The continuous threat of poor and potentially dangerous electrical work has once again been highlighted by SELECT, the industry body for Scotland’s electricians. SELECT revealed that counterfeit copies of vital wiring regulations are being offered for sale. They are campaigning for the professional recognition of electricians in Scotland.
The Professional Recognition of Electricians
The fake copies of PDF of BS7671:2018, the IET (Institution of Engineering and technology) Wiring Regulations, could result on a huge blow for electrical professionals, with missing or corrupted information potentially leading to dangerous work and risking fire, electric shock or something more fatal.
The Latest activity in counterfeiting reinforces the message that SELECT has been promoting in the Scottish Parliament campaign for recognition of electricians as a profession. This campaign is backed by the Scottish Joint Industry Board and Unite the Union.
The Rise of Unqualified Electricians
SELECT’s case was pressed in October 2018 in a Holyrood debate where there was evidence of unqualified and under-qualified people who pretend to be electricians. This endangers the safety of the public as this work has been carried out across Scotland.
Head of Technical Services at SELECT, Dave Forrester, said, “Only a short time after the issue of safety was debated in the Scottish Parliament, we have now uncovered bogus British Standards and other manuals being offered online to companies which will put consumers in further jeopardy”.
Mark Coles, Head of Technical Regulations at the IET, said that the false PDFs, which were being handed out through many channels, seemed to be “convincing” on the first inspection. However, upon taking a closer look, it becomes more apparent that there are many errors and lots of corrupted information.
The IET is now taking steps to fight the counterfeiters by inserting a hologram in its regulations, i.e. the 18th Edition. This hologram contains the IET logo, as well as the word “genuine”.
According to Mr Coles, “Ensuring that genuine copies of IET publications are being used by electrical professionals is important in order that correct standards are used to protect the public and those working in the industry from injury and fatality.”
SELECT’s campaign for the protection of title has been at the forefront of its working. This follows a speech by a Government Minister at a European electrical contractors’ conference in Edinburgh back in 2015. It has received support from unions, trade bodies and politicians from all parties.
According to Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, discussions would continue to bring a ministerial view to parliament in due time.
SELECT’s 1,250-member companies account for approximately 90 per cent of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland. They have a collective turnover of around £1 billion and provide employment for 15,000 individuals.
Staying Qualified with ECTA
Though it may be tempting to simply pay for false certification, you’d be putting both yourself and your clients in a dangerous position. Staying qualified is an essential part of any form of engineering. With ECTA, you can keep your qualifications up to date, ensuring your business can succeed as normal. Get in touch for more information.