IET
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: Who is a Competent Person for BS7671 (not Part-P)?
Topic Summary:
Created On: 21 January 2005 10:24 AM
Status: Read Only
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
1 2 Next Last unread
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 21 January 2005 10:24 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



deleted_1_khales

Posts: 1271
Joined: 16 January 2002

The IEE Wiring Regulations makes many references to 'competent person' for carrying out electrical installation work, completing certificates, etc.; but provides no definition. I 've never had a problem with that in the past. However:

Some LBA's are now publishing, in their advice to the general public on domestic electrical installation work, definitions of a 'competent person', as referred to in BS:7671 and especially for the completion of Minor Works Certificates, as necessarily having to be in posession of specific formal qualifications; and in one case requiring all three of:
- City & Guilds 2360 parts 1 & 2 Electrical Installation Work
- City & Guilds 2381: Level 3 Certificate in the Requirements For Electrical Installations : BS 7671
- City & Guilds 2391: Level 3 Certificate in Inspection, Testing and Certification of Electrical Installations
(Note this has nothing to do with Part-P. It has to do with who is competent to sign a completion certificate to BS7671.)

I can't help wondering if the LBAs are making up these rules as they go along.

Now, to my main question: Can anyone point me to a definition of 'competent person', as referred to in BS7671, that has (as a definition) a real legal status.

(The background to this is that I am concerned that an Electrical Engineer, a member of the institute behind the Wiring Regulations, is now being deemed 'not competent' in this respect, possibly arbitrarily, by parties who are themselves outside the Electrical Engineering profession. Also, whilst it might be practical (if necessary) for an Electrical Engineer to acquire City & Guilds 2381 & possibly 2391 as post-graduate qualifications, the City & Guilds 2360 parts 1 & 2 is 4-year course and, therefore, an impractical addition to a University Degree Electrical Engineering Degree course that is already 3-4 years long.




-------------------------
khales
 21 January 2005 10:51 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



gkenyon

Posts: 5354
Joined: 06 May 2002

BS7671 also has methods that it states can only be implemented under the supervision of a suitably qualified electrical engineer (471-12).

Does this imply that BS7671 considers such an engineer to be of a higher level of competence than an otherwise "competent person". In addition, a "competent person" unless otherwise defined in special terms (e.g. in Part P where it has capitals "Competent Person"), could not necessarily, in law, be satisfied in terms of whether or not you have qualifications.

-------------------------
EUR ING Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
G Kenyon Technology Ltd

Web-Site: www.gkenyontech.com
 21 January 2005 03:10 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mld6

Posts: 31
Joined: 11 November 2004

Anybody who attends and passes a Part p course is told (or should be!), that this is not a qualification and in no way do they become electricians. It simply means for the purposes of Part p they are deemed competent to assess domestic installations.
This is not me banging on about unqualified sparks, it is what i have been told by the tutor on my 2360 course.
As for the completely seperate question of 'competence' as regards installation work as a whole i agree that it is very vague. I point for example to Section 1 OSG-
1.1 Scope
This Guide is for electricians (skilled persons).
I agree there appears to be no definitive answer.
When I started college I understood that in 3 years on completion of 2360 1+2, I could call myself an electrician. As i only intend to do domestic work i could leave college now, do a 4 day course, and do all the domestic work i like.
This will all surely end up in a court of law, before anyone can define 'COMPETENT', wether for general electrical work, Part p or whatever.

mld6
 21 January 2005 08:39 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



gkenyon

Posts: 5354
Joined: 06 May 2002

There are legal precedents that define "competent". It is not to be confused with "Competent Person" as defined for the purposes of the Building Regulations.

