What Is Part P Building Regulation?

What is part p building regulation

What is Part P Building Regulation? What does Part P mean? Who does Part P apply to?

Part P isn’t a qualification. Part P isn’t a type of an electrician. Part P isn’t a scheme. So, what is Part P Building Regulation?

Part P is a building regulation in England and Wales covering electrical safety in dwellings. The requirements are produced in Approved Document P – electrical safety, dwellings. Part P is statutory meaning it must be adhered to. Part P is a legal requirement.

What is Part P of the building regulations?

Part P was introduced in 2005 to reduce danger from electricity in residential premises. ALL electrical work in people’s homes in England and Wales whether carried out by a registered electrician or as DIY, must meet the requirements of Part P of the building regulations.

ALL electrical work in residential homes must meet Part P of the building regulations

The current edition explains when notification of work is required. Information on the design, installation, inspection, testing and provision of information is explained.

What is part p building regulation
Photo credit: Karen from She’s Electric

What electrical work is notifiable?

Some types of electrical work need to be notified to the local building control. This needs to be done prior to commencement of the work or can be notified afterwards if the installer is registered with an electrical competent person scheme. Competent person schemes include Elecsa, Napit, NICEIC and Stroma. A register of companies or electricians who are accredited by one of the schemes can be found here.

If the electrical work is carried out by a registered electrician, the electrical company will be able to register the work on behalf of the client online and produce a certificate of notification. This isn’t the electrical installation or minor electrical installation works certificate which is a document to show compliance with the British wiring regulations BS7671. They are two separate certificates.

Examples of notifiable electrical work

The following are examples of electrical installation work in a home that requires notification to building control:

  • A new installation or rewire.
  • The replacement of a consumer unit (fuse board).
  • New circuits.
  • Alterations to existing circuits in a special location such as rooms containing a bath or a shower, swimming pools or saunas.
  • Alterations to existing circuits in a kitchen (Wales only).
  • Alterations in gardens.

What areas of a dwelling does Part P cover?

The scope of Part P covers any house or flat that is intended for the use for living in. It covers the gardens of a home and any outbuildings. It includes communal areas in blocks of flats including laundry rooms and gyms. It doesn’t include any commercial areas such retail units in blocks of flats unless the commercial areas are connected to the same electrical meter. It doesn’t include lift supplies in blocks of flats but does include lifts in houses.

Who is responsible for making sure that electrical work in your home meets the requirements of Part P?

By law, the homeowner or landlord must be able to prove that all electrical installation work meets Part P, or they will be committing a criminal offence.

Local authorities have the power to make homeowners or landlords remove or alter any electrical work that does not meet the requirements of the Building Regulations.

You can find out more about building regulations and planning permissions here.

Part P
Part P

What do I need to do before electrical installation work can be carried out in my home?

You must first check whether the work is notifiable. If it is then you must either;

Employ an electrician who is registered with one of the Government-approved competent person schemes; or

Tell (‘notify’) your local-authority building-control about the installation work before work begins.

Why not read our article – do electricians need to be registered?

Does Part P apply to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?

Part P applies to England and Wales, but they have different building regulations. Part P doesn’t apply to Scotland as they have the Building Standards system. At the present time Northern Ireland has no equivalent statutory requirement. You can download Part P for either country free of charge by clicking on the links below.

Download a free copy of Part P England.

Download a free copy of Part P Wales.

What is Part P qualified?

Part P isn’t a qualification. You may hear some electricians saying they have their Part P or they are Part P registered. This is just a trade expression. Usually it means they have undertaken an electrical short course on domestic electrics and are registered with a competent person scheme.

Individuals can complete an electrical short course and be registered with a competent person scheme so they can notify building control on the client’s behalf. It doesn’t mean they are competent to carry out electrical work. Some training providers sell electrical short courses titled “Part P course”.

A few Part P facts

  • Part P is a building regulation
  • It is the law
  • It applies in England and Wales
  • The building regulations slightly differ between England and Wales
  • It is the building owner’s responsibility to ensure notifiable electrical works are notified
  • ALL electrical works in residential premises are subject to Part P
  • It isn’t a qualification

Make sure that if you have electrical work carried out in residential premises, that you download for free the Part P building regulations for England or Wales to ensure you meet the requirements.

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Rishikesh, India

How Much Do Electricians Earn?

There are reports of electricians earning £156,000. Do electricians really earn 6-figures a year?

