What is a Competent Persons Scheme?
In line with Part P of Building Regulations, it is a requirement that electrical, installations in a domestic dwelling in the UK must be carried out by somebody that is deemed to be ‘competent’. Any new electrical installation or part installation must be approved and signed off by your Local Authorities Building Control department.
In practise this is very difficult to manage, therefore Competent Persons Schemes were introduced to allow competent, domestic electrical installers or electricians to self-certify their own work and installations. They will register installations with their Scheme Provider who will in turn notify the local Building Control. This gives members of Competent Persons Schemes the freedom to work without interruptions or delays.
Domestic electrical installers and electricians are advised to join a recognised Competent Persons Scheme. Scheme providers ensure that their members hold the correct qualifications and skills required of installers to self-certify in a domestic property. Unlike the gas industry that is regulated by just one scheme provider (Gas Safe), Competent Persons Schemes for Domestic Installers are offered by several national organisations including ELECSA, ECA and NAPIT. All are recognised professional bodies. Electrical Courses offered by Options Skills are designed to help you achieve Competent Person Status as a minimum.
There are advantages to joining an approved Scheme Provider. It will offer your customers and clients reassurance that you are ‘competent’ and hold relevant qualifications. You’ll be allowed to advertise yourself as being an approved contractor. Quite often you’ll be supplied with scheme provider logos for business cards, websites, paperwork and vans. This all brings you additional credibility.
There is a cost to joining a Competent Persons Scheme and membership must be renewed annually.
The scheme is not the same as a JIB Card (Joint Industries Board) or ECS card (Electrical Contractors Scheme). These cards tend to be requested by building and electrical contractors and employers as part of a recruitment process. Whilst the schemes were established for the domestic market, JIB/ ECS cards tend to be relied upon by industry and commercial entities. JIB/ ECS cards are issued to electricians that hold relevant qualifications. Options Skills is accredited by Logic Certification. Qualifications issued by Logic Certification are recognised by JIB for applicants that wish to apply for an ECS card. Please visit the JIB website here for more information.