CABLEtalk February/March 2022

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February/March 2022 £4.50

The safety squad SELECT Alarm Ambassadors step up to protect vulnerable households SEE PAGES 14-15


Tributes pour in for Malcolm


Book your place at Toolbox Talks


Preparing for Amendment 2



Alan Wilson discusses how we’re always here to help our Members






All the latest news from SELECT and across the wider industry

Tributes to SELECT’s Training and Development Adviser Malcolm Duncan


Discover all the latest gear and gadgets PAGES 58-61


Our popular Toolbox Talks are getting back on the road this year

24 27 28

Professor Rudi Klein gives his advice on completion dates New film helps to make sense of neutral current diversion Update from SELECT’s Linda Rolfe on training for her charity trek



The Alarm Ambassadors helping to keep homes safe



Going green at Dumfries and Galloway College’s eco centre

35 38

Taking a closer look at planning and design of fire safety systems How we’re helping you get ready for the changes in Amendment 2


40 42

Updating our courses ahead of the launch of Amendment 2 Five new CPD courses on offer with a 20% discount for Members



SELECT Member Greg Hutchings’ cool project



MANAGING EDITOR Iain Mason EDITOR Sarah Wolstencroft 0141 560 3022 DESIGN & PRODUCTION Ryan Swinney

Making a safe switch to electric vehicles

ADVERTISING David Hughes 0131 561 0022

CABLEtalk is produced by Connect Publications on behalf of SELECT


Legal advice and insight from our friends at MacRoberts

48 50 52 54

The online tool helping businesses discover new opportunities Industry expert Len Bunton on how to prepare for the year ahead Looking after your mental health by taking steps to a happier you Finding your way through the stress of financial problems



How SECTT is supporting the next generation of our industry








Remember: We are always here for you


ELECT’s biggest asset is undoubtedly its staff. Whether it’s face-to-face, online, by phone or email, I know how much SELECT Members value having access to our experts and the advice they can offer on technical, health and safety and employment issues, among many others. Over the past few years we, along with most of the population, have been working under COVID-19 restrictions, but as these start to be removed SELECT has begun to arrange events that will mean a return to face-to-face contact. While we are keen to move into more “normalised” arrangements, we have to recognise that COVID-19 is still with us and this means a gradual easing back to ensure we keep Members and staff safe. Our first major live events will be the return of our very popular Toolbox Talks, which will be held across Scotland in May and June. Over the years, these have proven to be a great hit with Members, with several sell-out events. Details of the dates and locations for the 12 events we will be holding in 2022 are on pages 16 and 17 of this edition.

“I know how much Members look forward to these events and it will be great to see you back in the flesh throughout May and June” The 2022 Toolbox Talks will feature presentations on Amendment 2 of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations and an overview of certification in the electrical industry. The events will also include exhibitors from a large selection of industry providers, tied into SELECT’s new Associate Membership scheme (more of which on page 12). I know how much Members look forward to these events and it will be great to see you back in the flesh throughout May and June. In addition, the number and location of our training courses, which have continued to run throughout the pandemic, will increase again too. We are planning to hold external training courses for small groups from April and this will be gradually built up

over the months. On the subject of training, it would be remiss of me to not mention the sudden passing of our friend and colleague, Malcolm Duncan. There is a tribute to Malcolm contained overleaf, but as I said in the opening of my editorial, our greatest asset as an organisation is our staff and Malcolm was a great ambassador and asset, not only to SELECT but to the wider electrical industry across Scotland. His contribution to the industry cannot be understated as he was responsible for training many hundreds of electricians over the time he worked with us. We all know how important safety is in our industry and one of Malcolm’s lasting legacies is the fact that he trained so many electricians to work safely, undoubtedly contributing to making the industry a safer place to work.

Alan Wilson Managing Director, SELECT CABLEtalk




Farewell to ‘Malky’ Affectionate tributes and warm-hearted stories have poured in following the passing of one of the most popular members of the SELECT family


ELECT colleagues, Members and friends from across the industry have paid tribute to Training and Development Adviser Malcolm Duncan, who passed away last month. An online book of condolences has been flooded with moving memories of the technical expert, who died on Wednesday 12 January, aged 66. Alan Wilson, Managing Director, said: “Not only was Malcolm a very treasured colleague, he was also a key member of the SELECT family. I always enjoyed being in his company and I will look back fondly on the times we shared together.” Bob Cairney, Director of Technical Services, added: “Malcolm was a good friend, a source of happiness within SELECT and a respected source of advice and knowledge who was loved by everyone who knew him. I will miss him greatly.” Other colleagues paid tribute to Malcolm’s renowned sense of humour and passion for corny jokes. Mary McSporran, Certification Scheme Administrator, said: “I will always remember my pal Malky and his hilarious stories. Some lunchtimes he had me in stitches, we were both laughing so much.” Yvonne Wilson, Specifier & Client Relations Manager, said: “Malcolm was a dear friend and never failed to make me smile. He was loved by everyone at SELECT.” 6



Membership Representative, Fiona Smith, agreed, adding: “Malcolm was a legend. He always brought a smile to everyone’s face.” Sue Ross, Training Administrator, added: “Malky was one of a kind – the finest of THE very best, a true gentleman and a friend, always ready with an offer to help and a pleasure to be around.” Jenny Cryans, Training Manager, said: “Malcolm was always very calm and caring, no matter how busy he was. Yes, his jokes were terrible, but he always brought a smile to your day.” Malcolm, who lived in Lochgelly, Fife, joined SELECT in October 1993. In recent years, he oversaw the assessment and renewal of SELECT’s inspection accreditation with the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). He was laid to rest in Lochgelly on 8 February in a service attended by SELECT staff and President Donald W Orr. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and four grandchildren. Fiona Harper, Director of Employment & Skills, said: “Malcolm trained hundreds of people and made many friends across the industry. They, like us, will be extremely sad at his passing.” John McGhee,

Director of Finance & Operations, added: “He was passionate about the electrical industry and passed on that passion to countless others. That is his legacy.” Members of SELECT’s Central Board also paid tribute to their friend. President Donald W Orr said: “This is such a sad loss to Malky’s family, SELECT, the electrotechnical industry and beyond. He was a true old-fashioned gentleman who taught us all something in his time, and was always ready with a smile, a funny story or a joke.” Eric Rae, Vice-Chair of the Aberdeen & North East Scotland Branch, said: “Malcolm was one in a million and will be a big loss to SELECT Members and the SELECT family.” David Harris, Chair of the Glasgow & West of Scotland Branch, added: “It was always a pleasure being in Malcolm’s company. He was quietly confident and helpful – jokes and all – and there was rarely a dull moment.” Donnie Calder, Chair of the Inverness & North of Scotland Branch, said: “I was very sad to hear of the passing of ‘Mr SELECT’. He was a top man who will be missed by many.” SELECT Members were also quick to salute Malcolm’s expertise, warmth and good humour. Stewart Masterton, of SM Electrical, said: “Malky was a true gentleman. Nothing was a problem when I called to pick his brain and he always put us older guys at ease during training courses.” Scott White, from ESN, added: “We all enjoyed every course Malky delivered for us and will never forget the night we spent with him at the SELECT Awards. Rest in peace, Malcolm.”

ONLINE MEMORIES SELECT has opened an online condolences page, where friends and colleagues can leave memories and photos of Malcolm, which will be collated in a special commemorative book. To leave a memory at the page, please go to

Malcolm front and centre with his Technical colleagues in 2015

Malcolm oversaw the association's UKAS accreditation

Sharing a joke with John McGhee at the SJIB 50th celebrations at Edinburgh Castle in 2019 With his colleagues at the SELECT Awards in 2014




NEWS SELECT The Walled Garden, Bush Estate, Midlothian EH26 0SB Tel: 0131 445 5577 Fax: 0131 445 5548

Follow SELECT online at: TWITTER @Updates_SELECT @Training_SELECT @Regulate_SELECT FACEBOOK SELECT.TheECAofS INSTAGRAM @SELECT_Trade_Association

Visit our websites at:

Please phone our membership team on 0131 445 5577 to apply to become a Member of SELECT or if you would like more information about joining. Alternatively you can email us on or submit an online enquiry.

CABLEtalk is the official magazine of SELECT and is distributed free to qualifying readers. ISSN 1365-3288 SELECT is the trading style of the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland. The SELECT logo is a registered Collective Mark.



It's time to make Victorian payment system history


lectrical contractors are still suffering the “scourge” of a Victorian era payments system that was brought in to stop cowboy railway builders, SELECT Managing Director Alan Wilson has told radio listeners. Speaking on the Clive Holland Show on Fix Radio, Alan said it was time to do away with the outdated system of retentions, in which money is often unfairly held back from sub-contractors. He said: “Retention is a very outdated model, set up in the Victorian era and the dawn of the railways when unscrupulous contractors were building routes. “When they turned a corner that went round a hill, they suddenly stopped building the railway and scooted off with the cash that they’d been paid. So that’s where it started from and yet 150 years later, we’ve still got it. “In this day and age, if you want to have a proper relationship with someone in business, is it really the right thing to say, 'Well, I’ve got your price, I’m going to get you to Alan Wilson do all this work for

Ongoing concerns about COVID-19 mean that the spring Branch Updates and AGMs will once again be held online. Meetings will be held via the GoToWebinar platform at 6pm as follows:


me, but I don’t trust you enough to pay you’?” Speaking on the show on 1 February, Alan also advised contractors to keep on top of their debts – and said clients need to have proper relationships with contractors. He said: “If you’re not paid one month, then you need to make sure the client pays you for that before you progress with additional works. “Clients also need to be grown up and to trust contractors; they need to engage properly with them and set up proper agreements. And hopefully, that will see away with the scourge of retentions.” SELECT has been pressing the Scottish Government to introduce a system where retention monies are put into a trust in the short term, and to do away with the system completely in the longer term. A short life working group set up by the government in 2021 recommended a custodial model, which holds retention payments in an independently run, protected deposit scheme for the period of the construction contract and delivers automatic payment.

● Inverness and North Scotland – Tuesday 8 March ● Glasgow and West of Scotland – Thursday 10 March ● Dumfries and Galloway – Tuesday 15 March ● Edinburgh and South East Scotland – Thursday 17 March ● Ayrshire – Tuesday 22 March ● Aberdeen and North East

Listen to the full interview at Scotland – Thursday 24 March ● Lanarkshire – Tuesday 29 March ● Tayside – Thursday 31 March Each update will include a presentation on arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) and surge protection devices (SPDs) by a representative from Electrium.

