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Topic Title: Having a qualified electrician sign off and unqualified trainees work
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Created On: 28 April 2014 09:01 PM
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 28 April 2014 09:01 PM
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bowmandj

Posts: 139
Joined: 04 October 2011

I have recently retired from my company after 40 years service and am looking to return to electrical work on a part time basis to tied me over until 65 years pension time.

My C&G qualifications date back to the 70's so are not valid now, and I lose the corporate Qualified Supervisor cover in leaving. As a result I am going through the NICEIC retraining and registration process to become a Qualified Supervisor so that I can become a sole trader electrician who can self certify domestic Part P stuff. I also want to train up further so that I can do small charity organisations like old church buildings and halls.

But to register requires me to do work, whilst non qualified, that can be subsequently visited by the NIC assessor so that he can view my workmanship (two sites ofr domestic and five for commercial).

But as I am a sole trader I do not work for any electrical company, so how do I obtain sign off for my work. Everyone seems to be saying that they cannot sign off other peoples work, it is against regulations. Is this really true? I know there are changes afoot to prevent the dodgy certificate scenario where a 'bloke down the pub' is qualified and gives out install certificates to DIY people. But surely there can be circumstances where a third party electrician can inspect and test off a trainees work (provided they can see all that has been done). In the same way as the local council building control can arrange for a third party electrician to visit and sign off (maybe a PIR rather then an install though).

What say you all. How else might an old guy retrain and meet the NICEIC field work requirement.

Regards

Derrick
 28 April 2014 10:18 PM
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perspicacious

Posts: 7129
Joined: 18 April 2006

Well Derrick, I'm sure your topic will generate a lot of comments about the QS system and grandfather "rights" and questions as to why you were able to continue as a QS without having anything more recent than the 14th......

As to: "so how do I obtain sign off for my work" you could always pay a fee, at the start of your few installs, to the LA in lieu of being able to self certify, so that these jobs are "above board".

Regards

BOD
 28 April 2014 10:55 PM
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bowmandj

Posts: 139
Joined: 04 October 2011

To 'perspicacious'. The only grandad rights they are giving me are level; 2 and 3 C&G 2365 (granted from my Full Tech Cert C&G, ONC, HNC and CEI part 1 and 2 as well as the internal courses my company ran).

I am having to do NVQ level 3 (C&G 2357) plus 17th edition regs (2382). and testing (2394 and 2395) so will be a few weeks in class and a few months doing practical stuff before I qualify.

I did check with the local build control and they only want notice for Part P work in domestic dwellings. With church buildings and church halls they are now considered commercial (a work place) so are not subject to Part P control. They say to use a 3rd party registered tester such as Certelec http://www.certelec.com/electr...nstallationtesting.htm but they are too far away. Most local electricians say they cannot test other peoples work as the regulations do not allow this. But that may be a part P confusion http://www.napit.org.uk/membership.asp#8a and http://www.napit.org.uk/membership.asp#8.

I am not sure how my unqualified work can be checked, tested and a certificate issued while I do not work for an electrical company.
 28 April 2014 11:17 PM
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Phillron

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Joined: 18 January 2007

631.4 requires certification to be completed by a competent person
If you are competent you will be engaging your good self to carry out any testing on the proposed jobs for your assessment

You could always carry out non notifiable jobs for the domestic part p work that you may want to include
There is no reason I see,other than confirming your competence that would need you to engage a third party for any of your works
 28 April 2014 11:46 PM
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mantutu

Posts: 41
Joined: 16 June 2013

I think you are taking the Mick out of Michele!
If you are trained to at least level 4 (ONC and HNC) why would you have to train to a lower level? NVQ 3? Not even thought of when you or I did our training.
I have worked within the industry since the late 1970's and I know all the answers to your questions without having to study or ask. So I really cannot see how anyone with the same training and experience as I, could now be in a position that resorts to what I would consider basic questions.
Parts of your original HNC modules would have involved calculus, a positive way of verifying results from given or gathered data.
I still remember to this day how this can be interpolated into every day activities.
The 14th edition was being phased out as I went into the industry, at college we were already being trained towards the 15 edition, and I have had to keep up with the regulations ever since.
If you do decide to come clean and give the full facts of your training I am sure many members here could give you some very very good advise.
 29 April 2014 06:53 AM
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normcall

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bowmandj

Being highly unqualified and incompetent hasn't stopped me yet, so just do what you do best.
I've struggled along for over 40 years on my own (apart from a few years when the NICEIC decided I was good enough to go on their approved roll in exchange for a few quid). There is a lot of work out there if you are any good and word will get around as good sparks are actually like gold dust.
This was brought home to me a couple of years ago when we nearly bought a new home in the midlands. When a builder I asked to have a look at some 'odd' bits he nearly bit my hand off when he found out I was a sparks. He did a lot of local authority work and could keep a decent sparks occupied as much as they wanted.
PS I haven't used any calculus for many a year!

