Regulation of electricians: consultation

Consultation considering whether regulatory measures are required to give greater protection to the public and reduce the level of poor electrical workmanship by a persistent rogue trader element. The consultation also discusses increasing consumer awareness.

1. Ministerial Foreword

Almost all of us at some stage will need to hire someone to carry out electrical work, and we should be able to do so with confidence that we won’t be put at risk when we do. The consequences of substandard electrical work can be devastating, and often it is those who are most vulnerable who are most at risk.

There is already a well-developed framework in place that supports the vast majority of reputable tradespeople to deliver professional and consistently high standards of electrical work. However, these schemes operate on a voluntary basis, and for some time there have been calls from parts of the electrical industry to regulate electricians and recognise the high level of skill required to carry out their duties safely and competently.

In 2017, the Scottish Government established an Electricians Working Group to explore the issue, and invited both industry and consumer experts in Scotland to join. I have chaired the Group since taking up the role of Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills.

The members brought a great deal of passion to the discussions and I am grateful to all who gave their time to contribute to the work of the Group. There is a strong desire on all sides to protect both consumers and the vast majority of competent electricians. However, we must also ensure that any action we take is proportionate, and that, where we intervene, we genuinely make things better.

Regulation is only one half of the discussion. The ways in which consumers are supported to protect themselves must be the other half. This document describes some of the actions that are being taken to help consumers identify genuine electricians.

We are committed to continue to work in partnership with all interested stakeholders. I look forward to hearing from you on how we can ensure the maximum protection for consumers in Scotland from harm.

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills



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