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Minor works certificate - What are they ?
A safety certificate (see Electrical installation certificate) used when only an addition or alteration is made to an electrical installation and no new circuits have been added.
Guidance for approved contractors and conforming bodies
NICEIC certificates are accountable documents. Unused copies should be kept secure by the Qualified Supervisor. A record of each certificate used should be made on the record sheet provided. Unused sets of obsolete certificates must be destroyed to prevent their misuse.
Only the NICEIC Approved Contractor or Conforming Body responsible for carrying out the minor works is authorized to issue an NICEIC Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate for those works.
The NICEIC Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate is to be used only for an addition or an alteration to a single circuit that does not extend to the provision of a new circuit. Examples of where this certificate may be used include the addition of a socket-outlet or a lighting point to an existing circuit. A separate certificate should be issued for each existing circuit on which minor electrical installation works is carried out.
An NICEIC certificate must not be issued for electrical work in a potentially explosive atmosphere (hazardous area) unless the Approved Contractor holds an appropriate extension to enrolment for such work.
The minor electrical installation work must comply with BS 7671, including any amendments. Before commencing the work, the Approved Contractor or Conforming Body must ascertain that the rating and condition of any existing equipment, including that of the distributor (which may have to carry any additional load), are adequate to accommodate in safety the altered circumstances resulting from the modifications, and that the earthing and bonding arrangements (if necessary for the protective measures applied for the safety of the addition or alteration) are also adequate (see Regulation 131.8).
Where an Approved Contractor discovers the existence of a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation in the existing installation (such as the absence of earthing or protective bonding where the measure for protection against electric shock is Automatic Disconnection of Supply (ADS)), the alteration or addition should not proceed and the client should be advised immediately, preferably in writing, to satisfy the duties imposed on competent persons by the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. This can also be achieved by the issue of an NICEIC Electrical Danger Notification Certificate to the client.
The certificate marked ‘Original’ is to be given to the person ordering the work, as indicated by Regulation 631.3. The certificate marked ‘Duplicate’ is to be retained by the Approved Contractor and made available for review by the NICEIC Inspecting Engineer.
These certificates have been designed for compilation by hand or computer software.
Irrespective of the method of compilation of the certificate, it remains the responsibility of the compiler of the certificate to ensure that the information provided on the certificate is factual, and that the electrical installation work to which the certificate relates is safe to be put into service.
Completing the Certificate
Part 1: Details of the Minor Works
The minor electrical installation works must be clearly defined such that the work to which the certificate relates can be readily identified. All the boxes must be completed with the appropriate details that will precisely describe the work, its location and any other relevant features. In cases where no contract reference has been allocated and where, as will generally be the case, no departures from BS 7671 are sanctioned by the designer, the box(es) must record ‘None’, as appropriate. Any departures from the requirements of BS 7671 must not reduce the degree of safety.
Part 2: Details of the Modified Circuit
The information required in the boxes in this Part of the certificate refers to both the existing installation and the modified circuit. The system type must be indicated by the insertion of a ‘Yes’ or a V’ in one of the five boxes, as appropriate. The protective measure for protection against electric shock for the modified circuit must be selected from the available options set out in Chapter 41 of BS 7671. Details relating to the overcurrent protective device and, if fitted, the residual current device together with, if appropriate, the wiring system details must also be entered. Where the measure for protection against electric shock is Automatic Disconnection of Supply (ADS), the maximum disconnection time and the maximum earth fault loop impedance (Z) permitted by BS 7671 must be recorded.
Space has been provided to record any deficiencies in the condition of unrelated parts of the existing installation observed during the course of the work. (There is no requirement to carry out a formal inspection of such unrelated parts of the existing installation in conjunction with the minor works).
Part 3: Inspection and Testing of the Modified Circuit and Related Parts
The relevant provisions of Part 6 (Inspection and Testing) of BS 7671 must be applied in full to electrical installation works covered by a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate. For example, where a socket-outlet is added to an existing circuit, it is necessary to:
Carry out all necessary inspections and testing of the modified circuit and related parts of the installation and supply on which the circuit depends for protection, including such inspection and testing to confirm that the earthing and protective bonding arrangements are both adequate and reliable.
Check continuity and resistance of protective conductor(s) to establish that the earthing contact of the socket-outlet is reliably and effectively connected to the main earthing terminal of the installation via a low impedance circuit protective conductor.
Measure the insulation resistances, line to line, line to neutral, and line to earth of the circuit that has been modified, and establish that the resistance values comply with Table 61 of BS 7671.
Check that the polarity at the socket-outlet is correct.
Measure the maximum earth fault loop impedance to establish that he permitted disconnection time is not exceeded - see the table supplied with these certificates.
Check the suitability and effectiveness of the RCD, if the modified circuit is so protected.