CICV emphasises its collective voice

Data Dashboard tracks sector value


ELECT has helped to create an innovative Data Dashboard that shows the significant contribution made by the electrical sector to the UK economy. The animated online tool provides instant facts and figures about the industry, including the number of businesses and people employed, collective turnover and how the UK electrical sector is split in terms of types work of carried out. Hosted on The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) website, it also shows regional statistics for England, Scotland and Wales, as well as apprentices and adult trainees recruited and currently in training across the UK. The dashboard also reveals the growth in workforce, turnover and businesses that the sector has enjoyed since 2015 and is designed to be updated to reflect ongoing activity.

Updates on activity will also be delivered by SELECT’s Directors of Function and Presidential Team, with Training Officers providing latest news from the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT). Members will also have the chance to ask

Fiona Harper, SELECT's Director of Employment and Skills, said: “This dashboard is an engaging way to find out more about today’s electrical industry and the massive contribution it makes to the UK economy. “It’s easy to navigate and understand, and it shows at a glance the value of our industry across a wide range of relevant categories.” The dashboard was developed by SELECT, with input from the ECA, TESP and senior industry figures including Ruth Devine, Managing Director of SJD Electrical. Fiona added: “This new tool demonstrates the growth in the past few years as the industry continues to embrace innovative ways of working. “We will continue to use it to keep track of what we hope will be an encouraging and positive contribution to our electric future.” The dashboard can be viewed at data-dashboard

questions, after which a short Branch AGM will be held to elect Branch Officers for 2022. President Donald W Orr said: “As Members know, we're not quite ready for face-to-face meetings yet and keeping each other safe must be our utmost

The Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum – of which SELECT is a key member – has changed its name to reflect its expanded remit and ongoing collaboration. The unique alliance of trade associations and professional bodies has been rebranded as the Construction Industry Collective Voice (CICV), putting more emphasis on its shared focus and willingness to tackle the many other issues currently facing the construction industry. Alan Wilson, CICV Chair and Managing Director of SELECT, said: “This is a logical step for a body which has exceeded expectations in every department as it has helped steer the Scottish building sector through the worst crisis in its history.” The body has also created a new position of Vice Chair, filled by Fiona Hodgson, Chief Executive of the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF).

Your Branch Update needs

priority. I hope to see many familiar and new faces as we enjoy our first session of 2022.” To book a place at one of the updates, speak to your Member Rep, email member or call 0131 445 5577.





NEWS SELECT Tune in to SBSC advice SELECT recently hosted a webinar on behalf of Scottish Building Standards Certification (SBSC), featuring representatives from fellow scheme providers. Screened on 2 February, the online session gave an overview of the benefits of using Certification of Design (Section 6 Energy) for building regulations compliance. The webinar was presented by Colin Sinclair, Associate Director, Strategic Advisory at BRE, and Chartered Architect Richard Atkins of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. Attendees had the chance to ask questions at the end of the session, which is now available to watch at

Three firms have become SELECT Members since 1 December 2021



1. CMC Electrical Services Ltd, Helensburgh 2. BB Electrical, Glasgow 3. McCulloch & Hood Electrical Ltd, Maybole




ELECT Member RH Electrical (Aberdeen) Ltd was celebrating recently after winning Electrical Contractor of the Year 2021/22 in the Corporate Livewire Prestige Awards. The Inverurie-based firm triumphed in the Scottish section of the competition, which recognises SMEs that have proven to be the best in their market over the past 12 months. Owner Raymond Henderson said: “I’m delighted to receive this award and couldn’t have done it without the ongoing dedication of my team. I’d also like to say thank you to all our customers for all their continued support.” RH Electrical joined SELECT in 2014 and specialises in domestic and commercial services including rewiring, lighting, PAT testing and fire detection. It also supports landlords to help them meet legislation requirements. The firm scooped the award after

Raymond with his Prestige Award

submitting examples of its work, client feedback and information on accreditation and recognition. Judges based their decision on areas such as service, innovation, value, ethical and sustainable methods of working and consistent performance.

New SJIB and BSE Skills websites up and running



RH Electrical wins big at Prestige Awards

New websites have been launched for the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) and Building Services Engineering (BSE) Skills Limited. The new site has a cleaner layout and more intuitive menus, making it easier to quickly find the information you need. It also makes it simpler to browse, choose and apply for the correct ECS Card, thanks to the dedicated online portal. Fiona Harper, The Secretary of the SJIB, said: “We are delighted to present this new-look SJIB site, which will help electrical contractors with a wealth of practical and


easy-to-follow information.” A second website has also been launched for BSE Skills Ltd, which is a joint venture by SELECT, the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) and the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

The new-look site at explains how the body manages and develops National Occupational Standards, qualifications and apprenticeships for the UK building services engineering sector, while also addressing its wider skills needs.

Guidance on smoke control systems

SELECT releases final 2021 infographic SELECT has released its final infographic of quarterly statistics for 2021, showing the latest range of activity carried out by the association. Covering the period October to December, the fourth graphic of 2021 shows SELECT’s achievements in technical,

training, membership, communications, employment and skills. Iain Mason, SELECT’s Director of Membership and Communications, said: “The graphic has proved a handy signpost to our progress over the past 12 months and helped us track our progress instantly.

“We plan to continue the resource into 2022 and will update it with the latest developments as they happen to help Members see how SELECT is performing.” Previous graphics can be seen in the News section at

SELECT has created a new technical guide to smoke control systems, designed to help electrical contractors create safe and effective solutions. Produced in response to Member feedback, and written in partnership with respected industry expert Tim Benstead, Chair of JPEL64/B, the 20-page resource briefly details certain types of smoke control system. It also outlines the role of the electrical contractor in cooperating with the designer and other stakeholders to create a safe and effective system, and details the relevant standards that should be considered when designing and installing electrical systems. Bob Cairney, Director of Technical Services, said: “There has been an increasing use of smoke control systems in the last decade and it is likely that the installation of smoke control systems will be one of the fire safety systems that will increase in popularity for new builds. “This brochure is extremely timely and we are hoping to issue further technical guides throughout 2022.” Print copies of the new brochure are available from Member Reps and The Walled Garden and can be downloaded at Tim Benstead on planning and design of fire alarm systems: Pages 35-37 CABLEtalk



NEWS SELECT Natalie back at SELECT SELECT welcomed back a familiar face to The Walled Garden in the New Year when Natalie Burke rejoined the association on 5 January. The former Membership Manager – who left SELECT in 2019 – has taken on the role of Employment and Skills Operations Manager. She will spend the next few months shadowing the current incumbent, Fiona Cornwall, who is set to retire in April. Fiona Harper, Director of Employment and Skills, said: “We are delighted to welcome Natalie back to SELECT and know that she will be an excellent addition to our team."

Getting to Know You: Page 62

17 leading firms sign up as Associate Members


ELECT’s Associate Member scheme continues to go from strength to strength since its launch in the New Year, with 17 leading industry organisations now signing up. The new scheme was rolled out on 1 January with eight founder members – Aico, Flexel, Linian, Luceco Group, Megger, simPRO, Tala Training and Thorn Lighting. They have now been joined by nine other market leaders, including Aurora, Electrium, H2Tec, Scolmore, Signify, TCW and Test Instrument Solutions (TIS). The Building Safety Group (BSG) and EC Insurance Services Limited (ECIS) have also come on board, building on their existing long-standing relationships with SELECT. Iain Mason, Director of Membership and Communications, said: “The response to our new category of membership has been excellent, with our founder members signing up well before launch and being quickly joined by other big industry names. “We are delighted that so many well-respected organisations have joined us and we look forward to welcoming many more in the months to come.”

The new scheme gives manufacturers and service providers the chance to become part of SELECT and build beneficial relationships with Member businesses. Among the benefits are a logo and biography on the SELECT website, networking and promotional opportunities and discounts on advertising, sponsorship and events. Iain said: “Our new scheme will give some of the industry’s biggest names the opportunity to ally themselves with an established and successful trade body. “At the same time, it will allows us to build stronger relationships with organisations that can offer relevant and useful services to our Members.” Several Associate Members have already signed up to appear at our popular Toolbox Talks, which will tour Scotland in May and June after a three-year absence. Iain added: “SELECT has always been a strong advocate of collaboration and cooperation within the construction sector and we believe this new initiative will allow Members and Associate Members alike to enhance and expand their networks to everyone’s benefit.”

Technical catalogue update We’ve updated the extensive list of technical publications and stationery available from SELECT, with even more practical titles now added. The new catalogue contains more than 50 certificates 12



and reports, estimating resources and jobbing stationery. All orders are normally posted within five working days. Download a copy at

Associate Member news: Pages 58-61

Two industry greats are remembered SELECT was saddened to hear of the deaths of Past President Richard ‘Dick’ Allan and former Regional Officer for Unite the Union, Rab Sherry. Managing Director Newell Dick, who passed away McGuiness said: “I worked in August 2021, served as Rab Sherry closely with Dick when he was SELECT President between 1980 Aberdeen Branch Chairman. and 1982 and was the Managing "He was a very active chairman and Director of The Aberdeen Electrical we spent a lot of time driving around Engineering Company, which Aberdeenshire visiting Members. was founded in 1898. "His quiet words of wisdom will be As a popular SELECT Member and office missed by all.” bearer and a well-respected businessman, Tributes were also paid to Rab, an he attended the last Past Presidents' electrician, shop steward and ardent follower Christmas lunch in 2019. Former SELECT

Dick (far right) at the Past Presidents' Christmas Lunch in 2019

of Dunfermline Athletic. Fiona Harper, The Secretary of the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) said: “It was always my privilege to spend time with such a fun-loving and kind man who also had great integrity.” Jock Simpson, the Chair of the SJIB said: “Rab was a fine man who was well-liked and respected by all who came into contact with him. We will remember him with fondness.” Rab is survived by his wife, Margaret, and son, Dominic.





