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SNP must act on regulation of electricians

18 Mar 2019

In a first step towards the regulation of electricians, Scottish Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has begun the process of introducing a private members’ bill to the Scottish Parliament.

It follows a debate in October, where MSPs from across all political parties represented in Holyrood gave their support for providing protection of title, preventing unqualified people from calling themselves electricians.

Over 100 professions are currently protected in law, including registered gas engineers, but not electricians. The Conservative MSP has highlighted the serious dangers that unqualified and poor quality electrical work can create.

The issue of protection of title has been considered previously by the Scottish Government’s working group on electricians but, after meeting a number of times over the last two years, no decisions have been made about a change to the law.

Mr Halcro Johnston has now met with Scottish parliamentary officials to begin the process of introducing a private members’ bill this week.

Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP said:

“For too long, the Scottish Government has dithered around the regulation of electricians.

“It has been discussed and discussed again, without any real commitments ever seeing the light of day.

“When I have spoken to people about this campaign, the first reaction is usually surprise that anyone can call themselves an electrician without any qualification. When so many other trades and professions are regulated, it seems the position of electricians is more of an anomaly than anything else.

“Most people don’t consult electricians on a regular basis and aren’t always confident about the qualifications of people they employ. This should provide some additional protection to consumers.

“Electrical safety is vitally important. Every year, there are fatalities caused by electric shocks and fires caused by electrical malfunctions. It is important that people carrying out electrical work are qualified and able to do so.

“I was pleased to get so much support from across the political parties when this was debated back in October and I would hope that support would carry across to introducing a Bill on the subject.”