2021 Fake Electrical Qualifications Alert

1 April 2021

The SparkSafe team undertake forensic examination of electrical qualifications on behalf of Client organisations by using detailed, quality-controlled checking procedures. We provide this service to ensure that all Licence to Practise applicants hold relevant and authentic industry-approved qualifications.

Most employers and industry Clients are not well equipped to identify fake electrical qualifications.

The use of fake electrical qualifications by workers presents several significant problems for Client organisations –

  1. The accrual of latent defective work.
  2. Assessment and cost of remedial work.
  3. Public safety and value for money concerns.
  4. Impact upon public interest and user confidence.

Throughout the period, we have identified applicants who have attempted to use fake AM2, 2391 Inspection & Testing, 18th Edition, and NVQ Level 3 electrical installation qualifications.

We have recently detected the attempted use of fake AM2 and NVQ Level 3 electrical qualifications by a Licence to Practise applicant. Unfortunately, substantial work that included electrical system certification tasks had already been undertaken on behalf of the electrical subcontractor before the applicant had been assessed by SparkSafe. The matter is presently being dealt with by the Client in question.

In this particular case, the main contractor permitted the use of an unlicensed electrical worker on the project (contrary to the requirements of PGN01/16). This matter was identified because the SparkSafe audit notification prompted the main contractor to examine their procedures in preparation for the scheduled compliance audit.

The SparkSafe auditing process is intended to be a Client-focused quality control measure that incentivises compliance and identifies areas for improvement with the supply chain on a project by project basis.

Recommended actions for Project Managers

  • Keep the audit process “front of mind” with the supply chain at initial and subsequent progress meetings.
  • Take appropriate action against non-compliance feedback. Minute reported deviations, activate KPI, service level agreement or breach contract terms and conditions on behalf of the public.
  • Commend the supply chain via the progress meeting minutes when verified compliance is achieved.
  • Make use of the available support from the SparkSafe team for clarification, advice, and guidance regarding your LtP responsibilities.

Our compliance auditing service supports Client organisations by producing:

  • Evidence to support the development and application of Client policy around industry resilience and sustainability.
  • Drivers towards improving quality and raising standards.
  • Evidence for defence against dispute or claim.

If the SparkSafe audit system was not in place or became an arbitrary or voluntary process, complacency in the supply-chain rather than system compliance is likely to be the predictable outcome.