- 1 Avoid training duplication!
- 2 Course essentials
- 3 Price, structure, and attendee profiles
- 4 A note on apprentices
- 5 Format
- 6 Formal qualifications
- 7 The C&G 2391-52 Level 3 Award in Inspection & Testing
- 8 Assessments
- 9 Practical Assessment
- 10 Initial Verification segment
- 11 The C&G Level 3 Award in Requirements for Electrical Installation (2018: bs7671)
- 12 The C&G 2393-10 Level 3 Award
- 13 The merits of having a Part P license
- 14 Back to the core course content
- 15 Summary
The Domestic Installer Course is designed to support individuals who are pursuing an electrical career that is exclusively based in domestic settings. Qualified domestic installers cannot undertake electrotechnical tasks in commercial or industrial environments.Becoming a domestic installer is perfect for those who are looking to quickly enter the electrical industry, and pursue an avenue with instant income opportunities. Prospective electricians engage in intensive training programmes, which can be an extremely expensive and time-consuming endeavour. However, as domestic installation is less complex in nature, individuals can achieve this status in a shorter timeframe. The training involved also works out to be considerably cheaper. Nevertheless, future earnings potential is somewhat limited, given the scope of work at their disposal. In this sense, from a long-term perspective, becoming a licensed electrician is a financially more profitable enterprise. However, for some individuals, a career as domestic installer remains a perfect choice.
Avoid training duplication!
Candidates who have any ambition to become a fully-qualified electrical professional should avoid targeting a domestic installer role first. This is because, regardless of the potential skills or experience that would be acquired in this occupation, prospective electricians are obligated to attend a programme of fixed courses. And, as Domestic Installers Courses are relatively similar in content to the compulsory C&G 2365 series (or equivalent qualifications endorsed by an alternate, accredited skills provider), this would mean significant training duplication. Furthermore, this would clearly also incur an avoidable cost.
Therefore, those planning a route into the trade should make a firm, early decision on which pathway suits them best. As part of this review, candidates should offset short-term expenditure and potential lack of income, with long-term career objectives. There is no right or wrong answer, as selection should be entirely based on personal preference and circumstances. So, if you’re in this position, take your time to assess your options. It might be worth consulting friends, family, and, if possible, individuals experienced in the electrical sector. It’s important to get this right- embarking down the wrong path could become a costly mistake!
This article is concerned with reviewing the industry’s Domestic Installers Course. Within this narrative, readers will acquire information on the course content, structure, and assessment schedule. Furthermore, it’ll offer guidance and advice on how to approach this qualification, and some hints and tips on examination preparation and execution. Again, as selecting a learning pathway is very much a personal choice, this article does not intend to persuade or encourage. However, it will portray the key elements, whether positive or negative, of undertaking a Domestic Installers Course.
Price, structure, and attendee profiles
Dependent on learning provider, the qualification varies in terms of price, duration and intensity. Most courses will be charged at a rate of around £2000-2500. This may seem relatively expensive, but it must be remembered that, on completion, electrical work can be commenced straight away. On average, conducting this module in full, including its resultant assessments, will take approximately eighteen days. However, most facilitators offer extensive flexibility in this option.
This is because, in the vast majority of cases, participating individuals will be career-changers, who are of a relatively mature age. Often, these individuals will remain in their current job posts, allowing them to ensure a constant flow of income. This means that training will often need to be undertaken outside office hours, and in free time at evenings and weekends. Furthermore, prospective candidates may have childcare responsibilities, which requires changing plans at short notice. Therefore, learning provider support and adaptability is essential in getting through the training. This will include offering provisions for students to remotely learn, as well as providing decent availability of session times and frequency.
For those who are unemployed, but in a financially capable position, training can often be navigated in a consecutive eighteen-day period. Others may attend one session per week, slowly but surely making their way through the course until full completion. Either way, the final, resultant qualification remains the same. On average, Domestic Installers Courses are usually completed within a month. This is because this qualification is favoured by those looking for rapid integration into the industry. Given the amount of training, this is an incredibly speedy turnaround! When comparing on a proportionate basis to other qualifications, you can see that this course is addressed extremely quickly.
