrical business and praised NICEIC’s efforts to improve prospects for women in the industry.

“The Government is committed to extending opportunity and that’s why I am really pleased to be able to support NICEIC in its efforts to attract more women into the electrical industry,” explained Ms Featherstone.

“Campaigns like ‘Jobs for the Girls’ are vital for challenging outdated stereotypes and ensuring that women know the opportunities that careers in this sector can bring. I also wish NICEIC well with recruiting more women to their Apprentice Academy, as this will benefit the sector as well as the women they train.”

Ms Featherstone, MP for Hornsey Wood, is the second parliament member to back the campaign after Andrew Selous, MP for South Bedfordshire, also pledged his support.

Emma McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer for NICEIC, said: “Our Jobs for the Girls initiative has really struck a chord with people both inside and outside of the industry. “The support just seems to keep on growing and it has become a real talking point with everyone I meet.

“We will continue to push the campaign and hope more females will come forward to even the balance in what is currently an industry short on skills.”

The Jobs for the Girls campaign was launched in January this year and has received widespread media attention. For more information and case studies of women currently working within the electrical industry please visit www.niceic.com/contractor/jobs-for-the-girls

Published 14 June 2011

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1st Amendment Courses

NICEIC offers e-learning option for first amendment

Contractors looking to get an early understanding of the first amendment to the 17th Edition wiring regulations can now learn online thanks to a new e-course offering from NICEIC.

The first amendment is published on July 1and will have significant consequences for everyone involved in the design, erection and verification of electrical wiring systems. The e-learning course will provide details of what to expect so users can go about their work confidently and in the knowledge that it will comply with future regulations.

The course has been produced through a partnership between NICEIC and Trades e-Academy, a division of Virtual College. This innovative style of course provision provides a flexible approach to skills development and reduces any potential loss of income as a result of time spent away from work.

The course, which can be taken at the learners own time and pace, costs £49.50 plus VAT and is available from July 1. Bookings are being taken now and the first 100 people to sign up will receive a 15% discount.

In addition to this NICEIC is also running a series of first amendment workshops. The one day workshops will cover all the expected changes and are being run at various venues across the country.

Those who book now will get a place on the workshop, a free DVD (safe isolation procedures) and a copy of the IET Wiring Regulations 17th edition BS7671:2008 incorporating amendment No1 2011 – all for £155. For more details visit www.niceicdirect.com and book your place now.

To book a place on the e-course visit www.niceic.com and click on Training. Or call NICEIC Training on 0870 013 0389 or email traininginfo@niceic.com

Published 20 June 2011

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Apprentice News

Bright young sparks required

NICEIC is on the lookout for the next young crop of budding apprentices looking to make a way in the electrical contracting industry - and is particularly keen to hear from females considering a career as an electrician.

To help more youngsters become electricians, NICEIC set up an Apprentice Academy in partnership with Bedford College, last year. The organisation is now looking to recruit the second wave of applicants who are keen to benefit from the best training possible.

“The academy was set up with the intention to plug the skills gap of the future and provide young electricians with the confidence and assurance to go into the industry with the best knowledge around,” said NICEIC’s Chief Executive Officer, Emma McCarthy.

Recent research suggests young females aged 16-19 would be more interested in learning a trade than pursuing an academic career and as Emma added; “If we are to plug the skills gap shortage we cannot afford to ignore half of the working population. There is now a great opportunity for female electricians and so we would encourage young women to join.”

Course Manager at Bedford College, Jeff Welch, added: “The NICEIC programme includes six or seven additional modules compared to traditional courses including training on Solar Photovoltaic installations which will be vital to electricians over the next few years.”

Anyone wishing to apply must already be in full-time employment and able to attend Bedford College. NICEIC will help cover the cost of the apprentice’s salary by subsidising their wage by up to £2,000 per academic year. All other costs associated with the student’s learning are covered by the partnership with Bedford College.

