Unpicking reality from requirement – EICR?

Unpicking reality from requirement – EICR?

10:14 AM, 5th March 2021, About 7 months ago 9

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Unpicking reality from requirement: Is it acceptable that an EICR is signed off by the company the electrician works for, or should it be signed off by the electrician undertaking the EICR complete with their EICR Certificate registration number?

Interestingly the NICEIC, Stroma and generic forms from the previous EICRs that I have vary in having ‘Approved Contractors No’, ‘Certificate Serial No/Ref’, ‘Enrolment No’ (presumably this is for the CPS club issuing the blank forms) shown but generally no specific ‘EICR Certificate Ref No’ entry point. It may be that the forms have changed to align with the new PRS requirements on LLs but the unsuspecting LL would not know any different. And yes, every day’s a school day!

My understanding from other discussion threads on here is that the inspecting EICR electrician ought to be skilled and a member of a scheme (presumably NICEIC/Stroma/Other), have a certificate to carry out EICRs and have Professional Indemnity Insurance but not necessarily be a member of a Competent Persons Scheme (CPS).

Apologies for potentially labouring the point, but I’m sure many LLs out there will simply accept the piece of paper that is emailed to them after the event by which time actions C2 and above and errors on the paperwork will have been sent to the Local Housing Authority.

Any Landlord Electricians out there? Can you help bring some clarity to these points, please?

Robert



Comments

by Paul landlord

15:22 PM, 5th March 2021, About 7 months ago

Hi. I'll try to assist if I can- as well as being a portfolio landlord i am also a sparks and in the 'boys club' of being registered by stroma. By the way stroma cps scheme was bought out nearly two years ago by NAPIT and the stroma brand will be disappearing in the next year.

Firstly all the different electrical forms used by electricians (EIC,EICR and MWC) no matter what the branding whether it be a scheme providers brand, 3rd party software brand so you can put your own logo on, or a 'buy off the shelf' from the wholesaler brand are ALL based on the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) model forms- google IET and you can look at the model forms that has the minimum information that you can provide and the format. Anyone can print them off and use them in a hand written way free of charge- hand written generic just as valid by the way.

There has been no change to the model forms since the 18th edition wiring regs BS7671 2018 came out.

Most scheme providers put extras to the model forms (helpful or not depending on your viewpoint) but they cant take anything away from the mofel forms.

There is no requirement by the IET or BSI to provide a unique certificate number or to provide a CPS scheme member number- just name, address and telephone number.

Most of us doing EICRs are scheme members but you dont have to be and even if you are there is no lawful requirement to use the providers forms (eg if i change a light fitting for you or wire in your cooker then im not paying for their minor works forms but if I do an EIC or EICR then its definitely on their forms from me)- they all do charge for generating certs from their software and of course this gets passed onto you.

If you look up EICRs on .Gov then you will see there is no requirement for scheme membership to do EICRS though you would be well advised to use a scheme member for the warranties and peace of mind should things go wrong.

To legally do EICRs as far as the government are concerned you need the relevant inspection and testing qualifications, the latest wiring regs quals and Professional Indemnity insurance.

I'm one man in a van who subs in mates for bigger contracts- most cost efficient way we find- so I sign the cert as the Inspector in the first part and as Director in the 2nd.

In testing companies with employees then they will have the employees name as inspector and the second section will be signed by the company.

Confused? You will be lol.

The government made a right royal cock up in 2005 when legislating for electrical work. Did you realise that the sparks doing installations in for example your local big city shopping mall doesn't even need to be registered? Its only for installation work of a certain level in houses you need to be a registered spark.

The legal situation is a joke cocked up by legislation but my advice- use a registered sparks.... but you don't have too!

Hope that helps

by DSR

16:05 PM, 5th March 2021, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul landlord at 05/03/2021 - 15:22
Hi - slightly off the thread sorry, but in regard to the EICR report itself - does this have to be fully attached to a Building Regulation Cert of Compliance was issued at the same time? I have been asked by the purchasing solicitor for the actual full report that accompanies the Cert of Compliance, yet surely the Cert of Compliance is enough as it does what it says on the tin!?

by Paul landlord

0:26 AM, 6th March 2021, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by RL at 05/03/2021 - 16:05
No-not entirely sure of your situation but hope thiscwill give clarity These are completely different issues entirely.