A note on apprentices
For reference, trainees on apprenticeship programmes would not participate on a Domestic Installers Course as part of their pre-determined training plan. This is because their scheme specifically targets a career as a fully-qualified electrical professional. As alluded to earlier, all content discussed during the DIC would be picked up at some stage during the C&G 2365, or equivalent standard qualifications.
This module is traditionally split into three methods of learning: practical, e-learning, and classroom-based. The practical element is afforded the most time, as it’s key for candidates to hone their physical skills and experience. The remaining days are split relatively evenly, and involve theoretical coaching and pier group discussion. On the assumption of an eighteen-day framework, delegates can expect their course activity to reflect a schedule similar to the one below:
Ten days: Practical training
This will be conducted in an educational workshop which aims to generate realistic, domestic conditions. Handy for delegates to physically get to grips with the tools, instalments, and techniques they’ll need to master.
Three days: E-learning
This will involve completing online training on relevant electrotechnical theory. As this is computer-based, this can be conducted either in your respective training centre, at home, or indeed anywhere with internet access.
Five days: Classroom-based coaching
Here, individuals have the opportunity to interact with tutors and piers, and develop their understanding of the principles and regulations associated with electrical work. Again, this can be navigated in either an in-person or virtual setting. However, although it clearly isn’t imperative to attend sessions in a face-to-face capacity, candidates are encouraged, if possible, to at least embrace a mixture of virtual and ‘bricks-and-mortar’ learning. This is because, creating the conditions for debate, pier group camaraderie, and tutor engagement, are extremely difficult to replicate in a remote atmosphere. Having the opportunity to develop knowledge through direct interaction with fellow, like-minded students, is something that shouldn’t be undervalued.
The Domestic Installers Course integrates three industry-recognized qualifications into its training content. Learning providers will most likely exploit the City and Guilds versions of these modules. However, as referenced earlier, any relevant equivalent courses provided by a licensed skills body can be used. However, we will focus on the City and Guilds affiliated certification, as this organisation’s courses are always most prevalent in the electrotechnical sector.
These qualifications are concerned with three key electrical craft disciplines. It is essential that the core skills covered in these courses are digested, understood, and mastered. Without this base knowledge and technical capability, individuals would struggle to deliver the domestic installer’s role. It’s worth noting that these modules are similarly tackled on the C&G 2365 Level 2 diploma, emphasising the content crossover mentioned earlier. The qualifications that form part of the Domestic Installers Course, with some accompanying commentary, are articulated below:
The C&G 2391-52 Level 3 Award in Inspection & Testing
This course is actually an amalgamation of the City and Guilds’ 2392-50, and 2391-51 learning modules. However, this qualification provides a streamlined, more efficient training programme than taking each unit in isolation. This course replaces the now obsolete C&G 2394/95. It may be worth noting the name of this legacy module down, as some industry stakeholders may still refer to by its previous title. This updated version gives acknowledgement to the new landlord inspection legislation introduced in July 2020. Therefore, information discussed in the C&G 2391-52 is extremely current!
The course covers all information relating to the initial verification, inspection, testing, and certification of electrical instalments. It’s first section offers information on how to appropriately validate new circuits and installations. This corresponds to the ‘initial’ verification element, as units in this context will have never been previously used.
In sequence order, electricians would firstly carry out a visual inspection, noting any potential faults found, before taking any immediate remedial action to address. Next, a physical test would be run, also helping to determine whether any defects were present. At the conclusion of these assessments, an Electrical Installation Report would be produced. On this log, the electrician would capture any risks, and make any recommendations for issues that couldn’t be resolved during their visit. This information should be communicated to the client for management control purposes. Its imperative that the on-site leadership team are aware of any hazards, and put measures in place to track and escalate repair activity.
The second half of the qualification covers periodic testing, which is the routine examination of pre-existing installations. Here, electricians conduct a similar process to what they would on a newly installed circuit. Again, full inspection and testing activity is administered, with any faults summarily recorded on a slightly different piece of documentation. The Electrical Installation Condition Report acts as the mechanism for logging faults, offering resolution, and co-ordinating fixes.