If you would like more information about sending your apprentice on the course, along with details about subsidised funding, please email darren.staniforth@niceic.com

CASE STUDY

Jack Hawes, 19, was one of the first apprentices to sign up for last year’s Apprentice Academy. He is employed by Luton based firm Instalec.

His manager, Paul Jones, discusses the benefits of the Apprentice Academy.  

What have been the noticeable changes to your apprentice after attending Bedford College for a year?

Jack has become more confident and assertive in his approach to work. He is happier with the college and their care and attention than he thought might be the case.

Would you choose the NICEIC Apprenticeship Academy again?

We have already made an application to ensure we can join the scheme with a new apprentice starting September. We feel that the training at Bedford is of a high standard and the tutors are delivering a quality service. They ensure that the students fully understand all that they are taught and spend time with them individually. The training manager spends time checking that we are happy with the service, the college, the tutors and regular communications are received with updates on progress.

How do you think the NICEIC apprentice will add to your organisation?

We do not have the capacity to teach our trainees all that they need to learn so it is reassuring that this scheme provides all that we are unable to provide, at a high standard.  The net result will be that we can be confident that our apprentice will develop into a skilled and safe worker who will project a professional image for us.

Has block release worked for you and your business?

We are very happy to send trainees on block release as we feel they are able to acquire more information when learning on consecutive days rather than a single day a week.

How has the NICEIC supported you and the apprentice through the apprenticeship?

At each point in the process the training manager has provided all the necessary documentation, answered all relevant questions, has kept us and the trainee informed and has been encouraging and positive throughout.

For more information about this release contact Paul Collins on 01582 539148 or email paul.s.collins@ascertiva.com

Published 23 June 2011

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Changes for QS

Important news for Qualified Supervisors

The industry bodies represented on the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) Management Committee have agreed the requirements for new Qualified Supervisors that will be introduced in January 2012.  From 1st January 2012, for the first time, a level of technical competence equivalent to level 3 NVQ competences is to be the minimum requirement for all new applications for Qualified Supervisors.

There are five different routes to achieve this standard, including on-site assessment, off-site assessment, a mixture of both and the gaining of appropriate qualifications.

Existing Qualified Supervisors

No change will be required for existing Qualified Supervisors and current other suitably qualified staff. It must be emphasised that individuals who already have a competency-based qualification recognised by the EAS Management Committee will not have to take the new qualification if they are applying to become a new Qualified Supervisor after 1st January 2012.

What about practising Qualified Supervisors appointed pre-January 2012?

The requirement only applies to all new applications for Qualified Supervisors received after 1st January 2012, and it will not affect those who are currently holders of the post, or Qualified Supervisors appointed before 1st January 2012.

What about past holders of the Qualified Supervisor role (not currently responsible)?

If you have been a registered Qualified Supervisor within the last two years for an employer, you will be eligible to be nominated as a Qualified Supervisor for a new employer without the need to demonstrate the new level of technical competence.

For those choosing the qualification route, the Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Installing, Testing and Ensuring Compliance of Electrical Installation Work in Dwellings should be available from the 1st January 2012 as the minimum qualification level for Qualified Supervisors responsible for electrical work carried out in domestic properties which comes under Part P of the Building Regulations (for England and Wales).

For compliance with Building Regulations in Scotland, Approved Certifiers of electrical installations must be eligible to be graded as approved electricians and be suitably qualified e.g. SVQ Level 3 in electrical engineering or equivalent.

For work in the Commercial or Industrial Sectors, the minimum qualification requirement for Qualified Supervisors will be the new Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Building and Structures).

About the EAS Management Committee

This decision was reached by the industry’s EAS Management Committee, which is the National Committee for the electrical industry responsible for determining the minimum technical standards to which companies in the Electrotechnical industry are assessed.

The Committee is formed of representatives from organisations across the industry, including the competent person schemes. The EAS document can be downloaded free from the IET website

Published 01 July 2011
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TechTalks are back

NICEIC hit the road for new series of TechTalks

NICEIC is once again hitting the road for a new series of TechTalks throughout 2011-12.