-------------------------
EUR ING Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
G Kenyon Technology Ltd

Web-Site: www.gkenyontech.com
 22 January 2005 12:07 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



rogersmith7671

Posts: 886
Joined: 04 November 2004

471-12
Is a measure intended to provide protection by electrical separation and does not
imply that an engineer to be of higer level of competence, it says that an engineer
may specify such a method only, for a special situation.
 23 January 2005 03:35 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



deleted_mersey1

Posts: 8
Joined: 23 January 2005

Well. The way I see it is, despite 30 years in the trade, time served, approved etc, I cannot put an extra socket in my own house never mind anyone elses. But, any Joe (Jane) public can attend a 17 unit course run by the NICiee etc and wire a whole estate as long as they can write out the certs.

Something has gone amiss here. In terms of improving standards, the new Part P thing has failed. Cowboys will abound as long as they have paid out for the 17 unit course for anyone.

I will be able to get my milkman to wire my extra circuits as long as he(she) has the paperwork from the Niciee etc.

Watch this space.
 23 January 2005 03:40 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



deleted_mersey1

Posts: 8
Joined: 23 January 2005

It seems the main benefactor of all this part P nonsense is the training organisations. The public will be worse off, standards will fall and competent experienced electricians will go to ASDA stacking shelves. Let the unskilled with paper work wire the world and wait for the outcome.
 23 January 2005 03:45 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



deleted_blatchford

Posts: 20
Joined: 07 January 2005

I,ve paid out the cash and done the course even though I,ve got thirty years experience.
Anyone taking this course would be hard pressed to understand most of it without a good grounding in electrical theory and some practical experience. I doubt if your average sparky would have answers to all the questions in the exams.
Does your average sparky calculate cable size, cpc size, prospective fault current. Minimum Zs requirements for the breakers, derating of cables in groups or loft insulation.

Regards Terry C
 23 January 2005 03:53 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



gkenyon

Posts: 5354
Joined: 06 May 2002

Quote

Originally posted by: rogersmith7671
471-12
Is a measure intended to provide protection by electrical separation and does not
imply that an engineer to be of higer level of competence, it says that an engineer
may specify such a method only, for a special situation.
I have to disagree. If what you are saying is true, the words "suitably competent person" would make more sense, rather than specifying "suitably qualified electrical engineer".

Why distinguish between "engineer" and "person"?


-------------------------
EUR ING Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
G Kenyon Technology Ltd

Web-Site: www.gkenyontech.com
 23 January 2005 09:53 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



rogersmith7671

Posts: 886
Joined: 04 November 2004

471-12
Is a measure intended to provide protection by electrical
separation and does not imply that an engineer to be of
a higer level of competence, it says that an engineer may
specify such a method, for a special situation that is under
effective supervision,where specified by a suitably qualified
electrical engineer, which means an engineer that may be
able to prove competency in specifing mesures intended to
supply items of equipment by means of a transformer the
secondary of which is not earthed or asource affording
equivilent safety. Not an engineer competent to specify
electronic sytems or IT networks if their field of competency
does not include the measure that is specified in 471-12-01.
This regulation basicaly makes a distiction between engineers,
because some engineers may not be suitably qualified for this
kind of task. This measure is only recognised in the regulations
for special situations and is not intended to elevate one specific
competance over another, but may be provided under effective
supervision which has been specified.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Does your average sparky calculate cable size, cpc size, prospective
fault current. Minimum Zs requirements for the breakers, derating of
cables in groups or loft insulation.
YES THEY DO.Most spend three long years doing 2360, pt 1,2 full
time, on low incomes in the hope (generaly) of being better able
to feed their familys. THEY DO NOT as a rule work to the readers
digest book of DIY or any other similar DIY manual they mosty stick
to CTIB manuals BS 7671 and the Knowlege they have gained,
(acquired by working hard). They usualy do some type of testing
before touching live wires.

Edited: 23 January 2005 at 10:09 PM by rogersmith7671
 23 January 2005 10:47 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



gkenyon

Posts: 5354
Joined: 06 May 2002

Roger,

I read it differently - "Its use to supply several items of equipment from a single separated source is recognised by the Regulations only for installations under effective supervision, where specified by a suitably qualified ..." - implies that such an installation be specified by a suitably qualified electrical engineer, to be recognised by the Regulations.

