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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:36 pm 
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Jaeger_S2k wrote:

Am I competent?

No one knows. There is no legal definition of competance for gas or electrical installations.

Jaeger_S2k wrote:

I install Gas Appliances Fires and CH Boilers that are Corgi Approved (but I'm not Corgi Registered


So you can only install them for yourself; you can't legally do so as trade.

Jaeger_S2k wrote:
I've installed myself (or at least in the throws of) so after establishing the above I can certify?

I'm not registered with any recognised body. So how far down the certification route can I go?


You cannot self-certify for Part P; You can write a BS7671 certificate.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:20 pm 
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No legal definition of competence. What! As the EWR 1989 was made under the umbrella of the HSWA 1974. The legal term of competence within this is, “someone who had the necessary, skill, expertise or experience” to undertake a certain task. This also applies to the gas regs and every other piece of legislation and regulation made under the HSWA. And as Section 0 of PP – (I think it’s the general guidance) states that one way (not the only way) of satisfying the principles of PP is to follow BS7671, which is made under EWR and ultimately HSWA, the above definition of competence applies, always has applied and always will apply unless the definition is changed in the enabling act, namely, the HSWA 1974.

By the way, 50% of my time is taken by running my company and trying to keep 15 sparks gainfully employed, the other 50% I teach everything from the diploma in occupational safety and health, BS7671, Inspection and testing, in house inspection and testing and I am afraid the EAL Certificate for domestic installers (the dreaded Part P) also a couple of days a month I assess domestic installers for NICEIC. Cant help it, the money is reasonably good for very little work, and It tops up my pension fund.


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 Post subject: and finally.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:42 pm 
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By the way Allan, if Building Control are happy you can have someone else certify your work (despite the inaccuracy of there beliefs) who really cares. All you should be interested in is getting someone to certify the work and ultimately a completion certificate.

We work all over the country, and around 60% of the work we do involves notification to B.C, and I have only come across a couple who have any knowledge of PP, the rest rely on calling NICEIC, or more often than not a local electrician and as you will have seen even amongst experienced spars there is still a great deal of misunderstanding and debate to what can actually be done or not.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:32 pm 
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BC haven't a clue, but as it's their duty to 'police' Building Regulations' and if adhered to to supply a completion certificate, they have (I believe the wording would be) seconded a Part P registered electrician therefore he is working under the umbrella of BC so is in fact acting as a BC Officer.

I think?

But you're right I don't care, but I do care that the work I do is both safe and to the required standards which is why I sometimes over check here with folks that I'm doing the work correctly.

Stoday, I only do my own gas work and have a Corgi Registered Gas Fitter who certifies my work, he says it's good work, I have to agree with him :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:15 pm 
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ian wrote:
No legal definition of competence. What! As the EWR 1989 was made under the umbrella of the HSWA 1974.


Neither the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 nor the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 contain a definition of 'competence'. Indeed para 20 (b) (3) of EWR says 'The regulation does not require authorisation of competent persons...' If you still dispute what I say, would you quote the paragraph number that contains the definition?

In any case, the context is dwellings. The HSWA and EWR apply to places of work, not to dwellings. Of course, workers working in a dwelling have to comply, but the premises themselves and the occupiers do not.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:08 am 
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Well you are right in one miniscule respect. What do you know about the law? Let me give you a very brief lesion. There are two types of law in this country namely “satuure law and common law”. Statute law is a law process written by the parlimentart process, ie Acts of parliament (HSWA etc) and can only be revoked, modifies or amended by another Act. However, Common law is something that has been adopted by a judicial process based on custom and practice, basically it’s a judge made law. Consequently Statute law always is the greater higher law of the land, and takes precedent over common law. Therefore we have now established the Statue law is made by an act of partiment, or by another judge laying down a “Precedent” which all judges therefore abide by (that’s why judges in a high court are so reluctant to set down precdents, because they become rules that other judges need to abide by). You ok with that so far……good. With that in mind I refer you to a famous case in H&S law, namely Doneghue vs Stephenson 1932 (or something like that….early 1930 anyway) …its on the web but takes a bit of finding. This laid down the definition of competence. All right the case was pretty sh*t, but it laid down a precedent which when that I am aware of is still in existence (or it was 5 years ago when I updated my degree) Where does that leave us I am not sure,..I am getting bored. Thinking about it how many times does the HSWA mention competence…..lots, more than lots…even more than that. Well bugger me, and as the definition of competence is stated above what does this mean…I will let you work that out. If I could be arsed I would tell you about cases of builders and plumbers, kitchen fitters who have undertaken work (in domestic premises) as an agreed contract (we all do that) and have failed to fulfil that contract in (terms of workmanship etc) and have been prosecuted by trading standards. What have TS got to do with this I hear you cry, They prosecute us (being contractor in domestic premise….corgi exempt) and what do they prosecute us under, where do I start, if it’s a rented property, it could be HSWA or consumer protection, or a domestic property almost always consumer protection. (or its previous incarnation) I am bored of this. Anyway, the term competence is defined as…well read it above.

