Attendees and apologies
- Loraine King – Scottish Government (chair)
- Mike Andrews - NAPIT
- Ken Daly - Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland
- Richard Clarke – Unite the Union
- Anne Galbraith – Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust
- Fiona Harper - Scottish Joint Industry Board
- Stan Johnston - independent chair of SELECT Registration Board
- Wayne Mackay – Electrical Safety First
- Stuart Thompson - NICEIC Scotland
- Alan Wells - Certsure
- Alan Wilson - SELECT
- Thomson Dyer – Scottish Government
- Colin Hird - Scottish Government
- Amy Kirkpatrick - Scottish Government
- Laura McGlynn – Scottish Government
- Andrew McConnell - Scottish Government (Secretariat)
- Keith Dryburgh - Citizens Advice Scotland
Items and actions
Welcome and Introductions
The chair welcomed the attendees and thanked them for attending the second meeting of the Electricians Working Group.
Minutes of Previous Meeting:
Anne Galbraith asked if the minute could reflect that she had submitted her apologies for the first meeting.
The minutes were agreed.
The minute will be available on the Scottish Government Electricians Working Group page.
Action from Previous Meeting:
Action 1 – SELECT and NICEIC to develop evidence base by next meeting
Alan Wilson confirmed SELECT had gathered more evidence and would circulate this to the rest of the group.
Action 2 – Scottish Government to create web page on Scottish Government site.
The website has been set up and a link circulated.
Action 3 – Scottish Government to circulate possible dates for next meeting of the group.
Potential dates circulated and date for the next meeting agreed.
Exploration of potential solutions to limit rogue traders
The group discussed potential solutions to limit the number of rogue traders operating in Scotland. Topics discussed included:
- reiteration of the need to distinguish between companies and individuals - Scottish Government does not have powers in relation to companies and any solution must take this into account
- qualifications alone are not the only guide to ability to carry out electrical work - competence must also be assessed
- the need to be consumer focused and contain a consumer redress method
- any solution must support different routes into the trade
- a multi-faceted approach is required - one solution will not tackle the problem
The following emerged as the key priorities for a viable solution:
- effective enforcement in relation to protection of title and a system of registration that isn’t overly burdensome for business, individuals or enforcement agencies
- a registration scheme that builds on existing assessment procedures and recognises different qualifications and routes into the trade
- increased consumer awareness of the need to hire a competent electrician and a system that makes it easy to do so
It was agreed that intervention could not succeed if it did not present viable solutions in all these areas, and that although Scottish Government had a substantive role to play, many of the solutions require to be led and developed by industry.
Action 1 – Scottish Government will develop proposals on practical implementation of protection of title.
The Group agreed that although in principle protecting the title of electrician had merit, attempting to implement it would be ineffective unless a number of practical barriers could be considered and overcome. The Scottish Government committed to exploring and developing proposals on these issues for consideration by the group.
The work will specifically consider:
• the scope for action in the limited devolved area • options for effective enforcement • evidence and lessons learned from occupations with protected title
Action 2 – Develop proposals to ensure any attempt to protect the title of electrician continues to support a variety of routes into the trade.
It was acknowledged that there was a lot of voluntary good practice to support the assessment and qualification of electricians, and that this should not be lost. Fiona Harper agreed to coordinate a response to consider how a range of qualifications and competence could be recognised by an overarching registration scheme for electricians.
Action 3 – Development of proposals to ensure a sustained consumer protection message
It was acknowledged that consumers often lack awareness of how to ensure they hire competent electricians, and that this must be addressed by joint industry action. Stuart Thompson agreed to coordinate a proposal on how this might be addressed. In particular, this will consider:
• how a sustained consumer safety message can be developed that will have an impact in a sector where consumers only rarely need to use services • how existing registration schemes can be better coordinated and marketed so that consumers are both more aware of and better able to use them (for example, through a unified logo or mark)
It was suggested that Keith Dryburgh may be able to support Stuart with this. Wayne Mackay also agreed to help.
Action 4 – Scottish Government to circulate possible dates for next meeting of the group, which will be towards the end of March
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