Stepping up for safer homes Members have rushed to volunteer for SELECT’s new goodwill campaign, sponsored by Aico, installing free heat, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for vulnerable householders across Scotland

Chris Liddell carries out the first installation in Biggar

By Iain Mason Director of Membership & Communications


t was heartening – but not surprising – to see SELECT Members step up and offer their services free of charge as part of our new initiative to install alarm systems for the people who need them most. After new fire safety legislation came into effect in Scotland on 1 February, it was clear there were plenty of householders who, for whatever reason, would be unable to install the necessary products in time. SELECT therefore launched its new Alarm Ambassadors campaign, which will see the supply and fitting of free domestic alarm systems for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people. Sponsored by Aico, the European market leader in home life safety, Member businesses will install heat, smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in selected homes across




THE NEW REGULATIONS Under the new legislation, all homes in Scotland must have: ● A smoke alarm on every storey including hallways and landings ● A smoke alarm in the most frequented part of the house, e.g. lounge ● A heat alarm in the kitchen

● A CO alarm wherever there is a fuel burning appliance. SELECT offers a range of guidance about this new legislation, including downloadable guides, technical manuals and an easy-to-follow animation. Find out more at

IMAGES: MKJ Photography

OUR ALARM AMBASSADORS The following Member firms have so far volunteered to carry out free installation of Aico products:

“Aico was happy to sponsor this deserving campaign and help people protect their homes and families with quality alarm systems, installed by qualified professionals. It is vital that homeowners act now to become compliant and this campaign will help raise awareness of the type of products that should be fitted.” Tony Boyle, Relationships Manager, Aico

“This campaign demonstrates the value of using a qualified electrical contractor to carry out installations. Householders can quickly find their nearest electrical contractor on the SELECT website and Members will be able to advise on design, installation and commissioning, as well as providing certification.” Donald W Orr, SELECT President

“The association has been delighted to see so many Members volunteering to install these alarms free of charge” Scotland to ensure they comply with the new rules. The recipients will be vulnerable older and disabled people who have been identified by Care and Repair Scotland, the charity which helps householders improve or adapt a home which is no longer suitable. The first installation was carried out in Biggar, Lanarkshire, by Chris Liddell of SELECT Member business 2 Core Electrics, with SELECT President Donald W Orr and Tony Boyle, Relationships Manager at Aico, on hand to celebrate the launch. Similar installations will now take place across Scotland over the coming weeks, with Member firms installing tamper-proof long-life lithium battery

alarms from Aico that are sealed, wireless and interlinked, in line with the new regulations. A demonstration will also be carried out to ensure householders understand how to operate the system, and a completion certificate issued once the work has been completed. In addition, articles about the installations will be circulated to local and trade press to help raise the campaign’s profile and reinforce its four key aims: ● HELP vulnerable people nationwide who need assistance ● KEEP the legislation ‘front of mind’ with householders ● REINFORCE the importance of using a qualified electrician

Aberdeen & North East A J Robson Electrical Ltd Browns Electrical Services Granite City Electrical Ltd Marnoch Electrical Ltd Ayrshire AYE Allan Young Electrical Electrical Solutions Network Ltd Dumfries & Galloway JH Johnstone & Sons Matt Burton Electrical Edinburgh & South East of Scotland D Charters Electrical Services Ltd Paul Rice Electrical Techni-Call Electrics Glasgow & West of Scotland A&W Electrical Co (Glasgow) Ltd Alger Electrics & Alarms Ltd Inverness & North of Scotland Browns Electrical Services David A Menzies Lanarkshire 2 Core Electrics Ltd Marluk Electrical Ltd Tayside Dunmar Electrical Ltd Westmuir Electrical

● REMIND householders to only use compliant products. The association has been delighted to see so many Members volunteering to install these alarms free of charge, demonstrating their commitment to keeping people safe and ensuring work is carried out to the highest standard at all times. Although the Scottish Government has said that any necessary work should be done within “a reasonable period” after February 1, taking into account individual circumstances, Alarm Ambassadors also serves as an alert that the clock is ticking. While homeowners still have some time to become compliant, our initiative is a reminder that now is the moment to take action – and to always contact a SELECT Member for guidance. CABLEtalk




Let’s get together again Our free Toolbox Talk advice sessions return in person after 3 years Will feature 2 technical presentations on impact of new Amendment 2 New products and services demonstrated by top industry names By Linda Rolfe Events, Marketing & Communications Coordinator


fter three years of waiting, our FREE Toolbox Talks are finally back for 2022 – so book your place today! The invaluable technical update sessions will again be touring 12 venues across Scotland in May and June, kicking off at The Walled Garden outside Edinburgh on Wednesday 3 May. 16



With Amendment 2 of BS 7671: 2018 coming into effect on 28 March, our experts will be on questions and discuss for any SELECT training hand to discuss its other topical matters course for the first 10 people potential impact on face-to-face with our at each venue Members and their work Technical Advisers, (one per company) with two special with other SELECT presentations: staff on hand to answer ● Presentation 1: any other queries. Overview of the main changes Bob Cairney, Director of contained in Amendment 2, including Technical Services, said: “I know how updates on arc fault detection devices, much Members look forward to these fire safety design of buildings, events and our Technical team is eager overvoltage protection and prosumer’s to make up for lost time and discuss low voltage electrical installation. Amendment 2 face-to-face with ● Presentation 2: Changes to the Members, along with many other certification given in Appendix 6 of topical issues. Amendment 2. “Our Toolbox Talks were massively Members will have the chance to ask popular before lockdown and we hope to


COLLECT NEW REGS AT YOUR LOCAL EVENT AND SAVE £19 Members attending this year’s Toolbox Talks can pre-order their copy of IET Wiring Regulations 18th Edition A2: 2022 for collection on the day of the seminar. The cost per publication is £80 – that’s

a saving of £19 on the RRP of £99. To pre-order your copy, please email orders@ or call the stationery department at SELECT on 0131 445 5577. When ordering, please

highlight the date and venue of the Toolbox Talk you will be attending. Please note, we will require a minimum of two weeks prior to the date of the seminar to process and ship your order.

Shetland The Lerwick Hotel 15 June

Orkney The Pickaquoy Centre 14 June

Inverness Tulloch Stadium 24 May

Aberdeen Pittodrie Stadium 25 May

Oban The Falls of Lora Hotel 7 June

Dundee The Apex Hotel 10 May

Glasgow Hampden Park 11 May

Isle of Islay The Machrie 21 June

Ayrshire The Gailes Hotel 18 May

Edinburgh The Walled Garden 3 May Borders Tweed Horizons 4 May

“We hope to see many familiar faces again as we deliver a wealth of invaluable advice and guidance” see many familiar faces again as we deliver a wealth of invaluable advice and guidance.” Each event will feature exhibitors from a range of leading manufacturers and service providers, including new SELECT Associate Members Megger, Scolmore, Aico and Electrium, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to see the latest technology first-hand. The events kick off at 9.30am with coffee and morning rolls, and lunch is provided at the end of each session. Goody bags will also be handed out to each delegate, and COVID-19 health and safety measures will be in place at all times to help keep everyone safe. And of course, Toolbox Talks are free to attend for all SELECT Members. So check the map on this page for this year’s dates and venues and sign up NOW – registration has already started and as always, it’s sure to be busy! BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW For further details about this year’s Toolbox Talks, email or call us on 0131 445 5577. Bookings can also be made online in the relevant ‘Events’ section at


Dumfries Easterbrook Hall 17 May

Amendment 2 Technical update: Pages 38-39 Amendment 2 Training update: Pages 40-41 CABLEtalk




Skills for a green revolution

Dumfries and Galloway College’s £1.8 million Green Energy Centre launched in April 2021 18



The Green Energy Centre at Dumfries and Galloway College is arming apprentices with the renewables knowledge they need to tackle the challenges of the climate crisis – and picking up a string of awards in the process


By Tim Power

lasgow may have been in the news for hosting the COP26 climate change conference last year, but a technical college in the south of Scotland was also making its mark in the fight against global warming in 2021 through its newly developed Green Energy Centre and Green Skills Academy – giving apprentices the skills needed in the renewable energy sector to help tackle the world’s climate crisis. While world leaders discussed ways to mitigate global warming, Dumfries and

Galloway College picked up three prestigious sustainability awards including the Outstanding Project Award from the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2021; the Sustainability Action Award from the CDN College Awards 2021; and the UK & Ireland’s Sustainability Institution of the Year in the prestigious 2021 Green Gown Awards for its role in aiming to make Dumfries and Galloway the first net zero region in Scotland.

Skills centre

The reason for these many awards is Dumfries and Galloway College’s new £1.8 million Green Energy Centre, which

was launched last April to provide hands-on facilities to help students develop the new skills needed to support the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans to meet climate change targets and reach net zero by 2040 – a state in which there is a balance between the greenhouse gases produced by human activity and natural processes, and the removal of these gases by natural systems such as forests and oceans. The quickest and most effective way to reach net zero is by reducing the greenhouse gases produced by human activity, and that is why replacing Continued on page 20 >>>





traditional fossil fuels with renewable sources will play a crucial role in the coming years in the fight against global warming. That’s why the college’s Green Energy Centre is powered by a wind turbine, heat pumps, solar arrays and battery systems to provide a unique and valuable source of practical teaching experiences. It even has charging points for electrical vehicles (EVs). Billy Currie, Head of Corporate Services at Dumfries and Galloway College, said: “The Green Energy Centre brings all our renewable energy-related courses under one roof and we are the only college in Scotland that has invested in a dedicated facility that has been designed to not only teach skills in renewables but to be powered by them as well. “The new facility not only gives us a purpose-built space and classrooms for teaching students about renewable energy systems, but it will also act as a hub for other initiatives with our partners to promote the green agenda in the south of Scotland as we move forward.”

