Audits

Registered Electrical Contractors will permit Safe Electric to carry out an inspection and/ or audit at any time.

Audits have the purpose to review the procedures and processes carried out by the REC in order to ensure compliance with the requirements placed upon it by the Criteria Document and the Safe Electric Rules of Registration.

Audits are usually connected to annual routine Inspections.

Inspections

Safe Electric regularly inspects the electrical works carried out by Registered Electrical Contractors (RECs) in order to ensure that the installation and the REC, comply with National Rules for Electrical Installations and the Regulatory Arrangements.

Common Inspection Types

Application Inspection

After registration with Safe Electric the REC shall undergo two inspections, the first inspection shall be carried out in the first 6 months of registration. In the event the new REC passes the first inspection, he/she shall then be subject to an additional inspection within 6 months of the first inspection.

When the REC has an installation ready for inspection, he/she completes an Application Inspection Request Form and submits it to the Safe Electric office in conjunction with copies of the relevant test record sheets. The Inspector then arranges an appointment for inspection.

For the Application Inspection you need to present an electrical installation work. In case you are not able to present an electrical installation work for inspection within the given timeframe (6 months for the first application inspection and 6 months after the first inspection for the second application inspection) your application will be rejected.

Granting full membership depends on the result of the application inspections.

Routine Inspection

Every REC shall be inspected at least once annually. Inspectors generally select the installation for inspection from the certificates of the REC’s completed “Controlled Works” electrical installations.

If no electrical installation is available for inspection, periodic inspections or maintenance works can also be considered for inspection. If no work can be presented for inspection it may lead to suspension of the REC’s registration and ultimately to revocation of membership.

The REC is given 7 working days’ notice in writing of an announced inspection. If the REC does not respond after several attempts, it may lead to suspension of his/her registration and ultimately to revocation of membership.

Inspectors

Safe Electric has a team of Inspectors who inspect installation works in the Republic of Ireland. Each Inspector is assigned an area as shown on the coverage map.

Inspectors are selected on the basis of their competence, training, qualifications and experience in line with the requirements of the CRU Criteria Document.

Note: Installations located in the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland are generally out of scope for our Inspectors. However if a REC, who is based in Northern Ireland, has a job in the Republic of Ireland it can be inspected by a Safe Electric Inspector.

Inspectors can also be contacted for assistance and technical advice.

Prepare for a Routine Audit & Inspection

  1. When you receive an inspection request from the Inspector, you should respond within a reasonable time. No response may lead to disciplinary actions. If the proposed date and time is not suitable for you or if other circumstances prevent you from attending the inspection, you still need to provide a response in order to make appropriate arrangements.
  2. Please ensure that the following are available for checking at the time of the audit & inspection:
    • National Rules for Electrical Installations (current edition and amendments if applicable).
    • Completion Certificates from the past year / since the last inspection (All types: Cert No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, Test Record Sheets, Periodic Inspection Reports etc.).
    • Test Record Sheets from the past year / since the last inspection.
    • Test Instruments and their Calibration Records.
    • Current list of employees authorised to sign Certificates (Qualified Certifiers).
  3. During the inspection the following main items will be checked where possible:
    • Supply Interface,
    • Earthing and Bonding,
    • Earth Arrangements,
    • Supplementary / Extraneous,
    • Distribution boards and protection devices,
    • Wiring systems,
    • Accessories, Fittings & Equipment, and
    • Outcome of random sample testing.

Samples of Pre and Post-Connection Tests should be carried out by the REC under the supervision of the Inspector where possible.

  1. You can find samples of the Audit and Inspection Reports that can give you more insight into the scope of audits and inspections.

Note: The Inspector is not carrying out a complete check of all aspects of the installation but will use his/her experience to evaluate key areas which have an impact on the safety of the installation.

Audit Report

The Inspector checks each item of the Audit Form and ticks the relevant “Yes” box if compliant or the colour coded “No” box if not compliant. Please see section “Performance Evaluation Scheme” for explanation of colour coding.

Any non-conformance found is automatically recorded on page 4 of the Audit Report i.e. the Audit Notice of Non-Conformance. The REC is required to confirm the rectification of the non-conformance(s) within 20 working days.