Since this requirement is not part of any other regulation, I read this to mean that the "suitably qualified electrical engineer" means something other than "competent person" as used in other parts of BS7671.


-------------------------
EUR ING Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
G Kenyon Technology Ltd

Web-Site: www.gkenyontech.com
 24 January 2005 12:38 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



rogersmith7671

Posts: 886
Joined: 04 November 2004

Graham,
To a certain extent,
It all seems to hinge on the comma, after "effective supervision"
and before "where specified".
So does it mean that the engineer must specify the effective
supervision say, for instance, by laying out a set of rules for so
doing or specifing the equipment and the way they are to be
installed and connected?
In the context of the sentance, it is, "Its use", "only for special
situations under effective supervision, where specified by a
suitably qualified electrical engineer." does this mean that the
mesure is specified? or the means of achiveing it? or all three
incuding the supervision regime?
If so then a suitably qualified engineer would be required, by
the contractor/installer to provide effective supervision for the
design, installation and testing of the installation in question.
In general, for most installations requiring complex circuits,
some sort of consultaition is desirable but in this instance a
regime of effective suprervision is required for compliance
with British Standards and a suitably qualified engineer is
required.
so the specific differentiation is between engineers and not
with engineers and technicians or mechanics.
 24 January 2005 08:13 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



gkenyon

Posts: 5354
Joined: 06 May 2002

Quote

So does it mean that the engineer must specify the effective
supervision say, for instance, by laying out a set of rules for so
doing or specifing the equipment and the way they are to be
installed and connected?
In the UK, this would almost certainly be required from the specifying Engineer to fully comply with CDM Regulations.

I do agree that the wording of this particular requirement could possibly be better - another example of the vagueness is the term "recognised by the Regulations" - in other words, this might be read as "you are quite at liberty to use this method if you don't meet the conditions of 471-12, but don't even think of using a BS7671 completion certificate - use some other standard instead, or on your own head be it!"??

Personally, I would have thought that anyone deemed "suitably competent" to specify the use of such measures would typically be classed as a "suitably qualified electrical engineer" in any case, so I don't really have a problem with it per-say.

-------------------------
EUR ING Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
G Kenyon Technology Ltd

Web-Site: www.gkenyontech.com
 24 January 2005 02:35 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



deleted_mersey1

Posts: 8
Joined: 23 January 2005

At last. Someone is in touch with the real real world. Domestic wiring (which is what part p is about) does not get done by "engineers" It gets done by hard graft, poor pay and exploitative employers, usually by time served sparks who will still be time served sparks when they retire with no employers pension., part p or not.

If my surname was suffixed with a series of letters it would be highly unlikeley that I would be a competent person when it comes to wiring houses.
 24 January 2005 02:47 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



gkenyon

Posts: 5354
Joined: 06 May 2002

Quote

If my surname was suffixed with a series of letters it would be highly unlikeley that I would be a competent person when it comes to wiring houses.
But of course, not impossible. Depends on your background, skills, experience, training, etc.

Not all people with a string of letters only did O-Level, A-Level, Degree, Engineering route - at least some (although this might be lots - I haven't a clue) have more practical experience too (sometimes with such qualifications as O-Level, A-Level, degree, but not always).