Decades of learning

Dumfries and Galloway College has been teaching technical skills for the past 60 years from two campuses in Dumfries and Stranraer, helping many local young people gain successful apprenticeships in the construction, engineering, electrical engineering and the automotive industries, in addition to other professions such as childcare, health and social care, hospitality and the creative industries. This year they have more than 80 electrical engineering

The Green Energy Centre brings all the college’s renewable energy-related courses under one roof

“We could see the potential growth in this sector and started to look at how we could address the potential learning gap that was developing” apprentices studying and different years in their apprenticeship programme. Billy did his training at the college to become an apprentice electrician and went on to become a multi-skilled service engineer who later came back to the college, not as a student but to look after the utilities and facilities. He became the Facility Manager in 2016 and in 2018 was promoted to Head of Corporate Services where he took on the extra responsibility for the

GREEN SKILLS ACADEMY Courses related to renewable energy: ● Renewable Energy Practical Skills – College Academy Course ● Introduction to Engineering and Renewable Energy NQ @SCQF Level 7

● Electrical Engineering NQ @SCQF Level 5 ● Electrical Engineering NQ @SCQF Level 6 ● Electrical Engineering – Wind Turbine NQ @SCQF Level 56 ● Electrical Installation SVQ @SCQF Level 7

● BPEC Heat Pump Systems ● BPEC Solid Biomass ● BPEC Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems ● Global Wind Organisation: Basic Technical Training

strategic development of the Green Energy Centre. He said: “The college has always been relatively strong on the teaching of renewable energy, and we’ve had a small-scale energy centre previously, but we could see the potential growth in this sector and started to look at how we could address the potential learning gap that was developing.” The Green Energy Centre has an integrated plant room on the first floor with a viewing gallery, which acts as a classroom for students to understand the practical aspects of the different management systems for heat source pumps, wind and solar energy and battery storage. The roof is accessible to view solar panel arrays and one of the classrooms also has access for EVs to be brought in so that students can learn about electric charging points as well as EV maintenance. Continued on page 22 >>>




Billy Currie, Head of Corporate Services, is in charge of the Centre’s strategic development

Number of electrical apprentices studying at Dumfries and Galloway College 2021/2022:

14 18 19



1st Stage apprentices

2nd Stage apprentices

3rd Stage apprentices

4th/5th Stage apprentices




New curriculum

Bill McRobert is Curriculum Manager for Engineering, Electrical and Motor Vehicles and has been working with the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) and other colleges within Scotland to update the electrical engineering apprentice course to integrate renewables into the programme. He said: “There were elements of renewable education in the past but this year is the first time we’ve formalised the content of the curriculum to include all the major renewable technology systems that electricians would need to know about.” In the first year, apprentices will learn about solar panels, wind turbines and battery systems, the new types of ground and air source heating systems and also ‘smart controls’ – voiceactivated systems like Amazon’s Alexa to turn the lights on or using mobile phone apps to manage the central heating system for homes. The focus is on understanding the basic electrical components of these technologies, and to get a good grounding in the electrical controls and all final circuit connections required for installing renewable systems. Bill said: “The beauty of the new Green Energy Centre is that we can give our students hands-on experience to work on renewable technologies and see them working in situ, understand the control systems and learn about the benefits, which is a huge advantage.”

At the CDN College Awards 2021 22



“We are the only college in Scotland that has invested in a dedicated facility that has been designed to not only teach skills in renewables but to be powered by them as well”

The Green Energy Centre has been designed to teach skills in renewables while also being powered by them

All this knowledge gives the students a good grounding for the second year of the apprenticeship programme where they have to pick a renewable technology system to install in a hypothetical warehouse for their main second year project.

An eye on the future

The college plays an important role in the future development of the region’s

economy through its involvement with the South of Scotland Enterprise’s Energy Transition Group. The group acts as a forum for organisations from across the region to come together to discuss the needs, prospects and plans that are required to ensure the region benefits economically and socially from Scotland’s move to net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045. Billy said: “This forum has been very useful for us to position our education offering to meet the challenges of the future, and to work alongside our economic partners to make sure that whatever we are providing in skills meets Scotland’s needs. “There’s already a big demand locally, as Dumfries and Galloway is a rural area with a growing reliance on local and small-scale renewables, such as hydroelectric plants and wind turbines for farms but there are a growing number of social landlords which are prescribing heat pumps, and battery systems for their solar arrays.”

The Centre is powered by a wind turbine, heat pumps, solar arrays and battery systems

a major role in developing the electrical and renewable skills needed for Scotland’s future. He said: “The modern-day electrician’s job is complex because it overlaps into so many other trades and renewable technologies is yet another ‘spoke’ to be added to the ‘wheel’. “That’s why we have been working hard to get renewables integrated into our apprenticeship programmes so we can meet the needs of this exciting and growing sector.”

Green growth

An integrated plant room on the first floor of the Centre acts as a classroom for students

Making the switch

Looking ahead

The college is Global Wind Organisation Bill, who was also a former electrical accredited and provides training for apprentice, keeps up to date with wind turbine technicians as well as an what’s going on in the industry through introductory course for school leavers, his regular meetings with SELECT and it foresees a huge demand for skilled Member Representative Fiona Smith engineers to maintain the growing to discuss how the two institutions can number of wind farms across work together to benefit the Scotland and the UK. new talent coming out of the The transition to EVs college and the industry will also create a demand as a whole. for engineers, as Bill said: “Fiona’s been Billy explained. very helpful with “We see that the EV organising infrastructure required students to go to power vehicles will through the Fiona Smith also require a massive electrical investment in the health and infrastructure of the power safety tests, and networks too, so we are working we’ve also been in closely with ScottishPower and their discussions about contractors to understand these trends providing EV charging and to tailor our education and training courses for training to meet these future needs SELECT Members.” of the skills needed to install and Thanks to the maintain these systems. investment in “We’ve already worked with the Green Energy ScottishPower Energy Networks Centre and the on developing a dedicated overhead development of the linesman training facility at the Green Skills college, so we see that type of Academy, Bill infrastructure support as being knows the college important going forward.” will continue to play

Billy is equally excited about the growth potential of renewables and what this could mean for young people. He said: “It’s a big challenge but there is also a lot of opportunity for those who are looking to transition into the green energy sector. In the next two to three years you will see maturity in the development of green energy jobs and the opportunity for young people with the right skills is going to be enormous.” He’s also proud that Dumfries and Galloway College has been recognised for its pioneering approach to developing not only the Green Energy Centre but incorporating renewables into the running of the campus. He added: “It has been great to win awards, but the one that really put us on the map is the Scottish Green Energy Award Outstanding Project of the year. “That was a tremendous achievement for the college, especially a college the size of Dumfries and Galloway – that one made me proud.”

Collecting the Outstanding Project Award





What to do about dates

Giving the existing pressures on timely completion as a result of supply chain disruption, we take a closer look at the significance of completion dates and the best course of action for SELECT Member firms failed to make work available according to an agreed programme. Kitsons submitted a claim for an extension of time, which wasn’t granted.

By Professor Rudi Klein Barrister and SELECT consultant


lmost 40 years ago, a company called Kitsons Sheet Metal Limited was engaged under a sub-subcontract to install pipes and duct work on the new Terminal 4 at Heathrow Airport. The firm’s contract with Matthew Hall stated that work was to be carried out “in accordance with the dictates of our site management team”. Kitsons objected to the use of the word “dictates” and had it changed to “instructions”, although there is no difference between the two words. The contract was signed many months after work had started. The overall mechanical services had to be completed and handed over to the client by 18 March 1985. Kitsons was late finishing because, it argued, Matthew Hall had




The court sided with Matthew Hall. Kitsons had assumed the risk that – given the above clause – it would not be entitled to a manner or sequence of working that would enable it to finish on time.

What are completion dates?

The standard contracts issued by SBCC and NEC require that completion dates are inserted in, respectively, the contract particulars and contract data. Other contracts such as main contractor bespoke contracts may have an appendix in which the dates are inserted. Before agreeing completion dates, check that they are realistic having regard to matters such as access and working hours. This will no doubt be reflected in your pricing. On large projects, work could be divided into sections. Each will have

I thought this job was to last four weeks but it’s taken 14 weeks!?

“A contract may have provision for liquidated damages which have been agreed at the outset as compensation for delay” their individual completion dates ahead of the overall contract or sub-contract completion date. Both SBCC and NEC contracts have sectional completion provisions. NEC contracts also have key dates. These require that by stated dates, certain elements of the works will have been completed in accordance with a specified condition, e.g. first-fix electrical installation. If a key date has been missed, there could be a liability for costs incurred by the other party in having the work completed according to the specified condition.

Remedy for failure to complete on time

Failure to complete on time entitles the other party to claim damages for breach of contract. Damages will seek to compensate for the costs incurred by the other party as a result of the delay. So if the client is a hotel, for example, it will want to obtain compensation for the loss of profits due to the hotel not opening or re-opening on time. A contract may have provision for liquidated damages which have been agreed at the outset as compensation for delay. If you are a sub-contractor, you could face a claim for damages from the main contractor that is likely to include any liquidated damages levied against the main contractor in respect of your delay. This all

THINGS TO REMEMBER ● Check that your contract contains a completion date. ● Ensure that the date is realistic having regard to any limits on access and working hours. ● Ensure that you retain some control over the manner and sequencing of your works, especially when agreeing a programme.

assumes that responsibility for the delay rests solely with you.

No completion dates?

So what happens if there isn’t a completion date stated in the contract? The law is contained in Section 14 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. This implies a clause in the contract that the work has to be completed within “a reasonable time”. What is reasonable will depend upon the complexity and volume of works to be carried out.

Read your contract mate! It says your work is to proceed at such times and in such manner as I direct. CABLEtalk




Vital issue is in the frame SELECT is among the industry bodies collaborating on a new film that puts the issue of neutral current diversion firmly in focus. Our man was on location with the clapperboard to give a sneak preview…

By Darren Sweeney Technical Adviser


or some time, SELECT has been aware of issues on the distribution network operator (DNO) networks where, due to damage and degradation, protective multiple earthing (PME) supplies can cause neutral current diversion to flow in unexpected places. Through our work with other bodies – including the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) – we felt that awareness of this phenomenon is key and an information video would be useful. Because seeing is believing, it was decided that a visual representation of neutral current diversion actually happening was required to achieve that ‘lightbulb’ moment.