-------------------------
Norman
 29 April 2014 08:12 AM
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John Peckham

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You do not need to do an NVQ3 to be a QS a you already comply with the requirements to be a QS as you have been a QS in the last 2 years. The qualification requirement is set out in the EAS document that can be found on this site. I would advise you do go back to college though and do the C&G 2394 and 2395 as this will bring you up to speed on current practice. You must have C&G 2382 as a base qualification.

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John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 29 April 2014 08:22 AM
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zeeper

Posts: 1407
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Im surprised no one has mentioned the three signature EIC certificate in part 6 of bs7671.

As far as qualifications are concerned they need to be relevant. its no good having a HND in electronics if your carying out electrical installations obviously.

Further more how would you stand with insurance, its not worth risking your own home for a bit of pocket money.

If you dont hold suitable qualifications in inspection and testing you shouldnt be signing off your own work. take a look at the emma shaw case.

Anyway sounds like your going about it in the right way so far.
 29 April 2014 08:43 AM
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redtoblackblewtopieces

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If someone is taking the 2357 , which would also include an nvq 3 and progress to taking the am2 , is there any need to take the 2382 ? as they will have qualified under the 17th edition. Like wise with the 2394 if someone takes the 2357 which is the industry standard for an electrician it must mean they are able to test their own work. To me it seems the OP whilst doing the right thing might be spending a lot of money on courses which aren't needed straight away.
Kevin

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Safety through a Standard
Compliance by Approved Documents
 29 April 2014 11:09 AM
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bowmandj

Posts: 139
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To Mantutu

The nature of my work was specialised working in research laboratories and involved much more then basic mains wiring (clean rooms, radio and microwave, computer rooms, telephone exchanges and so on). So my skills and training tended to be internal courses (or manufacturer courses). So I do not have industry standard qualifications.

I have the knowledge and understanding of modern mains wiring skills but do not have industry standard tickets to show this (and I will admit that there is a lot of new stuff that we did not need or use in my work). So I can understand why NICEIC want me to do qualifications that seem lesser academically but I need the tickets to prove I am competent. I don't think I will have any problems passing the courses and exams but it is like having to redo a local driving test if you go to another country for more then six months. You know you can drive, they know you can drive. But the law requires you to do a test to prove it.

Incidentally I was never considered a QS in my company, but we had corporate cover that our 'power engineers' provided for us (as well as a host of other QS people for high pressure, cryo, toxic substances, laser, RF radiation, high voltage and all of the hazards in a research establishment).

Now I want to be self employed I will need my own personal QS status and that requires of me (for part P) to do 2383, 2394 and 2395 plus two field work assessments.

For non part P they claim I need NVQ 3 (with AM2) to demonstrate the practical aspects rather then the academic ones).
 29 April 2014 11:22 AM
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bowmandj

Posts: 139
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To redtoblackblewtopieces

Thanks for your comment. I agree that 2357 should embrace 17th regs and testing but it is a question of time frames. If I do 2382/94/95 first (only 8 days training) then I can get NICEIC QS registered quickly for part P work on dwellings. Alongside that (and much longer) I do 2357 NVQ to get industry standard recognition for non dwellings. I accept that the latter course overlaps the former courses but the NVQ will be months down the line.
 29 April 2014 12:28 PM
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bowmandj

Posts: 139
Joined: 04 October 2011

Thanks Phillron

I could do non notifiable work but the NECIEC requires two major works (CU change and upwards) to view and can accept some MWA if it shows workmanship (not a simple cable run but something else as well).

One reason for having a third party assess the work is that I have not yet shelled out on expensive test gear. Having an established electrician test off provides the test gear as well as an opinion on my workmanship in the community (outside of my old workplace which was industrial and commercial so all service mount, hard wired, heavy protection etc.). So the signing off is not just for regulations but effectively a coach/trainer were I am not employed as a trainee or apprentice.
 29 April 2014 02:40 PM
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davebp

Posts: 113
Joined: 16 April 2009

Hi Derrick,

Have you thought about contacting one of the other 'Part P' schemes?