If you dispute anything, call the HSE, but make sure and ask for someone who is aware of Deneghue vs Stephenson, that’s the basis of it all.

I have now wasted 20 minutes typing this and answering questions from someone who knows a little about a lot, rather than a lot about a little.

In the end of the day, do what you want to do, believe what you believe, live in ignorance. Who gives a sh*t…not me. I wont be logging on to this tread again.

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 Post subject: P.S and good night.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:26 am 
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by the way, the HSWA is still the enabling act of EWR, the EWR regulations now have links to consumer protection, thats how sparks can be prosecuted in domestic premises, its all about a contract between us and the perosn ordering the work. i have just looked at the definition in CP an i cant find a proper definition, but as statute law makes it clear i dont think it will be any different to DvsS.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:00 am 
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ian wrote:
With that in mind I refer you to a famous case in H&S law, namely Doneghue vs Stephenson 1932 (or something like that….early 1930 anyway) …its on the web but takes a bit of finding. This laid down the definition of competence.


It's not surprising you couldn't find this famous case on the web. If you were competent you would have spelt 'Donoghue' correctly and found it. :lol: The case is about negligence, not incompetence. It concerns a snail in a bottle of ginger beer.

The cases you quote about tradesmen being prosecuted for incompetence didn't need a definition. They had f'ked up the job and were therefore incompetent to undertake it.

I'm aware of the distinction between equity and statute law. You must be joking if you expect to find a definition of competence in equity.

I originally said there was no legal definition of competence and challenged you to point one out. You have not done so. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:33 pm 
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You are right, it is about a slug in a bottle, but who put the slug in the bottle, and what was the ruling, keep digging you will come up with the right answer yet.

The following information has been taken from the Management of Health and
Safety at Work Regulations 1999:

Competence in the sense it is used in these Regulations does not
necessarily depend on the possession of particular skills or
qualifications. Simple situations may require only the following:

(a) an understanding of relevant current best practice;

(b) an awareness of the limitations of one's own experience and knowledge;
and

(c) the willingness and ability to supplement existing experience and
knowledge, when necessary by obtaining external help and advice.

More complicated situations will require the competent assistant to have a
higher level of knowledge and experience. More complex or highly technical situations will call for specific applied knowledge and skills which can be offered by appropriately qualified specialists. Employers are advised to
check the appropriate health and safety qualifications (some of which may
be competence-based and/or industry specific), or membership of a
professional body or similar organisation (at an appropriate level and in
an appropriate part of health and safety) to satisfy themselves that the
assistant they appoint has a sufficiently high level of competence.


The issue of competency when working with electrical equipment, is dealt
with in Regulation 16 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. It
states:

Regulation 16 Persons to be competent to prevent danger and injury

No person shall be engaged in any work activity where technical knowledge
or experience is necessary to prevent danger or, where appropriate, injury,
unless he possesses such knowledge or experience, or is under such degree
of supervision as may be appropriate having regard to the nature of the
work.

Guidance 16

The defence (regulation 29) is available in any proceedings for an offence
under this regulation.
The object of the regulation is to ensure that persons are not placed at
risk due to a lack of skills on the part of themselves or others in dealing
with electrical equipment.

