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ELECSA and NICEIC opt out of third party Inspector scheme over safety fears

Release Date: 04/04/2014

ELECSA and NICEIC will not be operating a Third Party Inspection scheme amid fears that it will undermine registered electricians.
Last month the DCLG announced amendments to the Building Regulations which set out the introduction of third party certification schemes for electrical work in homes. The scheme will form part of the amended regulations from April 6.
However ELECSA and NICEIC believe the final scheme announced by the DCLG falls well short of the standards and safeguards that will enhance electrical safety and are workable for the trade. They have therefore decided not to operate a scheme.
“At the simplest level we do not wish to see DIY’ers carry out potentially dangerous electrical work. It should be left to competent electricians who will install and test their installations to the wiring regulations,”
Under the review of Part P in 2011, third party inspectors were put forward as a way for DIY’ers and those not registered with a competent persons scheme to have their work checked and certified. The inspectors will be registered on a scheme and assessed to certain criteria, but the scheme will not be officially accredited.
“The third party inspector scheme will not be UKAS accredited, meaning there will be no independent verification that third party inspector scheme operators are doing the job to the required standards,” added Emma.
“It makes a mockery of competent persons’ schemes and the tens of thousands of registered electricians already in the marketplace. There are glaring holes in the scheme, such as the amount of time an installation can be live before it is checked, potentially endangering the householder.
“As a competent person scheme operator, we believe that the third party approved inspector scheme in its current guise is flawed. The review of Part P in 2011 proposed the reduction of notifiable work in dwellings, which we believe has weakened the regulation. Now the third party inspector scheme undermines the working domestic electrician.” 
Electrical contractors have also expressed their concern as regards who is ultimately responsible for an installation that has been checked by them but wasn’t installed by them, especially if there is anything wrong with it. There are also real questions as to why DIY’ers would seek to get their work checked in the first place, especially if they are, by nature, inclined to save money on hiring a competent electrician.  
“It is disappointing that the building regulations around electrical work in the home have been further confused and potentially weakened by the proposed introduction of third party inspections. Householders should not attempt to install electrical work, it is the job of competent electricians to do it safely,”