Who is designing YOUR installation?
As an electrician you will probably have issued, hundreds of electrical installation certificates. Each one bearing your signature, and each one a legal document, which is just as official as your birth certificate. On some forms there will be multiple signatories, each responsible for a specific portion of the installation, whether that be the Design, Installation, or Inspection and Test.
On most Domestic Electrical Installation Certificates however there is usually one signature, making the person that signs the paperwork responsible for not just the installation and testing of the work, but also the design.
The question is, if you were asked to justify your design, why you used one type of cable over another, why you chose a certain protective device… Could you?
The Electricity at Work Regs states that you must be “competent” to design, install and test your installation. But proving competence is harder then it seems. For instance you could argue that you had been doing it that way for 20 years, however this doesn’t prove that you have been doing it correctly for the last 20 years, does it?
The easiest way to prove competence is to show a certificate from an awarding body that says you meet their standards regarding minimum levels of competence. As long as you have remained within the scope of that qualification and make no departures from the accepted methods you were shown, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Problems start arising however when standards that are set in place to protect both you and the customer, are ignored, or where people take on more than they are capable of.
On top of all of this being able to competently design an installation can also result in new and innovative ways to bring down your materials bill, without it affecting the end product.