In England and Wales, a set of building regulations was introduced in 1965 to provide guidelines to help in building safety. Part P is a part of those rules and guidelines and has to do with the safety standard of electrical installation in these areas.Part P regulations also cut across other areas where safety is important, such as with fire safety, ventilation and drainage. If you have ever had any electrical work done in your home, chances are you are familiar with this term.
Usually, when electrical work is done in the UK, certificates are issued to the clients to show that the work is to the accepted standard. One of these certificates is the Part P electrical certificate, which is applicable only for electrical work done in homes and non-commercial properties.
A Part P certificate is given to indicate that the electrician who did the work did so in complete accordance with building and safety requirements and that the job is up to the qualifying standard of the certificate.
Part P regulations require that:
“Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations in order to protect persons operating, maintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury.”
On completion of any electrical work done in your home, you will be issued a Part P electrical certificate to show that the work done matches accepted British standards; however, not just anyone can issue a Part P certificate. This certificate can only be issued by a qualified electrician who is registered with any of the electrical regulatory bodies such as ELECSA or NICEIC. Only electricians registered with these bodies can certify an electrical installation done in a domestic residence. In the event that an unregistered electrician does the job, it is your responsibility to have the job checked and certified by a qualified and registered electrician in order to get a copy of the Part P certificate. When you use a registered electrician, you can be sure that the work will be done in a way that it is safe and does not pose the risk of fire, electric shock or any other electricity-related accident.
If you will be doing extensive electrical work in your home, depending on where you live, you may need to notify and get approval from the relevant building authority in your area. They will send a representative who will come to check that the finished job meets the required standard and that it qualifies for a Part P certificate.
A lot of the electrical work done in domestic properties is covered by Part P regulations but, as pointed out earlier, the easiest way to get a Part P certificate is to engage the services of a qualified contractor who will do the job and can self-certify that the job that is compliant with standards. A Part P certificate, while giving you the assurance that the electrical work you have had done is reliable and safe, also gives you the right to seek legal action or make a complaint to the relevant regulatory bodies if it eventually turns out that the contractor did a shoddy job.