Part P, the true cost to the electrical industry

Part P.

When this first came out, like most electricians we hoped it would constitute a level playing field and remove the Cowboys from the industry.

Unfortunately, all it has done is undermining the very industry that most time served electricians loved and valued.

  1. It now takes, six weeks to be qualified as an electrician! 
  2. Time served electricians like myself who spent 5 years learning, and in my case was not even allowed to install electrical cable’s till I understood construction, bricklaying, plastering, carpentry, plumbing, and a whole host of other trade related items to ensure that I could repair the damage I caused when installing.
  3. Children can pass exams, but have no practical experience; an example of this, was an 18-year-old young man who asked to join my company as an electrical tester having passed his 2391 – 10, and technically was now competent  to test, so I showed him a board, I have which has various cable types clipped to it with the name hidden by Velcro tab, and asked him to name each one, the only two he could name were armoured, and he couldn’t tell the difference between SWA and XLPE and Twin and Earth.
         He had no idea, of the other types of cable on the board.
Here’s a short list of just a few of them: space-
  1. VIR
  2. Rubber
  3. lead
  4. Pyro
  5. FP 200  
  6. HORF
Faced with, the government requirement to reduce the number of unemployed people with promises of £50,000 a year for electricians,  their part P qualifications allowing them to do electrical work, in a domestic situation only!
Even this has its problems the basic part P, only allows you to carry out work in a kitchen, bathroom, and conservatory or garden, you need the extension to carry out the work, in the rest of the house.
So the general public, being ignorant of the actual qualifications assume all part P qualified electricians are capable of doing everything, (so much for the advertising).
In general, anyone that has passed a qualification such as part P, or 2391 – 10 is deemed to be competent.
Furthermore, most of these so-called qualified inexperienced people, who don’t have public liability insurance efficacy insurance, are not members of publicly recognised trade bodies, such as the NICEIC, don’t have proper offices, only have mobile phone numbers and therefore only have very small overheads, have been under-pricing work at such a ridiculously dangerous level, they are in my opinion putting at risk the lives of the general public.
I was called in to test and inspect a property that had been rewired by a part P engineer, who the homeowner could no longer find, after a little research, I found that the person was not registered the homeowner had not checked if they were a member of a competent body and in fact they had disappeared out of the country!
I found 6 x C1 items, 8 x C2 items, and 12 x C3 items; on a brand-new installation, was he qualified YES according to the government he did his six-week course and was a qualified electrician!? did he care about the people in the house NO, did he care about their safety, obviously not, can he now be found No he has disappeared back to Poland, NO is he accountable NO, what can the householder do nothing, except get it put right, at their expense.
But he was cheap!
I have long been an advocate, for the IEE regulations, to be made LAW.
As per usual, the gut reaction of government, has been to Institute a system, that at first appears to be a good idea, it will reduce the number of cowboys in the industry, unfortunately all it has done is instigate a false premise, massively reduced truly competent contractors and instigated a full sense of security to homeowners, but these installers are cheap!
Why is it, that GAS is, is a legal requirement, but electricity is only a recommendation?
Which allows lawyers, fly by night contractors, unqualified individuals, to do what they like; in fact a road sweeper can become an electrician within a day, just by saying he is, and there is nothing legally to say he can’t.
Cost-cutting in our industry, has now gone so far that most bona-fide contractors, who carry the overheads and requirements of updating, upgrading, new exams, new certificates, new books and everything else that that entails, can no longer do the work for the prices that the large FM companies insist they can be done for, let alone work for wages, or even less than wages, with their overhead costs
Many clients are now lulled into a false Sense of security, and the paperwork to be honest having seen many of these documents in the past six months, might just as well be used for toilet paper.
They won’t stand up in a court of law, insurance companies will not cover you, and they have been a number of cases recently where electrical fires have occurred, and because the paperwork is not up-to-date and in fact is onerous to say the least, they refused to pay out! (And you thought you were insured).
Don’t be deluded by cheap prices, reduce costs so-called qualified engineers, cheap testing companies, because the reality is, when it goes wrong, which there are thousands of these occasions every year, you will not be insured, you will lose your home, you will lose your livelihood and you will be put in prison, there are a number of people that already have, with tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pounds of fines, which the un-insured cannot meet, and therefore lose every asset they have!
I see these comments, and many others all over the Internet, yet as per usual the government take no notice, they were fast enough to instigate part P, when an MPs daughter got electrocuted, fast enough to instigate separate governing bodies, who are supposed to be our voice, yet when you asked to speak to the person in charge or talk to the MP they’re not interested in listing, you are not big enough, in fact they don’t care.
Yet they constantly fall short of making it law, but they make a lot of money, out of the numerous plethora of courses, that take weeks to qualify people to carry out dangerous installations within homes commercial premises and even factories, not the years of installation and practice under supervised experienced engineers that now the minority of contractors have.
Personally for me, one life is far too precious to lose, let alone the number of people that have been electrocuted due to bad DIY, poor installation work and Fred the guys read the DIY book that shows you how to install it, but has no practical experience whatsoever.
For further information please visit our website at: –  www.safe-electric.com