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Electrical certification

The regulatory system promotes  safety by, amongst other things, specifying who can carry out electrical work, how it is certified and what standards apply.

In order to achieve the objective and requirements of the legislation, the scope of those electrical works that will require certification have been defined. They will be controlled and enforced through the certification system.

Controlled Works

Controlled Works are those electrical works which come under the scope of the new regulatory system at the outset. As stated previously, these are electrical works for which a certificate needs to be issued. The issuance of a certificate for Controlled Works can only be carried out by a Registered Electrical Contractor or an Inspector of one of the two Safety Supervisory Bodies (RECI or ECSSA). The issuance of a certificate provides confirmation that the electrical work carried out has been tested and its safety verified in line with the national standard (as prescribed in the National Wiring Rules).These works are significant enough, in the context of electrical safety, to be “controlled” through the issuance of a Completion Certificate.

The 2006 Act draws a distinction between two different classes of electrical works i.e Controlled Works and Restricted Works.At the time of writing in 2012, the scope of “Controlled Works” has been specified while the scope of “Restricted Work” will be developed in the near future.

Therefore whilst decisions on a number of the types of installations considered above are relatively straightforward, others are more complex.

“Like for like” replacements of switches, sockets, lighting fittings and/or additions to an existing circuit is frequently carried out in this country. While this must also be in compliance with the Technical Rules, these types of electrical works sit outside the Defined Scope of Controlled Works.

For clarity, the table below now sets out clearly the definition of Controlled Works as prescribed.

Controlled Works are major electrical installation works (including additions, alterations and/or extensions) which are covered by the National Wiring Rules and which involve any of the laid out in items 1 to 5 below.

Any works, which do not fall within the above scope are not Controlled Works and do not necessarily require a Completion Certificate to issue. However, it is recommended that for all other works, an appropriate form of certification is used (for example, a declaration of Compliance with ET 101 for Minor Works, where appropriate).

Furthermore, all entries on the Completion Certificate or Declaration of Compliance should be filled in by the installing electrical contractor.

List of operations classified as Controlled Works
1. The installation, commissioning, inspection, and testing of a new fixed electrical installation requiring connection or reconnection to the electricity network; 
2. The installation or replacement of a Distribution Board or Consumer Unit, or new installation in special locations as defined in Part 7 of the National Wiring Rules ET101 and ET105; 
3. The installation or replacement of one or more extra circuits in an existing installation, including the installation of one or more additional protective devices for such circuits on a distribution board;
4. Subsystems installed in Commercial, Industrial, and Domestic installations where the installation falls within the remit of the National Wiring Rules; 
5. The inspection, testing and certification of existing electrical installations (in accordance with Chapter 62 of the Wiring Rules (ET 101 –Fourth Edition-200)  and to conform with Regulation 89 of SI No 732 of 2007)


Restricted Works

It should be noted that the 2006 Act draws a distinction between two different classes of electrical works i.e. Controlled Works and Restricted Works.  Restricted Works are defined by Section 9E(1) of the Energy (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 2006, which specifies that Restricted Works are those works that only a Registered Electrical Contractor can carry out. Any non-REC carrying out Restricted Works will be guilty of an offence.


The current scope of Restricted Works decided in 2013.

Restricted Works currently only apply to Domestic Environments.

Restricted Electrical Works cover:
1. the installation, commissioning, inspection and testing of a new Electrical Installation which is fixed, fastened or mounted or otherwise secured so that its position does not change and requires connection or re-connection to the distribution network or the transmission network, as the case may be;
2. the modification, installation or replacement of a Distribution Board including customer tails on either side of the Main Protective Device or of an Electrical Installation in any of the special locations listed in Part 7 of the National Rules for Electrical Installations, as the case may be;
3. the installation or replacement of one or more circuits in an Electrical Installation, including the installation of one or more additional protective devices for such circuits on a Distribution Board; or
4. the inspection, testing or certification of, or reporting on, existing Electrical Installations covered by Chapter 62 of the National Rules for Electrical Installations;
in a Domestic Property.