"... PREVENT DANGER OR, WHERE APPROPRIATE, INJURY..."

This regulation uses both of the terms, 'injury' and 'danger'. The
regulation therefore applies to the whole range of work associated with
electrical equipment where danger may arise and whether or not danger (or
the risk of injury) is actually present during the work. It will include
situations where the elimination of the risk of injury, ie the prevention
of danger, for the duration of the work is under the control of a person
who must therefore possess sufficient technical knowledge or experience, or
be so supervised, etc to be capable of ensuring that danger is prevented.
For example, where a person is to effect the isolation of some electrical
equipment before this person undertakes some work on the equipment, they
will require sufficient technical knowledge or experience to prevent danger
during the isolation. There will be no danger from the equipment during
the work provided that the isolation has been carried out properly; danger
will have been prevented but the person doing the work must have sufficient
technical knowledge or experience so as to prevent danger during that work,
for example by knowing not to work on adjacent 'live' circuits.

But the regulation also covers those circumstances where danger is present,
ie where there is a risk of injury, as for example where work is being done
on live or charged equipment using special techniques and under the terms
of regulation 14. In these circumstances persons must possess sufficient
technical knowledge or experience or be so supervised etc, to be capable of
ensuring that injury is prevented.

Technical knowledge or experience

The scope of 'technical knowledge or experience' may include:

(a) adequate knowledge of electricity;

(b) adequate experience of electrical work;

(c) adequate understanding of the system to be worked on and practical
experience of that class of system;

(d) understanding of the hazards which may arise during the work and the
precautions which need to be taken;

(e) ability to recognise at all times whether it is safe for work to
continue.

Allocation of responsibilities

Employees should be trained and instructed to ensure that they understand
the safety procedures which are relevant to their work and should work in
accordance with any instructions or rules directed at ensuring safety which
have been laid down by their employer.
Supervision

The regulation recognises that in many circumstances persons will require
to be supervised to some degree where their technical knowledge or
experience is not of itself sufficient to ensure that they can otherwise
undertake the work safely. The responsibilities of those undertaking the
supervision should be clearly stated to them by those duty holders who
allocate the responsibilities for supervision and consideration should be
given to stating these responsibilities in writing. Where the risks
involved are low, verbal instructions are likely to be adequate but as the
risk or complexity increase there comes a point where the need for written
procedures becomes important in order that instructions may be understood
and supervised more rigorously.

In this context, supervision does not necessarily require continual
attendance at the work site, but the degree of supervision and the manner
in which it is exercised is for the duty holders to arrange to ensure that
danger, or as the case may be, injury, is prevented.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:08 pm 
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All that and still no definition.

I agree with all you've said about the knowledge and experience that a person ought to have to consider himself competent, but it's all subjective; there's no objective yardstick against which to measure competence. Other than if the job goes tits up when he must be incompetent.

No one can say "I've passed such & such an exam therefore I'm competent.

I can say that I'm competent to undertake wiring that requires notification (and I have done it too) even though I've passed no exams.

I can say that I'm sufficiently competent to install my own gas boiler (I've done it twice) even though I've passed no exams and never got any plumbing experience with a plumber.

I can say that I complied with the law in both cases because there's no definition of competence.

No one can say I was incompetent to undertake either job


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:01 pm 
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Want a defenition of competence:
The reference on the Scottish Building regs should help.

Dead link removed by admin
Page 6 of pdf.


Last edited by baldelectrician on Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:21 am 
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Indeed BE, that is a definition.

Only applies to Scotland though. No corresponding definition for England; even Ian couldn't find one although he tried very hard to make one up by inference.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:15 am 
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Stoday wrote:
Indeed BE, that is a definition.

Only applies to Scotland though. No corresponding definition for England; even Ian couldn't find one although he tried very hard to make one up by inference.


It seems that some parts of the UK look for solutions other parts look for problems (I am referring to the powers that be).
If they wanted something to work then they would make it virtually watertight and people would have lots of hassle when they sell without paperwork.



For this message the author baldelectrician has received gratitude : dac1747.dc
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