This is recognized as a fairly complex course, and any novices will have needed to receive some basic theoretical upskilling before attending. Therefore, it’s likely that most Domestic Installers Course facilitators wouldn’t position this module early on, and allow their delegates to accrue some basic knowledge before its engagement. The qualification ends with a hybrid mixture of challenging assessments. Candidates should ensure they allocate substantial time to revise and prepare. Every exam unit must be successfully navigated in order to attain an overall pass.
The qualification’s examination structure presides over three testing formats, with a slightly different approach required for each. These assessment types are multiple-choice, written assignments, and practical observation.
The difficulty of multiple-choice tests is often under-estimated. The City and Guilds construct exam questions that seek to determine whether a theoretical concept has been grasped, not whether words and information have been simply committed to memory. Given the way that academic exams have been traditionally prepared for, this can be a reasonably difficult adjustment to master.
Many of the answers will require substantial working out. This may involve applying an electrical formula to each potential option, and landing on the correct answer through a process of elimination. Think about the practical manifestation of a specific action or task, and consider how electrical principles would serve you to support its implementation.
Considerations and supportive advice
The duration of the test is two hours, and delegates will be expected to answer forty multiple-choice questions within this period. That means individuals have exactly three minutes to cultivate a response to each question. This permits more thinking time than most C&G exams.
Given the complexity of the qualifications’ other assessments, it’s essential to build a solid platform by delivering a positive multiple-choice score. Although not exam is far from easy, this is seen as the most reasonable in terms of difficulty level. It is therefore extremely useful to register high marks.
In order to help the cause, it’s worth mentioning that all City and Guilds online tests, such as this one, have an integrated flagging tool. This aims to preserve response momentum, as it helps to remove the temptation of dwelling on unknown questions. Indeed, by flagging a particular question, delegates can shuffle past a particularly tricky ask, before re-visiting it at the conclusion of the test. It also serves to increase the likelihood of all questions being answered, as candidates are unlikely to skip past without either flagging or providing a response.
This test is open-book, which means students can enter the examination hall, or indeed their own remote location, with course-approved documentation. On this occasion, candidates are allowed to possess several pieces of literature. These are, the IET Guidance Note 3: Inspection & Testing, 8th Edition, the Requirements for Electrical Installations: IET Wiring Regulations, 18th edition (bs7671: 2018), and the IET On-site Guide, 7th edition (bs7671: 2018). These notes are referenced consistently throughout the C&G 2391-52 qualification. Therefore, come the exam, all delegates should feel comfortable with the information contained in each document. Nevertheless, ensure that you re-review all of these, in thorough detail, as part of your revision activity.
A breakdown of the resources
Guidance Note 3 analyses, in comprehensive fashion, the full testing and inspection sequence, before advising on the resultant electrical installation report. The Requirements for Electrical Installations book is often more simply referred to as the ‘wiring regulations’ This text is of critical importance, as it lays out the principles, rules, and risk considerations for any electrical works. All electricians need to be aware of this guidance, in order to work compliantly to bs7671 standards. This code refers to the expected quality benchmarks set collaboratively between the IET (Institute for Engineering and Technology), and BSI (British Standards Institution).
The On-Site Guide, 5th edition is ultimately a condensed version of the full 18th edition wiring regulations book. This acts as a handy reference point for those out in the field, as it gives a general overview rather than intensive detail on the subject matter. Individuals can therefore source and apply information quickly. The On-Site Guide is also kitted out with a number of user-friendly tables, which concisely articulate electrical formulas, algorithms and measurements. However, when aiming to acquire a robust understanding of electrotechnical theory and regulation standards, always use the full 18th edition guide. Indeed, this text should never be used as a substitute for the main documentation, especially during training.
The IET and BSI
The IET works in conjunction with industry stakeholders to provide support and assistance for those operating in the electrotechnical sector. As this organization regularly conducts research into new fields of study, governments often lean on their expertise to help produce appropriate policy and legislation.
The British Standards Institution presides over the regulation of a number of sectors, ensuring that businesses deliver products and services with quality and integrity. Periodically, the IET and BSI release updated wiring regulation guides. This provides the opportunity to adjust the documentation in accordance with any new findings. It also offers a platform to offer support on new activities gaining traction in the industry. For example, in the latest edition, notes on the installation of Electrical Vehicle charging points are referenced. This is a sector where demand has grown exponentially in recent times. The 18th edition guide is the current document in circulation, released in July 2018.
