After our last post regarding how the proposed changes to Government red tape are likely to affect electrical courses graduates, it has become apparent that there is widespread confusion among many of our current electrical courses students, as well as those currently working in the trade.

So here, by way of explanation, is exactly how Part P applies:

1) You will not need to notify your local authority if you do limited minor electrical work such as:

a. Replacing or repairing a socket, light or cable in a room;
b. Adding extra spurs, sockets or lights to an existing circuit (except in a kitchen, bathroom or outdoors);
c. Adding lights to an outdoor wall on an existing circuit (provided there are no exposed outdoor connections, and the circuit is not extended from a kitchen or bathroom).

2) Before you start other electrical work, you must notify your Local Authority Building Control Department, which has responsibility for ensuring the work is inspected and tested. This work includes:

a. Adding new circuits to your existing installation;
b. Any work (other than repairs / replacements) in a room where there is water (e.g. kitchen, bathroom, etc);
c. Any work (other than repairs / replacements) outdoors (e.g. installing outdoor sockets or non-pre wired garden lighting etc).


And remember, Building Control will charge you a fee. Diynot.com has some interesting discussions by contributors on this subject, such as: “My local authority charges £202 + vat for work up to £2000 and it goes up from there and they won't inspect or test - they want an EIC/MWC [electrical certificate] signed by a qualified electrician”, which essentially means the process could become very expensive.

However, when you perform any electrical installation after attending one of our electrical courses and become a member of a competent person scheme, you will be able to self certify your own work with no need to inform Building Control, thus avoiding such high costs. Therefore it makes sense to undergo electrical courses with us here at Access Training and join a Competent Person Scheme. This will ensure you are able to perform many different types of domestic electrical installation in accordance with Part P.

We hope this clears up any confusion for our present electrical courses students and for those electrical courses graduates we have taught in the past. If you require any further information regarding Part P, our electrical courses or any other of our services for that matter, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

In our last post we talked briefly about the Government’s review of current building regulations and the emphasis of Part P, as well as how this applies to those individuals undergoing electrical training. We mentioned the building regulations exercise which was conducted with over 800 direct and indirect responses which produced some interesting results. We felt it was important to inform our electrical training graduates as well as our potential electrical training students of the future of the details and timescale of any prospective changes so you know exactly what is expected of you. 

The key finding is that current building regulations are far from perfect; there is plenty to be improved upon, although, for the most part, they are in pretty good shape. The Part P section of the regulations seemed to be a contentious point amongst many, especially those who have recently completed electrical training. The following viewpoints were highlighted on the Government website:

  •  Large-scale support for reducing cost of compliance with Part P;
  •  A questioning of the role of regulation and its scope e.g. why do we control what people do in their own homes (e.g. water temperature);
  •  Make building regulations less bureaucratic and restrictive;
  •  Review Part P home DIY electrical.

There was a common misunderstanding:

  • Have you ever wanted to change that socket from a single socket to a double? Well you can’t, it’s illegal.

The regulations for DIYers left the following general complaint:

  • Competent DIYers must pay to have work inspected by building control, or pay to have work carried out by perhaps less competent individuals who have completed the relevant electrical training.

Competent registered electricians also commented:

  • Electricians who comply, register and have undergone thorough electrical training are undercut by cowboys who ignore rules and regulations
  • Regulations are not enforced – cowboys are never prosecuted

There were also some broad views expressed regarding Part P rules:

  • Electrical installation work in new and existing dwellings, however minor, must follow rules in BS 7671: 2001. (There is currently no technical guidance in Approved Document P)
  • Riskier jobs are ‘notifiable’ and must either be:
    • inspected, tested and approved by a building control body, or
    • self-certified by a registered electrician who has undergone the relevant electrical training (‘Competent Person’)
  • Notifiable jobs are:
    • new circuits and new/ replacement consumer units
    • extensions to circuits in kitchens, bathrooms and outdoors
  • Repairs and replacements are not notifiable
  • Rules too confusing and not well understood by general public
  • High building control charges discourage notification (especially simple jobs in kitchens)


Having reviewed the responses, MP Andrew Stunell, said: “For me this is just the start of the process - their contribution has informed my programme of work for the next year, and I want to work with them further to ensure building regulations are fit for the 21st century."

