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.  

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.

The Joint Industry Board (JIB) has recently published its 2010 Labour Report, giving us an inside look into the short, medium and long term employee developments within the electrical industry. The positive elements of the report include the stability of employment in the electrical industry as a whole, even amidst the harsh economic conditions we are currently experiencing; 48% of employees have been with their current employer for five years or more, with a staggering 19% having been with the same company for over 25 years. This goes to show that if you are considering enrolling on electrical courses, you will be entering into a stable and recession proof career. 

One potential drawback (but a benefit for those wishing to become an electrician) is that the age profile of individuals in many sectors of the electrical and construction industry is steadily on the rise. The average age of a JIB electrician currently stands at 41, which in itself is no problem at all, it’s the number of employees over the age of 61 which raises concerns. This figure has more than doubled in the last ten years, highlighting the fact that the skills shortage is only going to worsen over the coming years as more and more electricians retire.

With a significant skills shortage already existing in the industry and with the prospect of a good proportion of those electricians retiring in the next few years, there really is no better time to shop around for electrical courses. The future really does look bright for aspiring electricians.

If you are interested in changing careers and becoming an electrician, here at Access Training we have a wide range of electrical courses for you to choose from, so you can find the perfect course for you.

Now that the Conservative and Liberal Democratic coalition government has its feet firmly under the table, we wait with baited breath to witness the effects of cuts in government spending being made across the board. The cuts, although severe, don’t seem as though they will reach the rumoured 30 or 40 percent which sections of the press were reporting. We sincerely hope it stays this way so you can survive this period of uncertainty unscathed. 

However, there is a positive element to the cuts. The drive for public sector efficiencies aims to reduce red tape, helping to ease the cost of running a business. This will include the review of established regulations, which can only be good news for those individuals who are keen to set up their own businesses and become qualified and established self employed tradesmen.

One concerning aspect is the review currently being undertaken regards current Building Regulations, and in particular, the section which affects domestic electrical installations. An example of such a review includes the Approved Document P, or simply Part P, as most people will know it.  Phil Buckle, Director General of the Electrical Safety Council, spoke about the importance of attending electrical training, and particularly the appropriate electrical training to gain the all important Part P electrical qualifications: “It is the Electrical Safety Council’s View, that the removal of Part P would be detrimental to electrical safety.

“While we have an excellent safety record of fixed electrical installations in the UK, there are currently no controls in existence for those individuals wishing to undertake certain types of electrical work. It is feared that this could lead to an explosion in DIY projects, as the finances in many households are currently tight. This would negate the efforts of recent years to improve the safety of electrical installations in homes throughout the UK”.

The ESC has been made aware that certain unqualified individuals are having their electrical work ‘signed off’ by registered installers. It goes without saying that this practice represents a huge risk, and could easily lead to injury or even death. 

The conclusions we can draw are thus: if you are ‘Part P Qualified’ and are a registered Domestic Electrical Installer, or have become a registered member of a competent person scheme, the risks are yours if you decide to sign off any individual’s work. Take note: If an accident does occur, the Health and Safety Executive may well look to prosecute as it is deemed to be your responsibility under Part P of the Building Regulations.

Secondly, attending formal electrical training and becoming ‘Part P Qualified’ represents a worthwhile investment for anyone wishing to carry out electrical installations in homes. It is a legal requirement to do so, so don’t be one of the misguided few who persist in avoiding regulation.

Here at Access Training you can become Part P Qualified in no time at all. Just view our wide range of electrical training courses and choose the one which is most appropriate to the type of work you wish to carry out. What’s more, you can offset the cost of training against your tax bill; call us for more details.