Guest Blog: NAPIT
As one of the leading Government approved and United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) accredited certification bodies, NAPIT has over 10,000 registered businesses operating within the electrical domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. Originally established as a Trade Association over 25 years ago, the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers from the beginning, have always had the same mission… to ensure the safety and competence of individuals working within the UK’s electrical contracting industry, this is something of upmost importance and has always been high on the agenda for NAPIT.
Mike Andrews, NAPIT Group Chief Executive, explains more about the company and their influence on the industry below.
At NAPIT we have always maintained our spirit as a Trade Association, knowing that every decision we make always affects our members. We have an accessible and transparent approach to business with all our customers and over the past 24 months we have managed to retain our Gold Award for excellent customer service. This was awarded to us by Investor in Customers (IIC), who issue a survey to our members which determines the outcome result. We are positive we will hold onto the Gold Award as we continue to deliver high-class customer service.
2018 – 2019 has been a significant time for us and the industry as a whole. We have seen the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations come into practice and have tried to guarantee a smooth conversion for all our members. Our industry-first EICR Codebreakers publication was updated to the 18th Edition and the second edition was released to the industry, receiving an outstanding response. It is the only purpose-written publication to aid contractors, inspectors and clients when carrying out EICRs. We are delighted that the book was named a 2018 Top Product of the Year by Professional Electrician Magazine and was also a finalist in the Electrical Industry Awards’ Trade Tool of the Year category!
We are campaigning currently for numerous industry changes to benefit our members including:
Electrical Inspections in the Private Rented Sector – We had a significant success last July when the Government announced that mandatory electrical inspections in the private rented sector would be introduced. In the meantime, whilst awaiting confirmation of when the legislation will be enforced, we plan to engage with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to ensure the guidance they are planning to produce for landlords/letting agents is suitable.
Emphasis on identifying individual competence – This is forever increasing; we have been immersed in the introduction of mandatory safety checks on electrical installations in the private rented sector, along with calls to re-examine Part P. Consequently, the Grenfell Tower tragedy has rationalised the importance of electrical safety checks with Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of the Fire Regulations and Building safety. It is a shame that it has taken a disaster as severe as Grenfell to bring about the need for change in the industry, although we now expect a vaster change in enforcement and we are more than happy to work in conjunction with this, as much as we possibly can, to avoid any further tragedies.
Non-Compliance – At NAPIT we understand that competent electrical members will no doubt feel infuriated that no action is being taken when non-compliant work is found. NAPIT are constantly campaigning that only individuals who have the necessary training, qualifications, experience and knowledge of the electrical system to be worked on should undertake electrical work. By actively engaging with Local Authority Trading Standards to ensure that individuals are brought to task for non-compliant work, NAPIT provides technical experts to act as witnesses to assist in bringing successful prosecutions against individuals who complete sub-standard and non-compliant electrical work.
(John preaching electrical safety to the converted)
Last year, the NAPIT team travelled to Northern Ireland to participate in a joint seminar with the e5 Group and ETT (Electrical Training Trust), and had the pleasure of meeting John Lorimer, Director of FCS Services Limited (also known as Facility Compliance Services). FCS joined NAPIT as a member shortly after and to see how far FCS has come in such a short space of time, leaving its mark on the local industry, is very commendable. It’s great to have John and his team onboard to help drive the importance of electrical compliance and safety in the workplace.
We anticipate the remainder of this year will be equally as busy as 2018, working on exciting new journeys to help improve and bring the electrical industry together. The recent collaboration between NAPIT and SparkSafe LtP brings together two organisations who have decide to collaborate for the good of the industry; we share the same values and beliefs: high standards, individual competence, transparency and integrity. Increased acceptance of the LtP model will drastically improve the compliance and safety of electrical installations across the UK. NAPIT have committed to endorsing the SparkSafe LtP model. We will be working closely with SparkSafe in the coming months to develop a fourth Licence type, which will bring together the qualifications, requirements and the UKAS accredited certification body technical onsite assessment model operated by NAPIT.