A key watch-out
However, don’t fall into the classic trap of referring too often to these texts during your examination. In an open-book exam, candidates should use any authorised literature as a supportive crutch, not as a mechanism to sense-check every answer. If you’re relatively confident in your response given, then continue on. Some delegates use documentation as a self-grading tool. This puts you under significant time pressure, is a waste of effort, and certainly won’t acquire you any additional points! If you revise well, exploit the flagging tool, and refer to the accompanying notes only when required, there’s every chance you’ll comfortably navigate this test.
This part of the assessment framework is renowned for being particularly challenging. Delegates will have ninety minutes to answer six questions, which all require lengthy, written responses. Therefore, this examination not only tests knowledge but also tasks candidates with formulating well-structured narratives. Given that each question has a fifteen-minute allocated response time, the expectation is that answers are suitably detailed in nature. This specific test is closed-book, which means individuals will not have access to any supporting documentation throughout. However, there is still an expectation that the jargon and terminology that features in Guidance Note 3, and the wiring regulations guide(s), are deployed appropriately.
Questions are split into two categories, with each segment consisting of three questions each.
The first category, Section A, presents three questions on the stages of inspection and testing. Therefore, candidates will be expected to provide detail on the initial verification and periodic testing of electrical installations, as well as the resultant certification which accompanies these activities.
The remaining three questions, included in Section B, are based on the testing and inspection of an electrical instalment located in a fictitious environment. This could be a consumer unit in a domestic residence, or a lighting system in a commercial office. In their responses, delegates will need to articulate each inspection and testing stage, in sequence order, with consideration of potential faults and hazards that may arise. This will also include analysis of the installation’s original design. This will be presented to delegates as part of their question preparation notes.
The key watch-out here is how each question interlinks. This paper chronologically moves through each phase of inspection and testing. Therefore, if delegates set off in the wrong direction whilst addressing the first question, this will lead to a domino effect that will, unfortunately, undermine the accuracy of answers in questions two and three. To mitigate against this, ensure that answers address common themes, rather than becoming too focused on the particular examples at hand. That way, assessors are still likely to gauge the scope of your electrotechnical understanding, and not concentrate as much on any specific errors made. This is a difficult test, so ensure that you liaise with your course tutor if you’re unclear on the expectations. Revise thoroughly, and make sure that you have a sound understanding of the aforementioned documentation before the exam.
This is usually positioned right at the end of your testing programme. In essence, the assessment is split between each activity within the course’s focus disciplines. These are the initial verification and certification of new electrical instalments, and the periodic testing, inspection and validation of pre-existent installations.
There is a lengthy process attached to each part of the examination. This is because candidates will be expected to complete a full test and inspection, in correct sequence order, of several simulated circuits and installations. It would be counter-productive to detail every single element of the assessment(s). However, the below list articulates the key actions that need to be undertaken when conducting each of the two tasks.
Initial Verification segment
Within this section, delegates should deliver three important activities. These are:
- A thorough visual inspection of the new instalment
- Conduct insulation resistance testing, noting any faults found during this process.
- A full, end-to-end electrical test and inspection. When this has been delivered, candidates will need to prepare a suitable Electrical Installation Report.
Delegates will have thirty minutes to survey a basic, ‘mock’ electrical instalment, which will harbour only a single-phase consumer unit, and a few rudimentary demonstration circuits. Within this examination, individuals will need to locate twelve faults that would be in breach of the bs7671 regulations. This permits an identification rate of two and a half minutes per fault, which is a more than ample timeframe. Candidates will also need to offer a reasonable solution to address each issue. This will be verbally communicated to the invigilator, so answers should be clear, coherent, and concise. Using relevant electrotechnical terminology will secure additional points.
Fault-finding during insulation resistance testing
For this, the assessor will present an installation within a black box, which mimics the conditions of an actual electrical circuit. The internal environment within this contraption can be adjusted locally by the assessor.
