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Building Regulations - Part P

Certification schemes

What are competent person self-certification schemes?

Electrical contractors who register with a competent person self-certification scheme will be able to self-certify compliance with the Building Regulations whenever they carry out 'notifiable' work. Persons who are not registered with a self-certification scheme - including DIYers - will need to notify or submit plans to a building control body, unless the work is non-notifiable.

How many electrical self-certification schemes have been approved?

On the recommendation of BRAC (the Building Regulations Advisory Committee), the Government has approved schemes to be operated by:

  • BRE Certification Ltd.
  • BSI - British Standards Institution
  • ELECSA Ltd.
  • NAPIT Certification Ltd.
  • NICEIC Certification Services Ltd.

These schemes are aimed at those carrying out electrical installation work as the primary activity of their business. 

The following defined competence self-certification schemes, aimed at those who carry out installation work only as an adjunct to or in connection with the primary activity of their business (e.g. gas installations, plumbing, kitchen or bathroom fitting, heat installation, security systems) have also been approved.

What are the competency criteria for joining a Part P scheme?

The competency requirements for the Part P schemes are specified in the Electrotechnical Assessment Scheme (EAS).

Compliance with the EAS can be achieved through a mix of experience and qualifications. There are additional requirements, mostly of an administrative nature, including the provision of certificates and a complaints procedure. These can be found on the ODPM website at www.odpm.gov.uk.

What are defined competence self-certification schemes?

These are schemes aimed at contractors who do electrical work as an adjunct to their main activity - for example kitchen and bathroom fitters and central heating installers.

Will electrical contractors be forced to join a competent person scheme?

There are three routes for those carrying out 'notifiable' electrical installation work in dwellings to demonstrate that they have complied with the requirements:

  • To join a competent person self-certification scheme, which is recommended for those who regularly undertake notifiable work in domestic premises.
  • Competent persons who only infrequently carry out work in domestic premises need not register with a competent persons self-certification scheme. However if they are not registered they must notify building control before carrying out the work and should meet all of the requirements of BS 7671 regarding design, installation, inspection and testing, and certification.
  • DIY electrical work is not to be encouraged, however where a householder wishes to carry out electrical work they must notify building control before commencing work. Building control will arrange for the work to be, inspected and tested at various stages and will charge a fee to cover any costs incurred.

There is no requirement to join a scheme. It will be perfectly acceptable to submit building notices to the local authority. It will be a matter for each individual electrical contracting firm to decide which of the above two routes to compliance would be best for their business.