MSPs to debate making electricians a regulated profession in Scotland

Written by Jenni Davidson on 25 October 2018 in News

Unlike those who work with gas, anyone can call themselves an electrician and carry out electrical work

A wire - Image credit: unknown

MSPs are to debate whether electricians in Scotland should be regulated in the same way as gas engineers.

The member’s debate, which has been proposed by Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands Jamie Halcro Johnston, has cross-party support as well as the backing of electrical industry bodies SELECT and NICEIC.

There are currently around 100 regulated professions in the UK, but unlike those who work with gas, anyone can call themselves an electrician and carry out electrical work.

A survey carried out by SELECT, the trade association for the electrical contracting industry in Scotland, found that 93 per cent of householders would expect someone claiming to be an electrician to be properly qualified, but 89 per cent did not know how to check someone’s qualifications.

Meanwhile, 69 per cent of household fires are caused by electrical problems.

Halcro Johnston has suggested he would look at the option of introducing a member’s bill on the issue if the Scottish Government does not bring forward its own legislation.

He said: “Many people will be shocked to learn that an electrician is not one of the jobs that is professionally regulated in Scotland.

“That means anyone can advertise themselves as an electrician and undertake work which, in many cases, they are simply not qualified to do.

“I think most householders would expect their electrician to be qualified and, while the Scottish Government has signalled they are in favour of regulating electrician as a profession, their warm words have led to little action.

“I hope that my members’ debate, which has support from MSPs from all parties except the Scottish Greens, will focus the Scottish Government’s attention on this issue and lead to much overdue change.

“If not, then I am exploring all further options, including the possibility of introducing a private members’ bill in the Scottish Parliament.

“I believe it is imperative that we ensure the public can be confident that those who undertake electrical work are qualified to do so, that unqualified rogue traders are driven out of the profession, and that Scotland’s householders are protected from the consequences of dangerous electrical work.”

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