Jargon Buster – NICEIC Approved Contractor
Here at AES, we like to ensure that everything we do is to the highest standards. Even though there is no obligation for an electrical company to become NICEIC approved, we choose to go through the detailed assessment process as we believe this is the best approach for us and for our customers.
SO WHAT DOES NICEIC STAND FOR?
NICEIC is short for the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting – a bit of a mouthful, which is probably why it gets shortened to NICEIC.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Established in 1956 to tackle concerns about electrical safety in the home, it was registered as a charity in 1971 and renamed the Electrical Safety Council in 2006, with the NICEIC Group as its trading subsidiary.
Without bamboozling you with the details of its various incarnations since then, all you need to know is that last year the Electrical Safety Council and the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) launched a joint venture called Certsure LLP. This operates a variety of brands, including NICEIC and the Electrical Safety Register. Meanwhile the Electrical Safety Council this year rebranded as a charity to Electrical Safety First.
WHAT DOES NICEIC DO?
As the UK’s leading voluntary regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry, NICEIC assesses competence among electricians. In other words, it’s a shortcut for those hiring an electrician to feel confident their work will be up to scratch.
Having built up the assessment process over more than 50 years, the NICEIC is well placed to evaluate the 26,000-plus electricians on its register.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR THE CUSTOMER?
Shoddy electrical work is not just a waste of money – it can put lives at risk. You might not be able to see the danger, but it can range from the risk of electric shocks to major incidents such as fire breaking out.
In fact, figures collated by the government suggest that around 19 fatal and 880 non-fatal shock accidents occur in the workplace every year.
Any company has a duty of care both to its staff and to visitors to the building to make sure that any electrical work is carried out to the required safety levels. NICEIC-registered electricians go through regular assessments to safeguard others and ensure high standards of work. And because the certification comes from an independent organisation, customers can be confident about its impartiality.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING AN NIC APPROVED CONTRACTOR?
An NICEIC-registered electrician or electrical engineering company will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace, whether working in the domestic market or for larger organisations. In many cases, local authorities will only tender electrical work to a company that is NICEIC-approved.
The other benefits include a range of support services, such as technical advice, access to training and contractor insurance.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE ASSESSMENT?
To start with, the company will go through a rigorous assessment process. This will cover a representative sample of their work and monitor the activities and competence of their key supervisors, as well as checking their premises, documentation and equipment.
Once this has been completed, there’s no resting on their laurels as they will have to undergo regular reassessment to ensure they remain compliant.
ANY OTHER POINTS TO CONSIDER?
Because the NICEIC operates an independent complaints procedure, an approved electrical contractor will be required to correct any work that falls beneath the accepted technical standards. Its Platinum Promise means that if there’s a problem within six years of the work being completed and the contractor is unable to carry out the remedial work, an alternative contractor will be paid for, up to the value of £25,000 per installation – bringing additional peace of mind for the customer.