Have you ever searched for an electrician when you need some electrical work carried out in your home? You may have headed straight to your laptop and ‘googled’ for one or you may have asked your friends and family for a recommendation. Maybe you were lucky and straight away found a good electrician who did a fantastic job. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to tell when the opposite has happened and you have employed someone who has cut corners to save money or who is just not up to the job.
In Scotland, all electrical work needs to meet UK national standard BS 7671 (18th edition), so how do you ensure that you choose an electrician who will be competent and will always work to the correct standards?
There are several government-approved registered electrician schemes. Two of the most well-known are NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) and SELECT (The Electrical Contractors Association of Scotland). To become registered, electricians have to endure very rigorous testing of their knowledge and procedures as well as regular inspections of their work, documentation and equipment. If they pass they are then allowed to display the logo of the accreditation body (e.g. NICEIC, SELECT) on their website, vans, uniforms, adverts etc. In addition, to maintain their registration, electricians must go through regular inspections to ensure that they are keeping to these high standards.
Benefits of Choosing a Registered Electrician
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of dodgy electricians who claim to be registered with a scheme but aren’t. A scheme logo on a van or website is not a guarantee that an electrician is a member of a regulatory scheme. Always check by visiting the particular Registered Electrician website (e.g. NICEIC or SELECT) and check that they are actually currently listed.
- They carry out all electrical work to British Standard BS 7671 and can issue a BS7671 certificate
- They are authorised to self-certify that their work is compliant with current Building Regulations.
- Their work is regularly assessed to ensure ongoing competence
- They will have valid insurance including public liability insurance of at least £2 million
- Scheme operator will have a complaints procedure. They will investigate complaints made about electricians registered under their schemes who have not met the required standard.
Of course, it must be remembered that being a registered electrician does not guarantee good timekeeping or friendliness or other characteristics that may be important to you. However, it is a good indicator of a company with high standards and a professional work ethos. So even if a friend suggests the name of a ‘good electricians’ to you, we would still highly recommend checking to see if they are registered with a regulatory scheme.