Announced at this morning’s ELEX Harrogate show, NAPIT has revealed its support of SparkSafe LtP (Licence to Practise) to provide increased levels of assurance to clients relating to the qualifications and competence of individuals within the UK’s Electrical Contacting industry.
There are tens of thousands of unqualified, under-qualified and self-designated workers within the UK’s electrical industry supply chain. Around 200,000 UK electrical workers operate outside of any common regulated system and there is currently no legal requirement for electrical workers to be registered where their qualifications and technical competence is verified. NAPIT and SparkSafe LtP offer a solution to resolve this.
SparkSafe is an independent system which is designed to connect the competency of electrical workers to client projects. SparkSafe emerged from the Electrical Training Trust (ETT), a charity based in Northern Ireland. SparkSafe launched their Licence to Practise (LtP) initiative in 2013. This was formally adopted as a policy document 01/16 – Licence to Practise Initiative for Electrical Workers by the Government in Northern Ireland in 2016, when the main Public Sector procurement organisations included the LtP requirement in tender and contract award requirements.
SparkSafe’s unique online system creates a connection between each electrical worker via their employer to Client projects. The online system requires electrical workers to register for one of three Licence types. These are QE (Qualified Electrician), REW (Restricted Electrical Worker) and AE (Apprentice Electrician). The result is an online Workforce Composition Report (WCR) which provides Clients with an insight into the occupational identity and licence type of each worker on a project by project basis. Clients get to see who is on their project and how well those workers are qualified to carry out the work based on independent, third party assessment. SparkSafe also provide Clients with an online and onsite compliance auditing service aimed at preventing the supply chain from resourcing projects with unlicenced electrical workers.
Mike Andrews, NAPIT Group Chief Executive, said ‘SparkSafe LtP and NAPIT share the same values and beliefs: high standards, individual competence, transparency and integrity. NAPIT have committed to endorsing the SparkSafe LtP model and we will be working closely with them in the coming months to develop a fourth Licence type, which brings together the qualifications, requirements and the UKAS accredited certification body technical onsite assessment model operated by NAPIT. NAPIT members who meet the qualification requirements of SparkSafe’s Qualified Electrician and have been technically assessed onsite will be awarded the higher standard fourth Licence type.”
Lewis Darragh, Chairman of ETT, added “We are grateful for the outreach and support of NAPIT towards the development of the SparkSafe UK Electrical Licence to Practise model. NAPIT are progressive and collaborative in their approach to innovation and reform of the electrical contracting industry.”
And, Derek Thompson, CEO at SparkSafe said “SparkSafe, welcome the endorsement of NAPIT, for the development and extension of a client focussed UK Electrical Licence to Practise system. Through this endorsement, NAPIT set out to demonstrate their willingness to support, reform and modernise the industry on behalf of responsible employers and workers.”
To read a blog post containing more details about the reasons behind NAPIT’s endorsement of SparkSafe, please click here