Starting in October, the half-day events promise to be bigger and better than ever, with new regions, new venues and new topics, enabling NICEIC registered contractors to get face-to-face advice and information on a range of subjects.

Tony Cable, NICEIC’s Senior Marketing & Events Engineer, and highly respected industry expert, will be giving a series of technical presentations at each event, on issues such as EICR’s, amendments to BS 7671, the growing opportunities surrounding electrical cars and a host of other key industry initiatives.

Joining Tony will be a selection of NICEIC technical engineers and there will be an opportunity for delegates to put their questions to them in an open Q&A forum. Contractors will also have the chance to meet leading industry suppliers and manufacturers, pick up NICEIC goodies at discounted prices and take advantage of show discounts.

Tony Cable comments, “NICEIC’s TechTalks are a fantastic way for registered contractors to get up-to-date information about a number of hot topics. We have made sure that we visit as many regions as possible and can guarantee that attending a TechTalk will be time very well spent.”

NICEIC’s 2011-12 TechTalks are sponsored by lighting and home automation experts Niko and will take place at the following locations:

TechTalk London – Tuesday 4th October 2011 – West Ham United Football Club, Upton Park

TechTalk South – Tuesday 25th October 2011 – Portsmouth Football Club, Fratton Park

TechTalk East Anglia – Tuesday 1st November 2011 – Newmarket Racecourse

TechTalk North West – Wednesday 23rd November 2011 – Wigan Football Club, DW Stadium

TechTalk Yorkshire – Thursday 24th November 2011 – York Racecourse

TechTalk Wales – Tuesday 6th December 2011 – Cardiff City Football Stadium

TechTalk Midlands – Tuesday 24th January 2012 – Birmingham City Football Club, St Andrews

TechTalk Northern Ireland – Wednesday 1st February 2012 – Everglades Hotel, Derry

TechTalk South West – Tuesday 14th February 2012 – National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth

TechTalk North East – Tuesday 6th March 2012 – Sunderland Football Club, Stadium of Light

TechTalk Scotland – Tuesday 17th April, 2012 – Livingston Football Club

Tickets for TechTalks are £20 per person but places are limited, so book online now at www.niceicdirect.com.

Alternatively, email techtalk@niceic.com or call 0843 290 3453 for more information.

Published 01 August 2011
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New Clothing Range

NICEIC team up with WORK-IT workwear

NICEIC has teamed up with workwear specialist WORK-IT to offer electrical contractors the latest in innovative clothing for the busy professional.

The work-It range has been designed specifically for tradespeople. The garments are lightweight, breathable, hard-wearing and based on proven technology from the sports and mountain-wear markets.

Contractors can also opt for their own company logo to be included on the garments with NICEIC offering to add its own logo completely free from any order made through the NICEIC Direct website.

Mike Jackson, Head of Sales at NICEIC, said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with WORK-IT.

“The clothing is smart, durable and competitively priced. The branded approach means electricians and contactors can create a very strong and professional image whenever they are quoting for a job or working on site.

“Compared to the cost of a liveried van or a set of good tools, branded workwear is a relatively small investment.”

All fabrics in the WORK-IT range are breathable, wick away moisture from your body, keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. The garments are quick dry so as you move from indoors to outdoors and back again, you stay comfortable.

The range comprises 16 styles in a variety of colours, including:

Nevis Trousers

The original Work-It work-trouser. Made from the unique WRK-9™ main fabric and with Cordura kneepads and hems, it has a total of 17 pockets, including flip-out front holsters, mobile phone, 4 deep main pockets and a ruler pocket yet weighs only 720g.

Munro Trousers

Munro is a very stylish and practical work-trouser, again utilising Work-It’s proven WRK-9™ main fabric, reinforced with Cordura kneepad pockets and hems. With 11 pockets the item only weighs 600g.