During this exercise, candidates will need to firstly select the correct testing device. On this occasion, this clearly needs to be an insulation resistance tester. Before this is used, the invigilator will check to see whether the examinee has carried out a proper visual inspection of the kit. When the device has been appropriately checked, delegates will commence preparing the resistance tester for use. Candidates should be aware that simplistic, low-voltage circuits should be tested at 500V, and therefore need to set up their equipment accordingly. Guidance on this voltage level is articulated in the 18th edition wiring regulations book, in compliance with bs7671 standards.
Delegates will then need to test the dummy installation, in proper sequence order. From this, they will be able to extract an Ohms (Ω) reading. Dependent on the parameters of the ohms reading, candidates should be able to determine the potential faults in operation. When this has been achieved, individuals will once again need to articulate this information to the assessor, and offer remedial action to tackle the respective issues. Again, approved industry jargon should be used, and candidates should demonstrate a firm understanding of the scientific measurement used.
Full, end-to end, test and inspection
This section involves examining two, separate simulated electrical installations. Furthermore, one of these will be a more complex, three-phase circuit. Prior to any inspection or testing activity taking place, delegates must remember to conduct a safe isolation procedure. This involves disconnecting the instalment, rendering it temporarily ‘dead’ so that works can commence.
Delegates will then complete a series of tests and inspections, aligned to the process covered throughout their C&G 2391-52 course. Again, its extremely important that this is executed in the correct sequencing order. In the field, a sample approach is perfectly acceptable, whereby a handful of the available tests are delivered. This process is deemed to produce sufficient evidence of any potential fault. However, as this is a full assessment of candidate capability, every industry-recognized examination will need to be carried out. It’s also essential that every single part of the unit is examined, including any labels or accessories. This will support full fault determination, as candidates will once again need to discuss all of the issues impacting the installation. Potential solutions are also once again required.
An Electrical Installation Report will then need to be prepared, which provides a thorough overview of all testing and inspection activity undertaken. This will articulate whether the new instalment is fit for purpose, and what remedial action may need to be taken to address any existing faults.
Candidates are afforded two hours to complete this full task.
Periodic Inspection and Testing segment
As this form of examination applies to current electrical installations, there is no requirement to conduct insulation resistance testing. Therefore, this assessment section only presides over two key activities:
- A thorough, visual inspection of an existing electrical instalment
- A full, end-to-end electrical test and inspection. When this has been delivered, candidates will need to prepare a suitable Electrical Installation Condition Report.
As per the initial verification segment, delegates will initially review a simulated instalment, containing a single-phase consumer unit, and some basic demonstration circuits. Again, twelve faults, that are at odds with bs7671 compliance, will need to be identified, articulated, and addressed.
Full, end-to-end test and inspection
Once again, two dummy installations will be used to assess testing techniques, one of which will be a three-phase circuit. Remember! It’s vitally important to safely isolate the installation prior to delivering any testing activity. After this, the same sequencing order applies, with candidates once again producing a list of faults and potential resolutions. Finally, a detailed Electrical Installation Condition Report will need to be created, noting the details gleaned from the tests and inspection. Delegates will once again receive two hours in order to conduct all testing and certification.
Considerations for both practical assessments
As we’ve seen, the time taken to conduct this examination is fairly lengthy. This will require significant focus and attention over a several hour period. Even at the best of times, participating in practical assessments can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, in this case, this issue is accentuated by the elongated timeframe. Therefore, it’s really important to find strategies to stay calm and relaxed, as maintaining a positive headspace will undoubtedly support your performance on the day.
However, it’s also worth remembering that you’ll have practiced these techniques on numerous occasions prior to the exam. To some extent, you’ll be able to rely on muscle memory, as these should be almost second nature to you by the time the assessment rolls around. If you feel you would benefit from additional practice, ask your course tutor to see if they have the provisions to support this. It’s also worth noting that, given the complexity of the course, the timeframes for anticipated completion are slightly longer than other City and Guilds qualifications. This provides additional coaching and tuition time.
Regardless, no learning provider will put you forward for a test that they don’t believe you’re ready for- it could serve to hinder their pass rate! Take confidence from this point.