Darren Sweeney, Gordon MacKenzie and Steven Devine of IET

SELECT therefore joined the IET to devise a ‘where, what and when’ plan to bring the idea to life: WHERE: Through regular discussion with Members and various committees, we secured a location at Heriot-Watt University near Edinburgh, with thanks to Electrical Services Manager Keith Paterson. Given the engineering background of the university and its fantastic facilities, this was a stroke of luck, as a subsequent site visit proved. WHAT: Next we needed a visual way to demonstrate neutral current diversion that electricians would instantly understand. For this, we were lucky to have the help of retired Scottish Power electrical engineer Gordon MacKenzie. Through his

experience, a simple test rig was devised that could simulate 2No properties with shared services (water or gas), fed from separate single phase supplies. WHEN: With Christmas approaching, a date for filming was set. The IET organised storyboards and film crews, while SELECT, the IET and Heriot-Watt sourced materials and oversaw the building, proving and testing of the rigs. An early start and a long day of filming followed, but soon everything was in the can (as all the best directors say). The IET is now editing the film and hopes to make it available in the spring, so watch this space. As always, SELECT will be sharing it with Members to help keep us all safe out there. CABLEtalk






IN ; L

dates for a couple of upcoming charity fundraisers, including a football legends Q&A session and stand-up bingo. I’m also planning a race night with sponsored virtual horses, raffle and entertainment. And I’ll keep up the bake sales, nail painting and competitions that my SELECT colleagues seem to be enjoying. A reminder that I’m doing the Inca Trail for electricians like you who might be struggling with illness, grief, mental health issues


ots Getting her bo trek e th muddy on


Linda tackled the crags of Scotland to help her prepare for her Inca trek












irst, the good news – my charity totaliser is now at the £1,000 mark, so thank you all for your continued support. However, there’s still a long way to go! My fundraiser for the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) was boosted by a festive snowball competition before Christmas, which raised £350 towards my £5,000 target. Suitably inspired, I decided to get some walking training by taking a trip to Glencoe in January, where I hiked around the beautiful hills and scenic views, including the Hidden Valley and the Devil’s Staircase. The hiking boots got a good wearing in, with some proper walking socks that I received for my birthday. My young dog, Diego, also climbed with me up a steep hill and through some beautiful woodland, which was great exercise for us all. Shame he can’t come to Machu Picchu in September! The descent was also a lot of fun as the hills were quite muddy, so my new coat got well and truly broken in with mud slide marks down the back where I lost my footing a few times. I’m just glad no one was watching. After getting my breath back, I now plan to continue my hiking training with regular walks up the Pentland Hills, which are just on my doorstep. I’m also pencilling in



By Linda Rolfe, Events, Marketing & Communications Coordinator



Our adventurer reveals how she recently took to the Highlands to practise for her charity fundraising trek to Peru – and has plenty of activities planned to keep the cash rolling in


Head for heights

Linda practises her climbing with dog, Diego

or money problems. The EIC can help with such issues, but only if we keep the donations coming in. Please head over to my fundraising page on the link below and give whatever you can. Big or small, it all makes a difference. Thank you.

PLAY YOUR PART! To sponsor Linda and help electricians via the EIC, please go to


Keeping their cool

When Greg Hutchings and his team at SELECT Member firm Lotus Electrical were faced with the problem of how to power a plant producing freezing dry ice, they rose to the challenge and created a smart solution that’s already proving to be a big success By Stewart McRobert

Continued on page 30 >>> CABLEtalk



FEATURES MEMBER PROFILE >>> Continued from page 29


he UK’s supply of CO2 has been precarious for some time. It’s a vital gas that’s used across industry in everything from food storage to fizzy drinks and keeping nuclear power plants cool. It’s also the raw ingredient used by Dry Ice Scotland, which, as its name suggests, makes dry ice and supplies it to large pharmaceutical and frozen food delivery firms across the UK – including COVID-19 vaccine maker Pfizer which needs sub-zero temperatures to safely store the life-saving drug. Keen to have a guaranteed supply of CO2, director Richard Nimmons and his colleagues at Dry Ice Scotland – including his brother Ed – spotted the opportunity to set up their own production site next to an existing anaerobic digestion plant in Dumfries and Galloway. But there was a problem – it would not be possible to draw enough power for both plants from the existing site supply. Fortunately, SELECT Member firm Lotus Electrical, which is based

“One of the tasks we were set was to make sure that the existing anaerobic digestion plant should always be prioritised” 30



Greg at the Dry Ice Scotland plant near Dumfries

The Lotus team designed a control system to meet the challenges of the project

Dry Ice Scotland brothers Ed and Richard Nimmons

in the same area, was able to come up with the answer.


Greg Hutchings, managing director of Lotus, explained: “As well as sourcing sufficient power, one of the tasks we were set was to make sure that the existing anaerobic digestion plant should always be prioritised. “We carried out a lot of research, looking at options such as solar power and a larger grid connection. Many of these we had to discount

because of costs or other reasons. We came up with a solution that the equipment that Richard would use in his CO2 plant must be able to sustain a hard trip if necessary.” Greg and his team designed a control system and Richard secured a guarantee that the fixtures and fittings he bought could be switched off at the drop of a hat should the power demand exceed the connection agreement, Continued on page 32 >>>

SELF-SUPPORTING PLANT TAKES PRESSURE OFF TAXPAYER The UK experienced a severe shortage of CO2 in September last year. As well as creating some worrying headlines, the crisis forced the UK Government to step in and start paying a US firm whose site in Billingham, County Durham, supplies around 60% of the country’s needs. Richard Nimmons, of Dry Ice Scotland, explained: “Until now,

the way the UK has sourced feedstock CO2 is by taking it as a byproduct of the burning of hydrocarbons. “That’s what happens at Billingham, where the main purpose is to manufacture ammonia. “However, increasing gas prices have made that operation unprofitable. “Therefore, the UK Government has had to

subsidise continuing production so that we could continue to get CO2. Richard believes that costly arrangement for the UK taxpayer illustrates why it’s vital to have other sources of CO2, like the one Dry Ice Scotland has put in place. “We have created Scotland’s only source of CO2 and, in particular, food grade CO2,” he said. “We take the gas from CABLEtalk

an anaerobic digestion point, which makes it commercially sustainable, self-supportive, and environmentally friendly. “What’s more, we have a wide range of important clients, including the drugs company, Pfizer. “Among other benefits, this new plant means we’re able to play our part in guaranteeing the supply of essential COVID-19 vaccines.” FEBRUARY/MARCH 2022


FEATURES MEMBER PROFILE >>> Continued from page 31

thus potentially compromising the site’s power. Greg added: “Complicating matters, the existing site was running almost entirely off-grid through a combined heat and power (CHP) plant. As people may know, CHP plants don’t like their electricity being switched off very quickly.” To avoid that possibility, the team utilised a 200 kilowatt QUICK FACTS bank of heaters and a tripping system that would help the CHP slow down in a controlled fashion.

Getting connected

As well as using a huge amount of power, for safety reasons the dry ice plant had to be 170 metres away from the anaerobic digestion plant. “We had a large Lotus infrastructure job to do to Electrical allow those massive cables Services Ltd to be connected,” said Greg. “The same goes for the BASED: control system, which Dumfries required many multicore PHONE: cables so that each side 01387 760608 could speak to one another.” WEBSITE: Separately, the Lotus team lotuselectrical had to take into account potential welfare issues at now been in place for six Dry Ice Scotland should months and, according the power drop out. The to Greg, the emergency installation had to be carefully fallback has only been activated designed so that the essential plant once, when an engineer servicing – including lighting and fire alarm the CHP generation switched off circuits – could keep running, while the dry ice plant was in full thereby not compromising on production. “Our system coped with health and safety. The system has it well,” said Greg, “and the reset

THE CHALLENGE FACING LOTUS ELECTRICAL SERVICES The task: Add a new dry ice plant with a 780kw load to an existing set up at a anaerobic digestion gas production site. This existing site has a base load of 740kw served by a 1000kva 32


connect agreement from the DNO and a 600kw CHP generator. At all times the anaerobic digestion plant must be prioritised. The solution: Gain a deep understanding of the site


and diversity possibilities and introduce a tripping system that allows the dry ice plant to power down if the supply from the CHP unit is interrupted.

Greg and his team enjoy taking on tricky tasks

was seamless.” This project is the latest unusual challenge faced by Lotus, which has a special interest in tasks that bring environmental benefits. We told two years ago how the firm had made a successful move into the renewables market. Greg explained: “These are the sort of jobs we come across regularly. We’ve become known as problem solvers. It keeps my grey matter ticking over and does the same for my team. “Being based in Dumfries, the big difficulty we have is recruitment. We have talented people, but not enough of them. I’m always on the lookout for skilled engineers.” Skilled tradespeople might be in short supply, but the work done by Lotus and Dry Ice Scotland is helping to increase the country’s stock of an essential raw material.

“We’ve become known as problem solvers. It keeps my grey matter ticking over and does the same for my team”





Manage cashflow better with payment automation software Ask any business owner how they keep their business running, and they’ll likely have the same answer: cashflow. You need to be able to invoice customers quickly to deliver the best customer experience and understand when and where you have money coming in. You also need to be able to receive payments into your accounts quickly. The easier you can make it for customers to pay, the faster you get paid. Keeping this cycle running smoothly and efficiently is a vital part of your cashflow management. But with so many moving parts in your business and lots of customers on your books, tracking when and where your money moves can quickly turn into disorganised chaos. Luckily, there are great tools available to invoice and collect payments from your customers and accurately track this information so that you can properly manage cashflow.

What is payment automation?

Payment automation is the use of an integrated solution that allows businesses to make computerised bill payments directly through an electronic payment system. Payment automation is a faster, more secure way to collect payments. This differs from more manual processes of invoicing and collecting payments, where you might send invoices and receive payments through post or email.

What tools are available for payment automation?

A comprehensive job management solution includes invoicing and payment tools that anyone from your team can access in one place. Even better, some solutions integrate directly with your accounting software to form one seamless cashflow management tool that helps you manage jobs from lead through to payment. This creates a single source of truth with payment and invoicing data from all your in-progress jobs. As a result, you get the complete picture of your cashflow at any given time. 34



How does payment process automation help you better manage cashflow?

