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Get up to speed with Amendment 3

BS7671: Amendment 3 Wiring Regulations

NICEIC and ELECSA have launched a range of options for electrical contractors wanting to get up to speed with the upcoming changes to the BS 7671 wiring regulations.

Amendment 3 to BS 7671: 2008, The IET Wiring Regulations, will be effective from January 1 2015 and will become the new national standard for electrical installation work in the UK.

Following the January publication, contractors will have a six month transition period to get up to speed with the changes. It will then be a requirement that all electrical installations designed and periodically inspected after June 30, 2015 will have to comply with the updated regulations.

“The publication of Amendment 3 in January 2015 is one of the biggest changes within the electrical contracting industry for years,” commented Emma Clancy, CEO of Certsure which operates the NICEIC and ELECSA brands.

“Come January all electrical industry professionals will need to familiarise themselves with the updated standard to ensure that the work they do is compliant and is carried out in a safe and appropriate manner.”

“To prepare contractors we have launched a range of deals on books, training, and workshops which will provide them with everything they need to know.”

The new book, which will feature a yellow cover, will not be available to buy until January 2015. Contractors wanting to get a copy for then are advised to pre-order the book now.

In addition to the book contractors can attend a one day workshop or learn online for a greater understanding of how the new standards will affect their day to day work.

NICEIC and ELECSA will also be providing more information about the changes at its upcoming TechTalks and Live North event in Liverpool on November 27.

Furthermore, we have developed a website – www.3rdamendment.co.uk - in which you can listen to industry experts Tony Cable and Darren Staniforth discuss how the changes affect you. You can also view all our 3rd Amendment packages available.

To order your copy of the updated 17th Edition BS7671: Amendment 3 of the Wiring Regulations or to find out more about the range of options available call 0843 290 3398 or visit www.niceicdirect.com.

Published 15 October 2014

ELECSA and NICEIC call for rethink over Third Party Certification Scheme

A recent survey of NICEIC and ELECSA registered contractors revealed that 78% of respondents believe the scheme will undermine their work. Just over 85% believe it weakens Part P of the building regulations with 85% also believing it will compromise safety in the home. Significantly, nearly 80% backed NICEIC and ELECSA’s decision to not operate a scheme. 
“The feedback from our contractors has been overwhelming. Carrying out electrical installation work is dangerous. It should not be attempted by anyone without the appropriate knowledge and skills,” commented Emma Clancy, CEO of Certsure which operates the NICEIC and ELECSA brands.
“We believe, in its current guise, the third party certification scheme will encourage non qualified people to cut costs by carrying out the work themselves. Our message has always been clear; if you can’t check, test and inspect your own work you should not be carrying out the work in the first place.“
In April 2013 DCLG announced amendments to the Building Regulations which set out the introduction of a third party certification for electrical work in homes. This would allow non-registered electricians or DIYers to carry out electrical work in the home, before having it checked and signed off by inspectors registered on a specialist scheme. 
In late 2013 DCLG invited Competent Person Scheme operators to make an application to operate such a scheme. NICEIC and ELECSA chose not to apply believing it would encourage unsafe practices.
“NICEIC and ELECSA took the decision to not run a third party certification scheme because it undermines the 33,000 contractors who are registered with us,” added Emma.
“These are contractors who have chosen to have their work checked and assessed on a regular basis to prove their credentials and set themselves apart as skilled professionals. Householders should not attempt to install electrical work; it is the job of competent electricians to do it safely.
“It is disappointing that the building regulations around electrical work in the home have been further confused and potentially weakened by the introduction of third party inspectors. “
DCLG is expected to hold a review of Part P in 2015 and Certsure will recommend that further consideration of the Third Party Certification scheme and how it will operate is a large part of this.
“The NICEIC and ELECSA brands have a rich history and heritage within the industry, going back more than 50 years. Part P and the Competent Persons Scheme continue to operate and there are now more than 40,000 registered contractors operating in England and Wales.
“When DCLG begins its review we will outline the safety concerns of those contractors who responded to our survey and be calling for changes to how the third party certification scheme operates. We have always been open to consultation on the matter. 
“Any scheme should be based around safety and improving standards. Certsure is owned by a charity and a trade association so can make such decisions based on contractors’ concerns, rather than focus on shareholders return or profit,” concluded Emma.
Published 29 September 2014

NICEIC and ELECSA sponsor Luton Town FC

Luton Town FC will be hoping to make an extra impression in the football league this year thanks to sponsorship from NICEIC and ELECSA.