By working methodically through the steps learned in your course training sessions, and practicing routinely beforehand, there’s no reason why you can’t successfully navigate this assessment.
Overall Pass Rate
Unfortunately, not only is this known for being one of the tougher testing units, the pass mark required is also well above the average. In most C&G assessments, as you’ll see evidence of below, candidates will need to answer 60-65% of questions accurately. However, these examinations have an overall scoring expectation of around 75%. This is only a rough indication, as pass rates are contingent on average national performance. However, candidates should try and aim to score, at the very least, 75%, as this will most likely assure safe passage through.
The C&G Level 3 Award in Requirements for Electrical Installation (2018: bs7671)
This course is exclusively focused on the IET wiring regulations. As referenced, these detail the rules of engagement for all electrical installations. It is therefore difficult to over-emphasize their importance. Most learning providers offer this qualification in two different formats, one targeted at novices, and the other at more experienced electrical professionals. This is because, as alluded to earlier, all industry workers must keep across the updated elements of newly-released guides. Therefore, the shortened course format acts as a top-up training session, as opposed to a wholesale review. Indeed, course content will be exclusively geared towards the tangible differences between the new and previous edition.
This may seem like a burden for those who are already fully-qualified, but the reality is that editions are, on average, only released every 10-15 years. Therefore, the requirement to update knowledge will only come around a few times in an electrician’s career cycle. For those engaging in this module during the wider Domestic Installers Course framework, they will of course embrace the full-length module.
A guide to the guide
The wiring regulations guide acts as a step-by-step review of each stage of the electrical installation process. This is delivered in chronological order. Therefore, if students were to methodically follow the basic principles of each chapter, in sequence order, they could effectively learn how to design, install, test, inspect, commission, and certify an electrical instalment, from start to finish.
The book has seven parts. As articulated above, six of these denote considerations for the approach, execution, and certification of electrical instalments. The remaining section is a basic glossary of terms, entitled ‘Definitions’ Given the volume of specific electrotechnical terminology and jargon, you may find this to be a particularly helpful tool.
The parts are as follows:
- Part 1: Scope and Fundamental Principles
- Part 2: Definitions
- Part 3: Assessment of General Characteristics
- Part 4: Protection & Safety
- Part 5: Selection & Erection of Equipment
- Part 6: Inspection & Testing
- Part 7: Special Installations or Locations
There is also an Appendix section located at the back of the guide. This is deployed as a referencing mechanism, enabling readers to quickly identify where particular information is located.
Seek to understand, not memorise
The advice given during the Inspection and Testing multiple-choice test analysis is particularly prevalent in the context of this course. Throughout, delegates should aim to gather a holistic understanding of electrotechnical theory, rather than just commit information to memory. Those who fail to grasp the reasons behind any given approach will ultimately struggle when it comes to practical implementation in the trade. This is because no situation is the same, and there will always therefore be a requirement to apply theoretical learnings in different ways. Without a solid understanding of the principles, this becomes an incredibly difficult task. Furthermore, as I’m sure you can already infer, the course’s resultant assessment specifically tests the application of theory, not just the regurgitation of information.
Structure and testing
This is a relatively short learning module, lasting for approximately 3 working days. The breakdown consists of one day of basic book analysis, reviewing which topics are included and it’s regulation numbering system, and two days of theoretical, classroom-based learning. In similarity to the C&G 2391-52 qualification, all of this module can be conducted remotely. However, again, candidates are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity for in-person pier and tutor debate.
At the conclusion of the second day, delegates will be tasked with a two-hour multiple-choice test. The exam consists of 60 questions, allowing an average response time of two minutes per answer. Again, pass rates fluctuate depending on the national scoring picture, but anything over 65% is usually good enough to get through. However, life is much less stressful if you target a mark well above this!
Once again, this assessment is open-book, with candidates able to bring a copy of the 18th edition wiring regulations into the exam. The pitfall expressed earlier, regarding the over-use of accompanying documentation, should be similarly taken into account here. Also, please remember to use the flagging software to supplement your approach.