If you were to have a level of wiring works done above the level of a minor works certicate then that would require an EIC (electrical installation certificate) to be issued and building control notified where you would also be issued with a building control sign off too. Remember domestic electrics come under document part p of the building regulations.

Minor works are not notifiable but still are required to be compliant with BS7671 and inspected and tested properly during the commissioning and emergising process. Examples- adding an additional socket, changing light fittings, changing socket fronts. Almost DIY jobs basically.

Examples of EIC works are additions of new circuits and consumer unit changes. As well as the EIC as said you should get a building control certificate certifying that those specific and limited works (and those works only) are installation compliant with BS7671 and have been tested to ensure compliance of the works too. The EIC or building control cert doesn't confirm the condition of the remainder of the installation only those specific works are compliant.

Enter your EICR. This is a full and comprehensive test of your entire fixed wiring installation, its condition (like everything it wears with age and use) and whether it is compluant or not. Bear in mind regs change every couple of years so if the installation was carried out under an earlier edition of the regs and its safety and integrity had not been compromised since then, fault code 3s would be applied- recommended improvements but still a pass. Example plastic consumer unit. A c3 is A bit like an advisory on your mot. You dont get a building control cert with EICRs as they are reports on condition not certifying new installation works comploance.

The only time when an EICR is not relevant is in the case of a full rewire. And of course that will need a periodic test in time- just the same as a brand new car will need an mot.

Phew... hope that answers your question!!

Like i said electric regs and set ups are difficult enough for electricians to understand and drive us crazy- how on earth is Joe public supposed to understand and be convinced he is not being had- hence all the armchair (non sparks) experts on multiple threads on here for the last year slagging off people in my trade when they are totally clueless (but the authority they speak with makes my a*se laugh! When its obvious they 'know nowt') - I'm obviously not including these sensibke questions in this regard

But I've spent years being demonised as a landlord and now i find who i thought were my 'brothers in arms landlords' are now attacking me too as an electrician!!

And yes you are going to get rogue sparks just like you get togue everything including landlords. But we respectable landlords dont appreciate the generalisations and neither do we sparks by the same token.

As usual its government cock ups interfering badly in things they know nothing about causing problems. Surely we all familiar with that!

by Paul landlord

0:33 AM, 6th March 2021, About 7 months ago

Forgot to add- the buil con cert is just a bare bones one page cert that will give a description such as 'addition of a new circuit' or 'alteration in a special location'.
The eic to accompany it fleshes out the bones with about 7 pages containing 120 odd inspections and also numeroud test result figutes. They sit together and compliment each other

by michaelwgroves

15:22 PM, 6th March 2021, About 7 months ago

I concur with everything Paul has said, albeit I was sceptical about not needing to be a member of a CPS, having thought this changed, so bounced it round the electricians forum.
Turns out Paul is absolutely right, electrician does not need to be a member of CPS to complete EICR, but beware, if he is not, the onus is on you to ensure he is competent.
I am bemused by this, how can a landlord possibly be qualified to check the competence of an electrician, and then document the interview. You would also need the electrician to sign this statement. What a mess.......
My advice is use an electrician who is a member of a CPS. You'll likely pay the same price, but someone else who is qualified to do so, will have verified the electricians competence.

by Paul landlord

20:41 PM, 6th March 2021, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by michaelwgroves at 06/03/2021 - 15:22
Hi Michael and yes that was exactly my advice.

Use someone registered. You have more comeback if there is an issue and also in terms of credentials if on cps it very easily takes away a lot of grief of checking someones legitimatecy etc. And as you correctly pointed out- it is the responsibility of the client to ensure the person is a 'good un'. 'He said he was good for it m'lud' wont cut it im afraid!

But you know many times since 2005 when document part p came into play, a client has asked to see my registration badge? Answer- a big fat 0. They simply don't ask. Maybe just because I put Stroma stickers on my van and have 'registered electrician' on my signwriting thats deemed adequate for some?

Are people this casual with gas safe plumbers too i wonder?? If so between gas and electrics as landlords we're not very professional with our due diligence.

My experience is people are only interested in getting the best price rather than checking they getting a good job done- as long as it works and i got a cert it must be safe right yes? Wrong- rogues in every business especially in ours where people dont want to pay for the skills they're employing.

