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Scotland’s electrical industry once again backs protection of title legislation

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SELECT Alan Wilson

Scotland’s electrical industry has once again backed new legislation that will prevent anyone from calling themselves an electrician unless they have been certified. 

SELECT has been campaigning in Scotland for protection of title legislation for quite some time, with the Scottish Government recently holding yet another consultation to gain feedback from the industry. 

The Government consultation reached out to 100 organisations and individuals to get their opinion on any potential new law, with the overwhelming majority of respondents backing the protection of title. 

Protection of title is nothing new, with gas engineers currently forced to be registered as Gas Safe before they can undertake any work. Electricians would face similar restrictions, with the Scottish Government currently considering a single register based on the existing SJIB model. 

In response to the Government’s consultation one respondent commented that it would improve standards overall, while another thought that more statutory measures would deter rogue traders from doing electrical work that they are unqualified to do. 

SELECT has been making this argument, with Alan Wilson, the association’s managing director, commenting “There is a sense that the campaign is gathering increasing momentum and the strength of the consultation responses illustrates that our conviction is shared by the majority of those in the sector.

“While we would all like to think that voluntary action would work, it’s quite clear from the responses that the sector needs government legislation to bring about ‘comfort and security’ for customers across the country and end the scourge of unqualified people passing themselves off as electrical professionals.

“We have been hugely encouraged by the levels of support we have received, particularly cross-party parliamentary support, and the impressive range of people who have publicly backed us through channels such as our Wall of Support.

“The result of this consultation is another enormously significant advance and we would like to thank all those parties who took part.”

Following the latest consultation, it will be up to whoever wins the upcoming Holyrood elections to implement any new legislation. However, it seems that the campaign will have the backing of every party, with current MSPs in favour of legislation coming from all parties that make up Holyrood. 

Alan added, “Poor quality electrical work carries huge risks and it is vital that both businesses and consumers are able to make informed choices whenever they employ an electrician. These responses add enormous substance to that imperative.

“It has been clear to the industry for years that those who work in the industry must do so in a safe and competent manner.”

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