The programme of reform has also now been set out with the following actions:

  • Set up Building Regulations Part P Technical Working Party
  • Develop proposals for amending regulations and guidance
  • Prepare formal Impact Assessment
  • Publish consultation document – December 2011
  • Conduct formal three month consultation
  • Publish analysis of responses – July 2012
  • Publish amended regulations and Approved Document – October 2012
  • Bring new regulations and guidance into effect – April 2013

At Access Training we will, as ever, continue to monitor and report on statements from the Government as well as electrical training awarding bodies to bring to you the latest and most up to date information. Upon reflection it appears that Part P of the building regulations will receive further scrutiny over the next few years, culminating in a more refined set of regulations being implemented in a few years time. What is certain is that Part P electrical training courses will continue to be essential for the safety of consumers and installers alike.

Here at Access Training we aim to bring you all the latest industry news for electrical training graduates and prospective students alike, so you are fully equipped to make a name for yourself as a reputable and highly skilled electrician.  

Throughout 2010 the Government has been making a lot of noise about its intention to cut red tape and reform regulations across a wide range of industries. Current building regulations are to be looked at in detail to ensure they aid rather than prohibit the new Government policy of increasing the housing supply. It is also their intention to reform the planning system so it is more efficient, effective and supportive of economic development. In addition, the Government has stated that it will introduce a New Homes Bonus and will also reduce the total regulatory burden on the house building industry. This is potentially good news for individuals currently attending electrical courses, and especially those electrical courses which include the Part P elements.

In a move which was welcomed back in early 2010, MP Andrew Stunnell stated the need for free and open feedback from individuals in the construction industry as well as those running electrical courses in an attempt to streamline regulations: “I want to hear your views on how regulations can be improved, added to, or slimmed down. I would also welcome suggestions as to how we can deliver better levels of compliance in the future.”

The result of this Building Regulations Exercise was that over 200 responses were received; many from those who had recently completed electrical courses, although surprisingly not a lot of unexpected issues or suggestions arose. The conclusions we can draw at this stage will come as welcome news for those individuals currently attending electrician courses and especially for those thinking of attending electrical courses in the future, as less red tape will result in the creation of many more employment opportunities.

For those of you considering electrical courses, Access Training really should be your first choice. Our facilities are state of the art, as is the level of training our electrical courses provide. For further information call Access today on 0800 345 7492.

In an article written by Chris Simms and published by City & Guilds, the age of individuals currently undergoing City & Guild courses, including their electrical training courses, was put under the microscope. It was found that 18% of people currently undertaking courses are between the ages of 25–29. However, this decreases drastically with age, as those aged between 50-65 on City & Guilds courses count for just 8.5% of their students, whilst those over the age of 65 accounted for just 6%.

These figures contrast with the current employment figures for the UK, which shows that the number of individuals over the age of 50 and in work lies at 27%, a figure which has risen significantly over the past decade.

Simms argues that this trend of working for longer whilst undergoing less training could have severe consequences for the UK’s economy. He argued that individuals should invest more in courses, including electrical training, in an attempt to broaden the skills of those individuals of a working age. With a third of the working population expected to comprise of individuals over the age of 50 by 2020.

At Access Training we have seen a marked increase over the years in the number of people enquiring about training who are in this age bracket. They are often unsure as to whether the courses are designed for them and ask questions regarding their suitability for electrical training or training of any type. The advice we offer is clear; they should see their age as an advantage to train as they will bring a more mature approach to their work, and many customers will be more trusting of an older individual and more inclined to accept them into their properties.

Simms does allude to an attitude some employers may have, which centres on the view that the older you get the more one’s ability to learn diminishes. However, research has indicated that the opposite is in fact true: “The knowledge and skills accumulated over a lifetime can give senior individuals advantages over their younger counterparts in the learning process. Other factors often assumed to decline with age, such as memory, creative ability or problem solving abilities, can in fact be maintained or even improved through training. As for low return on investment, this simply doesn’t make sense as we move towards a world where working for 20 years after the age of 50 is not uncommon.”

It seems reasonable therefore to say to employers and to individuals themselves that investing in your future and enrolling on a course, such as our electrical training, can open up a wealth of new opportunities.

Here at Access Training individuals of any age are free to enrol on our electrical training course, or any of our courses for that matter. If you require any further information contact us today.

