Electrical contractors will be able to use one of five self-certification schemes to comply with Part P of the Building Regulations.
This is a new element to the regulations that is intended to improve electrical safety in dwellings. It comes into force on 1 January.

The government has approved schemes run by the British Standards Institution, ELECSA, NICEIC Certification Services, Zurich Certification, and BRE Certification. The BRE scheme will be run in partnership with the Electrical Contractors Association and the Institute of Electrical Engineers.

Firms who are not registered with a Part P self-certification scheme must notify building control before they carry out any work, and their work may be subject to an inspection.

ECA director David Pollock said the introduction of Part P would protect consumers from incompetent electrical installers.

He said: "This is the culmination of a long and energetic lobby on the part of the association and other industry organisations."

All work that involves adding a circuit to a dwelling will be covered by Part P. Small jobs, such as replacing a light switch, will not require building control approval but the government says there may be exceptions in high-risk areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.