Last year’s conference champions have made a solid start to life in Division Two and their new home kit will again be featuring the NICEIC logo on the back – the sixth year in a row the organisation has supported the football club which is local to its head office in Dunstable.

In addition, for the first time ever, the away kit for the 2014/15 season will feature the ELECSA logo on the back.

“We are delighted to continue our long association with Luton Town FC,” commented Senior Marketing Manager at NICEIC and ELECSA, Julie Blake.

“It is particularly pleasing to have the ELECSA brand on the away shirt as this is the first time ever that brand will benefit from such high profile promotion.”

“We have enjoyed a great relationship with Luton Town FC and we wish them all the best for the upcoming season.”

Luton regularly get in excess of 7,000 fans at each home game and this year will feature on the BBC’s Football League show every Saturday night – ensuring plenty of coverage for the NICEIC and ELECSA brands.

Dave Hoskins, commercial manager at Luton Town FC added: “We have built up a real partnership with NICEIC and are delighted to have them and ELECSA on board for the new season.”

Published 26 August 2014

Minister unveils new register for all Part P registered electrical installers

George Clark

Searching for an electrician is now easier than ever thanks to a new website listing all firms registered to carry out domestic electrical work in England and Wales.

The new site  HYPERLINK "http://www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk" www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk and logo was developed by all Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) authorised electrical Competent Person Scheme Operators in a bid to create a single point of reference for consumers seeking a registered electrical contractor. It was officially unveiled by the Minister for Communities and Local Government, Stephen Williams MP at the Palace of Westminster last night.

 “With several registers in operation the marketplace had become confusing for householders,” commented Mr Williams, who gave a key note speech to a wide array of industry stakeholders and MP’s at the event.

“Government asked all Competent Scheme Operators to unite and create one site for all registered electricians and we are delighted at the co-operation and work that has gone into making this achievable.

“The consumer focused website, featuring an easy to use search facility, and electrical competent person logo are all designed to make finding a registered, competent, electrician easier than ever before.

“Homeowners need to be aware of the dangers involved when carrying out work around their home. The creation of  HYPERLINK "http://www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk" www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk will raise consumer awareness about this issue significantly.”

All Full Scope Part P electrical installers registered to carry out domestic electrical work in England and Wales are listed on the new register and entitled to use the new Registered Competent Person Electrical logo on their vans, websites and promotional material.

Emma Clancy, Chief Executive Officer of Certsure, which operates the NICEIC and ELECSA brands said: “Choosing someone to carry out work in your home is a decision that should never be taken lightly.  

“Consumers now have just one name and one easily recognisable mark to remember and they can be reassured that everyone listed on the site has had a sample of their work checked and assessed in accordance with the required electrical standards.”

NAPIT Group Chief Executive Officer, Michael Andrews added: “The creation of this site and mark are evidence of the strides being taken by the industry to come together for the greater good. 

“It is not only an added benefit for consumers but also a mark that registered electrical firms can be proud to be associated with. All Full Scope installers carrying out electrical work in dwellings in England and Wales can be easily identified via the new mark and their company details listed on the user-friendly register.”

Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield and Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Home Safety Group who hosted the launch of the new register, said: “It is great to see industry coming together for the sake of improved electrical safety in homes across England and Wales. I look forward to seeing how this new initiative makes the process of finding an electrical contractor easier and safer for householders.”  

The new mark combines the Registered Competent Person Electrical logo, an instantly recognisable house and plug socket design, with the Competent Person Scheme Operator logo of the installer who displays it. This will ensure consumers have just one intuitive symbol to recognise but are still able to access the robust support, such as the work quality guarantee, available from individual scheme operators. 

The new mark and register has the support of leading industry stakeholders including scheme operators and DCLG. It is also backed by the charity Electrical Safety First who will spearhead a targeted consumer marketing campaign to highlight the register and raise levels of consumer awareness significantly.

Published 20 May 2014

NICEIC and ELECSA welcome Government response to Select Committee report

NICEIC and ELECSA have welcomed the Government’s response to a Select Committee report into the building regulations certification of domestic electrical work.

In its report, published on Tuesday, 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% 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.”

Published 22 May 2014
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