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NAPIT slams BBC Watchdog

NAPIT slams BBC Watchdog

10 June 2010
In a recent BBC Watchdog episode the Rogue Traders team investigated an unregistered electrician scamming customers by selling unnecessary work and electrical equipment that wasn’t required. NAPIT believes that, whilst it is positive to expose these risks to the public, the advice broadcasted to viewers which followed was diluted and failed to highlight the importance of using registered tradespeople and more importantly why they should.

NAPIT, a government approved register holder of over 6,000 electricians in the UK, slammed Watchdog for not researching the subject thoroughly. The producers failed to ensure key facts were provided during the programme, such as informing consumers about the requirements of Part P of the Building Regulations, explaining how this affects planned electrical installation work and advising viewers how to comply with current legislation if considering undertaking electrical work on their homes.

During the programme Watchdog reporters also failed to make reference to the need to notify the electrical work to their Local Authority Building Control and to provide information regarding financial penalties that consumers would be liable for if the Building Regulations requirements are not met, a fine that could be up to £5000.

The advice to use a registered contractor of a Competent Person Scheme was a key opportunity that was missed as this is the core message of the Government in removing rogue tradespeople from the industry.

Frank Bertie, NAPIT’s technical director said: “This lack of information fails the consumer, the very people BBC Watchdog are intending to protect. By encouraging the public to use registered tradespeople of Competent Person Schemes, such as NAPIT, the so called rogue traders would have less influence on an informed customer.

It is also regretful that such serious situations are used for sound bites instead of showing the recommended way to employ electrical contractors.”

In the interests of safety it is always recommended that an Electrical Contractor is selected from a registered organisation such as NAPIT, who regularly carries out assessment of their members’ competence and working practices.