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Topic Title: Customer Insists on NICEIC
Topic Summary: Insurance Issue
Created On: 05 October 2017 05:21 PM
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 05 October 2017 05:21 PM
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Igot3ears

Posts: 378
Joined: 24 December 2004

Hi all. Hope somebody here can help.

I have an existing customer who has been more than happy with my work and service for over 25 years. However they have now advised that they cannot continue to use my services because their insurance company says my certificates are not valid because I'm not NICEIC approved. I've tried explaining that is a contravention of Article 14 of ECHR and also contravenes the Equality Act 2010. Basically the NICEIC is a UK based organisation so by default that excludes any non UK based companies from tendering for works etc.

Has anybody else come across this and how best to overcome it?

Regards
3ears
 05 October 2017 06:50 PM
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geoffsd

Posts: 1783
Joined: 15 June 2010

It's just ignorance and/or false belief on the part of the insurance company resulting from self-promotion by NIC.

Get your sceme to take up the matter with the insurance company and do some self-promotion of their own rather than just pocketing your fees.
 05 October 2017 07:10 PM
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Igot3ears

Posts: 378
Joined: 24 December 2004

I'm not in a scheme so how would I do that?
 05 October 2017 07:18 PM
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geoffsd

Posts: 1783
Joined: 15 June 2010

Oh, sorry, I thought you meant that they would not allow your scheme to do the work.

In that case, I don't think there is much you can do about it - apart from join NIC.
 05 October 2017 08:11 PM
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Alcomax

Posts: 249
Joined: 12 November 2009

This happens sometimes when your client changes insurer. Likely the insurance company likes the notional guarantee of standards that comes from being in nicey club.

Edit to add: get the client to negotiate with insurer.....if client insists they may get a waver. Maybe there has been change of risk, if client wants to retain you maybe a compromise is client agreeing with insurer to have an EICR by a nicey A/C, to sort of "reset things" from insurer perspective.

After that continue as before.

Edited: 05 October 2017 at 08:53 PM by Alcomax
 06 October 2017 04:55 AM
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spinlondon

Posts: 5494
Joined: 10 December 2004

Speak to the insurance company yourself.
Had this myself a few times, a quick chat with them sorted it.
 06 October 2017 09:10 AM
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davezawadi

Posts: 3955
Joined: 26 June 2002

I got 3
I suggest you join a scheme, you need nothing you probably haven't got. All you need is cal certs, 17th edition test, insurance, and a job to show the assessor. (Well that's Stroma anyway). Not expensive.

Regards

-------------------------
David
BSc CEng MIET
david@ZawadiSoundAndLighting.co.uk
 06 October 2017 02:42 PM
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Jaymack

Posts: 5377
Joined: 07 April 2004

Originally posted by: Igot3ears
I'm not in a scheme so how would I do that?

Consider yourself fortunate that you have been carrying out inspection reports, without being in a scheme ........... and for any other electrical work?

Regards
 06 October 2017 04:52 PM
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geoffsd

Posts: 1783
Joined: 15 June 2010

It's not necessary to have scheme membership to carry out EICRs nor non-notifiable electrical work.

As long as notifiable work is notified to the LABC then all is well.
 06 October 2017 11:42 PM
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sparkingchip

Posts: 10180
Joined: 18 January 2003

The customer can book a NICEIC electrician through John Lewis

Home Solutions

Sorted!

Andy B.
 07 October 2017 07:31 AM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 16102
Joined: 13 August 2003

However they have now advised that they cannot continue to use my services because their insurance company says my certificates are not valid because I'm not NICEIC approved.

Is this a commercial rather than domestic customer? (i.e. no Part P considerations)

If the insurance company really said that your 'certificates were not valid' I'd be having strong words with their legal dept - on the basis of that statement being factually incorrect and damaging to your professional reputation and business. (Presuming you're not actually issuing certificates that falsely claim NICEIC approval).

