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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 Part P of 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 (BCB), 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 self-certification schemes to be operated by:

  • Blue Flame Certification
  • Certsure LLP trading as NICEIC and ELECSA
  • NAPIT Certification Ltd
  • OFTEC.

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 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website.

What are defined competence self-certification schemes?

These are schemes aimed at contractors who do electrical work as an adjunct to their main activity e.g. kitchen and bathroom fitters and central heating installers, etc.

Third-party certification schemes

Third-party certification schemes allow registered competent persons to certify notifiable electrical work in dwellings, carried out by persons not registered with a self-certification scheme, or who do not wish to register their work with a Building Control Body (BCB).

In all cases, the third-party certifier is not the person carrying out the electrical installation.

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

For notifiable electrical installation work, one of the three procedures must be used to certify the work complies with the requirements set out in Part P of the Building Regulations:

  1. Self-certification by a registered competent person
    The installer should complete an electrical installation certificate and give it to the person ordering the work.
  2. Third-party certification by a registered third-party certifier
    A third-party installer must be appointed before the work begins, to inspect and test the work as necessary.
  3. Certification by a building control body
    If the self-certification or third-party certification procedure is not used, the local building control authority must be notified before work commences. Building control may choose to contract a specialist to undertake the necessary inspection and testing which will affect the cost of the application.

There is no requirement to join a scheme. It is perfectly acceptable to submit building notices to the local authority. Individual electrical contracting firms can decide which of the above routes to compliance would best suit them.