Regulation of electricians in Scotland: research report

Research conducted by Pye Tait to independently assess the evidence and build a business case to determine if regulation is required.


1. the ideal/preferred requirements are: an ECS card, the passing of the latest Wiring regulations exam, and the AM2 or FICA in Scotland – is an assessment of occupational competence. The ECS card (previously known as the JIB card) is not mandatory.

2. Building A Safer Future, An Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, Dame Judith Hackitt. 2018. Cm 9607




6. SELECT (2016), Electrician as a Profession The Case for Regulation,

7. Scottish Parliament, Official Report, Meeting of the Parliament, 25 October 2018, pp.29-43


9. It is possible that unsatisfactory work may be carried out by electricians qualified to SJIB standards and by those holding other "electrical" qualifications, as well as by people with no training or qualifications in the field.

10. An electrical installation (in this research) is a fixed electrical item supplied through the electricity meter in a domestic setting. This includes cabling, sockets, switches, light fittings and the fuse box. It does not include electrical appliances and products such as white goods plug-in items such as hairdryers, smart technologies, and fire, emergency and security systems.

11. In all cases, the individual concerned was happy to have their name mentioned but it was decided that this was not essential. All case studies provided in this report have been presented back to the contributor to verify and ensure accuracy of their views.




15. This we felt was a conservative figure to use when considering NOMIS estimates 17,000 electricians in the construction industry using SIC codes and ONS lists total 35,000 across the 32 Scottish local authorities using SOC codes. These figures should always be treated with some caution.

16. These are examples and not an exhaustive list.


18. Although not mentioned in the report, the margins of error are likely to be similar to those of national political polls (around +/- 3%).

19. SELECT (2016), Electrician as a Profession The Case for Regulation,


21. Most reports were of fires and almost all of these were attributed by the fire department to faulty appliances (tumble driers and hair-dryers being the worst offenders).


23. 'Membership' as a term has been left in as short hand but also includes 'registration' unless stated otherwise.


25. Qualifications that are awarded by recognised awarding bodies such as City and Guilds, SQA, etc

26. This was drawn from data provided by the public and those who are stakeholders (i.e. not electricians). Electricians were not asked for this detail.

27. Our statistics had to exclude several other similar responses ranging from 100 to 500 defective installations per week over the course of an electrician's career.

28. It is to be noted that as set out on this webpage: the message to those considering practising in the UK, the preferred requirements are: an ECS card, the passing of the latest Wiring regulations exam, and the AM2 – the assessment of occupational competence. The ECS card (previously known as the JIB card) is not mandatory however despite it being ''the sole ID and competence card scheme for electrotechnical operatives in the UK and (being) recognised and endorsed by the industry'' – see here:



31. Based on the Health and Safety Executive risk assessment process -

32. 13 respondents, not all provided a view, those that are not totalling 13 are where respondents did not provide a response.

33. As stated earlier, we estimate there to be roughly 22,000 electricians in Scotland and 2.4m households (National Records of Scotland, 2016)

34. These totals are proportionate estimates and there is no evidence that such a basis for estimation is necessarily justified. It assumes that defective installations are proportionately as dangerous as other causes of death in fires in Scotland – appliances, deliberate setting of fires, etc. – and that we can assume that roughly 8% of deaths and injuries due to fire (44 deaths) are due to electrical supply and lighting defects.

35. whilst this can also be said of GasSafe, that scheme is a more comprehensive system than simply protection of title and potentially more widely understood by consumers as a result.

36. Clearly a choice will need to be made between a series of competing providers/registration bodies which feed into a common database and a single overarching authority. That is a policy decision and not within the remit of this research. There will be advantages and disadvantages to both.

37. The Government's Proposals for Regulation of the Private Security Industry in England and Wales 1999

38. loss of earnings as estimated and advised by the consumer

39. Previous bills for six months when heating in use £522 (£87 per month) now £4,100.76 for six months. The follow year this additional expense of £3,578.76 was incurred again. Total is therefore £7,157.52 for 2017/18 and 2018/19.

40. as advised based on monthly pay.

41. LABSS & Scottish Government, Guidance on Electrical work not requiring a warrant:

42. Federation of Master Builders & Pye Tait Consulting (2018), A licence to build – A pathway to licensing UK construction

43. The Building Regulations (2013 edition), Part P: Electrical Safety - Dwellings,

44. Electrical Safety First, Building Regulations In England: What is Part P of the building regulations?,



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