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.
4. Non-statutory approach
An alternative to legislation would be to pursue voluntary measures to raise standards, give greater protection to the public and reduce the level of poor electrical workmanship by a persistent rogue trader element.
This approach would allow those who are currently qualified or competent to continue carrying out work without placing onerous requirements on electricians or their employers, be it training, administrative or financial. It would also avoid creating unnecessary barriers for entrants into the electrical profession and would allow those currently carrying out domestic electrical work incidental to their main job to continue eg kitchen fitters, plumbers.
Trade bodies already exist, which allow for recognition of both qualifications and competence; and ensure members meet required standards to carry out work safely. There is also a robust four year apprenticeship training scheme and an Optional Advanced Competence Assessment. In addition there are a growing number of local authority schemes managed by trading standards, which support a wide range of service provision, including electricians.
The current position allows for a high degree of consumer choice but if concerns are to be addressed then new measures will require to be developed. These could include:
- empowering consumers to make good choices by highlighting the importance of employing suitable electricians and businesses,
- raising awareness among the public of existing trade bodies,
- ensuring that adequate deterrents to bad practice exist and are enforceable,
- developing a voluntary customer charter, including the need for warranties to cover work completed.
1. Are there any changes that could be achieved by voluntary means?
2. If voluntary measures are pursued and implemented effectively, would this significantly reduce the need for statutory measures?
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