Before participating on this module, ensure that you acquire a copy of the 18th edition wiring regulations. Without this, you’ll be lost! Also, please check that yours is an official version of the document. Unfortunately, some pretty poor replicas are in circulation, which often contain either missing or inaccurate information. To check the authenticity of your book, look for the IET hologram on the inside cover. If this is in place, then you’ll know your copy is legitimate.
The C&G 2393-10 Level 3 Award
This course provides its participants with comprehensive guidance on the UK’s building regulations. These act as a set of standards for how residential dwellings should be constructed, paying attention to elements such as building management control systems, wheelchair accessibility, and energy efficiency.
In 2005, a new bill was passed, instructing that all domestic installers and electricians were now required to understand how electrical craft work may impact upon building integrity, and subsequently cause fire or electric shock. Therefore, in residential settings, electrical workers were to take more accountability for the potential consequences of their activity. This created a training vacuum, with electricians eager to be able to continue working compliantly in these environments. Hence the creation of this qualification.
The merits of having a Part P license
Once industry workers are suitably upskilled in this area of expertise, they can apply for a government-endorsed Part P license. This accreditation demonstrates that the installer is fully aware of the building regulations, and the potential impact of their actions. They’re therefore given authorisation to self-certify works in domestic settings. This means that they’re free to progress with the job at hand, without having to take any further action.
For those who have not undertaken this course, and therefore not yet successfully applied for a Part P license, the process is noticeably more difficult. These individuals will have to notify the Local Authority Building Control Department (LABC) of their intentions (or the Approved Inspectors Building Control, a very similar, alternative body, that delivers the same function). Then, throughout the duration of the task, there will be a number of required touch points with the LABC to chart progress, and sense-check the quality of works. This can be a protracted and expensive process.
Costs, and when Part P applies
A Part P license does come with a nominal annual fee; however, this is far more cost-effective approach than going without one. Furthermore, delays to the job can clearly cause customer frustration, which may serve to somewhat undermine your reputation and credibility. As a domestic installer, acquiring a Part P license is highly recommended. Therefore, this module is well-positioned within this wider Domestic Installers Course.
However, it should be remembered that not all domestic works require either Part P licensee self-certification, or Local Authority Building Control sign-off. This module will detail examples where the building regulations specifically apply to works. It should be noted that even with a Part P license, individuals will need to inform the LABC of work completed on conclusion of their relevant domestic task. However, this is clearly far more convenient than orchestrating works without this pass!
Summary of course content
Most course themes have been at least partially alluded to already, but the list below summarizes it’s content:
- Gaining an awareness of the principles, structure and statutory requirements of the Building Regulations
- Understanding whether prospective works need to be communicated to the Local Authority Building Control (or Approved Inspectors Building Control) under Part P of the Building Regulations
- Analysis of the reports and documentation included in the interactions between electrical workers and the Local Authority Building Control Department.
- Understanding how contraventions of the Building Regulations are discovered and addressed.
The resultant examination is a relatively short open-book, multiple-choice test. Delegates will need to answer 20 questions within a 40-minute timeframe. Again, the rules of engagement expressed in the previous modules’ assessment analysis applies here. The pass mark is 60%.
Back to the core course content
As the domestic installers course is designed as a one-time platform to launch a long-term career, the volume of topics covered is extensive. Attendees will be exposed to a host of electrical craftworks, as candidates will need to conclude the course with a firm understanding of any issue that could arise in a domestic dwelling. The following tasks are reviewed:
- Consumer unit replacement
- Lighting system design and installation
- Electrical cooker servicing and installation
- Electrical shower installation
- Wet room and bathroom wiring requirements
- Domestic re-wiring (relates to a full, comprehensive upgrade of wiring systems throughout the household. Usually takes place every 25-30 years).
- Initial Verification and Periodic Testing, as part of the C&G 2391-52 module discussed earlier.
- CCTV system implementation
- Installation of fire safety apparatus, such as fire alarms and smoke detectors.
- Installation of smart heating controls and underfloor heating devices.
