Do You Need To Be A Registered Electrician To Test and Tag?

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Do You Need To Be A Registered Electrician To Test and Tag?

A post about an upcoming Test and Tag Competency event on our Metrotest Facebook page motivated one electrician to call us “Shysters” and less publishable names. He went so far as to do this publicly on our page and named us on his. To add insult to injury, he also left us a bad public review.

But why?

With the above in mind, as a business we could respond in several ways. We could retaliate and also leave a bad review on his page or possibly respond harshly. Whether these options would be the right thing to do is clear, unlike this individual we don’t throw our toys out of the cot.

We at Metrotest believe that professionalism outweighs an emotional reaction and as such, we want to take this as an opportunity to respond constructively and go through some details as to what may have led to the above events.

Every business, at some time or another, gets a bad review or ‘one-star rating’ – it’s nothing new. Sometimes things go wrong and for those born last century, as LV Martin used to say, ‘it’s the putting right that matters.

Constructive criticism only leads to improvement. It helps us identify weakness and encourages us to be better at what we do. We welcome it.  When it’s not constructive, such as in the case of Mr X, the public notices and it puts them in a bad light.

Here’s some thoughts on why this happened:

  • Mr X sees our Competent Person Training taking business off them and being a threat.
  • Mr X does not believe that anyone except a trained electrician can test and tag properly.
  • He may believe that anything ‘electrical’ in a business environment is, or should be, what is termed a ‘prescribed’ activity meaning that an EWRB Electrical Registration and Current Practicing Licence is required.

If this was the case, then why is the electrical board also handing out limited electrical tickets to related trades such as plumbers and within the appliance & IT industries?

Should Mr X feel upset, or should he view companies such as Metrotest as a support system to the electrical industry?

Here are some examples:

  • A properly trained and supported ‘Competent Person’ with a Portable Appliance Tester can not only test correctly and safely, but will sometimes test better than an electrician who does not have the correct equipment and does not know what is required to test to the Standard AS/NZS3760 , AS/NZS3012 and numerous other standards.
  • Qualification may give entitlement to do something, but without competency, safety will be jeopardised regardless of who’s doing the testing. By no means are we suggesting that registered electricians are not competent, but all know that the more you do one particular thing the better you are at it. Testing for electrical safety is all that Metrotest does.
  • Many electricians welcome our services. Whilst they focus on bigger margin jobs, they employ us to do the day to day testing. The time factor alone for them to keep up to date with technology and standards plus doing “smallish” jobs all across town saves them big money every year. In many instances our services are marked up to their clients as well.

Metrotest is your Specialist in Testing and Tagging

Metrotest has electrically qualified and trained individuals, some with current Practicing Licences, some without (as they are not doing a ‘prescribed’ activity).

Metrotest train electrical apprentices and will continue to do so. Metrotest also offer EWRB refresher courses for relative industries seeking to renew their Practicing Licences. We have both trained, competent people and EWRB registered people working for us in our own Test and Tag service since 1998 – that’s over 21 years.

We have two fully qualified staff running our Test Instrument Calibration and Repair Lab. Our own PAT testers are calibrated at least every 6 months, these being the most advanced SAFEFY testing PATs on the world market.  Not to mention that we are also involved in the design and build process.

For those who can test their own equipment this often works out much cheaper than the hourly rate an electrician may charge, especially if you only have a few items.  Also, it can be more convenient as you can tailor the testing around downtime or when it works best for you.

One last thought. In many businesses new items coming into the workplace can be a real problem as in NZ these should not be used until they have been tested and tagged. Calling a company in to test one or a few items will be expensive and likely a logistical nightmare. This problem is compounded if you’re in a remote location, have restricted security or very high security access areas.

If you would like to know more about testing and tagging your portable electrical equipment, then please give our friendly team a call on 0800 638 768.

Happy testing.