A numbers game- chances of an incident occurring when a few seemingly casual questions asked like 'any works done in last few years? Any problems experienced recently?' have turned up a no and that's good enough for some unprofessional professionals. Spend an hour making a show of doing something (really next to nothing significant) and write up some bs (and i dont mean British Standards!!) Eicr cert. Charge half the price and gone when to do the job properly takes many hours. In 5 years time you get someone doing the job properly and they tell you the original cert was wrong and remedials required- well lets just say 'good luck' in getting any recourse from 5 years ago!

By the way this is a direct cut and paste from .gov re EICRs as of todays date as i suggested looking up- they making the the rules:-

"The electrical safety industry has established competent person schemes. Membership of these will not be compulsory to ensure there is no further pressure placed on the industry, nor undue burden placed on inspectors and testers.

When commissioning an inspection, in order to establish if a person is qualified and competent landlords can:

check if the inspector is a member of a competent person scheme; or require the inspector to sign a checklist certifying their competence, including their experience, whether they have adequate insurance and hold a qualification covering the current version of the Wiring Regulations and the periodic inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations."

Beware of forums- ask a question and you will find maybe 12 different answers from 20 respondents!! We often do battle on there re regs interpretation and that throws up a frightening scenario too as to how the 1700odd onerous regs in the 600 page book BS7671 are interpreted!

Combine .gov advice with the bungled legislation of part p, interpretation of the overly onerous and everchanging regs by individuals and the lack of due diligence on the clients part- well.. do i need to say more?

A veritable mess. Tread with care. The whole business makes a real professional's blood boil believe me!

by Bob S

13:19 PM, 7th March 2021, About 7 months ago

Paul, RL & Michael - many thanks for your time and thoughts on this subject. It is hugely appreciated as I have great respect and understanding for those in the electrical industry having been a mechanical building services engineer for many years. Perhaps I should apologise for being mildly provocative in my OP as I wanted to prompt for comments at the level that you have provided. As landlords we should plan for the worst and hope for the best and in doing so I take the line of anticipating where the health and safety executive would first call if something went drastically wrong. Landlords are the clients and data controllers and it would be there that the door bell would ring first not the agents. It might be an over generalisation, but the government and the IET are coming at the subject from the deliverers perspective and that the client will be coming at it from the purchasers perspective and needs to demonstrate that what has been purchased satisfies their obligations.
I concur with the thinking that the minimum to allow an EICR to be produced may not be in the best interests of the landlord and consequently I will be asking for the EICR forms to show linkage to the qualification covering the current version of the wiring regs, EICR testing exam pass certificate, Professional Indemnity insurance and Competent Persons Scheme as well as asking for the same in the invitation communication to the electrician.
Discussions with the electrician who was at my private residence yesterday, expressed the same level of understanding and detail as your posts. The electrician I’m talking to for an EICR in May at one of my rental properties in another part of the country, seems to shoot the breeze but is not engaging in dialogue about qualifications and may find that his price is too high! I may end up with a very short list of electricians to engage, but at least I will have done my due diligence.
Thank you again.

by Badger

13:48 PM, 7th March 2021, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul landlord at 06/03/2021 - 20:41
In my estimation and experience people frequently react very negatively to being asked for their credentials - whether it be verification of certifications (electricity & gas) or indeed adequate insurance cover.

They typically seem to take it as an insult and decline to continue with the proposed works - perhaps because they are concerned that you might turn out to be a vexatious (rather than a merely diligent) customer.

Or perhaps they are simple taken aback because, as you say, nobody else has ever asked them so once again they think that you are probably going to go a little bit weird on them.

I know that the immediate rejoinder to this is that no true professional would ever be offended by a polite approach along these lines but the trouble is that the ordinary customer does not know what kind of reaction they are going to get and so out of an excess of fear of social awkwardness chooses the easier route of just not asking in the first place. Furthermore, contractors of all stripes - especially good ones - are in distressingly short supply, so one is typically faced with taking a chance as finding another person to do the work is going to be extremely difficult.