Inspection Report

The Inspection Report contains a list of items to be checked. When proceeding with the inspection of the installation, the Inspector ticks the relevant box in each line as a proof that the item has been checked (or not). Each breach of the National Rules for Electrical Installations is recorded at the bottom section of the report with the rule number and a description.

A colour code is assigned to each breach, red for a major non-conformance, amber for a serious non-conformance and yellow for a non-conformance. Please see section “Performance Evaluation Scheme” for explanation of colour coding.

Any breach found is automatically recorded on page 4 of the Inspection Report i.e. the Inspection Notice of Non-Conformance. The Inspector records the date by which the breaches have to be rectified on the NC Notice and ticks the box “Non-Conformance notice issued”.

Completion of the Audit & Inspection Report

The Inspector totals the number of colour codes from the Audit and Inspection Reports, signs them and gets the REC to sign the same forms.

A copy of the Audit & Inspection Report is given to the REC.

If non-conformances have been identified, the Inspector hands over page 4 of the report and reminds the REC to return it dated and signed to the Safe Electric office by the given deadline (within 20 working days for audit non-conformances, by the date marked on the form for inspection non-conformances) to confirm that the non-conformances have been rectified.

Performance Evaluation Scheme

Based on the safety risks that the audit and inspection non-conformances impose, the Inspectors apply colour codes and a scoring system in the Audit and Inspection Reports.

The non-conformance codes and scores awarded by the Inspector are recorded on the RECs file, and will be entered into the Safe Electric database for performance monitoring and development of the risk based inspection programme.

  • Code Red (10 points)

Codes an installation, or aspect thereof, not conforming to the National Rules for Electrical Installations, where the immediate or direct result of its intended use could cause a hazard to persons or property. This is a major non-conformance with significant implications for the safe performance of the installation.

Where the non-conformances include code “Red” breaches, an Emergency Works Notice will be issued and subsequent to a follow-up review and monitoring, the disciplinary process may be activated against that REC.

  • Code Amber (5 points)

Serious non-conformance for an installation or aspect thereof, which does not conform to the National Rules for Electrical Installations/Rules of Registration.

Where the non-conformance codes are amber, Safe Electric, subsequent to a follow up review and inspection, may at its discretion initiate the disciplinary process.

  • Code Yellow (2 points)

Less serious non-conformances for an installation or aspect thereof, which does not conform to the National Rules for Electrical Installations/Rules of Registration.

Where the non-conformance codes are “Yellow”, the non-conformances should (where possible) be rectified on the spot or soon thereafter (and be recorded by the Inspector).

Risk Based Inspection System

When the REC is inspected, the REC is awarded scores in line with the breaches found during the audit and inspection.

  • Code Yellow equals to 2 points
  • Code Amber equals to 5 points
  • Code Red equals to 10 points

Based on the scores collected the RECs are categorised into 4 levels of risk (low, medium, high, very high).

The risk level categories are:

  • Low: score=0
  • Medium: 0 < score <= 10
  • High: score > 10

Note: The range of scores may change from time to time.

RECs with higher scores are inspected more frequently. On average RECs who achieve low scores would be inspected once every year and RECs who have higher scores would be inspected more frequently.

Non-Conformances

If Audit or Inspection Non-Conformances have been identified during the audit / inspection you need to:

  1. Rectify the breaches by the given deadline (within 20 working days for audit non-conformances and by the date marked on the form for inspection non-conformances)
  2. Return the Notice of Non-Conformance sheet(s) that has been handed over by the Inspector at the end of the inspection dated and signed to the Safe Electric office by the given deadline (within 20 working days for audit non-conformances and by the date marked on the form for inspection non-conformances) to confirm that the non-conformances have been rectified.

A Follow-Up Inspection may be carried out upon the rectification of the breaches and the return of the Notice of Non-Conformance sheet(s).

If the non-conformances are not returned by the deadline, Safe Electric may take disciplinary actions depending on the seriousness of the breaches.

Cancellation / Non-attendance in Inspections

In case you cannot attend an arranged inspection please inform the Inspector at the latest 5 working days before the inspection date.