For example, - I joined NAPIT before I had my 2394/2395 qualifications (I accept that the EAS requirements may have changed since then) and I was allowed 1 year to get these qualifications before my NAPIT membership was renewed.

It may be that NAPIT would take into account your experience and give you some time to achieve the neccessary qualifications? I would assume you'd need to sit your 2382 though, and demonstrate your work history and relevent qualifications.

Worth enquiring maybe, - they dont use 'QS' in their terminology as everyone employed in the company has to be assesed.

Dave.
 29 April 2014 04:34 PM
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Cremeegg

Posts: 521
Joined: 13 July 2007

I suspect (hope) that the schemes have tightened up on their entry requirements since the Select Committee fiasco. What they used to put on their websites as requirements and what they'd accept once they had your money were two different things. I hope it's changed.

In any event I'd check all the different schemes requirements and make a choice. At one time NAPIT required one major job whereas NICEIC required two.

Call the schemes and discuss their catch 22 situation on notification.

When I was with NAPIT they would accept me doing a notifiable job that I couldn't technically notify (cheaply through a scheme rather than expensively through LABC) as I wasn't yet Part P registered. They used that as my assessment (very thorough it was too!) so I was then able to notify to LABC as a Part P registered sparks. Saved a few quid and was a typically pragmatic NAPIT approach. In my experience NICEIC are far less pragmatic.
 29 April 2014 05:17 PM
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John Peckham

Posts: 7375
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Bowmandj

If you are doing domestic notifiable work then whilst other people can inspect and test your work and issue a test certificate they are not allowed to Notify the job as compliant with Part P. That said there are plenty of registered contractors who will notify other peoples work for a small cash payment.

There is a scheme in the pipeline that will allow accredited individuals to inspect and test other peoples work. It is not up and running yet but NAPIT, Stroma and the BSI have applied to the DCLG to run the scheme. NICEIC have thrown their toys out of the pram as they think it will be the end of mankind if the scheme operates.

I would get some test kit and 2382 and a couple of jobs to look at and you will find the schemes will bend over back wards to accept you and your cash. The schemes list items you must have such as a current edition of BS7671, insurance, relevant BSs if you want to do fire alarms and emergency light etc.

Have a look at the EAS document you can find on this site it has built in loop holes with the qualifications with the words "or equivalent". The clubs sit on the panel that write the EAS rules so they will not shoot themselves in the foot and make rules that exclude potential fee paying members.

I note the comment above about NAPIT and assessments. I know electricians who were assessed on consumer unit changes in their own houses, in one case his mum's house and they have not seen an assessor for 3+ years.

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John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 29 April 2014 07:53 PM
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bowmandj

Posts: 139
Joined: 04 October 2011

Thanks one and all for the input.

I think I am beginning to understand why so many electricians so blatantly refuse to test my work. One long term friend who left BT and became an electrician has said that NICEIC and ELECSA have withdrawn from the introduction of the 3rd party registration scheme (as mentioned by John Peckham above), and they have given explicit instruction to all of their members to not do third party testing. This may be why so many electricians are declining.

I have now found one electrician who is in another organisation (may be NAPIT maybe some other) and he is happy to act as my QS and sign off my non part P work provided he can observe the workmanship (no hidden cables etc.). A bit like a building control officer needing to see drains before they are covered.

But on another note I also rang the NECEIC and spoke with a field check assessor and he told me that for non part P work (non dwellings) I can sign off my own install certificates whilst in training before I am even qualified (provided I have done the courses 2382/94 and have test equipment). But I need to be on a programme of training to qualify (basically a probation period).

He also said that an interview assessment may take my previous history into account and be enough to convince the NECEIC to grant me full qualification without the NVQ 3 course having to be completed. As I was speaking to the guy about my work at the research labs and the work in the clean rooms and silicon foundries he realised how broad my knowledge and experience was (even if not mainstream domestic).

So I am reassured that it won't be such a difficult path.
 29 April 2014 07:58 PM
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mantutu

Posts: 41
Joined: 16 June 2013

I do apologise bowmandi , from your original post and second I assumed your qualifications were related. Just shows how assumptions can be so wrong.
 29 April 2014 09:32 PM
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bowmandj

Posts: 139
Joined: 04 October 2011

That is okay mantutu. I can see the ambiguity in my original posts, One is torn between being brief and creating ambiguity and being copious and creating boredom :-)

But the responses have been very positive and given me some real pointers.
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