18th Edition Survey:
reveals surprising insights
There's still a lot to be done to fully embed the 18th edition changes
Exclusive trade survey reveals nearly half of electrical contractors do not feel ‘fully confident’ in terms of understanding the 18th Edition changes
New AFDDs and surge protection advice highlighted as the most challenging technical areas
81% of electrical professionals commit to further 18th Edition-related training this year
Despite an intensive publicity campaign ahead of the mandatory introduction of the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations on 1st January 2019, an exclusive survey of electrical professionals carried out by Hager, shows that many still admit to lacking confidence when it comes to fully understanding the changes, and cite AFDDs and surge protection as the technical areas causing them the most concern.
Confidence and compliance
The research looked at whether those in the electrical trade were feeling fully confident that they understood all the changes detailed in the 18th Edition. Just over half (55%), said they did feel fully confident, but the remaining 45% admitted they still do not fully understand all the rule changes.
When asked if they felt prepared to comply with the 18th Edition amendments, two thirds said they were prepared, but 34% answered no.
AFDD and surge protection topped the list of technical areas causing most concern to the industry as it adapts to a new regulatory landscape. Nearly half (48%) highlighted AFDDs when asked which area of the 18th Edition they were least sure about, while nearly one third (29%) selected surge protection measures. Amendments to overload protection, RCDs and device incorporation all appear to be well understood, according to the survey.
Help is on hand
Interestingly, those in the trade have relied upon online help to get themselves up-to-speed with the 18th Edition. Online sources, thanks to their immediacy and convenience were favoured over other channels by 44% of electricians. Industry bodies were cited by 30% of the electricians questioned as a favoured supplier of relevant and appropriate information.
Keen to learn more
While the 18th Edition changes are already mandatory in the marketplace, and despite more than half of electrical professionals saying they are fully confident about their knowledge levels, the majority (81%) still intend to seek further guidance and invest in additional training this year.
This commitment of time and resources intended to deepen their understanding, shows how electricians appreciate the need to act compliantly as the effects of the 18th Edition introduction begin to be felt into the future.
Ian Smith for Hager, comments: “After the high profile lead-in period to the introduction of the 18th Edition, it is perhaps unsurprising that electrical contractors in the main feel fully confident about the new rules and how to enforce them.
“However, there remains a significant proportion who admit to a lack of full 18th Edition knowledge and the potential for non-compliance when undertaking installations. For this group in particular, as well as for the industry in general, it is welcome to see that the vast majority intend to seek further training to supplement their knowledge and acquire new skills to comply.
“Hager has been working hard to support the industry through a period of transformative change and initiatives such as Hager’s industry-leading chatbot, Reg, have proven popular with professionals keen to find out what they need to know regarding the 18th Edition. This is also reflected in the significant numbers signing up for the 18th Edition-related training courses we are running across the year at our bespoke training centre in Telford.”
Do electricians need 18th edition?
The new version of the standard BS 7671: 2018 provided electricians with a six month transition period to get up to speed with the new regulations. At present, all electricians must comply with the updated regulations.
What does the 18th edition allow?
The 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations is the safety standard in which all electricians in the UK must comply to. Please refer to our 18th Edition Bitesize guide for guidance.
Is the 17th Edition still valid?
Any installation that is completed before January 2019 must comply with the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations.
Arc Fault Detection Devices
Arc fault protection devices (AFDD) use microprocessors to identify characteristic current flow and voltage curves that indicate an arc fault and automatically trip the affected circuit.
Selection of RCD Types
RCD's exist in various different forms and react differently depending on the presence of DC components or different frequencies
Devices such as switches, RCCBs etc. in distribution boards and consumer units may have historically had their rated current determined after having taken diversity into account but without having considered overload protection of the devices.
A collection of the latest guides relating to 18th Edition, Hager is proud to be a technical contributor to these guides which provide technical advice on a range of 18th Edition related topics.