Generally, all boxes should be completed by inserting a ‘tick‘ to indicate that an inspection or a test was carried out and that the result was satisfactory, by inserting a measured value where appropriate, or by inserting ‘N/A’ to indicate that an inspection or test was not applicable to the particular installation. Exceptionally, where an inspection or a test is not practicable, the entry should be ‘LIM’ meaning ‘Limitation’, indicating that the particular circumstances prevented such an inspection or test procedure from being carried out. In such cases, the limitation(s) should be agreed with the Client before the work is undertaken, and clearly identified in the space provided at the bottom of Part 3.
Note that a certificate must not be issued if the result of an inspection or test is unsatisfactory. Therefore, the insertion of a ‘X’ to indicate that the result of an inspection or test was unsatisfactory is not an option for a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate.
The inspections and tests identified on the certificate with the mark ‘+’ are considered essential for confirming the safety of all minor electrical installation work.
Part 4: Declaration
The signatory to the declaration is to be a competent person authorised by the Approved Contractor undertaking the design, construction, inspection, testing and verification of the modified circuit. Associated details called for in the other boxes must be fully completed, including the registered Trading Title and Enrolment Number (including Branch number, where appropriate) of the NICEIC Approved Contractor.
For further guidance on completing the certificate, refer to the practical advice and guidance in the NICEIC Inspection, Testing and Certification book, the current edition of BS 7671, and lEE Guidance Note 3.
This safety certificate has been issued to confirm that the minor electrical installation work to which it relates has been designed, constructed, inspected, tested and verified in accordance with the national standard for the safety of electrical installations, British Standard 7671 (as amended) - Requirements for Electrical Installations (the lEE Wiring Regulations).
Where, as will often be the case, the existing installation incorporates a residual current device (RCD), there should be a notice at or near the main switchboard or consumer unit stating that the device should be tested at quarterly intervals. For safety reasons, it is important that you carry out the test regularly.
Also for safety reasons, the complete electrical installation including the minor electrical installation works which is the subject of this certificate will need to be inspected and tested at appropriate intervals by a competent person. NICEIC* recommends that you engage the services of an Approved Contractor for this purpose. There should be a notice at or near the origin of the existing installation (such as at the consumer unit or main switchboard) which indicates when the inspection of the complete installation is next due.
Only the NICEIC Approved Contractor or Conforming Body responsible for the work is authorised to issue this NICEIC certificate. The certificate has a printed seven digit serial number which is traceable to the Approved Contractor to which it was supplied by NICEIC. You should have received the certificate marked ‘Original’ and the Approved Contractor should have retained the certificate marked ‘Duplicate’. If you were the person ordering the work, but not the owner or user of the installation, you should pass this certificate, or a full copy of it including these notes, immediately to the owner or user of the installation.
The ‘Original’ certificate should be retained in a safe place and shown to any person inspecting, or undertaking further work on, the electrical installation in the future. It you later vacate the property, this certificate will demonstrate to the new user that the minor electrical installation works complied with the requirements of the national electrical safety standard at the time the certificate was issued. The Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate is intended to be used only for an addition or alteration to an existing circuit that does not extend to the provision of a new circuit. Examples include the addition of a socket-outlet or a lighting point to an existing circuit, or the replacement or relocation of a light switch. A separate certificate should have been received for each existing circuit on which minor works has been carried out. This certificate would be considered by NICEIC to be invalid if you requested the contractor to undertake more extensive work, for which an Electrical Installation Certificate or, it appropriate, a Domestic Electrical Installation Certificate should have been issued.
This certificate should not have been issued for electrical work in a potentially explosive atmosphere (hazardous area) unless the Approved Contractor holds an appropriate extension to NICEIC enrolment for such work.
Part 3 of the certificate is intended to facilitate the recording of information associated with the inspection and testing of the modified circuit, and the related parts of the existing installation on which the modified circuit depends for its safety. Generally, each box should have been completed to confirm the results of a particular inspection or test by a ‘Yes’ or a ‘tick’, or by the insertion of a measured value. Where a particular inspection or test was not applicable, this should have been indicated by ‘N/A’, meaning ‘Not Applicable’. Where an inspection or a test was not practicable, the entry should read ‘LIM’, meaning ‘Limitation’, acknowledging that the particular circumstances prevented the particular inspection or test procedure from being carried out. In such a case, each limitation should have been recorded in the box entitled ‘Agreed limitations, if any, on the inspection and testing’, together with the reason for each limitation.
Should the person ordering the work (eg the client, as identified on this certificate), have reason to believe that any element of the work for which the Approved Contractor has accepted responsibility (as indicated by the signature on this certificate) does not comply with the requirements of the national electrical safety standard (BS 7671), the client should in the first instance raise the specific concerns in writing with the Approved Contractor. If the concerns remain unresolved, the client may make a formal complaint to NICEIC, for which purpose a standard complaint form is available on request. The complaints procedure offered by NICEIC is subject to certain terms and conditions, full details of which are available upon application. NICEIC does not investigate complaints relating to the operational performance of electrical installations (such as lighting levels), or to contractual or commercial issues (such as time or cost).