What to Look for in a Qualified Electrician

Don’t tackle complex electrical faults by yourself; just make sure you know what to look out for in a qualified electrician instead. But what are the required Electrician skills?

Faulty electrics can be a nuisance, especially when they leave your home without power for more than a couple of hours. But whether you have a broken gas cooker, a few broken light switches or a fuse has short-circuited and you’re not sure how to fix things, it is always important to stay safe – messing around with electricity when you don’t know what you’re doing can be fatal.

So what’s the best course of action? Well, the first thing you should do is start looking around for a local electrician to come and sort the problem for you instead. After all, these electricians will be trained industry professionals with years of experience under their belts – so what should you be on the lookout for when choosing a contractor?

Qualifications needed to be an Electrician

Electrician qualifications vary depending on the level of the qualification and when the contractor qualified, but the most common ones will be certified under the British Standards Institute (BS7671) guidelines, and include the following:

  • City and Guilds Requirements for Electrical Installations Level 3
  • EAL Domestic Electric Installer Certificate
  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Maintenance)
  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Buildings, Structures and the Environment)

Before hiring a new electrician you should always ask for references and evidence of such qualifications, which – ordinarily – should be produced immediately upon request for your personal inspection. Alternatively, you can shortcut this part of the hiring process by always opting for NICEIC electricians instead; that is, a qualified electrician who has been registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting.

Essential Electrician Skills and Experience

A fully trained and qualified electrician should be able to…

  • Deal with any faulty electrics in domestic properties, such as broken light switches or plug sockets.
  • Install gas and electrical appliances such as a new oven, dishwasher, electric radiators and/or power shower unit.
  • Carry out minor or major re-wires and any necessary upgrades to a domestic electrical system.
  • Repair a blown fuse.
  • Repair and/or replace a faulty electric boiler and make sure all the corresponding electric radiator units are working at maximum capacity.
  • Bring along all of their own tools and equipment to get the job finished to the highest standard.
  • Provide evidence of public liability electrician insurance (to help cover any costs caused by their own negligence and/or breach of contract).
  • Abide by the safety regulations under Part P of the British Building Regulations (i.e. consider themselves an approved Part P electrician).

If you want more information about what to look for in an electrical professional, you can also get in touch with the Electrical Contractors Association, a governing body who award certificates, help complete training programmes and offer insurance schemes to electricians across the UK.