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Lack of Part P enforcement puts lives at risk

Trade association NAPIT has called for the government and industry to ensure action is taken to improve electrical safety in homes, following a damning report by the Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR), which revealed poor enforcement of Part P of the Building Regulations across the UK’s local authorities.

The report concluded that on average 72 per cent of local authorities each year had not taken action against Part P non-compliance between 2011 and 2013. In addition, just two per cent attempted to prosecute a case under this part of the Building Regulations and that there has been just one successful prosecution during the three year period surveyed.

Commenting on the report findings, NAPIT chairman, Frank Bertie, explained: “The report has gathered substantial evidence on levels of enforcement for the first time. It found that there is little legal or financial deterrence to prevent Part P non-compliance. This may be allowing the dangerous work of rogue traders to go unchecked and could be putting properties and householders at risk.”

The investigation included a major Freedom of Information request. It surveyed the enforcement practices of all local authorities in England and returned an 87 per cent response rate, making it one of the largest studies if its kind.

Mr Bertie added: “The Freedom of Information section of this investigation has focused on local authorities because they have formal enforcement power under the Building Regulations, but the report also shows that the Competent Person Scheme operators have a key role to play in influencing positive change.

“Nevertheless, building control departments are stuck between a rock and a hard place, with finding cuts to housing services of 34 per cent in the past five years on the one hand and a lack of effective deterrence powers on the other. More limited still, Competent Person Scheme operators lack any legal enforcement powers or the ability to carry out safety checks on work carried out by unregistered contractors.

“We urge the government to carefully consider the findings and recommendations in this report. Local authorities and industry bodies need to be given appropriate powers and support to enforce Part P effectively.”

Our Part P qualifications are delivered by our network of approved centres across the UK. To find your nearest centre, click here. For more information on our Domestic Electrical Installer qualification (which encompasses the requirements of Part P and BS7671 17th Edition), click here.

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