I am often asked “How much do electricians make?”. Having been trained as an electrician myself and then going on to employ dozens and dozens of electricians over the years, I appreciate my personal experience with rates of pay could very much vary to that of others. I thought I would take to the internet and ask real electricians how much they earn to dig deeper into whether or not it was a myth that electricians earn 6-figure salaries.

The results were quite astonishing!

I asked over 500 electrical professionals on LinkedIn and Twitter to provide some input on their pay and put out a poll on Twitter to find out electricians earnings for 2018-2019.

The Daily Mail reported in 2017 that: Electricians are earning as much as £3,000 a week as they cash in on a chronic shortage of skilled workers across the country.

That amounts to £156,000 a year – around six times the average wage and more than the £150,000 earned by the Prime Minister.

I find this hard to believe apart from exceptional circumstances.

A Twitter poll to discover the earnings by electricians

On my twitter account @danstheengineer I created two polls to ask twitter #electricians how much they earn. One poll for the employed and the other for the self-employed.

According to the Office of National Statistics the average salary for an electrician in the last year has risen by 5% to £32,315. This is the highest increase seen in the trades with plumbers following at 3.9%. That is £123,685 shy of the £156,000, the Daily Mail reported. Just a few quid, ey?

The JIB are an industry trade body who publish guidelines on electricians hourly rates of pay on their website. However, be aware that not all employers will adhere to these guidelines. It isn’t compulsory for employers to be registered with the JIB which means employers can pay whatever they wish providing it meets government minimum wages.

From and including Monday 7th January 2019 the JIB suggests that the national standard hourly rates of pay if you have your own transport are:

Electrician – £15.46

Approved Electrician – £16.77

Site Technician – £18.88

And for those who work in London or the south east you should expect:

Electrician – £16.86

Approved Electrician – £18.28

Site Technician – £20.57

There are different grades of ‘electricians’ and the JIB sets out a requirement of how to achieve the grade. Many in the industry look at the JIB rates as the guideline regardless of whether they are registered with the JIB or not.

An electrician is someone who serves an apprenticeship and qualifies once obtaining an NVQ level 3.

An approved electrician is an electrician above who has at least two years’ experience as an electrician and has passed a further course on inspection and testing and periodic testing.

A site technician is someone who has 5 years’ experience as an approved electrician and has a higher level of qualifications such as the electrical design and verification course.

You can find out more about JIB grades here.T

The Survey – How Much Do Electricians Really Earn?

I asked electricians, how much they earned per year, if they were PAYE employed or CIS self, employed, if they worked for someone or made their own sales, hours worked and what part of the country they worked in.

The people who participated in the survey varied from employees of large companies, site electricians only working in construction, business owners, one-man bands, recruiters and managers.

I have broken down the survey results to 3 parts of the country; London, where the pay is greater than anywhere else in the country. Northern Ireland, where the pay is less than anywhere else in the country. And National which is anywhere apart from London and Northern Ireland.

I have then split the wages into 3 groups within the location; Working for a company, one-man bands and company owners. Someone working for a company is an operative who is ‘hands on’ who is either employed or self-employed who doesn’t make their own sales, but instead works directly for one or more contracting companies. The grades of operatives is similar to the definition that the JIB uses. A Technician would also be a QS (qualifying supervisor) or a highly qualified supervisor. The ‘working for someone’ category also includes electrical managers. The ‘one-man band’ category is an electrician who works alone, self employed or has their own company but doesn’t employ anybody other than an apprentice. A one-man band sources their own sales oppose to working for another company. A company director is an owner of an electrical contracting company who employs multiple staff. They might be partially hands on.

For the purpose of clarity, the operatives and electrical manager roles have been calculated at 40 hours per week. It was incredibly difficult to ascertain the hours worked for company directors and one-man bands, so the pay is calculated simply at the amount they earned within the 12-month period. All pay is the annual wage before tax.

Survey results

As you can see, there is a distinct trend in wages for the operatives working for a company as the grade increases. Electrical managers tend to earn slightly more than an approved electrician and less than a technician electrician. One-man bands earn similar to that of an approved electrician and company owners seem to earn less than many operatives!

