Generally of course it is by 'invitation'. But there are fallback
provisions (in the Public Health Act 1936 in my BCO days) that
enable you to get a magistrate to issue warrant to enter a property
if necessary to do your job. IIRC if access is then denied the
property owner is in contempt of court.
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
Free SEDBUK boiler database browser
uk.finance + uk.politics.misc added
On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 20:40:15 +0100, PoP
About a new requirement from next April that all domestic electricaL
work will have to be certified by a qualified electrician.
I was wondering where the impetus for all these new regs came from,
then it struck me:
I am a qualified electrician, Dave over the back is a professional
painter and decorator employed by his own VAT registered LTD co, as I
Now, Dave could do his own house wiring, but he's not qualified and
ther's be no certificate. But anyway, if he did he wouldn't pay
any tax on it.
So Dave calls me in to fix his outside lights. I want to come out with
20 quid for doing the job. but I have to charge VATat 17.5%, pay both
halves of the NI contributions, and higher rate income tax at 40%,
plus excise duties on road fuels, council tax etc etc. The effect of
all the taxation is that Dave has to pay me £100 just to get £20 worth
of electrical work done.
Dave's tax status is exactly the same as mine so to get that £100 He
has to do £500 of decorating work. £480 of which goes to the
Bearing in mind the recent beurocratic meddling and restrictions
imposed on boiler replacement, installation of double glazing, and now
house wiring, anyone here see an incentive for the goverment to make
DIY as difficult as possible?
Or have I got it wrong somewhere?
That isn't what's proposed. It's difficult to work out what is
proposed, but it will most likely be based on being a member of
NICEIC, and nothing to do with being a qualified electrician.
The government was estimating about 40% of electricians currently
belong to electrical trade bodies, but the trade itself seems to
put the figure much lower, at little more than 25%.
The technical justification was non-existant (well, it did
exist, but it was just plain wrong, and so very obviously so).
The motivation is not a technical or safety one, although
that's what the press releases from the Office of the Deputy
Prime Minister would try and have you believe.
You may want to believe that if you are an Alastair Campbell fan.....
There is nothing to support this legislation based on evidence of
safety and improved standards.
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On 3 Oct 2003 20:58:19 GMT, email@example.com (Huge) wrote:
I think that the reality is that most people will carry on as before
and in the event that they sell the property, pay for an inspection,
which they would have to do anyway.
The other scenario may be when other notifiable work is done, that
this could be included in a BR application.
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The possible issue with this could that if the work carried out was
not up to certification standards and material or life was lost before
it was eventually certified, the person carrying out the work would
most likely be sued and their professional indemnity insurance would
most likely not cover them. That could happen now without the new
regs, but with the new regs the certification should be carried out at
the point of installation, not some indeterminate time later.
And what about a situation where some work was carried out and not
certified, and someone else comes along and bodges a change from which
loss results? If the initial changes weren't certified then the
practitioner may well find himself facing a charge due to someone
elses poor work. Again, could happen now.
I see some good in these new requirements in so far that if the
standard 16th edition tests are carried out then the likelihood is
that the installation is safe, and certificated as such.
The bit I do not like about these new regulations (and which I
continue to badger government about) is the notion that you have to be
NICEIC registered in order to prove you can write certificates. I'm
going to college in the new year to do the C&G2391 course which will
provide me with the knowledge to perform the tests. From that (and
using the approved test equipment) I could most likely write valid
certificates. But those certificates would be meaningless unless I
were an NICEIC member.
This is like saying to someone that they have just passed their
driving test but they aren't allowed on the road until they have
gained their AA membership. The bit that government can't grasp is
that NICEIC membership does not equate to improved safety.
I was really thinking of DIY when I made that point, but for
professionals I agree with you.
The new regulations do allow limited work to be done without
certification (minor works). This is where the argument on the
government's part falls down even further. If a minor work such as
an addition to a circuit is done incompetently and causes a fire or
other problem, then what happens? It didn't require notification.
Apart from the statistical factor of the amount of wiring, wiring
accessories and so on required for a full house rewire being Nx
greater than that for a minor work, there is no real basis to say that
somebody who can do a minor work competently can't do a full rewire or
Agreed, but it doesn't require a sledgehammer like this to achieve
That's because of the real agenda which is to force tradesman to be
members of organisations who document their members. First of all
this promotes the closed shop mentality which is a carrot for the
trade union leaders. Secondly and more importantly, it is a way of
keeping tabs on tradesmen for tax purposes.
If customers know that a certificate has to be issued, I suspect that
fewer tradesmen will be doing work for cash. Hence the government
picks up VAT, income tax and national insurance.
