Electrics

Building Regulations: Checking for safety

Where the electrical installation work is notifiable it should be checked to make sure that it is safe. This checking can be done by:

  • the electrician who carries out the work, provided the electrician is registered with a competent person self-certification scheme, or
  • a building control body – either the building control department of your local authority or a private approved inspector, or
  • in England only, an electrician registered with a third-party certification scheme.

Competent person schemes

An electrician registered with a competent person self-certification scheme authorised by the Secretary of State will self-certify that notifiable work is safe and complies with the Building Regulations. When using a registered electrician, you do not need to notify a building control body.

Once the works are complete the electrician will arrange for you to receive a Building Regulations compliance certificate within 30 days, and for your local authority to be notified about the work for its own records. If you do not receive this certificate, please contact your electrician’s registration body.

The registered electrician should also provide you with a completed Electrical Installation Certificate to show that the work has been tested for safety.

It is advisable to ask the electrician to provide information about which scheme they belong to and their membership number. You will then be able to check the electrical competent person register at www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk to make sure they are registered. You can find a list of organisations that run competent person schemes for electrical installation work on the Gov.uk website.

Local authority building control

You may make a Building Regulations application to your local authority building control department if the electrician you employ to carry out notifiable work is not registered with one of the relevant competent person schemes, or if you do the work yourself. You should contact the local authority before you start the work and they will explain the requisite procedures to you.

It is also best to discuss with the local authority how they wish to inspect and check the works you are carrying out.

Approved inspector building control

An approved inspector is a body which carries out the same functions as local authority building control. If you use an approved inspector they will explain how the approved inspector system works. If at the end of the work the approved inspector is satisfied that the work is safe, you will be given a copy of the final notice.

Third-party certification schemes

Building control bodies will generally employ a qualified electrician to inspect notifiable electrical work on their behalf.

In England only, it has been possible since April 2014 for you to go directly to an electrician to certify work, without involving a building control body, provided the electrician is registered with an authorised third-party certification scheme.

You can find a list of organisations that run third-party certification schemes for electrical installation work on the Gov.uk website.