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Building Regulations Part P


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What is Building Regulations Approved Document P?

Part P of Building Regulations (or Approved Document P) relates to electrical safety in homes, and P1 states that ‘Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations’ in order to prevent injury or fire. P1 says that to meet building regulations, electrical work must have low voltage (or extra low voltage) protection installed, as well as protections to prevent electric shock or fire risk. Building Regulation Part P, outlining Building Regulations electrical work, applies to all dwellings in England (started after 6th April 2013) and excepted energy buildings in Wales.

What is Part P of the Building Regulations and what does it cover?

Since the year 2005, all electrical work carried out in residential properties (dwellings) must meet Building Regulation Part P, whether it’s DIY or professional work. Approved Document P covers the P1 legislation, and is split into 4 main sections:


  • Section 1: Design and installation

  • Section 2: Notifiable work and non-notifiable work

  • Section 3: Certification, testing and inspection

  • Appendix A and B: Key terms and standards


P1 rules relate to inside electrical work for houses and flats, including lofts, as well as any external electrical systems for residential properties (including garages, sheds and even pond pumps). P1 does not cover industrial buildings or business use.

What are the current electrical regulations in the UK? Have there been any recent changes to Part P?

Part P of Building Regulations for electrical installations in dwellings is mandatory, and electrical safety regulations state that ‘all electrical installations should be designed in accordance with the BS 7671:2008’ wiring regulations. It applies to new projects, re-wiring, renovations and simple DIY tasks; so any or all electrical work in homes. The latest version of P1’s Building Regulations for electrical installations in dwellings was updated in 2013 to include:


  • Fewer notifiable tasks (so some jobs no longer need official certification)

  • An installer who isn’t a ‘registered competent person’ can now use a third party to certify the work, instead of Building Control

  • BS 7671:2008 now has an amendment, 1:2011


Building Regulation Part P also covers materials, workmanship and overlaps with Approved Document L on energy efficiency and lighting, Approved Document B on fire safety, and other building regs depending on the project. Regulation 6 of the Building Regulations electrical work criteria also states that if a building has a change of use, existing electrical work may need upgrading to meet P1.


Do you need Building Regulations approval for electrical work?

All electrical work in any dwelling needs to comply with P1 rules on design and installation, to protect people in the building, whether it’s done by a professional, the homeowner or the landlord. However, not all work needs to be certified by a registered competent person, and not all work needs a Building Regulations compliance certificate for electrical work.


What electrical work requires Building Regulations?

If the work involves new circuits, replacement fuse boxes or consumer units, or if the electrics are in riskier ‘special locations’ you will need building regs approval - these are classed as ‘notifiable’ in Building Regulations Part P. This electrical work will need to be inspected and approved by either a ‘registered competent person’ or the local building control body who will then produce an appropriate Compliance Certificate.


What is an electrical Building Regulations Compliance Certificate?

To meet Part P of the Building Regulations, electrical work carried out in any home or garden which is notifiable must be checked by an approved person, to issue an electrical Building Regulations Compliance Certificate (also known as a Part P Certificate). The Building Regulations Compliance Certificate for electrical work confirms that the rules in P1, or Approved Document P, have been safely met. Not conforming to P1 regulations is a criminal offence. Note that notifiable work must be reported before the work begins to the local building control team. The electrician should then arrange for the Building Regulations Compliance Certificate to be received within 30 days of the work being finished and signed off.


What is notifiable under Part P?

Building Regulations Part P applies to the installation of new circuits, replacement consumer units or altering electrical circuits in ‘special locations’ which include:

  • Most bathrooms or shower rooms

  • Swimming pool rooms

  • Sauna rooms


Detailed diagrams and criteria are set out within Approved Document P.


What is not notifiable under Part P?

Most repairs, maintenance and straight-forward electrical work is generally not notifiable, meaning it doesn’t require special building regulations sign off, but remember that all electrical work in residential homes and gardens must conform to Approved Document P by law. Non-notifiable work in Part P electrical building regulations is anything not named as notifiable, such as:


  • Replacement sockets

  • Installing built-in appliances on existing circuits

  • Repairs and maintenance


Remember that all electrical work must still conform to Part P regulations, but these do not need an electrical Building Regulations Compliance Certificate - unless new circuits are needed or they are in a special location. Please note that the electrician undertaking any electrical work should also provide an Electrical Installation Certificate to prove that all work has been safety tested. 

You can find more information on all the current Building Regulations on our dedicated Travis Perkins Building Regs hub.


Disclaimer: Information displayed in this article is correct at the time of publication, but note that legislation changes periodically. Please refer to the latest publication of each approved article. The information contained on this page is intended as an overall introduction and is not intended as advice from a professional building control officer. The definition of ‘building work’ and when Building Regs approval is required is set out here. Travis Perkins aims to avoid, but accepts no liability, in the case that any information stated is out of date. Always consult the approved local authority building control team when considering any exemptions, and before undertaking any work.