NICEIC’s Emma Clancy reﬂects on how the organisation has continuously met the changing needs of the electrical contractor through six decades.
As NICEIC celebrates its 60th anniversary it seems a good time to look back at how far the organisation and the electrical industry has come during that time.
NICEIC was created back in 1956, in a post-war era, when there was a lack of uniform standards for wiring and no regulation of anyone carrying out any work.
Not surprisingly, the number of fires caused by electrical faults at that time was particularly high and with government not wanting to introduce statutory enforcement, National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting or the NICEIC was born – as a voluntary inspection body.
At the time NICEIC had around 3,500 contractors on its roll. 60 years later it now has more than 19,000 NICEIC Approved Contractors and an additional 9,000 domestic installers.
These are firms who have voluntarily chosen to have their work assessed regularly. They provide the appropriate insurances and customer protection policies, and have a detailed record of their work through the certification and notification process.
This has to be a good thing for the industry and is just one area where NICEIC has helped improve standards.
Another one is training. The electrical contractor of today is very diﬀerent to one from 1956. They are able to carry out a range of different tasks relating to the change in consumer demands and the development of the industry over time.
“Much has changed in the electrical industry since 1956 but the values of safety, competence and helping businesses stand out from the crowd still remain at the core of what NICEIC do.”
Changing times mean changing needs and we will continue to build on these services and new developments which will better serve our customers.
Meanwhile, just as consumers’ demands have changed – so have contractors’ needs and NICEIC has had to reﬂect this change in the way we serve our customers.
Early perceptions of NICEIC back in the 50s were that it was an electrical police force and inspections were a thing to be endured. Thankfully, we now take a more modern approach to assessment visits, recognising the contractor as valued and important customers. Having accompanied several of our engineers on assessment visits recently I am proud of this change in culture.
In addition to this we now provide more services online. We have a web chat facility which allows contractors to reach our customer service team directly, a text messaging service for upcoming assessment visits and our online certification system continues to be adapted.
We have also recently revamped our online webshop and now offer a wider range of tools – reﬂecting the change in this market over the last 60 years.
This change in emphasis is also reﬂected in the introduction of our customer charter. In 2014 we implemented a series of changes and promised to report back the results. The first set of results show that we have changed the way we operate and our customers recognise this through the services we deliver.
Much has changed in the electrical industry since 1956 but the values of safety, competence and helping businesses stand out from the crowd still remain at the core of what NICEIC do.