Cuillin Polo Shirts

Cuillin is no ordinary cotton or poly-cotton polo. A highly-technical wicking-polyester polo shirt which is also stylish and durable, Cuillin comes in a variety of colours. The shirt is designed to retain its shape and will not pill. Cuillin can also be washed at 40oC, dries indoors and doesn’t need ironing.

For more information about these and other great products check out www.niceicdirect.com or www.work-it-wear.com

Published 01 August 2011
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MCS success

NICEIC is number one body for MCS

More than 1,000 companies have now signed up for MCS accreditation with NICEIC, making it the leading award body for MCS accreditation.

Heating and electrical firm Ivor Cook Ltd in Newport, which employs almost 50 staff and carries out work across South Wales, was the 1000th customer to register  with NICEIC.

Jeff Deakin, General Manager at the firm, said the renewable sector was an area the company was keen to get into.

He added: “As an established heating and electrical firm our staff already have the skills needed to carry out installations and we see the renewable market as a real growth area. It is where we see the future of our business going.

“We have already carried out a couple of solar thermal and solar PV installations and we are keen to get further involved now.

“Ivor Cook is already NICEIC registered for all our electrical work and it just seemed natural for us to go for MCS accreditation with a professional body with a good reputation.”

Since the turn of the year NICEIC has received a large number of enquiries from organisations looking to get MCS accreditation.

Paul Collins, Head of NICEIC, said: “The microgeneration industry is currently blossoming and tradespeople with the appropriate skills to supply these technologies are keen to grasp the opportunity it presents.

“We have witnessed a large number of skilled professionals such as electricians, plumbers, heating and gas engineers come to NICEIC for accreditation as it is a name associated with quality and assurance.

“Government backed schemes such as the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) are a real incentive for households, but the financial benefits are only available to those who use MCS approved goods and installers.” 

Under MCS all products and installers are checked and verified to ensure they meet the necessary standards.

“The opportunities for the electrical, heating and plumbing trades are significant and NICEIC will be at the forefront of this industry, providing certification, training and advice,” adds Paul.

Published 16 August 2011

NICEIC Campaign gains valuable support

Jobs for the Girls goes to Westminster

NICEIC took its Jobs for the Girls campaign to Westminster for a parliamentary reception hosted by Chi Onwurah, the Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central.

As a former electrical engineer Ms Onwurah pledged her support for the campaign, which aims to highlight the exciting opportunities available to females within the electrical industry.

“Just 1% of electro technical apprenticeship starts are women, despite half of all apprenticeships overall and half of our workforce being taken up by women,” commented Chi.

“I would like to thank NICEIC for launching this campaign and bringing it to the attention of those in Westminster.

“In supporting Jobs for the Girls, I will be pressing the Minister and Government more widely as to what they have been doing and what they can do further to encourage more women into trades apprenticeships and into engineering and other courses where they are underrepresented.”

Nadhim Zahawi, Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon, also gave his backing and spoke of the need to address the gender imbalance in the construction industry as a whole. The reception was also attended by Baroness Wilcox, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The event brought together a cross-party band of MPs, dignitaries and female contractors with all the guests signing a board pledging their support for the campaign. Among those who provided a signature were Peter Bottomley MP, Lord Cotter, Gordon Marsden MP, Meg Munn MP, Mary Glindon MP, Julian Huppert MP and Ian Lucas MP.

NICEIC’s Chief Executive Officer Emma McCarthy added: “It was great to speak with other women and learn about what entering the construction industry means to them and what a realistic proposition it is.

“I would like to thank Chi for backing NICEIC and the pledges of support for our campaign which mean we can spread the word, engage with young women and do something positive for the industry.

“NICEIC will continue to promote Jobs for the Girls and look to gather further support from other organisations in the construction industry to take it even further.” 

