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27 September 2016

The requirement for all electrical workers to be Licenced to Practice is becoming firmly embedded into the requirements of the Northern Ireland Public Procurement scene.

This requirement is linked to contract and ITT opportunities for estate maintenance and capital build projects emanating from CPD and NI CoPE organisations. Since formal adoption of the system on February 3, 2016, an introductory and sympathetic approach has been adopted by both CPD and CoPE organisations towards compliance obligations.

However, as the LtP system and its requirements have become better understood, the issue of compliance or non-compliance is set to be reflected in contract performance evaluations. Most electrical contractors servicing public sector contracts will wish to ensure that they are prepared and well placed to demonstrate that they can meet the requirements of Procurement Guidance Note (PGN) 01/16 Licence to Practice Initiative for Electrical Workers.
PGN 01/16 requires that only licensed electricians and workers are employed to undertake electrical installation work on behalf of Government clients. This is achieved by requiring that electrical workers employed on Government construction contracts register online with the Licence to Practise system. The online application requires disclosure of the individual’s electrical qualifications, skills and experience.

Procurement Guidance Notes are the means by which Government Departments are advised of procurement policy and best practice developments. PGN 01/16 states that if awarded the contract, the main contractor will be required to:
• Register with an LtP system.

• Ensure that any sub-contractor(s) undertaking electrical work is/are registered with the same LtP system.

• Ensure timely connections are made with electrical contractors and workers via the LtP system.

• Ensure that all electrical workers employed to undertake electrical work on the contract are
Licenced to Practice.
Main contractors will also be required to monitor the LtP requirement. This includes facilitating and undertaking onsite identification checks of electrical workers and cross referencing with information held on the LtP database.
They must also report to the CoPE Project Manager, at monthly site/project meetings, to ensure compliance with the above requirements, providing appropriate evidence as necessary. This will include reports extracted from the LtP system indicating the composition of the electrical workforce by LtP grade. The SparkSafe team are available to provide short interactive information sessions for those contractors who need to get to grips with the LtP requirements.
To arrange a visit, get in touch with the team.