It is important for any homeowner to check if an electrician is qualified. Electrical work is possibly the most dangerous task to undertake in a home. If you end up with an electrician who isn’t properly trained, the consequences could be dire. When choosing your electrician, you need someone who will be able to establish an element of trust. If an electrician cannot show you their registration details, then look elsewhere.
Choosing an electrician may seem difficult at first, as there are so many options out there. The industry acronyms and various qualifications can be incredibly confusing if you are not an electrician yourself. However, we have created this guide that will show you how to check if an electrician is qualified. Here are a few different ways you can check your electrician is up to the job:
Now, there is also a handy website you can use to check that your electrician is qualified. The Registered Competent Person Website is easy to navigate and provides information for people to find a registered and competent electrician in their area. On the website, you can also check to make sure that the company you are planning on using is registered. Only electricians who meet core technical standards defined by the government will be listed on the ‘Competent Person Electrical Register.’
Stephen Williams, the Minister for Communities said this about the Electrical Competent Person website:
“For all the thousands of skilled and reliable electricians there are across the country it’s often the dangerous or dishonest actions of a small minority of rogue electricians that get the attention. I want everyone to be able to get repair and improvement work done safely in their home and this new, single website provides an easy first port of call to find a registered, trustworthy local electrician.”Stephen Williams
This website lists all registered electrical firms in England and Wales. Of course, electricians are checked for their competence before they are registered. They are also randomly surveilled to make sure that their work meets safety and quality standards. There are 42,000 registered electricians across England and Wales.
Thankfully, improved technology and higher standards for electricians have resulted in better standards for electrical safety in homes. This is proven with a decrease in the amount of electric shock and electrical fire fatalities per year. The figure has fallen from about 90 in the mid 90s to 55 now. In fact, there were no restrictions on who did electrical work in people’s homes or how it should be done before January 2005.
If you are looking for complete peace of mind, you can even request that the electrician provide a copy of their City & Guilds 2391 electrical testing and inspection qualification. This is proof that they have been trained to the required standards to carry out the testing and checks.
When you contact an electrician, you need to be clear about the work you want done. Unless the work is minor, you should obtain three different written quotations. Give your chosen electrician a written summary of work required. This will make the quotation process easier, while also providing you and the electrician with a clear record of what has been agreed. Then the electrician knows exactly what kind of work is required, and they will be aware of any special instructions.
Also, if there is more than one way of getting the work done, the electrician can provide you with multiple options. Once you have agreed on a quote, you can ask the electrician to sign the summary of work required to avoid a dispute. This will ensure everyone is clear on the expectations and agreement.
The simplest way to check an electrician is qualified is to simply ask for their NICEIC registration number and ID card. The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) is an organisation that regulates the training and work of electricians in the UK.
To be qualified by the NICEIC, contractors must undergo an assessment process that includes a representative sample of their work, their premises, documentation, equipment and the abilities of their supervisory staff. Electricians are also regularly reassessed by the NICEIC to make sure that they are still competent. So you can rest assured that any electrician with NICEIC certification is entirely qualified and fit for the job.
Most qualified electricians should have their NICEIC certification displayed on their website, van or business card. However, you should always ask for proof of certification just to be sure. If they are unable to provide you with proof, then you can report them to the NICEIC.
If you have any doubt about the qualifications of your electrician, you can double check the NICEIC website to make sure that the company name and number you have been given is registered and matches what you have been provided with. Be careful if the electrician is not listed or the details they have provided are missing or incorrect with the details on the website. You should walk away and choose a different electrician.
Ultimately, there are several different steps you can take to check if an electrician is qualified. Now that you know about all of the industry standards and qualifications, the process of choosing your electrician should be made easier.
To summarise, make sure that you look on the Registered Competent Person Website. Tell your electrician the work required, and check they are qualified with NICEIC certification. If you have any doubts look up their details on the NICEIC website.
You can also ask an electrician if they have any references from previous customers. This can offer another indication of their level of professionalism and customer service.
Above all else, do not feel as if you need to make a hasty decision, and be wary of any electrician who is pressuring you to choose them quickly. Compare electricians and their quotes before you decide.