NICEIC waiting on government

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The second ‘Green Light for Part P’ seminar did not, as anticipated, announce the selection of the NICEIC to run a self-certification scheme. Although there is little doubt about its eventual approval, the NICEIC had hoped to receive a governmental green light in January.

Paul Everall, of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), blamed the delay on “other departmental matters”, and stated the requirements for running the scheme are yet to be finalised by the ODPM. It is now hoped the announcement will be made by Easter.

Although the NICEIC was disappointed about the delay, several issues remain to be addressed by the government.

If Part P is to come into force in October, the ODPM must first determine exactly what constitutes a dwelling. It must also issue concrete guidelines on DIY work that requires an inspection.

The certificates themselves must also be finalised. While the format is as yet undecided, it is likely that they will be electronic.

Another question is how Part P will be enforced. NICEIC director general Jim Speirs says there will be a six-month period of grace to get contractors onboard.

However, it has also been said that there will be no period of grace, and, at the previous seminar last October, there was talk of a two-year window from the NICEIC’s technical director Mike Clarke.

Despite these uncertainties, the NICEIC wants to reassure contractors that the process will be painless.

According to Speirs, NICEIC Approved Contractors will already easily meet the ODPM’s final criteria, hence the estimates of 8,000 contractors available from day one. “As far as I’m concerned the crossover will be a simple paper-based exercise for existing Approved Contractors,” he says. “The harder task is processing the new contractors that are coming in and getting them ready for day one: They will have to be assessed.”
The NICEIC is hoping to process some 24,000 applications but remains confident despite the latest hold-up. “We’ve had a project team working on Part P for some time now,” says Speirs. “We’re trying to gear ourselves up so that when the green light is given we are ready. And I believe we are ready.”