Currently reading:
Blue Flame Certification - Review

Discuss Blue Flame Certification - Review in the UK Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Pretty Mouth

-
Esteemed
Arms
Reaction score
2,878
In addition to the 4 main, well known competent persons schemes (NICEIC, ELECSA, NAPIT and STROMA), there is apparently another, lesser known option: You can (allegedly) register with Blue Flame Certification and notify all your notifiables through them. I attempted to register with them earlier this year, and unfortunately it didn't go as I'd hoped.

This would be the first competent persons scheme I had applied for. I chose Blue Flame over the other CPS's as they seemed cheaper, have apparently few members (I don't tend to follow the herd), and there were enough people complaining about the other CPS's to warrant trying something different.

Back in February I emailed BFC to enquire about their electrical CPS (the website wasn't really clear as to what they were offering). They replied to me saying yes, they have a CPS for domestic electrical work, and included an application form. Coronavirus came, business died, and I forgot about it for a while as I worked as a delivery driver for a couple of months.

In late May, with business gradually picking up again, I completed the application form and returned it to BFC. They got back to me with a quote, pointing out that a site visit was usually required, but with the pandemic it would be done remotely. I told them I was interested in proceeding with the application, and was referred to (who i assumed was) their assessor. He sent me a list of site and office requirements for the scheme. I guess these are the same as required by the other CP schemes - liability insurance, BS7671 and OSG, complaints procedure and so on.

At this point, I emailed the assessor, asking him to confirm that my qualifications and experience were adequate. For those that don't know, I am a 3 wk wonder, AKA a Domestic Cabbage. I have the 18th edition, level 2 inspect/test/initial verification, and part p (a useless qualification I'm told), so entry level qualifications. I appreciate that this knowledge may invite the wrath of some forum members, and so, with my pants down, I invite those members to take a carefully aimed running kick at my testimonials. Enjoy yourselves, it's Christmas! Anyway, I sent the assessor a list of my qualifications, 3 years experience, and scans of my exam results, and he replied that yes, they were indeed adequate.

I was sent an invoice, which i settled immediately, and set about getting all the required documentation together. This took a little while, as I was fairly busy at that time, but got the bulk of it sent over by mid August, bar a piece of notifiable work for assessment. While I was busy, I hadn't done any notifiable work up to that point this year.

So far so good, up to this point I couldn't really fault BFC. My assessor had even taken the trouble to get in touch with me after not hearing from me for a couple of weeks, to see how things were going. However, from mid August, communication from BFC suddenly dried up. I had emailed my assessor to tell him about some notifiable work I was about to start, and was it suitable for assessment? It took 4 weeks to get a reply, when he told me it would be suitable, but by this time the job was done and dusted, and notified though a 3rd party certifier. I was about to start another notifiable job, so emailed back with info about that. A couple of days later, the job being complete, I created a write-up of the job, detailing what I did and how I did it, including photos, and emailed it over to my assessor. No reply, I followed it up with other emails that also went unanswered. Eventually I phoned BFC's office to learn that my assessor had left the company, and a replacement would be in touch soon.

Some time passed without any word from BFC, so I sent more emails to their office, again these went unanswered. Eventually, in mid November, BFC re-engaged with me. I was told in an email that that the assessor had left, that his emails were being accessed, and all info I had sent was being reviewed. Also, a site audit was now necessary, but the extra cost would be waived as this rule had changed since i had applied. I was also sent a contract to sign and return.

The same day, the scheme manager emailed me to tell me that he would be responsible for auditing my application. He told me that my qualifications were adequate for what I had applied for, but that other work types were now available (periodic test+inspect), and was I interested? No thanks, I just want to be able to notify my own work myself. He followed up with an email telling me I needed "level 3 qualifications" to join the scheme, and did I have them? Well what's going on here, he'd just told me my qualifications were fine, just as I'd been told back in June when I specifically asked about them. I again listed my qualifications, and asked again if these were adequate. After several more emails exchanged, he finally stated that I couldn't join their CPS as I didn't have a level 3 test and inspect qualification.

I was pretty Pee'd off. 5 months after specifically asking BFC if my quals were ok, being told they were, having paid the joining fee, and mucked around gathering all the nonsense they'd asked for, I get told that actually my quals aren't up to the job, and I can't join. Equally annoying is that I know for a fact people have joined NICEIC in the meantime with the same quals, and with less experience. I wrote an official letter of complaint, and eventually got my money back.

So overall, not that impressed with Blue Flame Certification.
 
Ridiculous mate, out of interest how much were they?....surely they can’t be much cheaper than stroma/napit?....end of the day it’s not gonna cost you anything anyway.....it all come off the tax bill ?
 
Ridiculous mate, out of interest how much were they?....surely they can’t be much cheaper than stroma/napit?....end of the day it’s not gonna cost you anything anyway.....it all come off the tax bill ?
£354, so cheaper than NICEIC, but not as cheap as stroma (i think), but stroma aren't open to new entrants anyway. It would have been more for the site visit, but I don't know how much more.

I'm not sure that it costs nothing fella. It'll come off my earnings, which will reduce my tax bill, but still down overall.
 
I think whatever scheme you want to join, they now insist on a level 3 NVQ , the current edition of bs7671and possibly inspection and testing as a minimum as to avoid the 5 week electricians carrying out and certifying their own work.

I maybe wrong but I believe the likes of the Niceic have gone down this route to improve the overall standard, for new members at least.
 
I think whatever scheme you want to join, they now insist on a level 3 NVQ , the current edition of bs7671and possibly inspection and testing as a minimum as to avoid the 5 week electricians carrying out and certifying their own work.