If on the otherhand, the insurance company have said only that your certificates aren't acceptable to them as they prefer the additional reassurance of 3rd party oversight of your standard of work, then I guess you have a lot less leverage, other than persuading your customer to take their insurance elsewhere.

- Andy.
 07 October 2017 03:02 PM
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Igot3ears

Posts: 378
Joined: 24 December 2004

Thanks for the replies.

This is not a domestic customer so no Part P malarkey involved. I used to be NICEIC but pulled out about 5 years ago when I scaled back my business and didn't consider the fees worthwhile any longer. What amazes me now is how gullible people are being fed the nonsense that they need to belong to a club otherwise your not competent to do the work - and even some electricians believe it as you can see from this thread.

I can't see how someone else's insurance company would speak to me because it is not my insurance policy so data protection would prevent them from discussing anything with me. Try phoning up your next door neighbour's insurance company and see how easy it is to speak to them - doh!

I guess there's not much I can about this but it is somewhat frustrating knowing you've given 25 years excellent service but lost the customer because of others ignorance. Good points Andy about the professional reputation issues. That might be somewhere I could explore further.
 07 October 2017 04:15 PM
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jonny705

Posts: 157
Joined: 26 September 2015

I Have posted before how I have lost 2 re-wires and loads of EICR's for estate agents , as I am not NICEIC.

They asked me if I was part P , etc, so forwarded the quotes and it wasn't the cost that didn't get me the job, only the stipulation was the banks insisted (not all of them) that the work was done by NICEIC only.

They would not recognise ANY other CPS schemes, I tried explaining that it wasn't a qualification etc, and they are all the same but ,to no avail-it wasn't the estate agents fault, only the Banks that had a problem.

I know some insurance stipulate NIC only, also, so although unfair really , what can you do if they insist on it?
 07 October 2017 04:26 PM
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geoffsd

Posts: 1783
Joined: 15 June 2010

I do not understand why Elecsa, before they merged, Napit and now Stroma don't sort out this discrimination.

Or do I?
 07 October 2017 09:47 PM
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leckie

Posts: 4439
Joined: 21 November 2008

Well while I have empathy with people that are competent not being allowed to carry out work because clients or their interested parties insist on NICEIC, I think you need to think from a commercial perspective.

Look, we all know that the NICEIC is the most recognised scheme, and that insurers, etc., stipulate NICEIC members to carry out work. Now f you want to join other schemes and pay a bit less that is fine. I choose to cough up to the NICEIC because over many years I have found the the slight difference in the annual fee is more than made up for by additional work. And no need to speak to insurers, etc., to argue that NAPIT, etc., is just as good.

I am not quite sure why the NICEIC get hammered so much compared to other schemes. To me they are basically all the same, but a bit more strict possibly. So to me it is easy, I join the NICEIC and get lots of inspection plus other work. I join another, and don't get as much work. I save about £150 -170 per year if I join a different scheme, but less jobs.

Now this may not be a perfect set up but that is the way it is. This is probably something to do with the NICEIC and the ECA being the original clubs. The others like NAPIT, Stroma, etc, are relative Johny come latelies. When I started there was not the choice.
 07 October 2017 11:32 PM
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sparkingchip

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Joined: 18 January 2003

All very convincing, however there is a fly in the ointment.

As far as I am aware none of the electricians registration schemes actually assess the quality of the EICR's produced,.

All the assessments appear to be of installation work.

Andy B.
 08 October 2017 12:30 AM
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geoffsd

Posts: 1783
Joined: 15 June 2010

To be fair, as it is commercial work, it is nothing to do with the competent person schemes so NIC is being used as a trade body as it always has been since before 2005.

Are Napit still a trade body as well as a CP scheme?
They are the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (UK), after all.

As the insurance company is insuring the work, then like anything else being insured, they are free to stipulate any condition they want. It is unfortunate for the OP that his customer has, presumably, changed insurers.



Regarding EICRs in domestic premises, these are not restricted to registered electricians so nothing to do with the CP scemes.
 08 October 2017 06:16 AM
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leckie

Posts: 4439
Joined: 21 November 2008

Originally posted by: sparkingchip

All very convincing, however there is a fly in the ointment.