In our last blog post we examined the anticipated increase in bathroom installation over the next few years, and how such a renovation could have a significant impact on the value of your home. Well in an unexpected twist, Access Training, whilst carrying out some research, have stumbled across some earth shattering news: could the installation of a second bathroom really be the secret to a long and happy marriage?

Catherine Zeta Jones has added some of her Hollywood gravitas to a growing murmur that the installation of a second bathroom could well be the secret to a happy marriage.

Zeta Jones, who has received considerable press coverage over the past few weeks, is convinced that his and hers bathrooms have been of great comfort during her 10 year marriage to film star husband Michael Douglas. She said: “Separate bathrooms are always a really great idea. Mine is so messy; I’d absolutely hate for my husband to realize just how incredibly untidy I can be.”

British institution, Michael Caine, has also spoke out in favour of second bathroom installation, declaring that having a ‘little boy’s room’, separate to a calming space where the ladies can ‘powder their noses’, is crucial. Caine, who has been married to his wife Shakira for 37 years, said: “The secret to a happy marriage is separate bathrooms. It’s essential. Whenever we stay in a hotel we always get two bedrooms so we can have an extra bathroom. It’s vital to have your own space so you aren’t constantly in each other’s pockets.”

So as discussed before bathroom installation represents an investment, and not simply in monetary terms, it forges solid and long lasting relationships which is surely far more than important than money anyway, although obviously both is a definite bonus.

Here at Access Training we offer industry recognised bathroom installation and plumbing courses, although sadly marital bliss does not come guaranteed. For further information regarding bathroom fitting course please contact us today. Call 0800 345 7492 and enquire about your course today.

With the property market currently stagnant in many parts of the UK, more and more people are choosing to renovate their current property rather than move home. This is creating great opportunities for graduates of plumbing courses as well as those individuals currently undergoing bathroom fitting courses. Not only is a surge in demand for bathroom renovations expected, they will also be able to add 5% of their own home, and all by completing plumbing courses with Access Training.

Rosie Millard, writing for the Daily Telegraph, stated that by simply renovating an existing bathroom it was possible to increase a property’s value. Creating a clean, stylish space would also attract potential buyers if you are considering selling your property.

Millard gave clear advice for plumbing courses graduates and those looking to install bathroom suites. They should always opt for white as a coloured suite ‘will look dreadful in just a matter of months’.

Such trends should make for interesting reading or those individuals either attending or considering Access Training’s plumbing courses. There is a buoyant market out there in homes across the country for new bathrooms, or on a slightly grander scale, en suite bathrooms built in bedrooms and lofts. So consider the possibility of attending one of our plumbing courses, forming your own business and installing bathrooms for your customers across the UK. You could create a niche and lucrative business for yourself. However, first things first, successful completion of one of our industry recognised plumbing courses.

For further information regarding Access Training’s wide range of plumbing courses, call us on 0800 345 7492 today.   

In a positive news story from Manchester’s Marketing and Business Development (MBD), it has been reported that the decline in the UK bathroom industry only actually fell by 2% in 2010, far less than initially feared. This comes as refreshing news for those currently on plumbing courses as well as plumbing course graduates, and halts a far greater decrease compared with the previous two years. Many plumbing course graduates had switched to fault finding and repair tasks, as demand for bathroom installation had declined so drastically. 

The MBD remained optimistic for the future of the plumbing industry, reporting its worth at £1.9bn in 2010, and looking towards the future, forecasts anticipate the market will increase year on year up until 2015, with demand predicted to increase by 3% in 2011.

Marketing and Business Development commented: “We expect the market to increase by a cumulative 26% between 2010 and 2015, taking it to just under £2.5bn. At 2010 prices, baths will represent £429m of the total industry, toilets £289m, basins £235m, bidets £17m and enclosures £182m.” These figures show that plumbing courses graduates should be ploughing fertile ground over the next few years, with many high street DIY retailers requiring additional bathroom fitters to join their ranks.

So what does this mean for plumbing courses graduates and bathroom fitting students currently in training? Well it appears there will be a wealth of work available, even with the small decline seen over the past year. And with the anticipated surge in demand for new bathroom installation over the coming years, the future really does look rosy.

