We speak to electrician Boyd Goulden to find out more about his innovative new solution to the issues of misplaced or lost electrical installation documents and certificates.
What led you to come up with the idea for this system?
I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been astounded at the lack of certification or missing documents I come across at customer sites. Sometimes, it can be blatantly negligent of the previous trades not to have given or left the correct certificates with the customer.
Or, it could be that the customer has not understood the importance of keeping that information, for it to be misplaced or lost, soon to be forgotten about.
For electricians to have access to the whole certificate is a big help in time saving, and it also acts as a useful reference to see if any other works have been installed after the original certificate was issued.
It also helps everyone adhere to the ‘Documents to be installed on or near the fuse board’ Section 514 and Part 7 of BS 7671 regulations.
What are the advantages of using this system?
It’s easy, with a simple set-up and storage process. It’s safe and paperless as it’s stored in the cloud.
It’s also secure, since every important certificate is stored in a secure environment. Accessibility is another major feature – you simply scan the QR sticker to access documents stored on CertOn.
This system will also help the homeowner to understand the importance of receiving a certificate, whether it is an electrical installation, Part P, gas safe annual test or building compliance, Fensa, or even when the chimney was last swept.
What are the main benefits for the consumer?
The benefits are for tradespeople issuing documents, homeowners or tenants wanting to know their documents are up-to-date.
It’s also good for companies or landlords that have installers in multiple properties or managing larger installations like schools or office blocks where documents are not readily available to view due to unavailable, old fashioned paper copies.
For electricians, gas fitters, builders and window installers, it’s good to know that for the future, certification at the property will always be available and accessible.
For householders, they are safe in the knowledge that all household certification and documentation is safely stored in the cloud.
What would be the main difficulties in rolling this system out? How do you expect to overcome these?
The main difficulties surround understanding the needs of the various potential users of the system and making the product work for all of them. There has been extensive research into each of the groups to tailor the product to best fit their needs.
We’re also adding to and altering the system in places after the recent ELEX show in Manchester – we received great feedback from all sides of the industry.
How is the system progressing so far? Where do you see it heading in the next 5-10 years?
The system is progressing well, and adapting along the way as we learn about new features and requirements as part of the field research. The next challenges will be scalability, and making more advanced integrations to allow CertOn to fit seamlessly into people’s lives.
We would love to see this as an industry standard, thus leaving the end user and installer confident in knowing where the documents are, in one easy to access place, at the property itself.
What would you say is the best way to convince electricians of the benefits?
We’re offering an affiliates scheme – to all trades – where anyone issuing documents can earn money back by selling CertOn to their customers.
I can’t tell you the amount of times customers ask for another certificate as they are selling their house or they had lost or not received the original. With CertOn, it’s always at the property.
What’s the difference between your system and some of the existing online certification software out there?
We are not an online certification company. We hold an image of the original document, ready for instant retrieval when required via the unique QR code and App – which is available on iOS and Android.
This could be for the homeowner wanting to know all their documents are in one easy to access place, or a maintenance team or engineer wanting to know where the distribution boards are in a building. Or it could be to find out how and where the boiler, fire alarm, lift, air conditioning etc. was tested or installed.
This can all be done without needing to be shown the old fashioned paper documents. Simply find the CertOn QR code in the building – near the CCU/boiler/alarm panel – and have access to CertOn.
Where can people who are interested find out more information about your product?
We have more information on our website: www.certon.co.uk
How it Works
Using QR code stickers placed in prominent locations inside a property, all previously uploaded documents to CertOn are easily retrievable by scanning the QR code sticker with your smart device, bringing the documents into view.
Once the finalised PDF or jpeg documents are uploaded and have been ‘Linked’ to the QR code, they are ready to be viewed by anyone registered to use the system.