1. Gives customers payment flexibility By providing customers with options to pay with a credit or debit card, in addition to cash or bank transfer, you’re providing flexible and convenient payment options which speed up the process, and make it easy for customers to pay on time. This also helps you to manage your cashflow effectively by minimising the number of late payments. With fewer late payments, you can strategise and forecast your business based on actual numbers. 2. Increases staff productivity and organisation Automated payment systems give your team valuable time back that they would otherwise spend chasing customers down for payment. Many automated payment solutions are also cloud-based, which lets any member of your staff accept payments on-site, online, or over the phone and track all of them from one central location. Staff members are more productive when they no longer have to sort through piles of paperwork and can instead access

all invoicing and payment information right from their desktop or mobile device. With a more productive staff, you can increase the speed of your cashflow. 3. Eliminates manual errors Automated payment systems minimise miscommunication and resulting manual errors that can happen with back and forth phone calls or emails over payment. These errors can also negatively impact your regular financial reporting. This can impede your ability to understand your true profit and loss, which is vital for managing your cashflow and controlling costs. With fewer manual errors, you can be confident you are making data-driven decisions that support your business’s cashflow. Ready to learn more about automating payment processes and better managing your cashflow? simPRO’s cloud-based job management software offers tools for quoting and invoicing that your team can access in the field via a mobile app and in the office. The result? Faster payment collection for better cashflow. ● Discover more tips for cashflow efficiency at


It’s best to be in safe hands With new regulations now in place in Scotland, we take a closer look at the importance of competence when it comes to the planning and design of domestic fire detection and fire alarm systems

By Tim Benstead Chair, JPEL64/B


lectricians are now commonly involved with the installation of fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises. However, it is often the case that the design of such systems is effectively undertaken by others – for example, by the manufacturer of fire detection and fire alarm products or by the housing developer or housebuilder. Typically, such designs may specify the details of what types of alarms should be installed and where they are to be located, and may also include provision

of the alarms specified. This article will consider whether such an approach meets the recommendations of the Building Standards Technical Handbook 2020: domestic and/or BS 5839-6: 2019 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings Part 6: Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises. It is important that the reader understands how standards, other guidance and legislation interplay to achieve the desired outcome of providing a satisfactory fire detection and fire alarm system and, ultimately, a safe home.

Building Standards Technical Handbook 2020: Domestic

While the Building Standards Technical Handbook is not legislation, it does provide important guidance on how to comply with it, e.g. Clause 2.9.0 states “it is important that a fire alarm is installed to provide occupants with early warning of fire”. Clause 2.11.1 requires what is, in effect, a minimum of a Grade D Category LD2 fire detection and fire alarm system to be installed. The handbook recommends that Continued on page 36 >>>

This guide explains the correct procedures behind installing fire alarm systems CABLEtalk



TECHNICAL FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS >>> Continued from page 35

smoke alarms are installed in the principal habitable room, every circulation space on each storey, every access room serving an inner room and also that a heat alarm is also installed in every kitchen.

BS 5839-6: 2019+A1: 2020

BS 5839-6 is a code of practice published by BSI detailing the recommendations for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises. Such domestic premises include: ● Single family accommodation ● Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) ● Sheltered housing ● Supported housing. The recommendations detailed in this standard apply to both new and existing domestic premises. BS 5839-6 applies across the whole of the UK to bungalows, multi-storey houses, individual flats, maisonettes, mobile homes, holiday homes, sheltered housing, mansions, shared houses and houses divided into several selfcontained single-family dwelling units. It does not apply to hostels, caravans, communal parts of blocks of flats or maisonettes, non-domestic premises and boats, other than permanently moored boats used as a residential premises.

An inappropriate general approach

The vast majority of fatalities caused by fire occur in the home. It is also clear from statistics that the elderly have a higher fire-related fatality rate and, furthermore, elderly men are more likely to die than elderly women. The majority of fires leading to death start in the living room. It is also clear that a standard approach to the planning and design of fire detection and fire alarm systems is not ideal. To quote part of the commentary of Clause 4.1 in BS 5839-6: “The design of any fire detection and fire alarm system installed in accordance with this part of BS 5839 needs to be based on a good understanding of fire risk in domestic premises.” 36



Therefore as part of the fire-risk assessment, BS 5839-6 expects the designer to account for the probability of: ● fire occurring ● injury or death of occupants if fire occurs ● the system operating correctly at the time of fire ● early detection and warning of occupants in the event of fire. A standard approach to the selection of a particular grade and category of fire detection and fire alarm system in a dwelling often takes no account of the individual circumstances, and too often there is little thought given to the recommendations detailed in BS 5839-6 for different grades and categories of system. Clause 4.2b recommends that, where practicable, the design of the fire detection and fire alarm system should be based on some form of fire risk assessment. Further guidance is found in Annex A of BS 5839-6. However, Table 1 in BS 5839-6 provides a very helpful series of recommendations for the minimum grades and categories of system for most dwellings. This sits separately from the minimum requirements of the tolerable standards being introduced in Scotland from 1 February 2022. This table provides a sensible starting point for judging whether the grade and category of system is appropriate, taking account of the fire risk assessment that should have been carried out by the designer. The issue that arises from such a general approach to design is whether or not the installer is too reliant on the design capabilities of the manufacturer or housebuilder, and whether they are complying with the recommendations of BS 5839-6 when considering a specific dwelling. It is therefore vitally important that the installer is suitably competent to undertake this work and should

Help is at hand when it comes to maintaining safety systems

possesses an adequate knowledge of the design recommendations to be able to highlight any deficiency observed when design has been undertaken by a third party.

Responsibility for the design

Annex E of BS 5839-6 contains a model certificate for Grades C, D and F fire detection and fire alarm systems. This certificate should be issued for the design, installation and commissioning of fire detection and fire alarm systems and should also be accompanied by an Electrical Installation Certificate conforming to the requirements of BS 7671. Members can access SELECT’s own version of this BS 5839-6 certificate, which is available in pad format or to SELECTcerts subscribers.


“The signatory of the certificate should sign only as confirmation that the work for which they have been responsible complies with the relevant recommendations of BS 5839-6: 2019” The first part of the fire detection and fire alarm certificate should be completed by the designer. The certificate makes this note: “Where design, installation and commissioning are not all the responsibility of a single organisation or person, the relevant words should be deleted. The signatory of the certificate should sign only as confirmation that the work for which they have been responsible complies with the relevant recommendations of BS 5839-6: 2019. A separate certificate should then be issued for other work.” The following situations could arise:

● the contractor has carried out all work and all parts of the form are signed accordingly ● the manufacturer/housebuilder has designed the system and the contractor only installs and commissions the system. Where the second of the two situations arise, it should be the case that two certificates are issued; one for design and one for installation and commissioning. However, it is often the case that the contractor will not get a ‘design’ signature and he or she issues the completed certificate,

SELECT Members are being offered an exclusive discount on The Practical Guide to Grade D Fire Alarm Systems by Tim Benstead. Available at the special price of £14.96 – a saving of 25% – the book helps ensure that Grade D1/D2 fire detection and fire alarm systems are suitably designed, installed, commissioned and maintained, providing guidance for the working electrician on: ● fire risk assessment ● selecting appropriate grade/category of system ● maintenance and servicing ● situations requiring a logbook. The book gives a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, whether as a contractor, designer, landlord or housing manager, and provides a suitable context in which all such work should be carried out. To order the book, please go to:

incorrectly assuming responsibility for the design as well as for installation and commissioning. The assumption of such responsibility where such design work has not been undertaken is unwise. Should a dispute arise the certificate issued will have demonstrated ‘proof’ that the contractor has carried out all three elements; design, installation and commissioning. Tim Benstead is the former Principal Technical Author of the NICEIC, a member of JPEL64, Chair of JPEL64/B and a member of FSH12/1, the BSI committee responsible for BS 5839-1 and BS 5839-6 for 15 years. He writes with authority and understands the concerns of the contractor and those responsible for domestic premises.






Updates explained Ahead of the publication of Amendment 2 to BS 7671: 2018, SELECT is already working hard behind the scenes to help Members understand and implement its much-anticipated changes

By Bob Cairney I Eng MIET Director of Technical Services


s you will have seen by now, the IET and BSI have signed off the content for Amendment 2 to BS 7671:2018, the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations. As outlined by SELECT at last year’s AGM, this amendment introduces a new requirement for arc fault detection devices (AFDDs), updated requirements for the fire safety design for buildings and a new chapter which provides requirements for prosumer’s low voltage electrical installations.




Amendment 2 will now come into effect immediately when published on 28 March 2022 and the previous version – BS 7671: 2018 + A1: 2020 – will be withdrawn six months later on 27 September. This essential update to the IET Wiring Regulations will form the national standard to which all new electrical installations and additions and alterations to existing electrical installations in the UK are to comply. SELECT is therefore committed to helping Members become familiar with its most significant changes, which include: ● A new requirement for AFDDs in some AC final circuits for installations in some types of higher risk residential buildings

● The requirement for the fire safety design of buildings to be documented where specific conditions of external influence exist, such as protected escape routes and locations with risk of fire ● Method for determining the requirement to provide overvoltage protection ● Changes to identification, labels and notices, such as for consumer units, affecting how safety information is provided to the user of the electrical installation ● A chapter on prosumer’s low voltage electrical installations, in a new Part 8.

“SELECT is committed to helping Members become familiar with its most significant changes” Members of the committee responsible for the technical content of BS 7671, JPEL/64, are not permitted to release any further information before the publication date. However, further changes are included throughout all parts of BS 7671, including the incorporation of Amendment 1: 2020 to BS 7671: 2018 as part of the main document. Post-Brexit, the amendment also sees the further adoption of CENELEC Harmonised Documents as the UK continues the inclusion of standards for new and developing technologies. As you know, BS 7671 is one of the UK’s most important standards, providing authoritative requirements to promote electrical safety. The changes introduced in this new amendment will help electrical professionals keep up to date with new and innovative technologies, as well as ensuring they have current knowledge

about designing safe installations. The amendment also continues the thread of embracing new technologies and prosumer’s low voltage electrical installations is an exciting step into the future of renewable sources of energy and their integration into our lives. Focusing on high-risk environments with requirements for AFDDs and the fire safety design of buildings is also a major step in order to increase safety. In conclusion, Amendment 2 is an essential update to provide for the safety of electrical installations in the UK and SELECT will be working to ensure our Members are ready to work to this amendment before BS 7671: 2018 + A1: 2020 is withdrawn.

