WHAT IS AS
COMPETENT PERSONS SCHEME?
A Competent Persons Scheme is a requirement that electrical installations within a UK domestic dwelling are carried out by someone deemed to be ‘competent’. This is in line with Part P of building regulations and provides members of Competent Persons Schemes the freedom to work without interruption or delay.
From 1st September 2021, 18th Edition and DEI qualifications in isolation will no longer be accepted as proof of competence by many scheme providers. Persons wishing to join a CPS should contact the scheme provider for exact entry requirements, but you should at least hold an NVQ Level 3 or a minimum of 2-years’ experience and be working towards an NVQ Level 3 qualification.
COMPETENT PERSONS SCHEME EXPLAINED
The UK Government introduced the Competent Persons Scheme in 2002. The scheme allows competent domestic electrical installers or electricians to self-certify their work. Registering installations with their scheme provider, their provider will then notify the local building control.
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, which is regulated by just one scheme provider (Gas Safe), several national organisations offer Competent Persons Schemes, including ECA and NAPIT. All are recognised professional bodies.
There are many advantages to joining an approved Scheme Provider. It will reassure your customers and clients that you are competent and hold relevant qualifications, and you’ll be allowed to advertise yourself as an approved contractor. In addition, you’ll often be supplied with scheme provider logos as promotional material. This all brings you additional credibility.
There is a cost to joining a Competent Persons Scheme, and you must renew your membership annually.
The scheme differs from a JIB Card (Joint Industries Board) or ECS card (Electrical Contractors Scheme). Building and electrical contractors and employers tend to request these cards as part of the recruitment process. Whilst the schemes were established for the domestic market, industry and commercial entities tend to rely on ECS cards. JIB issued cards to electricians that held relevant qualifications. JIB recognises qualifications issued by LCL for applicants that wish to apply for an ECS card.
Visit the JIB website for more information.
Due to recent changes, domestic installers must have a minimum of two years of trading history/industry experience to join a Competent Persons Scheme.
Why are Competent Persons Schemes Popular?
There are a number of other benefits to joining a competent persons scheme than self-certification. The most important benefit, however, is the support and authority gained from being part of a competent persons scheme. Many people recognise industry logos and have many positive associations with it, for example, the CORGI brand is still recognised by 8 out of 10 people for being a leader in the brand even though GAS SAFE is now the trade body for gas engineers.
Brand recognition and loyalty is still an important aspect for competent person schemes as such they regulate their members and provide an impartial complaint and review process for all registered members to uphold high standards of quality.
This means to a consumer if you belong to one of these schemes they can trust that you will complete a job to the highest standard.