Electricians in London earning far more than in Northern Ireland

Pay really varies across the country. Electricians in London and the South East typically earn far more than anywhere else. The pay in Northern Ireland is far less than elsewhere. Many have told me this is due to the cost of living in these areas. Having lived near and worked in London my whole life, I can confirm it costs a small fortune to work and live there! Interestingly, some recruiters who provided their input claimed that their clients will pay the higher rates in larger cities, not just London, such as Cambridge. Recruiters also claimed that the rates the electricians were paid didn’t really vary if someone was employed or self-employed.

The self-employed seem to earn slightly more than the employed electricians, but often someone who is self-employed often will have to pay for their own transport, they are not always entitled to holiday pay, and generally do not receive a company package like those who are employed.

The pay for self-employed one-man bands seems to be particularly poor compared to those who employed because of the hours required to run a small business, the stress and pressure of ensuring they have enough work.

Company directors earn much more, right?

When I quizzed company directors on their pay which often is less than the electricians who work for them, they would often say there isn’t enough money in the company to pay themselves anymore. It seems there is a similar trend between the one-man bands and the company directors!

There were some electrical managers who earned excess of £65,000 per year, but generally they worked in specialist areas such as hazardous environments responsible for maintenance and on-going upgrades.

Some electrical project managers reported earning in excess of £100,000 per year, but, worked 70+ hours.

There are some job adverts for roles as an electrician claiming to pay £32 per hour such as Aspect Maintenance Services on Total Jobs or Pimlico Plumbers advertising £60,000 – £100,000 per year on Indeed.

I spoke to an electrician who has worked for a company who claimed he can earn £100,000 per year. The business model is that the electrician is to be self-employed or have a Ltd company who essentially sub-contract to the company. The electrician then uses a company vehicle (which they lease from the company), and are notified when a job comes in. The electrician is to buy their own materials and the client is charged by the company at the companies’ rates which are usually far greater than national average. The electrician then invoices the company for their times and materials used. This figure; the invoice figure, is their pay. The electrician I spoke to about this didn’t earn anything near the 6-figure salary.

If someone was contracted on this model, it wouldn’t surprise me if they could make 6 figures a year, providing they worked every hour under the sun! But their pay certainly doesn’t reflect what they actually earn as a wage because it includes their overheads to operate their ‘business’.

As you can see there are so many variables to someone’s wage when working as an electrician. Pay generally reflects experience, level of qualifications and location in the UK. But do electricians really earn £156,000 per year? I don’t think so. Have any input to add? Feel free to comment below.


If you are a business owner and want to grow you business, have a look at my one-on-one business coaching.

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Rishikesh, India

Do you need to be registered to work as an electrician in the UK?

I have been asked many times over the years; do Electricians need to be NICEIC registered?

The short answer is no, there is no requirement to be registered with the NICEIC. In fact, there is no requirement to be registered anywhere to work as an electrician in the UK.

Anybody can legally work on electrics regardless of qualifications or experience.

However, working on electrics other than your own home that you live in (not including property that you rent out), falls under the  statutory legislation – the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. It is a free government produced document and can be downloaded from the gov.uk website.

Any electrical works other than in your own home, come under the scope of the EAWR.

The EAWR doesn’t state that you need to be registered anywhere other than to comply with the EAWR which is statutory meaning you MUST adhere to the document.

Electrical companies whether they are limited companies or sole traders can be registered with a competent person scheme. There are various competent person schemes such as the NICEIC, Napit, Elecsa and Stroma who inspect your work and procedures and approve your accreditation under their scheme if you meet their criteria. The competent person schemes are very similar, but some operate in different ways. The schemes have their own ways on how you can certificate works. You do not need to be registered with one of the schemes and do not have to produce certification through any of them. You can be accredited by a scheme and produce certification however you like. It is entirely optional to choose to be registered with one of the schemes. The list of companies registered with a competent person scheme is publicly available via their own website.

Individual electricians can become an ECS gold card holder if you have a JIB or SJIB (if in Scotland) recognised UK competency based qualification (electrotechnical Level 3 NVQ or a formal UK electrotechnical apprenticeship) plus a formal BS7671 qualification in the current edition of the wiring regulations in force when your application is made. Individuals are not assessed on site on competence once obtaining the card but when the card expires, are required to carry out an ECS health and safety multiple choice examination, which in my opinion is very easy. ECS have recently announced that to renew the card, the individual requires to have completed the course on the current version of the wiring regulations BS7671. The register of gold card holders isn’t public so the public cannot check online whether the holder is actually registered. This card is for individuals, not companies.

