How to become a domestic electrician in the UK

I have had a lot of questions from people asking how to become a qualified electrician (England and Wales), so I am putting on a series of one day
events to explain how you can do it.
http://www.magna.demon.co.uk/electrical/electrical_cross_training.htm
I am currently trading very successfully as an electrician. I am fully qualified registered and legal, which I did without and further training, simply by applying what I already knew from previous jobs. The trick is knowing how to comply with all the convoluted bureaucracy.
Regards
Stephen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
All but very minor electrical works now has to be notified, (since January 2005) to Building Control (Building Regulations Part P). The installation must be installed or tested and certified by a registered 'Competent Person'. Becoming a registered competent person is not cheap. I have worked in the construction industry as an electrician, electrical designer, contracts / project manager for forty years plus, on all manner of electrical installations and even I would not be classed as a competent person unless I became registered.
You consider you can train / teach 'many' people, providing them with enough knowledge, to become a qualified electrician, in one day, when it took me, and many like me, a five year apprenticeship to become qualified. I think not.
Send me a list of the people who take your course so I can avoid them if I ever need any part of my installation certified.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Actually, it's installed by a 'Competent Person' or tested and certified by the Local Authority (or someone they assign) who does not need to be a 'Competent Person' (and can be a DIY-installer themselves if the Local Authority inspector is happy they know what they're doing).
However, the whole scheme is being ignored by most parties (electricians, many Building Control Officers, and the public), most of whom are not the slighest bit interested in it. The government department which introduced it have now admitted they way over-estimated the number of electrical accidents/deaths in the original Regulatory Impact Document (by including incidents due to appliance faults, which are actually the majority of incidents and not relevant for Part P).
--
Andrew Gabriel

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
writes:

Only when a house is sold may a test be applicable. People are taking it seriously. Heating fitters who previously would do the wiring are now getting Part P certified electricians to do it. The same with kitchen being fitted by the major chains.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well at least that's a plus. Most of the wiring I've seen done by a plumber - even although the plumbing is immaculate - is dreadful. Probably think it's beneath them.
--
Small asylum seeker wanted as mud flap, must be flexible and willing to travel

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My two indirect experiences of CORGI heating installations and one of a kitchen being fitted since Part P range from no observance of Part P whatsoever, to using it as an excuse not to do any of the electrical work and just plug the boiler into a socket outlet ("that's all we're allowed to do now, gov.").
No electrical test is applicable when a house is sold. Not even was one included as part of the government's now abandoned Home Condition Report.
--
Andrew Gabriel

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
writes:

I can quote you verbatim from the RICS Homebuyer's survey on the house I am currently buying, I suspect they put the same on every survey - still "caveat emptor":
"Visible wiring and fittings appear to be satisfactory with no obvious defects. However, the
system is unlikely to comply with the very latest standards and some upgrading may be
required. Further advice and estimates should be obtained from a qualified electrician.
The Institute of Electrical Engineers recommend that domestic installations should be
inspected every five years. It should be noted that any larger repair and alteration works
now require Building Regulation approval, unless carried out by an approved contractor. If
there is no evidence of a recent test, we advise that one should now be carried out.
ACTION - You are advised to arrange for a qualified electrician, preferably NICEIC
(www.niceic.org.uk) or ECA (www.eca.co.uk) approved, to test the installation and quote for
any necessary remedial work."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
writes:

it
being
The IET recommend a test when the house is sold
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What constitutes a "test"? Do testers just go around the property looking at visible wiring and visible electrical fittings, or do they dig deeper?
--
Ian

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
writes

I don't know what they are meant to do, but in my previous experience, they do all you say and take off a sample of outlet sockets/switch plates etc. One "tester" also asked for a copy of the wiring diagram for the property, which I had neatly drawn in a cad program. All mine have "passed", don't know what happens if one "fails". I should have another test coming up in about 3-4 weeks - if you can wait that long, I'll let you know.
--
Alan

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
writes

The test is "Periodic Inspection" defined in BS7671, like an MOT, most properties fail on first inpection but the faults are usually minor, unless some substandard work has been done in the mean time.
Stephen Biddle
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Stephen Biddle" wrote:

... or changes occupier. As well as at set intervals depending on the nature of the property.
As someone who makes a living out of testing and inspection, let me try and undo a few misunderstandings here.

It is standard practice to request all the documentation for an installation, including wiring diagrams, before starting an inspection. Quite often this documentation does not exist and it is then necessary to carry out a survey of the installation before inspection and testing can begin.
The practice of sampling, as described above, is only recommended where full documentation exists and is up to date. In such a case it is usual to sample not less that 10% of the installation.
Where no documentation exists, the results deviate significantly from previous results or problems with the installation are found, then a full inspection of the installation would normally be carried out.
Sometimes an inspector will determine that part of the installation is not in a safe condition to be tested. In that case the more detailed tests will not be carried out, and the reason why they were not done will be detailed in the report instead.
Sometimes part of an installation cannot be isolated, in such a case the inspector will list these limitations in the section of the report provided. In extreme cases the limitations may restrict the report to merely what can be seen without any testing or dismantling of the installation.
If you are handed a Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) then make sure you read this part ("Extent and Limitations of the Inspection") carefully.
Full details of what is inspected, tested and reported on, can be found in Guidance Note 3 for the IEE Wiring Regulations (Inspection and Testing).