Published 20 September 2011

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New training course

NICEIC launches new online course on EICR’s

Electrical contractors wanting to find out more about the new Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) are being encouraged to take advantage of a new e-learning course from NICEIC.

EICRs were introduced in the recently published First Amendment to the 17th Edition wiring regulations and are set to replace the current Periodic Inspection Reports (PIRs). They will come into force on January 1st 2012.

To help contractors understand the changes NICEIC Training is launching a new e-learning course. Those who sign up will be able to learn how to fill in each part of the report and the new coding system involved, before it becomes mandatory next year.

The opportunity to learn online means contractors do not have to take time off from work and they can learn at their own pace and in their own time. In addition to the EICR course, NICEIC offer a variety of online training courses, including City and Guilds and the 17th edition.

Since its launch over a year ago the online training facility has proved very popular with contractors who find it difficult to take time off work. In May this year NICEIC registered its 1000th online customer for the for the City & Guilds 17th edition e-learning course.

Training in the 17th edition regulations could usually involve electricians spending up to four days in a classroom. The online facility means they are able to reduce this amount by half and so training becomes something which is viewed as convenient.

Paul Collins, Head of NICEIC, said: “Our partnership with Virtual College is just one example of the work we are doing to make training easier and accessible for all contractors.

“The online learning facility provides a practical solution to the demanding challenge of trying to fit training in around work.”

The EICR online course costs £49.50 + VAT and will be available from October. Places can be pre-booked by contacting NICEIC Training on 0870 013 0389 or you can email traininginfo@niceic.com.

If you're one of the first 100 people to sign up you will receive a 10% discount, paying just £44.55 + VAT.

For more information about the range of e-learning courses on offer please email courses@niceic.com or log on to www.niceic.com and click on training. 

Published 20 September 2011

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Cowboy traders cost £3.7 billion

NICEIC urge homeowners to ASK

When it comes to scrutinising their bank statements and supermarket receipts, British consumers are excessively eagled eyed. However, when it comes to checking the ID of tradesmen employed to carry out work on their home, the UK’s homeowners are not so savvy.

New research from NICEIC, the UK’s leading voluntary regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry, reveals that only two in ten homeowners (19%) would - without hesitation - check for ID when a tradesman arrives at their door, while more than a third (34%) admit they don’t check at all.

In a bid to clamp down on rogue traders and the misuse of professional trade logos, NICEIC has teamed up with TV presenter Rav Wilding to launch a new campaign, urging homeowners to A.S.K – Ask for NICEIC, See if it’s legit, Keep your home safe.

Tony Cable, spokesperson for NICEIC, comments: “It’s a great shame that some trades people think they can trick homeowners by wrongly using a company logo, but sadly this is reality. Our survey clearly shows that consumers still aren’t checking and double checking ID despite being scrupulous when it comes to other areas of their life.

“Our message is simple – ASK and double check, always find out for yourself that the tradesman at your door is who they say they are. By not checking out a tradesman, consumers could be inviting in a rogue and costing themselves a fortune if a bodged job needs to be put right.”

More than 6.2 million people have employed a cowboy trader in the past five years, resulting in £3.7 billion being paid out to rectify botched jobs1.

Of the 3,000 consumers polled, more than four fifths (82%) said they would trust the opinion of a friend or family member when it came to choosing an electrician, with only a fifth (17%) saying they would check out the person in question to see if they were legit.

This is in contrast to the checks made in other areas of their life with 79 % admitting to double checking their bank statement, salary slip (60%), restaurant bill (59%) credit card statement (58%) and supermarket receipt (53%).

However, when it comes to checking out a tradesman who is displaying a registered company logo, only eighteen per cent (18%) would make sure it’s being used legitimately. More than half (55%) weren’t even aware that tradesman sometimes use logos fraudulently, and said it made them feel furious, scared, worried, stressed and naïve to find out this can happen.

Nearly all (90%) of those questioned said that without question they would be prepared to shop a rogue trader who was falsely displaying a logo.