- How to select and deploy the correct tools
- Installation and termination of twin and earth cables
- Application of bonding to water and gas cables
- How to select the right cable sizing for any given task
This is, of course, a list of physical actions. However, the theoretical understanding behind these pursuits comes from the course’s classroom-based learning enterprises. Clearly, the three, integrated qualifications form a sizeable portion of this element. However, there are also some additional themes covered as part of the general course framework. All of these areas of focus, with commentary, are articulated below:
- Understanding the methodology used for approaching installations in Special Locations. This includes coverage of some of the physical activities referenced above, such as electrical shower, wet room and bathroom-related works. However, this also refers to any other potential residential installation locations. This could be swimming pools, saunas, and any other domestic water-based feature (although opportunities to work on these in the field, given their expense, might be few and far between!)
- Gaining an understanding of scientific measurements, and appropriate electrotechnical algorithms. Amongst other areas of focus, this will cover the SI system, Ohms law, and basic formulas used to work out power calculations. This equips domestic installers to calculate the key information required to approach a series of tasks. Without this knowledge, individuals would be unable to accurately capture certain measurements. This would include elements like a circuit’s maximum demand, or the level of diversity needed to be taken into account during a specific installation.
Learnings from integrated courses
- Understanding the principles, values and standards of the 18th edition requirements for electrical installations (bs7671: 2018). Clearly, this coaching would be addressed in the C&G 2382-18 module. The content and critical importance of this documentation have already been discussed enough in detail.
- Understanding the information contained in IET Guidance Note 3: Inspection and Testing, 8th Again, this has been similarly reviewed sufficiently.
- Gaining an appreciation of the Building Regulations, and the associated governmental Part P scheme. This information is covered off in the attached C&G 2393 module
Health & Safety
- Understanding health and safety considerations in domestic settings. Domestic installers have a huge responsibility, as their work, if not delivered correctly, could cause serious harm to building occupants. Therefore, discussions on how to protect self, customers, and the general public, are a constant feature throughout their technical training.
The Domestic Installers Course is ideal for those wanting to acquire rapid entry into the electrotechnical industry. In theory, within the space of three weeks, a complete beginner could transform into a fully-fledged domestic installer. As part of this role, they would be able to undertake various electrical craftwork, as well as being well on the way to applying for their Part P license. This would allow them to self-certify works that would be otherwise referred to the Local Authority Building Control.
Although this may feel like a relatively expensive enterprise, it must be remembered that course costs are virtually a ‘one-off’ Apart from ingratiating themselves with any revised editions of the wiring regulations, individuals will be able to pursue a career in this occupation without re-visiting any major training modules. Furthermore, given the current level of demand for electrical workers, becoming a domestic installer could be an extremely lucrative venture.
Consider your approach, and commit to the course
As we’ve seen, attending a Domestic Installers Course is a significant undertaking. The volume of content covered, techniques to be mastered, and detail in theoretical discussion, means participants require high levels of focus and concentration. Therefore, to complete this full qualification, candidates will need to be suitably dedicated to the cause. Before attending this course, make sure you feel fully prepared to embark on this journey.
Prospective delegates should also assess their potential long-term career aspirations, prior to committing to any electrical training route. As previously explained, a misguided initial decision could lead to learning duplication, and, more importantly, avoidable additional expenditure.
Although challenging, try not to position these qualifications through the lens of their resultant assessments. This may be particularly difficult when tackling the 2391-52 module, as it’s harsh testing criteria may be a point of concern throughout. City and Guilds courses, and their testing frameworks, will always aim to determine whether candidates have grasped the theoretical basis of disciplines, and look to understand if they can apply this to practical situations. It’s essential that individuals refrain from merely learning information ‘off by heart’. Even if those that do this manage to somehow navigate the raft of course assessments, they’ll become unstuck when working in the field. And, don’t forget, use the ‘open-book’ literature sparingly!
Hopefully, you’ll now feel in a better position to decide whether the Domestic Installers Course is right for you. Or, if you’ve already, signed-up, have a clearer understanding of the content, structure and format of the qualification. If you still feel you require additional information on this course, then look to seek out either a Domestic Installers Course tutor or industry professional. Or, if you’re really lucky, a current domestic installer!
If none of these options are viable, then it’s worth conducting a simple google search. This will detail a range of learning providers, who offer information on their own internal prices, duration, and course structures.
If you do select to take a Domestic Installers Course, we wish you the best of luck in your training, assessments, and future career!