Speirs demands action on fees for Part P and TrustMark

The NICEIC has called for the government to help to ease the financial burden on contractors in the light of current market conditions.

Jim Speirs, executive chairman of the NICEIC Group, argued that the industry must work together, predicting a tough year ahead. “Take Part P [electrical safety within the Building Regs] for example,” said Speirs.” The rules currently call for an inspection of contractors once a year. If we went to a risk assessment approach, as with the new gas scheme coming in, we could reduce costs for the contractor.”

Speirs also called for the government to demand that Part P scheme operators are UKAS-accredited, as was originally outlined at implementation. “It simply has not happened,” he said.

Speirs also called for action on the TrustMark approved contractor scheme, otherwise it could “whither on the vine like the QualityMark.” He said: “There are only 12 000 contractors in that scheme. Why doesn’t the government put £1m into it and waive the £30 fee to the contractor?”

If there is no support forthcoming, Speirs feels the scheme could fail. “It would only need about 3000 firms to drop out and TrustMark is dead,” said Speirs.

The NICEIC boss also called for the Tories to back such quality initiatives. “Will they support these measures if they get in power? They could make a statement of their commitment.”

Speirs said the NICEIC would look to help struggling contractors by offering staged payments of its fees next year.