All electrical installation work carried out must conform to the new Building Regulations which were introduced on January 1st, 2005. In both England and Wales, Building Regulations are set out in the Building Act 1984, a statute consolidating previous legislation concerning building, buildings, and related matters. Within the Building Regulations, there are a total of fourteen technical parts of which the Part P is applicable to Electrical safety within Domestic Dwellings. As of January 2005, the Building Regulations state that anyone who carries out electrical works in houses and flats must be competent to do so, and hold a good working knowledge and clear understanding of Part P of the Building Regulations. To assist those with little experience to become competent electricians there are currently numerous Government approved competent person schemes which support the Part P.
Part P courses, formally known as the 'City and Guilds 2393 - Level 3 Certificate in the Building Regulations for electrical installations in a dwelling (2393-10)', are specially designed for those with little electrical experience who are wishing to undertake domestic electrical installation work, either for themselves or others, as well as those wishing to become a Domestic Electrical Installer.
Part P Courses are quick courses which generally only take one or two days to complete. Besides providing the competence to carry out electrical work around the house, the Part P Qualification also provides a very stable start for anyone wishing to proceed further up the Electrical career ladder. To meet the current requirements, Part P training courses are all extremely similar and generally cover the grounds mentioned below:
- Part P notification of Building Work and Non-notifiable work.
- Certification of Electrical work.
- Competent Person Schemes.
- Installing and/or rerouting cables.
- Classes of Building Exempt Building Control.
- Safe isolation procedures.
- Earthing and Bonding requirements.
Besides a stable career start, professional experience, and in depth knowledge of the Building Regulations, the Part P Qualification also enables electricians to join a Competent Person Self-Certificated scheme, such as NICEIC, ELECSA, and NAPIT.
Competent person Self-Certificated schemes, also referred to as competent person schemes, enable registered installers who are competent in their field, to self-certify certain types of building works as compliant with the current requirements of the Building Regulations. The schemes were first introduced by the Government in 2002 and offer a range of benefits to the building industry and its consumers. Scheme members generally save a great amount of time as they do not have to notify in advance and do not require for a building control body to check and inspect their work. Consumers also benefit from the schemes as building control charges are not payable, and thus the prices will be significantly lower.
Competent person schemes help avoid the problem of 'cowboy builders' by raising the standards in the industry, and providing the consumers with competent and professional installers. The schemes also save building control bodies the need to check up on all electrical works carried out and thus enable them with more time to concentrate their resources on areas of higher risk.