Electrical Certification - What should I receive?

The type of certification you need will vary, depending on the type and nature of the work being carried out, but in all cases, it is important to retain ALL your paperwork as it:

  • Documents the work that has been carried out.

  • Confirms that the work has been installed to the current requirements of BS7671 IET Wiring Standards.

  • Is a record of test results which can help provide a basis for any further inspection and testing in the future.

  • Provides you with a declaration that the new installation, alteration or addition, is safe to use at the time it is put into service.

  • Demonstrates that the electrical installation has been installed and maintained to a good standard, in the event of an electrical fire/insurance claim.

  • Will be required when selling your property.

We strongly recommend that you employ a registered electrician to carry out electrical work in your property. Not only does this help ensure that the electrical installation is compliant with the current regulations, it also means you should receive the relevant certification for the work that has been completed. 

The original certificates should always be handed to the person who ordered the work, and copies retained by the electrician who carried out the testing and inspection (most Competent Persons Scheme providers require these to be kept for up to 20 years). 

It is important to bear in mind that not all contractors are qualified to provide all types of certification. For example an Electrical Installation Condition Report must only be carried out by an experienced qualified electrician or approved contractor (meaning they will have a qualification in periodic inspection and testing, be registered with a Competent Person Scheme provider such as the NICEIC and have a good working knowledge and experience of electrical installations). 

Similarly, in order to be able to issue a Building Compliance Certificate, the contractor carrying out the work must be registered with a Competent Person Scheme and able to self-certify their own work as being compliant with Building Regulations,  

Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificates

A Minor Electrical Installation Works certificate is issued to confirm that any minor electrical work carried out has been subject to proper design and construction, and has been tested according to the BS 7671 IET Wiring Regulations. This ensures the safety of the existing circuit and any alterations carried out.

 

Examples of work that would be covered by a Minor Works Certificate include:

  • An alteration made to an existing circuit, but where there is no change of protective device (fuse/circuit breaker).

  • Where there has been any addition or modification made to an existing circuit, for example the installation of a new or replacement socket outlet or light fitting.

  • the upgrading of existing main protective bonding.

It is a legal requirement for any electrician undertaking minor electrical works such as these, to carrying out the relevant testing to ensure the safety of the circuit and issue the correct certification . 

Electrical Installation Certificates

An Electrical Installation Certificate is required for:

  • New installations 

  • The addition of a new circuit or circuits to an existing installation.

  • The replacement of a consumer unit (fuse box)

  • The alteration of a circuit, where the protective device (fuse/circuit breaker/RCD) requires changing. 

Once the full inspection and testing procedure has been carried out, an Electrical Installation Certificate must be completed. 

 

To be valid the Electrical Installation Certificate must also be accompanied by:

  • Schedule of Inspections 

  • Schedule of Test Results

Only electricians registered for 'Part P' of the Building Regulations, should undertake this type of electrical testing and certification.

Part P legislation has been in force since 2005, and applies to new homes and any alterations or additions to existing properties. The legislation was introduced to ensure that 'Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations in order to protect persons operating, maintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury'. Your local authority has the power to force you to alter or undo the work if it does not meet Building Regulations standards.

When choosing anyone to carry out electrical work of this nature in your property, we strongly recommend that you confirm their membership with a Competent Persons Scheme Provider. This information can be obtained quickly and easily by going to the scheme's own website, or alternatively visiting the Competent Person Scheme Register.

For further information about the Building Regulations and why you should use a Competent Person, please click here.

Building Control Notification Certificates

A Building Compliance Certificate, sometimes referred to as a Part P certificate, is confirmation that the local authority has been notified of the completed electrical work and that it is compliant to the building regulations.

The local authority must be notified of any electrical work in your property if that work includes:

  • Installing a new electrical circuit, whether at low voltage (typically 230 V) or extra-low voltage.

  • Replacing the consumer unit.

  • Altering or adding to an existing circuit in a special location such as a bathroom or shower room (if carried out within 600mm of the bath or shower), or within a room containing a swimming pool or sauna heater.

If your electrical contractor is a registered member of a Competent Person Scheme such as the NICEIC,  they can self-certify their own work as being compliant with Part P of the Building Regulations and therefore notify Building Control on your behalf.

In this situation you should receive 2 certificates:

  • An Electrical Installation Certificate or, where applicable, a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate that confirms the work meets BS 7671 IET Wiring Standards.

  • A Building Regulations Compliance Certificate.

By law, it is the property owner's responsibility to ensure that all electrical installation work meets the requirements of Part P, and therefore we strongly recommend that you confirm that your electrician is registered with a Competent Person Scheme before work commences. 

Electrical Installation Condition Reports

An Electrical Installation Condition Report (often referred to as an EICR or periodic inspection) determines what needs to be done to maintain the installation in a safe and serviceable condition. It records observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and non-compliances with the current edition of BS7671 IET Wiring Standards that may cause danger.

It is important that every electrical installation is periodically inspected and tested by a competent person. The British Standard recommendation is that properties should be inspected and tested after a period of no more than 10 years, although this can be reduced based on the age and type of the property or the purpose for which it is used.

For further information regarding EICRs, please click here.

Sadler Electrical Contractors Ltd

©2020 by Emma Burrows & Robert Sadler

Example: Guidance For Recipients (EICR).