Certsure calls for industry sense check

06/03/2014

Plans to overhaul the competent person’s scheme could prove burdensome.

That is the view of NICEIC and ELECSA in response to parliamentary recommendations for all domestic electricians to have a qualification equivalent to NVQ level 3 within the next five years.

“Whilst we welcome many of the recommendations made by the committee we believe the requirement on all individuals, irrespective of the size of the firm or the work the individual undertakes, within a business to be fully qualified places a huge onus on firms,” commented Emma Clancy CEO of Certsure, which operates the NICEIC and ELECSA brands.

“To have all employees up to a Qualified Supervisor (QS) level will push up costs and reduce the need for apprentices. The industry will suffer in the long term. It is also no guarantee to raise standards.

“The QS system, which Part P is based on, is proven to work and as the committee states in its report has actually pushed domestic electrical installation standards up in recent years.

“I think we need to be clear that the majority of electricians out there, working in people’s homes, are fully qualified and competent to carry out the work required of them.

“Around 80 per cent of the work carried out under Part P is done so by sole traders who have the appropriate qualifications and are able to test and inspect their own work.

“The view that some firms are sending out unqualified electricians, with just a few weeks training, to carry out jobs such as full rewires, unchecked, is simply not accurate. The majority of firms realise their responsibility to carry out work which is safe and to the required standard.

“The competent person scheme was based on our model and we will continue to adapt and evolve our business accordingly to work within the guidelines provided by central government.”

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