The Building Regulations allow certain minor works (known as non-notifiable work) to be carried out without having to notify building control or use a registered electrician.
In England, the rules were simplified in April 2013, so that now regulation 12(6A) of the Building Regulations 2010 identifies notifiable work as comprising the installation of a new or replacement consumer unit, the installation of a complete new circuit connected to the consumer unit, or alteration work in and around a bath or shower.
All other work is non-notifiable although, like notifiable work, it should be designed and installed, and inspected, tested and certificated in accordance with BS 7671. If local authorities find that non-notifiable work is unsafe and non-compliant, they can take enforcement action.
For Wales, the Building Regulations still identify non-notifiable work as including:
- Any repair or maintenance work or like-for like replacement
- Any addition or alteration to an existing circuit that is not in a kitchen, bathroom or outdoors
- Installing or upgrading main or supplementary equipotential bonding
- Installing extra low voltage cabling outside bathrooms for telephone, fire alarm, burglar alarm and heating systems, etc.
If you are not sure whether the work you want to undertake is notifiable, you should contact your local authority building control department for advice.
Non-notifiable electrical work can also present a risk to safety. If qualified electricians carry out the work they should give you a Minor Works Certificate, which means that they have tested the work to make sure it is safe. If you do the work yourself you may wish to engage a qualified electrician to check it for you.