Star of property program Relocation, Relocation, Phil Spencer has advised property developers and those considering property development courses to think very carefully when considering how to invest in their projects. He stated in The Times that there are adaptations property developers can make which will add over 9% to the value of a property. If you are considering attending one of Access Training’s property development courses, then this should come as excellent news. Upon completion of our property development course, you will be in a position to reap the rewards of your hard labour when it comes to selling your home and moving on. 

Adding value to a project is the bottom line for all graduates of property development courses; Spencer explained the most effective way of achieving this was with a kitchen, bathroom or garden refurbishment. The tutors at Access Training’s property development courses whole heartedly agree with this point and teach their students how to carry out such refurbishments to the most exacting of standards.

Those of you considering undertaking property development courses should firstly note Phil’s comments:  “If you are only going to improve one room, make it the kitchen. This has now become the showpiece area of the home. We don’t just cook in it; we do homework, watch television and hold dinner parties in it too. The number one priority is creating a handsome and efficient work surface, ensuring easy access between the three points of the kitchen triangle, namely the sink, fridge and cooker.

“You should also ensure the equipment you install is as up to date as possible, so it won’t look outdated in 10 years. Property development courses teach individuals to ensure the price bracket of your kitchen matches the price bracket of your home. There is no point putting a £25,000 kitchen in a £250,000 house; you won’t see a return on investment. Equally a £10,000 kitchen in a £1 million house will only drag down the value. Typically, a new kitchen will add 4.6 per cent onto the value of your home.”

Phil also offered some valuable advice as to how best refurbish your bathroom: “The secret is to keep things simple. You don’t need to do a lot with the room; it’s all about the features you put in. You should think about a set of new taps (£20), a heated chrome towel rail (£50), a big shower head (£20), a power shower (£250-£750) and a glass screen (£100) or glass door (£125) instead of a shower curtain. A new bathroom puts 2.88 per cent onto the house value.”

The third area that Phil said that graduates of property development courses should concentrate on is the garden: “Make it accessible and enjoyable from the house; glass doors are a good idea, as is outdoor lighting. View the garden as another room; install decking (£250 up to £5,000) and you can add two per cent to the house value.”

If you are considering property development and are looking for all encompassing property development courses, Access Training can offer you property development courses which will teach you the trade skills needed to add real value to your property at a fraction of the cost. Take a look at our bathroom fitting courses, kitchen fitting courses for more details. Alternatively call us now and we’ll answer all you questions.

We have already discussed on previous posts the shortage of plumbing course graduates in Britain. However, the problem is now extending worldwide, with the US the latest in a long line of countries to experience such a scarcity. Plumbing course graduates are now in demand in some of the world’s most sought after destinations including Australia and Canada.

In a discussion on one America’s foremost debate websites, Splice Today, aspiring college graduates have been discussing the merits of university degrees, and wondering if they would be better placed for the future if they learnt a trade such as plumbing, as it would virtually guarantee them a lucrative and secure career.

Contributions from experts on the subject of career paths have suggested that although higher education may well be the pathway to a successful life for some, those who pursue an in demand trade such as plumbing will find that an excellent income awaits them once they have successfully completed their training.

Journalist Frank DeFilippo, says: “America needs tinkerers as well as thinkers. We need PhDs, but we also need plumbers… College, for the most part, equips people to do nothing, except maybe think, which has its own rewards and is not a bad thing. But the salary for that won’t always cover the mortgage.

“Anyone who isn’t afraid to get a little grease under his fingernails or luxuriate in the slime and grime of a broken pipe or backed-up sink is likely to receive more take-home pay than a graduate with a degree in literature or philosophy. And maybe even the professor teaching literature and philosophy as well.”

The comments were met with widespread agreement: “I recently retired after 35 years as an engineer. I have 3 master’s degrees in math, business and project management. On an hourly basis, I pay my plumber more than I ever earned, and am glad to do it. It’s not just plumbers. We need electricians… and so much more. It’s not the money. What we have to do is restore the status we took from the skilled trades.”

It seems the message is clear the world over, becoming a plumber can offer a greater standard of living than one may expect and is certainly a career worth considering wherever you are in the world. Talk to Access Training today and realise your potential by attending an industry recognised plumbing course. We have a suitable course for everyone including those currently in full time employment.