I don't condone tax evasion for one moment, but if the government
would like to keep tabs for this reason then it should be honest about
it and not introduce control in this way.
I'm sure they do. It just happens to be a convenient organisation
with a suitable bureaucracy to track its members whereby they can
outsource the form of tracking mentioned above at zero cost to the tax
payer, thereby claiming another victory.
Their undoing will be that they have patently listened to the lobbying
of this organisation and have ignored the electorate.
What goes around, comes around.......
Yes, rereading your message I did tend to infer the tradesman rather
than the DIY bodger.
Actually I see the converse argument - but either could be right.
Lets say that the householder has a need for some relatively minor
work to be undertaken, which according to the new regs requires
certification. Tradesman says "100 quid for cash, or with certificate
300 quid". I tend to think that a large number of householders would
be keen to save the 200 quid.
Agreed. Only until the Labour government came along it was perfectly
legal to mitigate your tax affairs so as to legally pay the minimum
amount of tax possible - that was referred to as tax avoidance.
Nothing wrong with that. Only now it is your responsibility to pay as
much tax as possible to the exchequor.
Tax evasion is another matter - where tax is due but you fail to pay
The Lord Levy's of this world are exempt from these rules because they
happen to be Labour Party supporters:
Whilst I believe that Labour will be returned at the next election I'm
comfortable that their majority will be significantly reduced as
things stand today. There's a couple of reasons for this.
First, where's the opposition? The Tories haven't woken up yet to the
idea that the country doesn't like baldie who is currently leading
them. Second, the electorate are not yet p'd off enough with Labour to
do the job properly.
From a personal standpoint I want Labour to be returned for a third
term. Reason being that they've sowed lots of seeds that are going to
erupt, and they should carry the can in the full glare of the
electorate. That should keep them safely out of harms way for at least
a couple of parliaments.
Problem is that if the Tories get in then they will carry the can for
those deeds, and we'll have the same game of political ping-pong going
that was there in the 70's. I don't rate the LibDems, they are just
Labour in disguise.
Another issue that Blair has seriously overlooked in my opinion is
these student fees that they've been so keen on increasing. Lots of
students will be very unhappy at having to take on massive loans so
early in their careers - and may spend a lifetime never voting for
Surely also there is the question of how one tells what changes have
been done since a certicficate was issued (or not). A certificate
doesn't describe the installed wiring in any detail as far as I know
so it's quite impossible to decide whether it applies to what's
I suppose, Steve, that it boild down to; Is competency in a piece of card or
a piece of paper ... or is it in the individual? From my experience, a
qualification might be a good start, but it is in the maintenance of
knowledge and capability that the real competency exists. I've met some
Qualified electricians that couldn't understand why a 12V downlighter that
was fitted 6 meters from the transformer was running with as much light as
the glow from the end of a cigarette, or that had to phone their supervisors
to ask how many double sockets they could put on a ring and their
supervisors had to look it up in a book. I beleive it's down to how much
effort the individual puts in to maintaining and improving his own knowledge
that really signifies competency.
Me too, C. Eng and Eur. Ing, with the basic underlying qualification
being a degree in Electrical Engineering.
Since it's 'us' (in the generic sense) that write the regulations
surely we are somehow qualified to say that they have been complied
No, I think that you are on at least part of the money. You have our
pugilistic pal and his cronies to thank for that.
The excuse presented was that there would be a reduction in electrical
accidents and fires (when almost all come from portable appliances and
their wiring and not fixed wiring).
This is also part of a series of construction legislation whereby a
tradesman belonging to a specified trade organisation (according to
the discipline) can self certify his work. Of course the tradesman
does have to have been trained or have appropriate experience and be a
member of said organisation to do this. Such membership will be more
economically viable for larger firms than for a tradesman who might
work in multiple disciplines. Membership fees and other costs will
of course be passed on to the customer.
This of course creates the 21st century equivalent to the closed shop,
especially when your point about it making it much easier for
tradespeople to be tracked through said organisations.
There is as well a general impicit put down of DIY activity as well.
For example, on the web site of one of these unions in disguise, the
Institute of Plumbers, there is a put down to the effect that it's OK
to put up a few shelves but that plumbing requires a skilled and
approved tradesman. Yeah, sure.
Never mind though. In letters from the minister responsible for all
of this via their MPs, several people asking about DIY electrical work
have been told that all is OK - they can submit a Building Notice at
the local authority. One small snag. Most local authorities know
nothing about this impending legislation, have not been funded to
handle it and are not professionally equipped. Not to worry, though
- if they squeak, they will have their budget capped.
Yes of course, this is another infringement of personal freedom by the
nanny state and a not very stealthy stealth tax.
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