Like Paul says from a legal point of view anyone can set up in business & call themselves an electrician. However if you advertised that you were a qualified electrician I think you would have to be able to prove it, trading standards laws etc.
What is generally accepted as a qualified electrician (in Scotland anyway) would be a person who has completed a recognized apprenticeship, usually 4 years, together with attending college & passing the appropriate City & Guilds (or current equivalent) exams.
The above route is the norm around here, and that is how I became a qualified electrician. You do have to keep up to date by returning to college for Regs updates, inspection & testing, health & safety courses.
My qualifications are recognized in Australia. I was given a NSW Electricians Licence after completing 3 months working as a spark in Sydney & passing an oral test on AS 3000. The examiner told me I scored higher than most of the local born electricians. As far as I know your Australian & NZ qualifications would be recognized in UK too.
Re: What Qualifies an Electrician in the UK/Scotland?#134086 10/25/0212:57 AM10/25/0212:57 AM
I find this really hard to believe that anybody off the street can call themselves an Electrician, when in a country that prides itself on having some of the most thorough and stringent, Electricity Regulations, only apply to registered workers. This would explain all of the dodgy work that I have seen on various programmes from the UK, shown on TV over here. I am glad that we work on a system of Registration and every two years ,we must re-apply to have our Practising Licences,renewed, this entails doing a First Aid course and a course on Safe Working Practices and Electrical Testing.
Re: What Qualifies an Electrician in the UK/Scotland?#134087 10/25/0202:06 AM10/25/0202:06 AM
It's just unbelievable that anybody can call themselves an electrician in the UK! Here, they are very strict about your studies. Electrician or Elektro Technische Installateur, like they call it here, is a very protected proffession. It's 3 years electricity studies AND 2 years buisness management. The latter is so that you cannot say that you "didn't know" how to fill in your tax form. Every other profession has just 1 year buisness management studies, but elektrician has 2 years. I think this was introduced only to protect it even more
Re: What Qualifies an Electrician in the UK/Scotland?#134088 10/25/0203:49 PM10/25/0203:49 PM
We do have an independent organization known as the NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting).
They offer certification for electricians, and certainly if you wanted work in major commercial projects or something like that then the chances are that the employer would require NICEIC certification. But it's not a legal requirement in any way.
They mention Jersey having tighter requirements now, although how effectively they would be enforced is another matter. (For those unfamiliar with the British Isles, let me point out the Island of Jersey is British territory, but is NOT part of the U.K. -- They have their own laws, their own government etc.)
There are also no legal requirements in the U.K. for builders, plumbers, or any number of other trades to have official qualifications. As David says, somebody could have a tough time defending himself under Trading Standards Laws if he claimed a qualification he doesn't have, but that's a different matter.
Anyone fitting gas lines and appliances does legally have to be CORGI registered now. (COnfederation of Registered Gas Installers)
Re: What Qualifies an Electrician in the UK/Scotland?#134089 10/26/0210:51 PM10/26/0210:51 PM
I thought that new Electrical work in the UK had to be tested and inspected by the Power Authority, before it was connected to the supply, if this is so, why do the relevant Inspectors, not inspect the quality of the workmanship, as well as the Safety of the Installation?, and take it from there, this is their job, is it not?
Re: What Qualifies an Electrician in the UK/Scotland?#134090 10/27/0209:54 AM10/27/0209:54 AM
Trumpy, we as electricians in this country ( England )now connect our installations to the PoCo meter point, the PoCo supply us with a double pole 100A isolator (on single phase supplies) and a four pole (or three) isolator for the three phase supplies. There is no requirement for the PoCo to test before connection of the supply anymore. When I first started in the industry about 20 years ago we had to test the installation and then apply for a connection date with the PoCo, that i still consider is a good thing, but with privitisation of the local supply companies that went out the window in favour of cheaper working practices against safety. But that is another winge over here. If you need to know mpre e mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: What Qualifies an Electrician in the UK/Scotland?#134091 10/27/0201:43 PM10/27/0201:43 PM
the PoCo supply us with a double pole 100A isolator (on single phase supplies)
East Midlands Electricity were doing that when I left their region a few years ago, but down here in former Eastern Electricity region they still don't provide isolators. You provide the tails for them to connect to the meter, and if you want a separate isolator then it's your responsibility to provide one.
with privitisation of the local supply companies that went out the window in favour of cheaper working practices against safety.
That about sums it up: As in so many other fields, it's now the bean counters who are in charge.
Remember how fussy the PoCo used to be about testing a PME system? Not anymore, at least not in this area. They just shove the earthing lead into the neutral block and that's that. Not even a visual inspection to see if the other bonding is up to scratch.
Re: What Qualifies an Electrician in the UK/Scotland?#134092 10/30/0201:15 AM10/30/0201:15 AM
Well, if you got an accountant to wire your house, that would make a great source of pictures for ECN. I am told by my accountant, that I am not cost-effective enough, ie: I do not charge outlandish amounts for the smaller jobs, go figure?.