NAPIT acquires Stroma: your questions answered

NAPIT acquires Stroma: your questions answered

Following NAPIT’s acquisition of Stroma earlier this year, Mike Andrews, NAPIT’s CEO, answers the key questions from PE’s readers.

Will Stroma continue to use the same name following the acquisition? – Jonathan Steed

Yes. Stroma Installer Certification Ltd has a license from Stroma to use the name and branding.

Will the Stroma set-up remain the same, or will members have to move over to NAPIT’s scheme? Will costs go up as a result? – AJS Essex Electrics

The Stroma scheme will remain the same for existing members. We intend to spend some time looking at the best practice from both schemes before we make a decision about what offers the best service to all of our customers in the future. At the moment, pricing will not be changed.

What will NAPIT do that Stroma was not doing?- Neil Bridgeman

NAPIT will continue to provide the same service as it always has for its members, focusing on three key areas of business: high standards, transparency and integrity. We’ll also make software improvements as they come on stream. An early example of this is that Stroma’s E-Cert wasn’t up-to-date with the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations but NAPIT did not have a pay-as-you-go software of a similar type. As such, we’ve launched a Stroma Installer PAYG electrical certificate package to ensure members are able to produce compliant certificates.

How do you plan to improve the existing customer service experience? – Simon Suddell

At NAPIT we have award winning customer service, and this has been achieved by surveying all NAPIT members on an annual basis for several years through the ‘Investor In Customers’ initiative. In the last two years we’ve achieved the Gold award for excellent customer service. The Stroma scheme will be run by NAPIT using the same customer service team, therefore we hope to deliver an improving level of customer service.

For current Stroma members, will the existing annual inspection and checks remain the same? Will NAPIT be retaining Stroma’s inspectors and staff? – Jamie Johnston

Yes, UKAS accredited Stroma Installer Certification will be retained with the same assessment reports and procedures that were used by Stroma Certification. Stroma Installer Certification assessors will also remain in their posts.

Does the loss of Stroma and the reduction in competition equate to increased capacity to raise standards, or the opposite? – Pete Monfort

Stroma was seeking to exit the installer market and the scope of its activities is a good fit with NAPIT. We aim to take this opportunity to deliver our values around competence and compliance via a larger network of membership. One thing we’ve learned from our Investors in Customers work is that a successful organisation will equate satisfying the needs of its customers with its own aims and objectives.

The acquisition offers a real opportunity to build on NAPIT’s strong industry position and create a more influential voice. So, although the competition has now been reduced, I feel the acquisition certainly increases the capacity for raising standards and that is what we intend to do.

Will the merged companies be clear about what qualifications are required to be a registered competent person and stop accepting applications from graduates of short-form courses? – Andrew Staines

The qualifications that are accepted for electrical work are documented in the Electrical Assessment Specification (EAS). NAPIT has been working with others in the industry to bring forward a new edition of EAS that will require adequate vocational qualifications for all applicants.

I recognise that short courses have their place in updating and adding competences (18th Edition updates and periodic inspection courses are good examples) but they don’t represent competence evidence for core electrical skills. The challenge is to make the vocational qualification route practical for those with genuine long-term industry experience such that they can gain the necessary qualifications.

Will NAPIT be interested in engaging with private training providers who have the same passion that I and my colleagues have for securing the highest quality standards and professionals? – Pete Monfort

Training providers play a critical role in delivering competence and we welcome the commitment of the many providers in the marketplace that support our members (and future members) in attaining the skills they need.

How do you plan to tackle unregistered people carrying out electrical works and not declaring it through a CPS or building control? Will we see more awareness of how the CPS/building control can actually prosecute someone who doesn’t sign off notifiable domestic work under the requirements of part P? – Craig O’Neill 

The enforcement of CPS work has been a hot-topic for a while now. NAPIT has been campaigning to improve enforcement for some time and support the Electrical Safety Roundtable’s efforts to bring this to the attention of officials. The recent MHCLG consultation “Building a Safer Future” is certain to have an influence well beyond the high-rise buildings which triggered its development.

To view a copy of NAPIT’s ‘Compliance and Enforcement of Part P of the Building Regulations’ industry infographic click here.

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