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Part P FAQs

Can I certify other contractors' work if I am a member of a Competent Persons' Scheme?

Generally no. The Competent Persons' schemes are self-certification schemes. Some scheme providers offer a ‘third party certification’ option to their registrations.  The contractor should check with their scheme provider for details.

Does BS 7671 suffice for complying with the Building Regulations?

No! You must bear in mind that the non-electrical builder's work that you carry out in connection with the electrical installation work should also comply with all the applicable requirements of the Building Regulations - not just Part P.

Does it apply to me?

If you carry out electrical installation work in dwellings, it almost certainly applies to you.

Does Part P affect the DIY market?

Anyone can still undertake electrical work in dwellings; even the householder. However, this work must comply with the requirements of Part P – which require the work to be such that it does not pose a fire or electric shock hazard. As such, the work would usually need to comply with BS 7671 – The IET Wiring Regulations. In addition, some types work will also need to be notified to Building Control prior to its commencement. Building Control will wish to inspect the work in order to confirm that the work complies fully with the Building Regulations.

It should be noted that the work that is notifiable under Building Regulations applying in Wales, differs to that work that is notifiable in England.

Does Part P cover Periodic Inspection Reporting?

No. Part P covers electrical installation work only; not the inspection and testing of existing electrical installations to determine their suitability for continued use. However, any remedial work carried out to correct deficiencies identified in a periodic inspection report will come within the scope of Part P.

Does the connection of equipment, i.e. cookers/boilers, etc. require notification under Part P?

No. Connection of equipment to an existing point is not notifiable work, even in a special location or a kitchen.

How does my firm comply with Part P?

Your firm may meet the requirement of Part P if the electrical installation work it carries out complies with the requirements of BS 7671, the IET Wiring Regulations, and the relevant sections in other Approved Documents containing sections that relate to electrical work in dwellings such as Parts A, B, C, E, F , L1 and M.

To be able to self certify such work, will however require your company to in addition be registered with a Part P Self Certification scheme such as ELECSA.

How is Part P enforced?

Local Authorities (Building Control) have the responsibility for enforcing the Building Regulations. Solicitors responsible for conveyancing property will seek the appropriate documentation certifying that any electrical work carried out does comply with the Building Regulations. 
It should also be remembered, that it is the building owner – sometimes the householder, who is responsible for ensuring Building Regulations compliance overall.

Is all electrical work in dwellings covered by Part P?

All electrical work needs to comply with the requirements of Part P but only certain installations need notifying to the Local Authority Building Control.  The requirements differ in England and Wales so reference should be made to either the English or Welsh Approved Document P for further details.

Is any electrical installation work in dwellings exempt from Part P?

No. The requirement applies to all fixed electrical installation work in dwellings, whether carried out professionally or by DIY, whether or not minor and whether or not the work is notifiable to a Building Control body.

Is my firm affected by Part P?

If your company undertakes work in dwellings or anticipates being asked to undertake such work in the future, you will almost certainly be affected.

What and who is a 'Competent Person'?

This is a somewhat unfortunate legal term used for Part P purposes  to describe a firm that has been independently assessed by a government-approved scheme as competent to self-certify that its own work complies with the Building Regulations.

Thus, a Competent Person is the firm that is responsible for carrying out the work. Firms can be a sole trader, but they are not, for example, employees.

What are the benefits of becoming a Competent Person?

Competent Persons would save on the time and trouble associated with the submitting of building notices to, and having their work inspected by, Building Control and, as a consequence, they would not incur building notice and inspection fees.

What are the benefits of becoming a Competent Person?

Competent Persons would save on the time and trouble associated with the submitting of building notices to, and having their work inspected by, Building Control and, as a consequence, they would not incur
building notice and inspection fees.

What are the consequences for electrical contractors?

All fixed electrical installation work in dwellings has become a 'controlled service' under the Building Regulations.

