Electrical safety in dwellings (building regulations - Part P)

  • From 1 January 2005 all electrical work in dwellings will need to comply with building regulation Part P requirements and be carried out by persons who are competent to do the work.
  • Small jobs such as replacing a socket-outlet or a light switch on an existing circuit will not need to be notified to a building control body (although there will be some exceptions for high risk areas such as kitchens and bathrooms).
  • All work that involves adding a new circuit to a dwelling, or electrical work in kitchens and bathrooms or in 'special locations' will need to be either notified to Building Control with a building regulation application, or carried out by a competent person who is registered with a Part P Self-Certification Scheme.

The two routes to compliance are detailed below: -

1. Part P - Self Certification Scheme (Competent Persons Scheme) - if the electrical work is carried out by an electrician who is a member of one of these schemes then a building regulation application will not be required for the electrical work. The electrician will certify that their work complies with the building regulations and issue the owner with a Building Regulations self certification certificate. The Competent Persons scheme will then notify the Local Authority to enable them to retain records of all such work.

2. Building regulation application - if this route is chosen there are two options:-

(a).   A qualified, registered electrician carries out or inspects the work. They can issue a design, installation and test certificate under BS7671. Building Control will accept the certificate as evidence that the work complies with Part P. Additional inspections and tests by Building Control may be carried out.

(b).  Where the work is carried out by an unregistered electrician or is a DIY installation, Building Control will need to inspect and test the work to ensure it complies with Part P. There will be a charge for this work which is detailed on our application/charges form.

If you are having electrical work carried out to your dwelling we would strongly recommend the use of an electrician who is a member of a Competent Persons Scheme.

  • Special locations referred to above include fixed garden lighting or power installations (including ponds), swimming pools,electric floor heating systems, hot air saunas and locations containing a shower basin or bath tub.
  • Electrical work in garages and garden sheds will also come under the remit of Part P as will photovoltaic solar panels and domestic wind turbines. 
  • Persons registered with Part P Self-Certification Schemes will be fully qualified electrical contractors with the ability design, install and thoroughly check a circuit for safety. They will be able to issue Building Regulations certificates of compliance.

The latest version of Approved Document Part P can be found on the Planning Portal web site.

Useful guidance to the new Part P can be found on the trade bodies web sites. Some useful links are included below:-

Competent Persons Register

Guidance leaflet regarding Part P - Electrical Safety (PDF file)

If you are having electrical work carried out to your dwelling we would strongly recommend the use of an electrician who is a member of a Competent Persons Scheme.

Find a registered electrician - A register of electricians belonging to the various CPS schemes www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/

General guidance - For general advice, guidance and information in easy to understand formats www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice

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