Stroma Certiﬁcation’s Andy Sharp considers how to stand out in a competitive market.
The electrical industry is a competitive marketplace. As of August 2015, the Office for National Statistics reported that there were 257,000 electricians and electrical ﬁtters active in the industry in either full-time or part-time work (both employed and self-employed). When it comes to standing out from the crowd, Stroma Certiﬁcation has always advocated competence as a key difference maker, a trait you can show through your membership to an approved Competent Person Scheme. Another way for an electrician to demonstrate their difference from a competitor is through the scope of work offered.
“When it comes to standing out from the crowd, Stroma Certiﬁcation has always advocated competence as a key difference maker, a trait you can show through your membership to an approved Competent Person Scheme.”
Domestic and Part P work is clearly the most dominant strand of electrical installation work. After all, there are nearly 25 million domestic properties in England and Wales alone. Many electricians who register for membership of a Competent Person Scheme do so primarily because they want to be able to carry out and self-certify installation work in someone’s home. However, there are many other opportunities that electricians can take advantage of.
Time to diversify?
We’re seeing an increase in the number of electricians joining Stroma for commercial electrical work. There are over ﬁve million businesses in the private sector alone and these companies turnover billions of pounds each year. In certain industry types, some businesses will retain the services of an electrician to carry out commercial and industrial condition reports, while others will seek an electrician on an ad hoc basis. Either way, there are clear advantages and custom to be gained from commercial certiﬁcation.
Third Party Certiﬁcation is another avenue you could consider. There is not a universal agreement in the industry about Third Party work but we are ﬁrmly behind the beneﬁts of becoming certiﬁed. The important concept driving Third Party Certiﬁcation is that members are already certiﬁed as competent. It puts the responsibility of upholding standards in the electrical industry in the hands of electricians already carrying out their own electrical work to a professional standard. It’s not a weakness of the scheme. In fact, it’s an overwhelming strength giving the voice to electricians who can help to shape their industry.
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is not the biggest money earner for an electrician, but it is still an important aspect of a service delivered to businesses. Domestic, Commercial, Third Party and PAT Testing are all part of the electrical strand of Stroma Certiﬁcation’s Competent Person Scheme.
There are no hard and fast rules about which strand or strands of electrical work you need to be certiﬁed. But the more you are the more attractive your business is to a potential customer and you can increase your adaptability in the range of jobs you can target. Competitive advantage is key. You should try to be better than your competitors and deliver something to your customer that other businesses cannot. Developing competence across the scope of electrical work is a great place to start and your certiﬁcation body should provide the tools to help you achieve this.