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Topic Title: Emergency Lighting Design
Topic Summary: Am I Competent?
Created On: 16 November 2012 11:20 AM
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 16 November 2012 11:20 AM
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burn

Posts: 125
Joined: 06 June 2003

The model certificates in BS5266-1:2011 state each section has to be signed by the "competent person"
I have recently joined a company on a tempory contract and been told only engineers with formal qualification in emergency lighting design can be "competent"
In the past I have always signed the certificate for the design in the belief that as an experienced design engineer, with a copy of the BS to refer to, I can count myself as competent.

Anyone care to comment?

burn
 16 November 2012 11:29 AM
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Avatar for OMS.
OMS

Posts: 19668
Joined: 23 March 2004

Well it's the old chesnut - how can you show competence without something tangible - which leads to the adoption of a "certificate" mentality instead of just asking the guy a few pertinent questions

From memory, I don't think the current certificate (2011) asks for qualifications anyway - it's signed "for and on behalf of" isn't it ?. The requirement is simply for competence

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 16 November 2012 12:08 PM
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Delbot321

Posts: 77
Joined: 06 November 2012

I can offer you 2 points to consider:

1-I used to think I was competent simply having read BS5266, and then after having attended a course (by the NICEIC) I realised how far off I had been and that I was actually quite incompetent - I am not saying you are or are not - that is down to you to decide but what you need to remember is that 'You don't know what you don't know' ie you can think you are fully aware but really don't understand the depth of knowlegde required. As a comparision you can pass 17th Edition Regs without knowing about ohms law!! I look at it this way - if I had to stand in court could I demonstrate to the Judge/Jury that I was competent. I would refer to my training, experience and attending courses and show all the lighting level drawings that I have prepared to comply with the standards therefore I can show I have done everything reasonable to meet the standards.

2-The company saying that you need a qualification is down to their due diligence and assessment of their liability of risk. If they have someone who can demonstrate their competence to meet a standard (in an exam or assessment) there is both evidence they have the knowledge and experience to do the task (design the lighting layout) and someone else has checked they have that knowledge. The compnay has therefore made a reasonable attempt to ensure that the people working for them and carrying out particularly responsible tasks have done it properly and to the correct standard. Most compnaies I've worked for that take on design liability of any significance (weather it be lighting, emergency lighting, electrical installation, heating systems, etc) will have one person design it and someone else check it there by reducing the risk of getting it wrong and landing them (or their insurers) with an expensive claim.

If thats the policy of the company that they want qualified persons to sign things off take it as a positive that the company takes its responsibilities serously - don't take it as an insult to your abilities - it doesn't mean you can't do the same thing equally well or better. It just means that, at present, they have no independent evidence that you can do it.

Hope this helps.
 16 November 2012 12:37 PM
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Avatar for OMS.
OMS

Posts: 19668
Joined: 23 March 2004

LoL - from a design perspective, most consultant engineers will have a section starting with

"The contractor shall appoint a specialist to develop the design of the emergency lighting system in accordance with the requirements of this specification"

That way, you sell on the risk and make the production of the design, installation and commissioning certificates the responsibility of the contractor.

Personally, I rarely sign the design certs but I would consider myself competent to do so without attending a specific course.

Let's face it, emergency lighting design isn't that difficult if you can read and understand BS 5266-1 etc. I find the problems are generally based in misguided views held by some individuals and a tendancy to over specify by others.

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 16 November 2012 02:46 PM
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leckie

Posts: 1864
Joined: 21 November 2008

Is there a qualification for emergency lighting design?

I thought all you could get was a certificate to say you had attended a course run by the NICEIC, etc, not a qualification.
 16 November 2012 02:52 PM
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Avatar for OMS.
OMS

Posts: 19668
Joined: 23 March 2004

There are several people who operate emergency lighting training courses - there are also aspects covered in the Lighting Industry Federation courses and many BTEC HNC/HND courses. It's also covered in some degree courses

So there are "qualifications" of a sort - although the objective is competence rather than just qualification.

Membership of relevant professional bodies would probably be another way to demonstrate adequate underpinning knowledge and experience

regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
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