BS 7671: 2018 + A2: 2022 is available for pre-order at

WHAT SELECT WILL BE DOING TO HELP MEMBERS To help our Members to understand the implications and impact of Amendment 2, SELECT will be carrying out a range of activity during 2022 that will include: Videos As part of our growing selection of technical films on SELECT TV, we are planning to film several instructional presentations on Amendment 2 and make them available online for Members only. This will include a video

on prosumer’s low voltage electrical installations. Toolbox Talks Our roadshows are due to return in May and June, during which our Technical Advisers will deliver two Amendment 2 presentations, the first giving an overview of what’s new, the other explaining changes to certification. CABLEtalk articles An in-depth article about Amendment 2 will appear in the April/May edition

of CABLEtalk. Subsequent editions will also feature technical updates on the topic, focusing on a specific section of the amendment. Webinars SELECT is exploring the option of holding one-off webinars about Amendment 2 if there is significant demand from Members. All sessions would be recorded and available to watch again via SELECT TV. Training courses Our Training team is already CABLEtalk

busy revising and updating BS 7671 course materials to ensure they are in line with Amendment 2. We are aiming to launch these courses at the end of September, helping delegates with our usual clear and practical instruction. Find out more about the updates to our training courses and the new e-learning options Pages 40-41 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2022



Changes for the better Work has begun to revise and update all our BS 7671 training courses ahead of the release of Amendment 2 to the 18th Edition at the end of March

Installations (Course No.218) ● SQA Initial Verification (209) ● SQA Inspection and Testing (including periodic inspection) (214) ● SQA Design and Verification of Electrical Installations (208) Our team is also currently working on amending the following course materials for the courses:

PowerPoint presentations

By Jenny Cryans Training Manager


he SELECT Training team is currently busy preparing for the release of Amendment 2 and is aiming to launch all revised BS 7671 courses by the end of September. The courses that will be revised and updated are: ● SQA Requirements for Electrical 40



These are being given a new look, created in a wider 16:9 aspect, making them more compatible for monitors and TVs.

Course notes

Some people experience visual discomfort or disturbance when they read. Therefore, all our course notes will be in Arial font, making them easier to read.

Course assessments and exercises

The paper-based assessments will again be changed to Arial. On some of our classroom courses we will have tablets

available for online completion of the assessments, saving paper.


During the updates we’ve taken into account the positive feedback we’ve received about online training. Therefore, when we update our Requirements for Electrical Installations (218) course we will launch a new e-learning option as well as retaining the classroombased module. The advantages of e-learning training include: ● Flexibility – online training courses can be taken any time and anywhere. The only requirement is an internet connection. ● Mobility – courses are configured for all types of devices so as well as desktops they can be used on phones, tablets and laptops. ● Easy on the pocket – courses are extremely cost-effective and can be utilised efficiently. ● Progress report – some assessments can be retaken and reconsidered if delegates are not satisfied with their scores. Online assessments bring about a fair scoring system that helps delegates evaluate their understanding of a given subject.

expert. The SQA experts undertake the credit rating by comparing the qualifications against five separate characteristics, which are groups of skills that individuals may develop/use in any given task. These are: ● knowledge and understanding ● practice, i.e. applied knowledge and understanding ● generic cognitive skills, e.g. evaluation, critical analysis ● communication, numeracy and IT skills ● autonomy, accountability and working with others. The level is determined by looking at each individual characteristic and deciding which Descriptor Level between 1 and 12 suits that characteristic best. Learning is designed to suit your requirements

SCQF credit rated courses

Two of our SQA Customised Award courses have previously been credit rated and placed on the Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework (SCQF). When we revise and update our courses to include Amendment 2, we will also be taking the opportunity to credit rate our other two Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Customised Awards: ● SQA Requirements for Electrical Installations (218) ● SQA Initial Verification (209). The SCQF uses two measures to describe qualifications in the framework: ● The level of difficulty of the learning outcomes of a qualification ● The size of the qualification, in terms of number of learning hours. The aim of the SCQF is to “enable employers, learners and the public to understand the full range of Scottish

qualifications, and how they relate to each other”. The SCQF is built around two main concepts – Level Descriptors and Characteristics. As the name suggests, descriptors describe in broad terms what learners should be able to do or demonstrate at a particular level, and go from Level 1 to Level 12. Levels 6 and 7 are equivalent to a SQA Level 3 (Apprenticeship Level) in complexity. Level 7 sits at the higher side of this scale. These qualifications have been designed for electricians who have already completed their Level 3 apprenticeship. They build on skills developed during the apprenticeship and help electricians maintain upto-date knowledge of the wiring regulations. The credit rating is undertaken by experts at the SQA on behalf of the SCQF, with the panel including a subject

Learning hours

The other side of credit rating is connected with learning hours. The minimum ‘unit’ is equivalent to ten learning hours. This is built in to show how long, on average, the qualification should take. Two credits means that a programme is expected to take on average about 20 hours and three credits about 30 hours. This includes both classroom time and home-study time.

Comparisons to similar UK-based qualifications

As well as providing a credit rating that allows the qualifications to be understood on the Scottish framework, the rating allows us to compare the qualifications to similar qualifications throughout the UK. Alternative frameworks do not ‘level’ using the same criteria. However, there is a map that compares the SCQF to other frameworks throughout the UK, including the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

The Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Course Name


Credit points

SQA [SELECT] Customised Award in Design and Verification of Electrical Installations to BS 7671 (208)



SQA [SELECT] Customised Award in Inspection and Testing of Electrical Installations to BS 7671 (including Periodic Inspection & Testing) (214)



For further information about the SCQF, please visit SELECT Members’ discount on five new CPD courses with Skills for Security Pages 42-43 CABLEtalk




Boost your expertise SELECT is delighted to be offering five new CPD courses with Skills for Security, with Members entitled to a 20% discount Cyber security for professionals

Advanced signalling Discover the different transmission types for signalling, including IP, GPRS, GSM and PSTN, gather key information on the analogue switch-off of our telephone network and how this will affect security systems, and technical information on the standards, grading and classifications used for signalling. COURSE OBJECTIVES: ● The purpose of signalling to an ARC ● How to identify the ATS paths used to transmit signals to an ARC ● The requirements, standards and codes of practice for ATE and URN ● The requirements to maintain and reinstate URN ● Why PSTN and ISDN are being phased out.




Discover industry recommendations to keep systems cyber secure and protected from vulnerabilities during the system design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of COURSE OBJECTIVES: ● Basic theory of TCP/IP ● Understanding what a network is ● Considerations when configuring networks, including the different types and topologies

fire and security systems. This course will provide you with a step-by-step guide on the checks to complete to ensure end-users’ systems are safe from attack, and more.

● Cybercrime and the main threats that exist in 2021 ● Security tools available for you to secure your networks ● Key cybersecurity considerations for those operating in the fire and

security sector, including the new BSIA code of practice and the recommended activities that all professionals should do when designing, installing and maintaining fire and security systems.

Intruder alarm survey and design Learn about everything from the importance of surveying sites and designing a compliant intruder alarm system, to ensuring customer and site requirements are properly documented, and how to identify the correct equipment to comply with system grading for both intruder alarm installations and signalling.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: ● Develop a step-by-step process for carrying out a survey ● Learn how to carry out a security risk assessment ● Identify the right equipment to meet customer and grading requirements ● Learn about the required documentation for a survey ● Get an introduction to signalling, surveying and grading.

Survey and design of VSS Learn all about risk assessments: how they help you design systems, the importance of site surveys and the purpose of grading. Get information on the key areas of system design and learn what documentation should be included within your design proposal.

Survey and design of fire alarm systems Learn about the role of a fire risk assessor and competency in fire risk assessments, as well as the design, installation, maintenance standards COURSE OBJECTIVES: ● The system protection categories and protection levels required for a building ● The use case, spacing,

and design classification for fire alarm systems, including the relevant standards for audible and visual warning devices.

and zoning requirements for smoke and heat detection ● The purpose of a fire alarm system ● Ways in which false

alarms can be managed and reduced ● The documentation used to design, maintain, and install a fire alarm system.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: ● Why a risk assessment is used within VSS surveys and the design process ● What operational requirements are and why we need them ● What a site survey achieves ● What should be included within a system design proposal ● The documentation required when surveying and designing a system.

HOW TO BOOK To book any of the above courses, please visit the Training section on the SELECT website at and go to ‘External training providers and courses’. All courses take between four and six hours to complete and SELECT Members are entitled to a 20% discount on the usual price of £48 per session. To take advantage of this offer, please submit your discount code at checkout. This code should have already been emailed to you. If you haven’t received it, please email and we will resend it. CABLEtalk




Extra-judicial settlement:

A cautionary tale We examine the outcome of the recent case of Loretto Housing Association Limited v Cruden Building and Renewals Limited and Ors

By David Wilson, Partner, and Lindsay Stark, Solicitor


his action was raised by Loretto Housing Association Ltd for damages in respect of defective work carried out at a property in Glasgow. Cruden argued that there were four other parties relevant to the action, in that they were, in part, also responsible for the defective work. Ultimately, the action against Cruden and Cameron + Ross settled before proof. Loretto accepted an undisclosed six-figure sum in settlement and decree of absolvitor was granted on behalf of both defenders. Subsequent to settlement, Cruden sought to recover the sums paid to Loretto from one of the aforementioned “additional” parties under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland)




Act 1940. The question for the court then was whether one party had the right to claim a right of relief against another party under the 1940 Act after settlement. The court came to a very succinct decision. Lord Braid determined that for any party to be able to seek a financial contribution from any other party, there must be a court decree issued that expressly finds that said party is liable for the claim. In this case, no party had been found liable. The terms of the settlement agreement that was agreed between Loretto and Cruden did not meet the requirements of the 1940 Act. Accordingly, Cruden could not competently pursue any monetary contribution from any other party without that party having been found liable by the court. The court also added that a decree of absolvitor was in no way an admission of

liability, in fact it is the opposite. Settlement is an attractive, and often preferred, route for resolving court actions between parties. It can lead to relationships being repaired, reduce the overall costs which can span a variety of individual disputes between parties and is often the most commercially sensible option. However, settlement ought to be undertaken with caution. The way a formal court action is brought to an end by way of settlement can have long-term consequences, as shown by this case. While settlement may be the most efficient and straightforward route out of dispute, legal advice should always be taken before a settlement agreement is signed. ● For more advice, contact David Wilson on 0141 303 1302 or david. or Lindsay Stark on 0141 303 1384 or lindsay.

LEGAL HELPLINE Specialist construction lawyers MacRoberts offer SELECT Members 20 minutes of free assistance on areas of Scottish law. This

includes specialist legal advice in the fields of commercial contracts, construction, health and safety, employment and personal injury. To get

help with any issues you’re having, just call 0141 303 1111.