Throughout 2010, the economy has been slowly struggling back to full fitness; it sadly still has a long way to go, but at least everything is moving in the right direction. This has been evidenced by an increase in spending by the general public on non-essential items such as a bathroom revamp. Economists are optimistic of this trend continuing through 2011; excellent news for those currently attending a plumbing course.

The recent spending on bathroom overhauls is seen to be a sign that, although individuals do have excess income at their disposable, they are reluctant to move home due to the present condition of the housing market, and instead see refurbishment as a far more efficient use of their money. This comes as music to the ears of those currently attending, or thinking about attending a plumbing course in the future.

Here at Access Training we do not merely teach you the practicalities of the plumbing industry. We go into far more detail, teaching you the industry trends which we learn from plumbing trade suppliers and retailers. This added insight helps plumbing course graduates to target their service to make the most of forthcoming trends. One such online retailer, Tradeplumbing.com, has recently reported the current top two trends to be:

• ‘Enormous’ free standing baths
   and
• Heated flooring

Here at Access Training the plumbing courses we offer will extensively cover the fitting of baths as well as other general bathroom fitting. However, installing under floor heating, which is generally electric, will require the installer to have completed a relevant electrical course. Critically it must be one which covers domestic electrical installation and Part P of the building regulations. Such a course will enable an individual to complete the job and self certify their own work.

Existing plumbers who are interested in cashing in on the current surge in under floor heating throughout the UK should contact Access and undertake just a short electrical course to receive their Part P qualification.

If you are interested in giving your career a kick start, contact Access Training today. We will have the perfect industry recognised plumbing courses to suit your intended line of work.  

The current economic climate has put strain on the purse strings of many, resulting in far fewer individuals finding themselves in a position where they can afford to buy their own home. This is music to the ears of Gas Safe qualified engineers as well as those currently completing gas courses, as landlords have strict legal requirements they must fulfill before renting out their property to ensure the safety of the gas system.

In a rented property the landlord is responsible for ensuring that the pipe work, appliances and gas flues are maintained and kept in a safe condition. It is a legal requirement that a gas safety check is carried out every year; this must be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer who has attended the relevant gas courses. The landlord must then give their tenants a copy of the gas safety record within 28 days of the check being completed, or prior to them moving into the property.

The employment and business opportunities available for qualified gas engineers are currently plentiful. Only Gas Safe registered engineers are permitted to perform these checks, ensuring a ready supply of work. This is just the type of work you could be carrying out if you are seriously looking into gas courses with Access Training. The courses are delivered with commercial work in mind, so carrying out the necessary checks on a landlord’s property as well as completing paperwork can be performed with ease.

If you would like to enter this growing industry then there really is no time like the present. Enquire with us today about becoming a qualified gas safe engineer and we will help you to decide which of our gas courses is best suited to you.

Thecareerengineer.com website has reported that the average daily wage commanded by self employed individuals working in the gas industry has risen by nearly 30% compared to their level during the same period last year. The figures contrast to the trend shown by other industries indicating that gas engineers and professionals are still in short supply.

Salaries of those employed by a third party have also been gradually on the rise. In other positive news for the industry, employers expect to see the amount of staff they recruit increase by around 5% throughout the year, increasing the employment opportunities once the relevant gas training has been completed. 

Thecareerengineer.com also reported that more than 20% of gas companies expected to see salaries rise by a further 10% over the forthcoming year. These increased rates of pay are a strong indicator that the gas industry remains buoyant and is in fact experiencing growth.

This is good news indeed if you are considering a change in direction. For a whole host of information regarding our wide range of gas training courses, contact Access Training today. There has rarely been a better opportunity to start a new career in the gas industry. 

Attend one of our Gas Safe courses and you will become a fully qualified gas engineer with industry recognised qualifications. Below are examples of some current vacancies in the gas industry which could realistically be your next job.

Posted on: 21/03/2011
Gas Engineers Wanted for 3 Locations
Salary: £660 to £680 per week
Location: Cardiff & Newport & Swansea
Description: Gas Engineers needed to do domestic service and repair work...

Gas Engineer Required
Salary: £12 to £13 per hour (plus vehicle, fuel card, and kit provided)
Location: Hereford & Worcester
Description: Gas service engineer is needed to cover the Herefordshire area. Must be fully ACS qualified. The client will provide a van, a gas analyser and a fuel card. The duration is ongoing. Please call on ... or email a C.V to...