Competent Persons Scheme bodies NICEIC and Elecsa (both part of the Certsure brand) have expressed concern over parliamentary recommendations to alter current-standing regulations, saying that they will be both "burdensome" and would place a "huge onus on firms regardless of size".
The current system for electrical firms states that only one person is required to be at the Qualified Supervisor level (equivalent to an NVQ Level 3), and then he/she is responsible for the final checking of the work and signing it off in accordance with the regulations. However the proposed changes would require all electricians (both working for firms and self-employed) to have this level of qualification.
Other changes put forward by the Communities and Local Government Committee however have been welcomed by the groups. These include;
- An annual limit on the number of jobs a single Qualified Supervisor can review.
- Government action to raise public awareness of Part P akin to the Gas Safe Register.
- Proactive enforcement against those who breach Part P and work outside of Competent Persons Schemes
- A single register for all Part P electricians covering all schemes.
The Committee themselves are focused on reform, with member Clive Betts MP commenting that the current system "can brand the incompetent as competent". He went on to remark how homeowners have next to no guarantee of that the electrician turning up on their doorsteps are fully qualified and questioned whether the current amount of supervisors could adequately check all of the check handed to them.
He concluded:"Public awareness of Part P currently stands at a paltry 14 per cent. For an arrangement vital to safety in the home this is completely unacceptable. The government must work to improve this figure dramatically."