Forces Join to Improve Industry

Forces Join to Improve Industry
Photo Credit To Denis Magilov

Earlier this year Certsure and NAPIT announced plans to work together on proposals to improve standards within the electrical industry. Here the organisations take a broader look at the thinking behind the partnership.

What are your objectives for working together?
We want to provide contractors with a choice on the best assessment route for their businesses and to allow them to demonstrate their competence. By working together we can achieve improvements and have consistency across all schemes.

What are you proposing to do?
We’re looking at the relative strengths of both the multiple operative assessment and Qualified Supervisor (QS) models and how to combine these to demonstrate a balance between appropriate supervision and individual competence for the purposes of registration. We want to offer registrants the opportunity to have their eligible electrical operatives assessed as part of our registration and certification schemes. Demonstrating the competence of individuals within existing approvals can be used to meet the requirements of particular clients or contracts, or even assist in managing individuals within a business.

Won’t it cost contractors more?
No. Any new model will be voluntary, so if contractors don’t want to change they won’t have to. For those looking to go down the individual competence route the final costings will emerge in the details – based on each firm’s specific needs, requirements and numbers of employees.

How is this different from other initiatives?
NAPIT and Certsure believe that competence is demonstrated via a combination of knowledge, skills, training and experience. The Competent Person Schemes (CPS) model underpins this thinking through on-going assessment of a business and the work it carries out.

Some other initiatives focus on one part only, commonly limited to recognising qualifications alone. It’s only the CPS schemes that guarantee the work of registrants and offer a full range of support services. Additionally, registration via a CPS scheme means contractors can self-certify their work as meeting the requirements of the building regulations in England and Wales.

What about non-domestic work?
Certsure and NAPIT both work to the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) which is the industry’s published requirements for certification bodies. This covers both domestic and non-domestic work. The EAS requires a combination of training, qualifications and regular assessment. This new initiative will be available to all electrical contractors with NAPIT or Certsure certification and will cover installation work in all sectors.

How are proposals going to be developed?
We believe in engagement and consultation rather than imposition and will ensure the views of contractors, consumers and electricians are factored into any final proposals. Work to develop the proposals has already begun and detailed delivery timescale and implementation dates will be influenced by stakeholders as we consult on the details of the approach.

Will it still be a UKAS ISO17065 accredited certification scheme?
The intention is for it to remain an ISO17065 scheme but with an option for eligible operatives to receive formal competency recognition. NAPIT and Certsure don’t currently certificate individuals for their electrical schemes but a revised approach could allow, for example, the introduction of ID badges within the scope of certification.

Why are Certsure and NAPIT doing this now?
The model for registering electrical contractors has been in operation for more than 60 years. This industry-led approach has demonstrably worked, because of the balance it provides between electrical safety regulation, protection for consumers and cost burden of regulation on companies. However, we realise that during that time much has changed and we want to look at ways of improving the model to deliver even greater standards.

We’re increasingly approached by our registrants, who’ve been asked to demonstrate the competence of their individuals to a particular client, or when tendering for contracts where it’s specified, and this initiative provides an opportunity to satisfy that demand within existing, successful schemes. 

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