I maybe wrong but I believe the likes of the Niceic have gone down this route to improve the overall standard, for new members at least.
This is the current EAS (guidance for those offering CPS's). I only became aware of this after being told that my quals weren't enough. Table 4A on p23 shows the various routes in, and, unless I've misunderstood it (it isn't the easiest reading), kind of backs up what you say. This only came into effect in September, but the old EAS (July 2015) has more or less the same requirements, the only real difference (as far as i can tell) being 2 years experience is now necessary whereas before it just said evidence of work.

The reality is that the schemes aren't working to it though. Heresay has it that Napit want 2391, 18th edition, and 2 years experience, but certainly very recently NICEIC have taken on members with the same qualifications I have and < 1 year experience, and a couple of years ago you could get in straight out of doing the course, so long as you could knock up an easy circuit at home for assessment. And blueflame would have let me in had I got the 2391, so all are working to below the minimum requirements.
 

Attachments

  • eas-effective-from-1st-september-2020.pdf
    517.9 KB · Views: 28
It is a nonsense, even if you done just non notifiable jobs, there is still the danger, who's checking them kind of jobs, electricity is electricity.
This is a good point. IMO, installing a new circuit from scratch in a domestic setting is easy work, at least from a technical point of view. Extending an existing circuit I consider to have much more opportunity for error. But as it is non notifiable, I can do this without needing any sort of assessment
 
the niceic and the other scams have made a fortune out of the short course DI training. 5 weeks in a classroom,pass an exam or 2 and welcomed with open arms as long as the subs were paid. nothing to do with improving standards of work, all to do with funding the scams income.
 
Its the same with lorry driving, gave my class1 up last year, could not be bothered with the medical, because don't have driver's CPC, you have to complete 35hrs in class room to get your blue card which has to be renewed every 5 years, no pass or fail but it's the money element just another money making scam, so with 23yrs of holding the license and experience it's gone and they wonder why there is a shortage of drivers.
 
Great post @Pretty Mouth , detailed and relevant.

It's unfortunate you didn't join with a scheme a few years back after completing your course as you would have been accepted. Page 28 of the EAS document then says it is permitted to accept new QS from existing schemes, although there's a load of 'and' and 'ands' required!!

I have kept the spec of my EAS domestic installers course which specifically says it meets the requirements to become registered (at least it did at the time, I don't believe it would now as it is level 2). However, If you really need to become registered then I would contact each of the bodies and ask them all if your qualifications are sufficient. Hopefully you have something in writing with regards the spec of the course which says it is, basically get as much ammunition as you can.

If that fails then I guess you have 2 options, ask @telectrix (discreetly) for as much info as possible about how he still installs CU's, new circuits etc without being registered. Do the level 3 course, not as difficult to access as it may seem, there are on line courses I believe, with a small amount of classroom attendance required (ask @happysteve as I think he did one).
 
Great post @Pretty Mouth , detailed and relevant.

It's unfortunate you didn't join with a scheme a few years back after completing your course as you would have been accepted. Page 28 of the EAS document then says it is permitted to accept new QS from existing schemes, although there's a load of 'and' and 'ands' required!!

I have kept the spec of my EAS domestic installers course which specifically says it meets the requirements to become registered (at least it did at the time, I don't believe it would now as it is level 2). However, If you really need to become registered then I would contact each of the bodies and ask them all if your qualifications are sufficient. Hopefully you have something in writing with regards the spec of the course which says it is, basically get as much ammunition as you can.

If that fails then I guess you have 2 options, ask @telectrix (discreetly) for as much info as possible about how he still installs CU's, new circuits etc without being registered. Do the level 3 course, not as difficult to access as it may seem, there are on line courses I believe, with a small amount of classroom attendance required (ask @happysteve as I think he did one).
Yeah, I probably should have got on it a bit sooner really. TBH, it's not that big a problem for me, not being registered. My 3rd party certifier now charges me very little, and doesn't even bother coming out to see the job now. He knows my work as I work for him regularly. I just send him the EIC, he notifies it, and I get charged a token amount. Unless I start doing loads of notifiables, it's cheaper this way too.

I might do the 2391, or EAL equivalent, anyway. I think it would be a good thing to have, and doesn't take all that long to complete
 
Pretty Mouth is not the only one! I left one certifier due to their money-grabbing ethics, and have now been with the main two (plus the short-lived Stroma) for over 18years. I too thought I would try Blue Flag, all seemed to be rocking up quite well, had a positive telecon with their electrical guy and duly paid up £516 (VAT inc). the silence after paying was deafening, and at the end of the second week I withdrew my application and asked for my money back, which was paid rapidly when I hinted at litigation.
Another outfit is OFTEC, which is primarily concerned with oil-fired boiler techs, but they do a 'Part P' entry, which I went for, but but to get a positive outcome has been like pushing water uphill.
I know it is far-fetched, and possibly I'm barking up the wrong tree, but I am of the opinion that just maybe someone is either cajoling, or even greasing the palm not to accept anymore sparkies.
 

Reply to Blue Flame Certification - Review in the UK Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Similar Threads

NICEIC Certification Scheme Getting accredited to
Replies
16
Views
2K
  • Question
    • Informative
    • Like
2
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • Question
    • Like
2
Replies
25
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
1K

OFFICIAL SPONSORS

Electrical Goods - Electrical Tools - Brand Names Electrician Courses Green Electrical Goods PCB Way Electrical Goods - Electrical Tools - Brand Names Pushfit Wire Connectors Electric Underfloor Heating Electrician Courses
These Official Forum Sponsors May Provide Discounts to Regular Forum Members - If you would like to sponsor us then CLICK HERE and post a thread with who you are, and we'll send you some stats etc
This website was designed, optimised and is hosted by untold.media Operating under the name Untold Media since 2001.
Back
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock