The document's purpose, as with all other approved documents, was to provide practical guidance for some of the more common building situations. Part P of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations (England and Wales) has been amended in an attempt to provide greater clarity of the requirement and to make enforcement more proportionate to the risk.
To reflect these amendments, a new version of approved document P was issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG). This came into effect on 6 April 2006, and may be obtained from the CLG website.
Articles about the original Part P were published in the Autumn 2004 edition of Wiring Matters.
Articles about the 2006 amended Part P were published in the Summer 2006 edition of Wiring Matters.
There are five Government-approved competent persons self-certification schemes, from BRE Certification Ltd, British Standards Institution (BSI), ELECSA Ltd, NAPIT Certification Ltd, and NICEIC Certification Services Ltd.
There are also 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.
In May 2003 the Government announced that it was introducing a new Part to the Building Regulations, Part P, which would bring domestic electrical installation work in England and Wales under the legal framework of the Building Regulations. It will, for the first time, place a legal requirement for safety upon electrical installation work in dwellings, although the sector is highly regarded for its high levels of conformity with its chief standard, BS 7671.
It was announced that Part P would only be introduced in law when self-certification schemes were in place to ensure competency of the work undertaken. Such schemes are now in place. Part P of the Building Regulations became a legal requirement on January 1st 2005.
As of 5 April 2006 Part P contains the following requirement
Design and installation
Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations in order to protect persons operating, maintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury.
In addition, electrical installation work must comply with the Building Regulations in general. Such requirements include those placed by:
- Part A - Structure
- Part B - Fire Safety
- Part C - Site preparation and resistance to moisture
- Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound
- Part F - Ventilation
- Part L - Conservation of Fuel and Power
- Part M - Access to and use of buildings