What is a 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.
Due to the difficulties involved in managing this, the Competent Persons Scheme was introduced by the UK Government. This allowed competent domestic electrical installers or electricians to self-certify their own work. Registering installations with their scheme provider, their provider will then notify the local building control.
This provides members of Competent Persons Schemes the freedom to work without interruption or delay.
With effect 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 make contact with the scheme provider for exact entry requirements, but they are expected to NVQ Level 3 or a minimum of 2-years’ experience and working towards an NVQ Level 3 qualification.
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 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 for promotional material. 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. Visit the JIB website for more information.
Due to recent changes, domestic installers are now required to have a minimum of two years of trading history/industry experience to join a Competent Persons Scheme.