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Discuss Minimum set of qualifications to trade/work in homes? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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I get different answers to this every time.

Some say you *have* to be a member of an approved trader body (NICEIC etc), some say you only have to have the regulations (now 18th) and even a diploma is not absolutely necessary. What is *absolutely* necessary?

If you job in homes, which body would oversee your holding qualifications or lack of? Local councils? If so, what rules or legislation would you be guilty of breaking?

Thanks.
 
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You require competence to work in dwellings there is no defined list of qualifications however, things may become sticky if you undertake work which needs notification to building control. Tying yourself to a scheme is going to require some minimum qualifications.
 

SparkyChick

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Notifiable works requires scheme membership as @westward10 has already stated (or quite large costs for going through building control).

The schemes will typically require you to have 2382 (The wiring regs), 2393 (Building regs for electricians) and 2932 (Fundamental initial verification). If you want to EICRs they typically require a testing qualification (2391 or 2394/2395).
 
T

The Ghost

When you say "...different answers..." like what? Regulations and law between them categorically define requirements for working on electrical installations and there are no different answers other than those regs. and laws. You must be qualified/trained and experienced. What laws would you break not having qualifications and experience. Electricity At Work Regulations for a start. Contract law possibly. Trading Standard laws. Health and Safety Act contraventions. Probably due to ignorance Building Regs, WEEE regulations, Environmental Act, Riddor and a host of other regs and laws to answer your question.
 
I know my Dad who runs a firm that does a lot of domestics likes to take people on with at least the C&G Level 3 with a view to them going on to NVQ etc.

However I personally know lads who do domestics that only have a level 2 but have been working as mates for a few years so have the experience and then if they come up against something beyond them they will pay a spark certed up to his eyeballs for the day.

I know if I wanted to work as a spark I would want to have all the quals (C&G Level 2, 3 NVQ & AM) just because the way I look at it is electrical work isn't a game, lives could be at risk if you botch it and I wouldn't want to be responsible for that!

Tbf though I'm pretty bad at maths so I will stick to my level 1 & Alarm installing ;) less ohms law the better ;)
 
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  • #7
When you say "...different answers..." like what? Regulations and law between them categorically define requirements for working on electrical installations and there are no different answers other than those regs. and laws. You must be qualified/trained and experienced. What laws would you break not having qualifications and experience. Electricity At Work Regulations for a start. Contract law possibly. Trading Standard laws. Health and Safety Act contraventions. Probably due to ignorance Building Regs, WEEE regulations, Environmental Act, Riddor and a host of other regs and laws to answer your question.
Thank you, @westward10, @SparkyChick, and @Vortigern for your replies. In response to the "like what" question above, I think this thread is an example already:

@westward10 says you need "competence" but no defined list of qualifications.

@SparkyChick said you need scheme membership "as @westward10 has already stated" - although he didn't. This was qualified with "notifiable works" though.

@Vortigern says you would break the Electricity at Work Regulations, but I cannot see a reference to an qualifications in those regulations.

To clarify, perhaps consider what transgression would occur if two people did identical work to the same standard but one of them had no qualifications?

Perhaps the answer simply isn't codified.

Thanks.
 
When I asked the NIC what they needed for me to join they said C&G 2382-18 18th reg and 2391-52 testing. Not much, really.
And as has been stated above, to do domestic you need to either pay building inspector or be a scheme member.
 

SparkyChick

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If you are not doing notifiable works (as defined in Approved Document P of the Building Regulations), then you don't need to be registered with a scheme.

However, if you're doing domestic, then it won't be long before you start needing to do notifiable work (mainly new circuits, changes in special locations, new consumer units - if you're in England, in Wales the list is slightly longer) and so it's beneficial to be part of a scheme as you can just do the work and notify it after the event.

If you're not part of a scheme, you have to apply to the local building control department to see if they'll accept your quals as proving your competent... if they do, you'll still have to pay them quite a bit for notifying work and you still have to do it in advance of carrying out the work. If you're not deemed competent by them you end up paying planning application fees I believe. Suffice to say, it's much easier being in a scheme. I carry out the work, issue the relevant paperwork to the client and if required, submit a building control notification. I charge the client the for the latter, but it's a token admin fee instead of hundreds of pounds.

For everything else you just need to be competent.... competent to install, inspect, test and document according to BS 7671. Passing exams is one way of demonstrating your competence. Using your example of two guys (one qualified and one not), if they both install to BS 7671 and nothing goes wrong, great. If something goes wrong however, the guy with the qualifications may be treated with a bit more leniency that the unqualified guy because it could be argued that Mr. Unqual was acting in a deliberately negligent way by undertaking work he wasn't qualified to whereas Mr. Qual could have just made a mistake. I'm not a lawyer, but that's my take on it.

Trying to shortcut learning for this job isn't good, and some will say I'm a fine one to be talking because I went the short course route, but that was backed up with lots of relevant experience and an understanding on my part of my limitations (which I work within), but I am also still learning and having completed my level 3 exams and AM2. It's a career in which you will constantly need to learn. Once my NVQ is out the way I'm looking at EV charge points, fire alarms and emergency lighting so I can expand the range of services I offer my clients. I could offer them now but it would be a reckless thing to do as I know I'm not competent to do so.
 