Unless the notifiable work is carried out by a Competent Person for Part P, it will have to be notified to the Local Building Control office – before work commences – in order that they may inspect the work during construction and upon completion.

This will apply to all work carried out, professionally or as DIY, with the following exceptions:

  • where the proposed work is to be undertaken by a Competent Person authorised under Part P to self-certify
  • the work is not listed as ‘Notifiable Work’ within the relevant Part P document

Note: the requirements in Wales are different to England

If contractors are either not registered with a Part P Certification Scheme, or do not formally notify relevant work, an offence is deemed to have occurred under the Building Act, which may have legal ramifications.

What are the costs of becoming a Competent Person?

To become a Competent Person for Part P, a firm is assessed for its competence to work in compliance with BS 7671 and the Building Regulations. On becoming a Competent Person, the work of the firm is monitored through annual surveillance visits.

Fees are chargeable both for the initial assessment and the subsequent surveillance inspections.

What do I need to do to comply with Part P?

Compliance with Part P of the Building Regulations will be achieved by following the safety rules and the applicable regulations in the IET Wiring Regulations BS 7671, and the guidance published in the IET On- Site Guide.

Part P requires electrical installation work to be inspected and tested during and on completion to verify that it is safe (e.g. for compliance with BS 7671).

What is a dwelling as defined in Part P?

The following definition of a dwelling is given in Approved Document B (Fire Safety). It may be equally applicable to Part P.

"A unit of residential accommodation occupied (whether or not as a sole or main residence)

  1. by a single person or by people living together as a family; or
  2. by not more than 6 residents living together as a single household, including a household where care is provided for a resident."

What is a 'Special Installation or Location'?

A special location in the 2013 edition of Approved Document P applying in England is essentially:

·        The BS 7671-defined zones around a bath or a shower

·        A room containing a swimming pool or sauna

Any electrical work in these areas is ‘notifiable work’

In addition to these areas, the following two jobs are also classified as ‘notifiable work’  in England:

·        Replacing or Installing a new consumer unit

·        Wiring a new circuit

The list of notifiable work in the Welsh Part P document is more extensive.

What is 'Minor Work'?

Minor work' is electrical work which does not include the provision of a new circuit, but is work which may include the addition of socket outlets, lighting points or switches to existing circuits.

What is 'Part P'?

Part P of the Building Regulations imposes the requirement that:

"Reasonable provision shall be made in the design, installation, inspection and testing of electrical installations to protect persons against fire or injury."

Where an electrical installation is provided, extended or altered, sufficient information shall be provided so that persons wishing to operate, maintain or alter the installation in the future can do so reasonably safely.

What is the requirement of Part P?

The electrical safety requirement in Part P of the Building Regulations is simply that:"Fixed electrical installations in dwellings shall be suitably designed, installed, inspected and tested so as to provide reasonable protection against their being the source of a fire or a cause of injury to persons".

The requirement applies to fixed electrical installations in dwellings intended to operate at low voltage or extra-low voltage.

The requirement applies to alterations and extensions to existing electrical installations in dwellings as well as to new construction.

What is the scope of Part P?

Part P applies to England and Wales and is restricted to fixed electrical installations in dwellings and:

  • combined dwellings and business premises such as shops with a common supply
  • common access parts in blocks of flats
  • shared amenities in flats (e.g. laundries, gyms etc).

The versions of Part P applicable in England and Wales are however different, and respectively detail lists of notifiable work in these building areas.

What should electrical contractors do?

An electrical contractor wanting to be able to self-certify compliance with Part P and wishing to avoid the complications and costs of using Building Control, should consider becoming a Competent Person.

What work needs to be notified?

All proposed electrical installation work in dwellings will need to be notified to a Building Control body before work commences, unless:

  • the proposed work is to be undertaken by a prescribed Competent Person  authorised to self-certify compliance on completion of the work; or
     
  • the proposed work is not classed as notifiable under the relevant Part P document.