Do you need an electrical certificate of compliance?
An electrical certificate of compliance verifies that an electrical installation complies with BS 7671, the British standard for electrical safety.
While the certificate is not a legal requirement in itself, it can help to provide documentary evidence of safety and legal compliance in a number of circumstances. For example:
- All electrical work within residential dwellings that is notifiable should be certified to confirm that the work meets Building Regulations.
- If selling a property, you may be requested to provide the relevant certificates as part of the legal purchase process.
- Certification can show requisite safety standards had been met where electrical installation is claimed to have been the cause of fire or injury.
What is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)?
Previously known as a PIR report (periodic inspection report), electrical installation condition (EICR) reports tests the existing state of the electrical wiring, circuits and anything connected to the electrical system throughout the premises and establishes the overall condition of all the electrics in a building, stating whether it is satisfactory for continued use and detailing any work that might need to be done.
The EICR will indicate whether the electrical work that has been carried out is new, an addition or alteration.
The type of certification or report you require depends on the extent and type of electrical installation work, or inspection and testing, that you have had carried out, and the time lapse since any previous certificate was issued:
Commercial EICR reports for schools, shops, offices and gyms should be inspected every 5 years, or 3 years if the premises is used for entertainment.
Industrial EICR reports and inspections of electrical systems in warehouses, factories, carried out periodically every 5 years.
Domestic EICR reports should be carried out every 5 years for rental properties and 10 years for private dwellings, unless the property is being sold a report is required for example by the mortgage lender.
Electrical Certificate for new electrical installations
BS 7671 states that “every installation shall, during erection and on completion before being put into service be inspected and tested to verify, so far as reasonably practicable, that the requirements of the regulations have been met.”
To comply with this regulation, qualified electricians must complete a full inspection and testing procedure. In a case of a new electrical installation, the procedure is followed by the completion of the Electrical Installation Certificate. In a case of an alteration of an existing electrical installation, a Minor Electrical Work Certificate is to be completed.
Periodic inspection and testing
Regulation 621.1 of BS 7671 states “where required, periodic inspection and testing of every electrical installation shall be carried out in accordance with regulations 621.2 to 621.5 in order to determine as far as reasonably practicable, whether the installation is in a satisfactory condition for continued service“.
This regulation relates to electrical installations which are not newly built or altered. In this case a periodic inspection is to be carried out. Together with visual inspection it consists of a full inspection and testing procedure and is followed by the completion of the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
These certificates are documents which must be kept by both the “person ordering the work” (i.e.: owner) and the “competent person”(qualified electrician) completing the inspection and testing procedure.
- New circuit installation: Electrical Installation Certificate & Building Regulations Compliance Certificate (also known as a Part P Certificate)
- Replacement fuse box/consumer unit: Electrical Installation Certificate & Building Regulations Compliance Certificate (also known as a Part P Certificate)
- An existing circuit has been added to or altered in a room containing a bath, shower, swimming pool or sauna heater: Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate & In many cases you will need a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate (also known as a Part P Certificate).
- An existing circuit has been added to or altered. For example, in a kitchen or outdoors: Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate & In many cases you will need a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate (also known as a Part P Certificate).
- Electrical circuits are checked for deterioration or damage caused over time: Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)