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(All of this is with regard to living in England, UK).

My wife and I bought a house recently, and it clearly needs a bit of work on the electrics and a number of other jobs which would affect existing electrics.

How am I meant to know what a "qualified electrician" means? How do I even find out what my legal obligations are when it comes to owning a home and electrics? Reading this thread from the IET didn't help one bit and left me more confused than ever.

We recently had a small job done by someone who I assumed was a competent and qualified electrician. When I asked for a certificate for the job done he said it would cost £60. Surely, a certificate for the work done is part and parcel of getting the work done, or why else would I bother to pay for an electrician? If I wanted a hack job that I had no evidence of it being done properly I could just do that myself. I assumed there was an obvious logic of "paying an electrician == do it properly".

So I went looking and found the IET's Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate (MEIWC) but again, this doesn't seem like the whole story. And I still don't know what relevance "Part P" has.

In short, my question is, how the hell is anyone meant to stay legal in the UK when it comes to electrical works?

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Gov.UK : New website helps people steer clear of rogue electricians

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) authorises bodies to operate schemes under which their members are deemed competent to self-certify that their work complies with the building regulations for England. A similar scheme is authorised by the Welsh government.

At a minimum, you should expect an electrician to be registered under one of the "competent person schemes". For example Stroma, NICEIC. You can ask an electrician for their registration number and registration body's name then check them on that body's website.

  • Thanks for the link. So notifable work it seems is quite clear. What if it's non-notifiable though? From their explanation it just states "we strongly recommend that you use a competent, registered electrical installer for safety reasons". I'm still confused about what a homeowner's legal responsibilities are in those circumstances. – Samuel Harmer Jul 25 '17 at 14:04
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    @Samuel: You are responsible for any work done. In a court of law you can't say its not your fault that your daughter's visiting girlfriend was electrocuted because the work was done by some guy you met at the pub whose name you can't remember. You need to be able to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to ensure the work was done properly. If unsure you can pay an electrician with "3rd-party" certification to inspect the work already done. You can also pay to have an EICR if you feel that would be useful (probably OTT though unless you are a landlord or commercial property owner). – RedGrittyBrick Jul 25 '17 at 14:10
  • Never mind; that's mostly already covered here – Samuel Harmer Jul 25 '17 at 14:11
  • @SamuelHarmer: Minor nit pick: BS7671 is not mandated in law - but for most of us it may as well be. – RedGrittyBrick Jul 25 '17 at 14:13
  • Right. That was my meaning of "doesn't seem like the whole story". I couldn't find anything stating it would be a legal requirement but in the scenario you describe I would expect the question "was your non-notifiable work carried out to to BS7671" coming up fairly early on in the court proceedings. – Samuel Harmer Jul 25 '17 at 14:19

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