Self regulating/self certificating bodies

In some areas of building work, people who are members of certain organisations are able to self-certify their work. In short this means that we are not involved as the person doing the work will issue the home owner with a certificate detailing the work that they have done, and that it has been done in accordance with the law.

At present there are 3 areas of self-certified bodies:

  • boilers are certified by a GAS Safe scheme
  • replacement windows are certified by a FENSA scheme
  • electrical works are certified by part P of the approved documents, but may be certified by electricians and electrical engineers who are regulated through particular electrical bodies/organisations schemes, as competent persons

Installing boilers

From 1 April 2005, the energy performance standards for new and replacement gas-fired hot-water central-heating boilers were raised. From that date, in normal circumstances when you plan to install a new boiler or replace an existing one you will need a condensing boiler to meet the higher standards for energy efficiency.

Similar standards applying to oil-fired hot-water central-heating boilers came into effect on 1 April 2007.

Some helpful organisations

Replacement windows

If you are not only replacing the windows, but enlarging the window area, or changing it into a doorway where it was previously a window then a building regulation application will be required. This is because you are altering the existing structure of your building.

From 01 April 2002, a building regulation application is required for replacement windows, doors (being a door which, together with its frame, has more than 50% of its internal face glazed) and roof-lights.

The requirement does not apply to repair work on parts of these elements. Where the installation of a new window, door (being a door which, together with its frame, has more than 50% of its internal face glazed) or roof-light relates to a bay window, or involves enlarging an existing opening, a Building Regulation application must be submitted to include the structural work as well as the replacement element.

All replacement windows, doors (being a door which, together with its frame, has more than 50% of its internal face glazed) and roof-lights are to be:

  • draught-proofed
  • have an average U-value not exceeding the appropriate entry
  • comply with Part L of the Building Regulations (conservation of fuel and power)
  • Part Nrequires glazing with which people might collide to be such that the risk of being cut is limited. Glazing should; break safely, if it breaks, or be robust in small panes, or be permanently protected
  • Part Brequires existing fire safety (means of escape, fire spread) measures to be retained or improved
  • Part C requires provision of adequate weather proofing when replacing windows, doors and roof-lights
  • Part F requires that the ventilation continues to achieve the regulatory requirements

Charges for applications for replacement windows, doors and roof-lights and are assessed on an estimated cost basis. The charges are based upon the estimate of somebody in business carrying out the work for both materials and labour.

If someone is FENSA registered you do not need to make an application as FENSA will notify us themselves.

If the person is not FENSA registered you need to make a replacement of domestic windows, doors and rooflights application.

Electric work

From 1st January 2005, new building regulations relating to the electrical safety provisions within dwellings came into force.

Why have the new requirements?

The aim is to reduce the risk of fire and injury by electrical faults, and also to make it harder for 'cowboy builders' to leave electrical installations in an unsafe condition.

The new requirements cover the design, installation, inspection and testing of the electrical installation.

The requirements also require sufficient information to be provided so that persons wishing to operate, maintain or alter an electrical installation can do so with reasonable safety.

What happens if I do not follow the new rules?

If you do not follow the building regulations then:

  • the electrical installation might not be safe
  • you will have no record of the work done
  • you may have difficulty selling your home if you do not have the right electrical safety certificates
  • we may insist that you put right faulty work

What type of buildings are covered?

The requirement only applies to electrical installations that are intended to operate at low or extra low voltage, and are either:

The requirement only applies to electrical installations that are intended to operate at low or extra low voltage, and are either

  • in a dwelling
  • in the common parts of a building serving one or more dwellings
  • in a building that receives its electricity from a source located within or shared with a dwelling
  • in a garden or on land associated with a building where the electricity is from a source located within or shared with a dwelling

This includes:

  • Dwelling houses and flats;
  • Dwellings and business premises that have a common supply;
  • Common access areas in blocks of flats such as corridors and staircases;
  • Shared amenities of blocks of flats such as laundries and gymnasiums;
  • In or on land associated with the buildings (e.g. fixed lighting, pond pump in gardens, electrically operated gates and garage doors, etc.); and
  • In outbuildings such as sheds, detached garages and greenhouses

Is my proposed electrical work controlled?

Only electrical work that is 'notifiable' is controlled by the Building Regulations, and as such is dependent upon the nature of the proposed installation and its location within the dwelling. The location is important because some 'special installations or locations', such as kitchens and bathrooms, may pose a greater risk to people.

Note: 'Special locations' and installations include; those containing a bath tub or shower basin, swimming pools, hot air saunas, electric floor or ceiling heating systems, garden lighting or power installations, solar photovoltaic power supply systems, small scale generators.

Where the work is notifiable it should be carried out by a competent electrician who is registered under one of the 'competent person' self certification scheme, or a Building Regulation application should be submitted.

Who/what is a competent person?

An electrical installation that is carried out by a person or company that has been independently assessed and certified as being able to operate under an approved 'competent person' scheme to self certify their own work does not have to submit a Building Notice or Full Plans application to us. 'Competent person' schemes are authorised by the Secretary of State.

Current authorised 'competent person' self-certification schemes for installers who can do all electrical installations work, are:

Current authorised competent person self certification schemes for installers who can do electrical work only if it is necessary when they are carrying out other work are:

What happens if I make an application for building regulation approval?

If you decide to apply for approval then the minimum standards to achieve compliance with the requirements will be assessed. We check that 'reasonable provision is made for the design, installation, inspection and testing of electrical installations in order to protect persons from fire or injury'.

We will accept proper certification from a 'competent electrical engineer' who is a suitably trained and qualified person. We require a copy of the 'Electrical Installation Certificate' and 'test results'. In addition practical tests and certain exposure of work may be required. In some cases inspection work to satisfy that Building Regulations have been achieved may be undertaken by third party specialist contractors working for us.

The term 'competent electrical engineer' means a member of the following organisations:

Building regulation fees

Any application to us will be subject to the payment of a Building Regulation fee. Details of these charges are available on request. Please contact us on the details contained in the box located in the top right hand corner of this page.

What design guidance documents should I use?

Guidance on the ways of satisfying the fundamental principles of design and installation can be found in the technical rules described in BS 7671 2001 or an equivalent guidance standard, such as the IEE On Site guide.

Where can I get a copy of the documentation?

Copies of the new Approved Document P can be downloaded from the Planning Portal website.

Other legislation to consider

Appropriate consideration should also be taken of the following legislation:

If you have any queries about any electric work please complete our Electrical safety enquiry form, return it to and we will contact you.

Page last updated: 02 October 2020
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