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How a customer-focused approach and technology helped Guardian make electrical compliance easy

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When Guardian Electrical Compliance set up shop in 2010, it’s because the company found a major gap in the market that it believed needed to be filled. It realised that the electrical sector was not that focused on great customer care or customer service, and when it came to keeping records, it was woefully behind the times. 

To address these issues, Guardian brought to market a complete managed compliance service. This would allow all dutyholders on a project to ensure that every electrical installation, test and change would be well documented and meet current standards. 

What is a complete managed compliance service and why would I want it? 

Guardian believes that there are a number of reasons why you might want a complete managed compliance survey, but through its experience since the advent of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, there has always been an ad-hoc approach to inspection and testing. 

A programme of testing is completed by one supplier, another supplier completes remedial works, but records are rarely consolidated by the client’s dutyholder. The dutyholder changes his job, the cycle starts again in the next 3 or 5 years, and the end result more often than not is a lack of record traceability, accountability, or even an awareness from management of the position they could find themselves in, should there be a breach of EaWR 1989.

Unfortunately, the foregoing situation is commonplace throughout all working environments, and it should not be the case in today’s marketplace, given technological advancements together with a collective knowledge of legal requirements under EaWR 1989.

The nitty gritty of Guardian’s approach

Many clients have several suppliers of Fixed Wire Electrical Inspection & Test. The suppliers come to site, undertake the FWIT, supply reports on time and everyone is happy. The client has discharged their dutyholder responsibilities under Regulation 3 of The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, i.e. ‘matters which are within your control’.

The client rarely bothers the supplier regarding accuracy and content of the reports, he’s confident in responding positively and feels in control, should there be a breach of The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, which incidentally could prompt, depending on the severity of the breach, a visit from the HSE.

From a client perspective, the Periodic Inspection & Test box has been ticked:

  • My records are current, accurate and consolidated, with a documented history of all the electrical system changes
  • My records reflect the installation as it is today
  • I have archived records of system changes (Minor Works or similar), which are at my fingertips
  • Schematic drawings are up to date
  • I am in control of records and documentation; the installation is safe to remain in service.

But like so many organisations, clients sometimes haven’t received records and when they have, they are full of limitations, lack of testing and non-identification of circuit designations. Unfortunately, an endemic problem within our industry, which ultimately leaves the dutyholder exposed should there be a breach of EaWR 1989.

A Complete Managed Compliance Service – how has it been achieved?

Customer care and customer service are not phrases that are generally used in Guardian’s sphere of business. The competition is normally fashioned as an offspring from an electrical contractor, where their world is one of constant frustration, irritation and money owed, not an ideal basis to leap into the positive world of sales and marketing.

Guardian saw this juxtaposition as an opportunity and began in earnest developing a customer-focused service in 2010.

Over several years and with significant investment, Guardian developed TraQit, its standard medium of real time interactive website reporting, to ensure dutyholders are in control of reports, drawings and other documents at all times. 

Together with TraQit, Guardian authored a dutyholder handbook and a suite of practical guidance notes, which, amongst other issues, illustrate how compliance with EaWR 1989 can be achieved in a 24/7 working environment.

Over the years the service delivery has evolved:

  • Testing Specifications and technical documents have been written for many Hospitals, Universities and Blue Chip organisations
  • Guardian chairs a number of client dutyholder committees
  • Guardian teaches the industry – BS7671: 18th Edition, EaWR 1989 & Dutyholder courses
  • Guardian provides a total cradle to grave solution

Guardian Technology – TraQit & QR Codes

During the testing programme, clients could be adding additional circuits or certifying corrective remedial actions, which give rise to additional certification. The certification is then simply uploaded by the dutyholder to your unique TraQit website by a ‘drag and drop’ method taking a matter of seconds. The TraQit department is automatically alerted. 

The TraQit department will review and edit the existing records with the certified changes, thus ensuring the records are always current, accurate and consolidated with a history of all certified changes. For example, if there have been 15 changes to a Distribution Board over a three year testing programme, there will be 15 Electrical Installation Condition Reports stored in chronological order continuous evidence of monitoring and maintenance as required by EaWR 1989.

A recent addition to work in tandem with TraQit, are QR Codes. Each individual Distribution Unit subjected to Inspection & Testing or Drawing will have a visible and accessible QR code affixed on the relevant unit.

Using the TraQit app, which is available as a free download on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone, users simply scan over the QR Code, input your assigned TraQit login details and the Electrical Installation Condition Report for the relevant Distribution Unit will open via your TraQit website.

QR codes on Distribution Boards give client maintenance teams, contractors and associated trades, instant site access to reports and schedules via TraQit, which results in an efficient and safe working system. 

Closing the loop – A Managed Remedial Service

During the fixed wire inspection and testing process, it is highly likely that both Code 1, 2 and FI observations will be identified on your site, which will require immediate or urgent attention, usually by your in-house maintenance team or local contractor. 

Despite Guardian’s bi-monthly reminder to its 2,500 strong client base, recent analysis shows that 50% do not evidence via minor works certification, closure of outstanding Code 1, 2 & FI observations. Given these statistics, which have remained constant for the last two years, Guardian has now taken the step of offering a managed remedial service to ensure timely completion of corrective actions. 

Additionally, you will have peace of mind that your real time TraQit bar charts will be updated to ensure records are current, accurate and consolidated with a version history of all system changes. 

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