Tony added: “We take misuse of our logo very seriously. The NICEIC name is associated with quality and we must protect those contractors who are legitimately registered with us and have the quality of their work assessed on a regular basis.

“We recently launched our wall of shame, which names and shames rogue traders caught falsely using the NICEIC logo. There are currently sixty names on it. If consumers think they have been a victim of a cowboy trader or suspect somebody of misusing of logo, we’re urging them to come forward and get in touch with us at ask@niceic.com or call 0870 013 0382. Together we can stop the crime.”

Rav Wilding, TV presenter, adds: “It’s absolutely vital that homeowners are checking and double checking the ID of any tradesman who comes to their door – this is the only way to keep their home and family safe and protected from rogues.

“I’m thrilled to be working with NICEIC on this campaign because it’s a subject which I’m incredibly passionate about.  The misuse of logos must be stopped and by working together and naming and shaming those who fall foul of the law, we will make a difference.”

Published 12 October 2011
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Feed in Tariff Update

NICEIC response to Feed in Tariff (FIT) proposal

In the wake of Government plans to reduce the Feed in Tariff (FIT) we feel it’s important to outline NICEIC’s position on the recent announcement.

The industry response has been largely vociferous following the announcement last week. However, the proposals are still just that.

Government has said it will consult with the industry before making any final decision.

We look forward to having the opportunity to have our say and drafting our response by the December 23rd deadline. You can also do that here.

It has always been accepted that the tariff would need to be revised in line with falling installation costs and what is clear is that there will still be a incentive in place for renewable technology for some time, even after any proposed cuts.

With a reduction in payments from 43p per kWh to 21p per kWh (as proposed after December 12) the FIT scheme still delivers excellent returns in the region of 5% on investment.

This makes the solar PV market still viable and we believe the the foundations are now in place to make the renewable sector a sustainable and long-term growth industry.

Rising energy costs have become a real issue for every household in the country and controlling those costs over the next 10 to 15 years will be essential. Installing renewable technologies such as Solar PV will give people the opportunity to take some control of their energy consumption and offset the costs at the same time.

The Government is committed to reducing carbon emissions by 2020 and the dependence on traditional fuels such as coal and gas is not sustainable.

Over the next decade we expect to see a concerted shift amongst homeowners and businesses toward renewable technologies. You can read more about future industry developments in the joint research project we carried out with the ECA here.

Published 07 November 2011
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Green News

Ascertiva selected for Green Deal pilot

The Ascertiva Group has been successful in its application to join the UKAS pilot of the Government’s ‘Green Deal’ initiative. The UKAS pilot has been established to test the certification process and standards, which Green Deal Certification Bodies use to assure quality installation work for consumers.

Set to launch in 2012, the Green Deal will incentivise householders and businesses to install energy efficient products by off – setting the cost through savings in energy bills. 

To successfully deliver the Green Deal a network of approved Green Deal advisors and installers will be needed. UKAS is now working with a limited number of Certification Bodies including Ascertiva, to develop the requirements for advisors and installers.

“The Green Deal will be central to achieving the Government’s energy efficiency objectives. We believe that Ascertiva and NICEIC contractors will be key to delivering the Green Deal measures which will support this initiative” said Ascertiva CEO Emma McCarthy.

“As a leading certifier of professional tradespeople we believe there is a real opportunity for our contractors with the appropriate expertise to benefit from the Green Deal and also an opportunity for other tradespeople to become certified to undertake the Green Deal measures.

“Ascertiva’s acceptance on the UKAS pilot gives us the chance to help shape the proposals going forward and play a key role in achieving the Government’s challenging targets.

“We look forward to working with UKAS on the Green Deal pilot and leveraging our experience and knowledge of certification to make the Green Deal a success,” added Emma.

For more information about Green Deal go to the Department of Energy and Climate Control (DECC) website

For more information about the Ascertiva group log on to www. ascertiva.com

Published 07 November 2011
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