T

The Ghost


EAWR
Persons to be competent to prevent danger and injury

16. No person shall be engaged in any work activity where technical knowledge or experience is necessary to prevent danger or, where appropriate, injury, unless he possesses such knowledge or experience, or is under such degree of supervision as may be appropriate having regard to the nature of the work.

BS7671 enlarges on this under definitions.

Skilled person (electrically). Person who possesses, as appropriate to the nature of the electrical work to be
undertaken, adequate education, training and practical skills, and who is able to perceive risks and avoid hazards
which electricity can create.
NOTE 1: The term “(electrically)” is assumed to be present where the term 'skilled person' is used throughout BS 7671.
NOTE 2: Regulation 16 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires persons to be competent to prevent danger and
injury. The HSE publication HSR25 provides guidance on this.

In summary you are required to have technical skills which via the definition in BS7671 and no doubt case law or common law would most definitely be taken as requiring education and or training.
You will not osmose technical knowledge on the job so to speak. You will have to be trained. Doing work to the same standard is not the same as doing the work in light of that technical knowledge acquired through training and qualifications resultant from that training.

For instance in a domestic DIY scenario Johnny may do identical work to an experienced operative but what Johnny did not know is that it was inappropriate to do that work as the technical situation forbids it. But David who is trained and does have the technical knowledge knows that the Zs would be too high and would have to address the earthing situation before commencing that work. Poor Johnny could never have known this and his wife got electrocuted and died and Johnny went to prison and mourned his wife and life. But David didn't because he had the technical knowledge not to do something so unfortunate.
 
T

The Ghost

Annnnd!

HSG85
Select and instruct competent workers
40 Training as part of making a person competent is very important. Even the most highly qualified and capable people may not be competent to carry out specific types of work without suitable training. Competent workers will be self disciplined and aware that reckless behaviour with electricity can lead to injury and death.
41 Those in control of the work should:
■■ assess the degree of competence of individual workers against the specific type of work to be done;
■■ provide clear instructions, information and adequate training for employees on:
▬▬ the risks they may face;
▬▬ the measures in place to control the risks, emphasising the safe system of work to be used;
▬▬ how to follow emergency procedures;
■■ arrange for those being trained or those newly trained to be accompanied and supervised.
So that is H&S executives' take on it. Ignore at your peril. Even though it is guidance failure to follow the guidance will lead to prosecution with no defence. Clearly training/education is vital to say otherwise is contrary. You say you see no reference to education in EAWR but the words you read in statute do not always partake of the commonly understood meaning used everyday. They are legal words and do have precise definitions informed by common law decisions and the raft of regulations ancillary to the statute. It cannot be taken in isolation or assumed normal meanings.
 
D

Deleted member 26818

I get different answers to this every time.

Some say you *have* to be a member of an approved trader body (NICEIC etc), some say you only have to have the regulations (now 18th) and even a diploma is not absolutely necessary. What is *absolutely* necessary?

If you job in homes, which body would oversee your holding qualifications or lack of? Local councils? If so, what rules or legislation would you be guilty of breaking?

Thanks.
No qualifications are required at all.
If you want to be able to self certificate work for Building Regulations then you need to join one of the schemes such as NICEIC, NAPIT, STROMA, etc.
They will want you to have all sorts of qualifications.
You would have to check with each scheme to see what they will want.
 
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  • #14
No qualifications are required at all.
If you want to be able to self certificate work for Building Regulations then you need to join one of the schemes such as NICEIC, NAPIT, STROMA, etc.
They will want you to have all sorts of qualifications.
You would have to check with each scheme to see what they will want.
Yes, I think that is the answer to the question posed in most cases, althouth I am grateful for the examples and other observations people have included.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Annnnd!

HSG85
Select and instruct competent workers
40 Training as part of making a person competent is very important. Even the most highly qualified and capable people may not be competent to carry out specific types of work without suitable training. Competent workers will be self disciplined and aware that reckless behaviour with electricity can lead to injury and death.
41 Those in control of the work should:
■■ assess the degree of competence of individual workers against the specific type of work to be done;
■■ provide clear instructions, information and adequate training for employees on:
▬▬ the risks they may face;
▬▬ the measures in place to control the risks, emphasising the safe system of work to be used;
▬▬ how to follow emergency procedures;
■■ arrange for those being trained or those newly trained to be accompanied and supervised.
So that is H&S executives' take on it. Ignore at your peril. Even though it is guidance failure to follow the guidance will lead to prosecution with no defence. Clearly training/education is vital to say otherwise is contrary. You say you see no reference to education in EAWR but the words you read in statute do not always partake of the commonly understood meaning used everyday. They are legal words and do have precise definitions informed by common law decisions and the raft of regulations ancillary to the statute. It cannot be taken in isolation or assumed normal meanings.
Thank you for your two posts - very helpful. It seem the technically correct answer to what qualifications one needs is "none" although it is clear from what you have provided how things could proceed if one had inssufficient knowledge or competence.
I would take slight issue with your last example as they are not doing the same work if one person is altering the Z_e, but I understand where it is coming from.

Thanks,
 
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