What is the difference between the NICEIC and SparkSafe?
The NICEIC is an established and highly respected UK based international organisation. They provide a wide range of products and services to the electrical contracting industry.
These include an extensive range of industry merchandise, consultancy, insurance, training, and certification services.
Most subscribers appear to value the NICEIC accreditation for the third party certification credentials that the organisation provides to the electrical contracting industry on behalf of its clients.
The initial enrolment process for new applicants is understood to be rigorous and comprehensive. Existing subscribers are subject to an annual quality control inspection that includes desktop and on-site assessment processes.
A central figure in the NICEIC system is that of the Qualifying Supervisor (QS). The QS may be an employee, owner/operator or an external person who has met one of the organisations six approved criterion for their Approved Contractor Scheme.
Most SME contractors employ or make use of at least one QS. Larger enterprises may employ more than one QS.
The work of the QS includes, but is not limited to, overseeing or directly gathering electrical inspection and testing data. The QS is also responsible for validating this data using branded forms based on the BS7671 Wiring Requirements.
As the UK the electrical contracting industry is permitted to self-certify, many client organisations choose to specify the services of the NICEIC to provide a level of quality assurance in the form of a third party accreditation scheme.
Summary: The NICEIC provide a wide range of services, one of which examines the processes of the contractor and the few individuals involved in the collection and certification of electrical inspection and testing data. This is normally examined on an annual basis.
SparkSafe, on the other hand, provides a project-specific, end to end, online service which assesses and categorises all workers engaged in the installation of the client’s electrical services. The system includes on-line monitoring and on-site auditing of the electrical contractor’s workforce by Licence type.
The system provides the client with a convenient resource that will help match the competency of the electrical contractor’s workforce with the quality objectives and desired outcomes of their project.
Summary: SparkSafe does not provide a third party certification service similar to the NICEIC. The Licence to Practice system reports on all of the electrical workers who install the containment, wiring and perform the connecting, fit out and commissioning tasks. Whereas the NICEIC provide a quality assurance service on the processes and few people who oversee the electrical inspection and testing of a client’s property.