Attendees and apologies
- Loraine King – Scottish Government (chair)
- Steven Bosworth – Scottish Fire and Rescue
- Richard Clarke – Unite the Union
- Ken Daly - Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland
- Anne Galbraith – Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust
- Fiona Harper - Scottish Joint Industry Board
- Stan Johnston - independent chair of SELECT Registration Board
- Charlotte Lee – NAPIT
- Wayne Mackay – Electrical Safety First
- Ruth Mendel - CAS
- Stuart Thompson - NICEIC Scotland
- Alan Wells - Certsure
- Alan Wilson - SELECT
- Thomson Dyer – Scottish Government
- Laura McGlynn – Scottish Government
- Andrew McConnell - Scottish Government (Secretariat)
Items and actions
Welcome and introductions
The chair welcomed the attendees and thanked them for attending the third meeting of the Electricians Working Group.
Minutes of previous meeting:
John Noble is to be removed from list of attendees.
The minutes were then agreed.
The minutes will be available on the Scottish Government Electricians Working Group page.
Action from Previous Meeting:
Action 1 – Scottish Government will develop proposals on practical implementation of protection of title.
The Group discussed the issue of Protection of Title. Topics discussed included:
- the example of Gas Safe could be looked at, as could the mandatory registration of tobacco retailers in Scotland
- clear route to enforcement, including evidence gathering, is required
- cross border issues need to be addressed
- evidence – there needs to be clear evidence of the potential harm: most consumer complaints are currently about the level of customer service, not the safety of the work. Independent research could be needed
There was no consensus from the Group on whether Protection of Title was needed.
Action 3 – Development of proposals to ensure a sustained consumer protection message
There was agreement that something was needed to help consumers. A proposal was put forward for the development of a single unified register. Topics discussed included:
- existing routes for consumers need to be taken into account. These include Citizens Advice Bureaux, Consumer Helpline, Trading Standards and Citizens Advice Direct
- requirement for engaging with people who do not go online eg in libraries, GP surgeries
- whether a single register would duplicate what already exists (provided by SELECT, NICEIC, Scottish Government Approved Certifier of Construction)
- whether current registers were consumer friendly enough
- one recognisable brand, accompanied by a logo may be better for consumers
- aim should be making things simpler for consumers
There was no consensus from the Group on whether a single unified register should be developed.
Action 2 – Develop proposals to ensure any attempt to protect the title of electrician continues to support a variety of routes into the trade
A meeting had been held on 29 March, chaired by Fiona Harper, to discuss this and a minute was produced.
There was no consensus from the Group on developing proposals.
Much of what was discussed in this meeting had been covered previously. The chair summarised the progress so far. There was agreement on three points:
- celebrating electricians
- protecting consumers
- supporting a variety of routes into the profession
However, there was not agreement on how to take forward these issues.
Scottish Government officials will put recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary (Keith Brown). The general principles of what is put to Mr Brown will be shared with the Group, although the final submission to him cannot be shared.
The Scottish Government will consider the need for written evidence. Some evidence has already been submitted but more is required on the impact of the current situation and the scale of the detriment to consumers.
The chair said that the Scottish Government will be in touch again with all participants but in the meantime she encouraged anyone to get in touch if they wished to provide further information.
No further meetings of the Group are planned at present.
Telephone: 0300 244 4000
Consumer and Competition Policy Unit
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