-------------------------
EUR ING Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
G Kenyon Technology Ltd

Web-Site: www.gkenyontech.com
 24 January 2005 10:19 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



rogersmith7671

Posts: 886
Joined: 04 November 2004

Graham.
I agree the "regs" are sometimes a bit vague I'm sure
the authors know what they mean, but the "trick is" for
us to know as well.
I meant no disrespect to yourself or other engineers who
may be reading these notes I am fully aware of just what
it takes to get those letters.
My point to a great extent, was to illustrate that, those on
the other end of the wire so to speak, have to put in a bit of
effort as well, and it must seem quite galling to to have one's
cometence reduced to an equivilence with the readers digest
book of DIY and others of the same, after all the work that has
to be done to qualifiy as an electrician these days.
 24 January 2005 11:37 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



deleted_mersey1

Posts: 8
Joined: 23 January 2005

Don't mean to knock you personnaly Graham. I direct my thoughts in a general sense, the poor state of the industry and the drive for profit by training organisations at the expense of FULLY qualified hands on personnel. Part P is doomed for failure. A poorly executed and badly promoted piece of legislation. I get phone calls to do jobs and I have to say "I am sorry, if I add an extra socket in your house I will get fined £5000" The client thinks I am taking the Micky. What a situation.
 25 January 2005 08:37 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



gkenyon

Posts: 5354
Joined: 06 May 2002

Roger, Mersey 1,

Don't forget, with Part P, we're all in the same boat - whatever qualifications, training or experience - we all can't do some types of work on our own installations without going through BC.

If it feels bad for those having the plethora of (I agree, the industry does appear keep changing its mind too often) sparks' qualifications, just imagine what it feels like for those who have sparks' qualifications, plus elec eng degree, lots of relevant practical "hands-on", as well as professional, experience, registered as CEng through IEE, and still in the same position!

-------------------------
EUR ING Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
G Kenyon Technology Ltd

Web-Site: www.gkenyontech.com
 25 January 2005 09:41 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



Coerl

Posts: 13
Joined: 25 November 2004

Hi,
The legal status is simple. Reg.29 one word, DEFENCE. It shall a defence for any person to prove that he took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of that offence. The involved and eloborated definition of competence is defined under Reg.16. No person shall be engaged in any work activity where technical knowledge or experience is neccessary to prevent danger or, where appropiate, injury unless...... I can't find anything wrong with EWR 1989 as a means of understanding where I stand as a spark but as to the constant tweaking and interference by our so-called betters for the sake of apparantly upgrading electricians for everybody else's safety etc, etc, phew! I am £iterally at a loss. As if I'm going to be stupid enough to pay ~£3000 a decade to subscribe to a programme where there's confusion and lack of clarity in providing the basic requirements for one to able form a defence. I'll just keep subby-ing along.

coerl
 25 January 2005 10:05 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



deleted_1_khales

Posts: 1271
Joined: 16 January 2002

Quote

If it feels bad for those having the plethora of (I agree, the industry does appear keep changing its mind too often) sparks' qualifications, just imagine what it feels like for those who have sparks' qualifications, plus elec eng degree, lots of relevant practical "hands-on", as well as professional, experience, registered as CEng through IEE, and still in the same position!

As I've said elsewhere: I'm not necessarily against electrical installation work being subject to Building Regulations - I would have no qualms (apart from the extortionate expense) about submitting any of my work to LBA inspection - otherwise I wouldn't consider myself competent; but I'm absolutely hopping mad that LBAs - people outside the Electrical Engineering Profession and trade and therefore unqualified themselves - are actually refusing to accept BS7671 certficates from electrical engineers, working electricians of long experience and others who are obviosly 'competent persons' within the scope of BS7671; and are insisting that anysuch work is tested and inspected AGAIN by another person - not a building inspector, at unnecessary additional time and cost to the installer. This strikes me as an arbitrary and outrageous move on the part of certain LBAs in response to their own inability to carry out their duties of inspection under Part-P.

By the way: everyone should read this document: Electrical Safety in Dwellings: summary of the results of the 2002 consultation which shows a good muddling of ideas about 'competent person'.

-------------------------
khales

Edited: 25 January 2005 at 10:20 AM by deleted_1_khales
Statistics

New here?

  • To participate in discussions, please log in and introduce yourself.

See Also:



FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2020 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.

 
..