Since January 1st 2005 the design, installation,
inspection and testing of electrical installations has
been controlled under the Building Regulations.
The main reason for the change is the need to reduce the hazards
posed by unsafe domestic electrical installations and thereby help
to reduce injuries from electrical shocks and burns. It is
also hoped to reduce injuries arising from fires in dwellings due
to electrical components overheating or arcing.
When the time comes to sell your property, your purchaser's
surveyors will ask for evidence that notifiable domestic electrical
work, installed after 1st January 2005 complies with the new
The new Part P will apply mainly to dwelling houses and flats
including gardens, outbuildings such as sheds, detached garages and
greenhouses. Part P will also apply to conservatories
attached to the building (which otherwise would be exempt).
Small jobs such as provision of a socket outlet or a light
switch on an existing circuit will not need to be notified to
Building Control (although there are exceptions in 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.
There are two routes available to applicants to ensure they
comply with Part P:-
1) Use an electrician/installer who is registered with a
Competent Person's Scheme, in which case a Building Regulation
application will NOT be required for the electrical work.
We would strongly encourage the use of
electricians/installers who are part of a Competent Person's
2) Submit a Building Regulation application to the Local
A. Where an electrician registered with a recognised trade
body, such as NICEIC, ECA and NAPIT (who need not be registered
under the Competent Person's Scheme) tests the work and issues 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 by Building
Control may also be carried out in conjunction with the acceptance
of a certificate.
B. Where the work is carried out by an unregistered
electrician or DIY installation, the applicant is required to have
the work inspected and tested by a registered electrician as in A.
You should note that you, as the house owner, are
ultimately responsible for ensuring the work complies with the
However, you do not need to notify the local authority in the
work consisting of -
(a) replacing any socket-outlet, control switch or ceiling
(b) replacing a damaged cable for a single circuit only;
(c) re-fixing or replacing enclosures of existing installation
components, where the circuit protective measures are
(d) providing mechanical protection to an existing fixed
installation, where the circuit protective measures and current
carrying capacity of conductors are unaffected by the increased
or for work which -
(a) is not in a kitchen, or a special location,
(b) does not involve work on a special installation, and
(c) consists of -
(i) adding light fittings and switches to
an existing circuit;
(ii) adding socket outlets and fused spurs
to an existing ring or radial circuit; or
(iii) installing or upgrading main or
supplementary equipotential bonding.
Before you sign a contract for notifiable domestic
electrical installation work, be sure to ask whether the installer
is able to self-certify under one of the five schemes as listed
above. If not, either they, or you, will need to make an
application (Full Plans or Building Notice) to the Council for
approval under the Building Regulations and pay any relevant
charges. The Council will ask for a relevant electrical
installation certificate, signed by a competent person in
accordance with Approved Document P, before they are able to
complete a satisfactory final inspection of the