I was once escorted out of the workshop of a furniture worker (almost literally by my collar) for having the "sheer bare-faced cheek" to request a look at his dovetail joints before committing my much loved antique furniture draw to his tender mercies for repair - just one real world example of why my point is more than merely theoretical.

BTW, as an electrically competent person myself (and recognised as such by my local council building control department) I do all of the electrical work on my own house personally, but when it comes to my let properties I always employ a scheme member because I don't fancy trying to convince the (inevitably non-electrically qualified) judge that I knew what I was doing should anything ever go bad.

And finally, of course nobody likes to be tarred with the same brush - landlords and electricians alike - but I continue to discover (sometimes breathtakingly) poor work.

The most egregious recent example being an "electrician" employed as a subbie by the M&E contractor for our commercial let that left exposed live wiring with massively oversized cables bodged into the emergency lighting system controllers (in order to pick up a feed for something else) in such a way that the cases of the equipment could not be replaced. This was like this for years before I had occasion to poke my head into the ceiling void on another matter and discover the true horror of it. Presumably, he was banking on nobody ever checking!

In the same building (different electrician) I also had to completely rewire the entirety of the upgraded heating control system that I designed as a result of his extremely poor installation workmanship that constituted a fire hazard. A "friend of a friend" and naturally long gone, his invoice having been paid, by the time that I discovered this.

This is why people are nervous.

This problem is far from being confined to electricians of course. I recently spent several days in one of our residential lets correcting numerous bodges and examples of poor workmanship on the part of various tradesmen engaged by our letting agent. It just seems extraordinarily difficult to find anybody that has anything amounting to very much at all in the way of pride in their work. Often this is simply because the people concerned appear to literally have no concept of what "good" work actually is (like the builder that laid a 50 sq. m. concrete slab for me at home that looks like a passable 3D model of the alps and then declined to come back and fix the job, necessitating me paying several thousand pounds for another builder to sort out the resulting fiasco). Of those that do claim to have pride in their work they generally quote the fact that the customer is not prepared to pay for it and I certainly have some sympathy with this. When I explain to a contractor that the quality of the final product is more important to me than the price they generally look at me with deep suspicious because this is almost universally not their experience of customers.

Please don't take any of this personally Paul. You are clearly one of the true professionals. I only wish that your area of operation was anywhere near any of my residential lets so that I could engage you when I need a decent sparkie.

(I also hope that you don't think that I am one of those disparaging know-nothings that you mentioned either.)

by Bob S

13:25 PM, 30th March 2021, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 07/03/2021 - 13:48
Thank you Badger for your input all of which is taken in the spirit intended, but and it is a big but, in a couple of days time all ASTs will require an EICR or the landlord is faced with the potential £30k fine. It will only take the lifting of a few stones for a LA to find a route to start issuing fines to repair their frail budgets. I'd rather be seen as potentially vexatious or weird if it means that I have a compliance trail that the HSE can follow as we have duty of care responsibilities to our tenants. More fool a LL who blindly accepts a piece of paper simply because they didn't want to upset anyone.

Since starting this thread I have found an electrician who will not confirm his credentials except stating that his boss signs off the EICR and yet his boss will not be their, and now wishes to charge an arm, leg and first born to attend and add in 4 No PAT certificates, good job - he's binned. A second electrician who is sending in his mate to do the test and inspect and despite direct questions relating to the C&G certification will not state that his mate has the certification in place, If I receive the confirmation that I believe I need then this electrician this time will include the off peak board that he avoided last time round - yes every days a school day. And a third elsewhere where the T&I has been undertaken but the paperwork is not forthcoming. I have approached the C&G to ask if there is a register of those whose C&G 2391-52 certification for T&I can be checked but you have to have a centre number to get beyond their telephone 'fire wall' and the IET who put me through to the 'Carlsberg complaints department' whilst I showered and made lunch.

So if the issuing / policing bodies either by phone or web search will not or cannot provide the reassurance that we are approaching the appropriately qualified T&I electricians, and the electricians themselves smoke screen their certification for the delivery of EICRs being requested it suggests that the EICRs currently in circulation may not be worth the paper they are printed on. LLs beware.
The expectation is that LLs are professional in their approach and delivery - I for one expect the same of the trades especially as the LLs have their backs to the wall and their open wallets on the table in front of them for the authorities to pick over.

The challenge is not over yet....


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