As far as I am aware none of the electricians registration schemes actually assess the quality of the EICR's produced,.



All the assessments appear to be of installation work.



Andy B.


I think that would depend on what you have done. My last few inspections have included a bit of installation work, but mainly reviews of industrial EICR's. This involved looking through reports and a site visits to replicate the test procedure and look at the parts of the installation that the observations, etc., referred to.

My point is that unless you are only interested in being a shame member for self notification, then as a trade body the NICEIC has the most recognition and membership is often a requirement of clients, insurers, etc. I can't be bothered to ring up and spend time convincing clients that other bodies are just as good. I think that is up to them to do.

I don't think NAPIT is that much better value really, how much do you save being in say NAPIT compared to NICEIC ignoring any introductory offers? I think, not certain, I paid £470 plus VAT for full AC with NICEIC, so how much would I save with NAPIT, about £70? To me that is not worth the hassle.

The trade bodies whether for part p considerations or for general assessments of your general work types, are basically the same. Although I think NAPIT only require one job to be assessed whereas the NICEIC have always asked to see three of mine. So I would say that makes them appear a bit more thorough.

So I can understand arguments about scheme providers for Part P, but for me that is a minor consideration, that is a relatively recent requirement, I have been trading for forty years. For me the trade organisation has been firstly to put me in a position to get access to more work, to give customers confidence that at least you are having some sort of assessment as a contractor, to have an organisation that keeps me in the loop regarding industry changes and requirements. And probably a few more bits I can't think of right now.

So as Geoff has said, in many cases the membership to a trade organisation is not a requirement, but a client is at liberty to ask for what they want. Ask yourself this, if gas work was suddenly deregulated and membership of Gas Safe was optional and you could have gas installation work carried out on n you premises by anyone calling theirselves plumbers, who would you choose? A register member of Gas Safe, or some bloke you,met in a pub?

It seems to me that the problem people see is the annual fee, which as I said I think is more than paid for by additional, and the fact that an annual assessment is required. I don't mind being assessed, why should I?

So to the OP, for not a lot of money you could have kept your customer and probably had other customers. It is a shame for people that really are competent, but that is the commercial reality.

Or of course I might be completely wrong
 08 October 2017 06:22 AM
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leckie

Posts: 4439
Joined: 21 November 2008

By the way, if you just want a trade body and don't need the CP bit for notification, the ECA is in a different class to all other bodies. Even though it's not quite as good since it linked up with Certsure, it is still fantastic. It really is worth looking at them if you haven't already, they offer some real benefits, including a huge discount on BUPA, which virtually pays the subscription.
 08 October 2017 10:34 AM
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sparkingchip

Posts: 10180
Joined: 18 January 2003

Originally posted by: geoffsd

To be fair, as it is commercial work, it is nothing to do with the competent person schemes so NIC is being used as a trade body as it always has been since before 2005.



Are Napit still a trade body as well as a CP scheme?

They are the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (UK), after all.



As the insurance company is insuring the work, then like anything else being insured, they are free to stipulate any condition they want. It is unfortunate for the OP that his customer has, presumably, changed insurers.







Regarding EICRs in domestic premises, these are not restricted to registered electricians so nothing to do with the CP scemes.


The pseudo charity the NICEIC is a privately owned voluntary body, it is not and never has been a trade association, it is a technically a consumer organisation that enrols electricians onto its register and maintains a competent persons register. Electricians are termed as customers by the NICEIC, not members.

The privately owned NAPIT operates a trade association that maintains a competent person register. Electricians are termed members, but are really customers.

The other privately owned schemes appear to be simply a way of electricians being enrolled onto a competent person scheme without any extras such as magazines and the like.

Originally the NICEIC inspected electricians installation work, now they assess the electrician, a subtle difference. The clue is in the name NICEIC

Andy B.
IET » Wiring and the regulations » Customer Insists on NICEIC

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