Electricians can become an ECS registered electrician if you have an NVQ Level 3 and competed the current update course of the British wiring regulations BS7671. The register of ECS registered electricians isn’t public so the public cannot check online whether the holder is actually registered. This card is for individuals, not companies.

Companies can become JIB registered which is a membership with the JIB designed to help companies with employment including employment terms and conditions, employment benefits such as healthcare, and financial support for training. Companies who have JIB membership are required to abide by the JIB National Working Rules which includes minimum rates of pay and requirement for operatives to hold valid ECS cards such as the above cards mentioned.

Companies can become members of the ECA if they meet their criteria. The ECA provides business and industry support with technical, Health and Safety, networking and resources.

Individual electricians, companies or main contractors can become Sparksafe registered. Sparksafe operate a licence to practice. It is client led who choose to have workers on their electrical projects to be Sparksafe registered. Every worker is assessed by Sparksafe for competency. Electrical workers can have one of three licences; QE – qualified electrician, REW – restricted electrical worker or AE – apprentice electrician.

Electrical companies whether limited companies or sole traders can become an electrical registered competent person which is an agreement and register between all competent person schemes mentioned earlier (NICEIC, Elecsa, Napit and Stroma). Even though the title of the register is electrical registered competent person, it isn’t a register for individual electricians unless they are sole traders. It is basically a list of all companies registered with any of the mentioned competent person schemes. It doesn’t list all the individual electricians who have ECS gold or ECS registered electrician’s cards or Sparksafe licence holders. In fact, it isn’t a register of competent persons at all. Perhaps very misleading for the general public.

It is all very confusing and more so for the consumer or client to ascertain who to engage as a contractor or who to assess as ‘competent’.

Electrical certification isn’t required to be registered anywhere or with any scheme either. Certification is very important because it is a document that demonstrates that the electrics are safe for use. Certificates produced are typically given to the client and a copy retained by the contractor.

What is required under Part P of the building regulations in England and Wales is that various works in domestic premises are to be registered with the local building control. This can be done through one of the competent person schemes as they have easy access portals to building control, but you can also contact the local building control directly. Registering the required work requires a record of the address, type of work, the installer and certificate serial number.

Anybody can carry out domestic work and they do not have to be registered with anybody or any of the competent person schemes.

Some believe Part P is a qualification or accreditation. You might hear a tag line from an electrician saying; “I am Part P registered” or “I have taken my Part P”. Part P is a document – Approved Document P: electrical safety dwellings and explains what type of work is required to be notified in dwellings (domestic properties). Document P states: “The persons responsible for compliance with Part P are the people responsible for building work (for example, the agent, designer, builder or installer). The building owner may also be responsible for ensuring that work complies to the relevant building regulations”.

There are some very good electricians operating without any registration or accreditation but without any third-party checks, the client or home owner ordering the work is risking hiring somebody who is not a competent person. It certainly doesn’t mean the individual or company isn’t competent. Hiring someone via a competent scheme or an electrician who has an ECS card also does not guarantee competence. Confusing hey?

The EAWR regulations which covers any electrical work other than DIY work in your own home, places a duty on the person ordering the work with the exception of a consumer.

If you are an electrician or owner of an electrical contracting company, you may be thinking “why would I become registered with any scheme or organisation if I don’t need to? Or which electrical scheme shall I register with, what’s the benefit?”

The incentive for registering with a scheme or gaining accreditation is usually because the client may have their own requirements whom they contract to carry out electrical works.

For example, many letting agents and clients would often require contractors to have NICEIC accreditation. Companies carrying out large construction works often require operatives, whether as PAYE, contract or self-employed, to hold ECS cards.

Some schemes also provide benefits to their members or accredited contractors such as technical assistance, some provide legal advice, some provide employment assistance.

To conclude, legally, you do not need to be registered as an electrician to carry out electrical works in the UK. There is no single register of ‘electricians’.

If you are an electrician and want to know if you need to be registered, the answer remains the same; no. Individuals do not need to be registered and companies do not need to be registered. Although, depending on what type of work you carry out, what sector and industry you work in and client requirement, you should consider registering to the relevant body or scheme otherwise you may not meet their requirement and therefore restrict yourself to whom you can work for. Each scheme or membership has its benefits for the individuals or company, and it is simply optional. I like to describe it as ‘a commercial decision’ to choose to whom you become accredited by or join membership with.

Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Delhi, India.

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