Technically there is no such thing as a "Periodic Inspection Test" the correct title is "Periodic Inspection Report for an Electrical Installation". This, as its name suggests, it is a report compiled by a competent person, on the state of an electrical installation at the time it was inspected.
That is where the similarity with an MOT ends.
It is usual for the person carrying out the report to have passed City and Guilds 2391 (Inspection and Testing) together with City and Guilds 2381 (16th Edition Wiring Regulations). That person, or the company they work for, may also be a member of one or more trade bodies (such as NICEIC) but it is not compulsory.
The latest advice I have seen is that the inspection and testing of domestic installations does not require you to be able to self certify for "Building Regulations Part P" purposes, but that advice does seem to change weekly. (Don't get me started on Part P.)
There is no concept of a "passed" or "failed" PIR. At the end of the report the inspector is required to provide a list of observations and recommendations (ranked according to the remedial action recommended), and then to finally state whether or not the general condition of the installation is, in their opinion, "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory".
What the person receiving the report does with it is not the concern of the inspector.
If that person, having been told that the condition of the installation is unsatisfactory, or even unsafe, chooses to ignore the PIR, then they are quite free to do so.
If however the PIR has been requested on behalf of, say, an insurance company, then that company may well insist that any faults and issues listed are corrected and the installation then reassessed.
Reports can always be issued - even for the most dangerous of installations and anybody who says they cannot give you a report "because..." and then touts for the repair work, should be treated with an element of suspicion. If in doubt get a second opinion.
<blatant plug bias="high"> What you really need is somebody that specialises in inspection and testing, rather than a general contractor. </blatant plug>
The person signing the report is deemed to be legally responsible for their opinion, so make sure they sign it. Nobody can sign a PIR unless they actually carried out the inspection and testing.
John
--
John White,
Electrical Contractor
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A well written piece - my compliments to you John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
writes:

installation
(electricians,
the
introduced
including
being
The IET recommend a test periodiclly every 10 years
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

worked
enough
I agree, it's not my intention to train people to be competent in one day. What I am offering is a comprehensive, impartial guide of everything you need to know to comply with the requirements. Some will need further training and experience some will not.
A five year apprenticeship is one method, but in not necessary.
Stephen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There seems to be some confusion with regard to this subject. Yes Part P appears to be specific to domestic installations
The following is an extract from the Kingston Councils web site.
..........From 1 January 2005 all electrical work in dwellings will need to comply with Building Regulation 'Part P' requirements and be carried out by persons who are competent to do the work.
Small jobs such as replacing a socket-outlet or a light switch on an existing circuit will not need to be notified to a building control body (although there will be some exceptions for high risk areas such as kitchens and bathrooms).
All work that involves adding a new circuit to a dwelling will need to be either notified to building control, who will then inspect the work, or carried out by a competent person who is registered with a Part P Self-Certification Scheme.
Persons registered with Part P Self-Certification Schemes will be fully qualified electrical contractors with the ability to thoroughly check a circuit for safety and be aware of other Building Regulation requirements that may impact on any particular installation. They will be able to issue Building Regulations Certificates of compliance and will have to give those details to the relevant Local Authority.
Most jobs carried out by DIYers will be small jobs that do not need to be notified to building control, but they should still be checked by a competent electrician..............
Yes anybody can do electrical work in a house (dwelling) but it will need to be notified to Building Control and it will need to be tested and verified in accordance with BS 7671. A test / completion certificate will also need to be issued in accordance with BS 7671.
A number of organisations run 'Competent Person, schemes including the ECA. The cost is between 400 to 500 and it appears that it is necessary to re-register every year. The requirement is to have a body of work inspected and I guess that technical questions will be asked as well. It apparently takes about half a day to complete the course.
If the work is carried out by an electrician that is not registered, Building Control may inspect it but this will cost. It is also possible for a 'Competent Person' to be employed to do the test and inspection, but again this will cost. My guess is this will cost at least 100.00 or more.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Part P does not allow you to use a 'Competent Person' to inspect work carried out by anyone not registered under Part P as a means of complying with Part P. It never did allow this, but some councils were wrongly thinking that it did, so it was reissued in April to make this clearer. Only the council may perform inspections, although they may subcontract that to anyone they like (does not need to be an electrician registered under Part P, and can even be the DIY installer themselves if the council believes they are sufficiently compitent). The local council is responsible for paying for the inspection -- again it always was, but some were charging clients for it, and this has been explicitly forbidden in the reissued Part P.
--
Andrew Gabriel

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bright Spark wrote:

Not true I'm afraid, this only covers domestic (household) electrical work but I've worked on pubs, cinemas and nightclubs with no problems at all and I'm not even an electrician, more to the point, no one asked nor cared.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Can you clarify what you're offering?
Is it information about becoming Part P qualified - i.e. careers advice?
Is it actual training in electrical work?
Is it training that wholly or partly leads to a Part P qualification?
Is it information/training about other routes to compliance such as full plans/building notices?
Could you list the qualifications you hold?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There isn't any such thing as "Part P qualification" is there?

--
Chris Green

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.