Over the last few years, electricians have seen their demand skyrocket due to an ongoing shortage of skilled tradespeople across the UK. All signs point to that trend continuing for the foreseeable future as the construction industry continues to flourish, making it an extremely appealing career path. 

Electrician rules and regulations explained. Image shows electrical cable held in a hand being cut with wire strippers

What are the industry standard or required qualifications for electricians?

Becoming a qualified electrician in the UK requires a combination of hands-on training, classroom learning and accreditation assessments. 

Different levels of qualification and training are required depending on whether you plan to work in a commercial or domestic environment.

Domestic Installers who have achieved a City & Guilds certification are able to carry out some electrical work in a domestic setting, despite not being formally recognised as fully qualified electricians. Domestic Installers require two qualifications, these are: 

  • Level 3 Award in the Requirements for Electrical Installations


  • Level 3 Award in the Initial Verification and Certification of Electrical Installations


  • Level 3 Award in Approving Electrical Work in Dwellings in Compliance with Building Regulations.

Beyond that, those wanting to carry out commercial work will need to be fully qualified and must seek industry-recognised Level 3 qualifications such as:

  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Maintenance)
  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems & Equipment (Buildings, Structures and the Environment)
  • Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) if part of an apprenticeship

Further qualifications can be pursued should you want to develop your skillset or specialise in a certain element of the industry.

What regulations must electricians adhere to?

Regulations affecting electricians can be separated into two different categories; industry standards and legal framework. 

Industry standards are voluntary codes of conduct written by the industry and approved by nationally recognised bodies. They aim to simplify language and processes within the industry, making it more uniform across the board. 

While not technically legally enforceable on their own, these standards are usually written into contracts, meaning they must still be met when carrying out work to meet contractual obligations.

Legal frameworks are in place to ensure the safety of both customers and those working within the industry. Key legal requirements for electrical work are covered in The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, The Building Act 1984 & 2000 and the BS7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (often referred to as ‘The Regs’).

There are other regulations and guidance affecting electricians. Some elements will be applicable to both commercial and domestic work, though certain legislation has been created specifically for each. 

What is ‘Part P’?

Part P is a vital piece of The Building Regulations which was introduced in 2005. It is a set of safety regulations that apply to domestic premises in the UK. 

This splits work into two categories; minor work and notifiable work. The latter requires work to be signed off by an electrician registered with a Part P Scheme Provider. Should you wish to sign off your own notifiable work, you can sign up to a Part P Scheme Provider yourself, where you’ll be assessed and deemed fit to do so.

What registration is needed for electricians? 

Most electricians will want to register with The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). This organisation regulates the work and training of electricians across the UK, and is one of the first things most customers will check when searching for an electrician. 

Those who want to self-certify their work can apply for a Competent Person Scheme (CPS) membership. Joining this register removes the need for council or private building inspector checks, as it covers Part P of The Building Regulations. 

Able Skills made the bold decision to steer away from Domestic Installer courses in order to concentrate more on complete electrical installation qualifications. The aim for us here is to train individuals to become FULLY QUALIFIED ELECTRICIANS – therefore extending an individual’s scope of work beyond just domestic electrics and avoiding the complexities that come with registering on to Competent Persons Schemes.

All of our electrical courses are taught in line with the latest industry rules and regulations, and place health and safety as an absolute priority. Whether you’re looking to begin your career as an electrician, or are seeking specific certification, we offer a range of programmes tailored to all experiences. 

Unsure which is right for you? Our team would be happy to advise. Just give us a call on 01322 280 202, request a brochure or visit us at our training centre.