Safety first for EV move In December 2020, the Scottish Government brought forward the phasing-out of sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030 as part of its wider policy to decarbonise transport by 2045. Here, leading charity Electrical Safety First explains what it is doing to help ensure a safe transition for the electric car revolution


approximate number of drivers in Scotland currently using an EV or hybrid

By Wayne Mackay Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Electrical Safety First


ast October, Electrical Safety First undertook research that included a look at Scotland’s adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles. Our research contributes to further policies, campaigns and tools we have been developing to support consumers and industry in our move to a low-carbon economy. Not surprisingly, all our activities emphasise the need to use suitably qualified and competent installers – and the electrification of heat and transport heightens their importance. Our survey found approximately 12% of Scotland’s drivers use an electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid, while around a third claimed their next new car would be one. To ensure the mainstreaming of EVs, it’s essential that drivers have access to convenient and reliable charging points, so these are now being installed in various Scottish locations, from supermarkets to motorway services. But, as expected, most people would prefer to be able to charge their EV at home. Apart from convenience, home-based charging, particularly if it’s undertaken overnight, is usually cheaper. Dedicated home EV charging points are also safer and quicker than using a domestic plug and socket — they communicate directly

Continued on page 46 >>> CABLEtalk




19% >>> Continued from page 45

said that they wouldn’t install a home charging point

with the car and provide a higher power output, allowing a faster charge. However, of all those intending to buy an EV or hybrid within the next Scotland’s public decade, more than 19% said charging network they wouldn’t install must keep pace a home charging point with demand and of these, over 15% blamed the expense. Around half the respondents to our terraced housing, account for 67% of all dwellings rented survey were not where parking from PRS landlords. planning to make options are limited – To help address this, and other safety their next car an EV/ New build homes must a particular problem issues related to the mainstreaming of plan for the electrification hybrid, with a third for high-density, multiEVs in Scotland, Electrical Safety First of transport of these giving the cost storey accommodation. offers a series of recommendations in a of installing a home Installing a home charging policy paper, Plugging into the Future. charging point as the reason. point can also be especially These include calling on the Scottish But almost another third quoted problematic for tenants in the private Government to establish national a lack of public charging points where rented sector (PRS). Landlord standards for the EV charging they live, or on their regular travel. permission is required before installation infrastructure, while ensuring local Inevitably, a lack of convenient access and, for various reasons (a concern over authorities (LAs) can tailor requirements to charging points means some will insurance, perhaps), this may not be for local needs. ignore a real risk of electric shock, or forthcoming. Currently, 14% of Scottish Scotland’s public charging network fire, when charging their car in an unsafe households live in the PRS, and flats must keep pace with demand, which way. More than 60% of the Scottish EV/ hybrid owners we surveyed admitted to unsafe charging practices. This includes BOOST FOR CHARGING POINTS charging the vehicle from the household acknowledged that He said: “We can mains to ‘daisy-chaining’ extension The Scottish Government meeting demand would be anticipate this recently announced plans leads unsuitable for outdoor use, and in “a significant challenge investment doubling to double the number of doing so creating considerable ‘slip and because it’s a significant the size of Scotland’s public EV charging points trip’ hazards from trailing across piece of infrastructure that existing network of in Scotland with a new pavements and footpaths. needs to be put in place”. charging points over the £60 million fund. In previous research, undertaken in The ChargePlace next few years. Transport Secretary Scotland in 2019, we found 74% of those Scotland network “This new fund will Michael Matheson said the charging their EV via a household currently provides 2,100 draw in and smooth proposal would ensure domestic socket blamed a lack of easy public charging points commercial investment charging points were access to public charging points. around Scotland. There are so that the future charging installed in remote and While new build homes can, and must, also an estimated 14,000 network is there to work deprived areas, with half plan for the electrification of transport, domestic units and 1,400 for everyone.” the money coming from retrofitting existing ones will be more in businesses. However, Mr Matheson the private sector. difficult. In Scotland, around 60% of people live in flats, tenements and 46



EV CHARGING EQUIPMENT INSTALLATION LEVEL 3 AWARD SELECT’s Training team currently runs the Level 3 Award in Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation, also known as course number 324. Aimed at qualified electricians interested in understanding how to install the current range of EV charging equipment, this two-day City & Guilds course covers the specialised installation requirements of public, private and commercial locations and also includes guidance on electrical requirements.

Candidate will be assessed by a multiple choice test and practical assessment after covering a range of knowledge and skills including: ● Key requirements relating to EV charging equipment. ● Advantages and disadvantages of different types of EV charging arrangements and equipment. ● Planning and preparation for design and installation of EV charging equipment. ● Requirements for inspection, testing, commissioning and

requires a strong response and coordination from government. However, the barriers for drivers lacking private parking, or inadequate on-street infrastructure, must also be acknowledged. If not, many without easy access to EV charge points will resort to unsafe charging practices. So our recommendations include a change to building regulations, to ensure dedicated charging points are installed in all new builds with parking spaces. This recommendation has been included in the Scottish Government’s consultation on the building regulations, which closed last November. We are also calling for an amendment to the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004, to allow a tenant or co-owner to install a charging point — without needing

handover of EV charging equipment. ● Installing EV charging equipment for domestic, commercial and industrial locations. ● Inspection, testing, commissioning and handover of EV charging equipment. The course is designed for electricians with a minimum of 18th Edition qualification who are able to demonstrate these competencies: ● Correctly install and terminate PVC/PVC cable (twin and earth)

60% of the Scottish EV/hybrid owners we surveyed admitted to unsafe charging practices consent or ensuring consent cannot reasonably be withheld. And we would like the Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement updated, in collaboration with landlords and their insurers, so it’s

“A lack of convenient access to charging points means some will ignore a real risk of electric shock, or fire, when charging their car in an unsafe way”

● Correctly install and terminate steel wire armoured (SWA) cable ● Carry out an initial verification (inspection and testing) on an electrical installation and complete the necessary paperwork. Courses are held at West College Scotland, Paisley and Fife College in Glenrothes. The course fee is £345 plus VAT for SELECT Members and £425 plus VAT for non-Members. For available dates, please see visit the Training section on the SELECT website at

easier for tenants to get EV charging points installed — by a competent and skilled electrician of course. We believe current government policy, such as the ‘Housing to 2040’ strategy, the new Housing Standards (which covers all tenures), and the Private Rented Sector Strategy, can be used to develop an effective domestic charging infrastructure. For LAs, we recommend focusing on more on-street charging, including ‘charging hubs’ in areas of highdensity housing. However, decisions must involve local residents and people should be provided with appropriate information to make safe and effective choices. So a key element in our work will be a continued emphasis on the importance of appropriately registered and qualified installers. Because, while transitioning to net zero is critical, it can’t come at the cost of consumer safety. Download a copy of Plugging into the Future at ESF-plug and find out more about the work of the ESF at CABLEtalk




Valuable help is at hand

Newly updated with 1,500 public sector projects worth £11 billion, the Construction Pipeline Forecast Tool can help businesses identify, track and plan new opportunities across Scotland

By Triona Tiernan Associate Director, Scottish Futures Trust


hen the COVID-19 pandemic hit nearly two years ago, the construction industry, like all other sectors, was badly affected. 48



A Scottish Chamber of Commerce Economic Indicator published at the time highlighted business confidence across the sector was at a record low, with more than half of firms surveyed reporting a decrease in future investment intentions as well as in their training budgets. A year prior to COVID-19 hitting, the Scottish Construction Leadership Forum was established to develop and implement an action plan of improvement initiatives aligned with government policies, with the Scottish Futures Trust taking a lead role. In an effort to help Scotland’s construction sector recover from the impact of COVID-19, the Forum’s members published a Recovery Action Plan in October 2020. This was created following

The tool contains important information on construction projects

extensive consultation between the construction industry and public sector, with a focus on what action was required now to respond to the pandemic. One of the actions we were tasked with was to develop and create a construction pipeline database. The premise was to create a detailed pipeline of future public sector construction projects that would provide businesses, both large and small, with greater clarity and understanding of future construction projects to be delivered across Scotland, allowing them to plan accordingly. In June 2021, after working closely with Scottish Government, procuring public bodies and numerous industry partners, we launched the Construction Pipeline Forecast Tool. At its launch, the free online platform contained details

“This is just the start of an exciting process and I encourage other public bodies to share their data to broaden their market access”

‘WE’LL BE USING IT’ Inverness-based flooring, plasterboard and ceiling firm Clanco is already looking forward to using the web-based tool. Eddie Macdonald, general manager and estimator, said: “I can see how it’ll be very useful in giving us an early heads-up of potential work and that will allow us to plan ahead as well as making sure we don’t miss out on tendering. It’s certainly something we’ll be using.”

of more than 1,150 individual construction projects with a value of more than £8.5 billion. And at its six-monthly refresh in January 2022, the number of projects increased to more than 1,500, taking the pipeline value to more than £11 billion. Of these 1,500 new project opportunities, more than 800 are below £2 million in value – the vast majority of them in the housing and education sectors – helping create many new business opportunities for hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses

working across the sector. The tool allows any registered user to simply and easily explore the data held using various criteria that includes the chosen procurement route, the procuring authority, contract value and sector. The next refresh of the pipeline database will be in summer 2022, when it is expected to continue to expand and grow as more and more public sector contracting authorities see its benefits and join to provide details of their future infrastructure projects By providing greater transparency on future workloads, the pipeline will help businesses of all sizes better plan and maintain their investment in skills and future training needs. It is also intended that the pipeline will encourage collaboration between public sector organisations through a greater understanding of their respective investment pipelines. The pipeline also seeks to provide a longer-term view on future investment and includes details of construction projects up to 2028, with the majority of the spend planned for before 2025. The types of construction projects include new build, refurbishments, maintenance works across 20 sectors that include health, education, housing, justice, offices and retail. When the pipeline was launched, Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, said: “This is a crucial time for business, trade and investment in Scotland and we are pushing forward with an ambitious agenda of recovery and economic transformation. Construction will play a key part in that recovery, delivering critical infrastructure and supporting our important net zero commitments. “By working together and galvanising the expertise and

ingenuity of the construction industry, we can enhance Scotland’s economic potential and deliver greater, greener and fairer prosperity. “This online tool will provide businesses with the pipeline visibility they need to plan investment in skills, labour and materials which will support jobs and business growth. “It also delivers new opportunities for small and medium-sized business across the sector by providing visibility of smaller contracts. “This key ask from industry has been delivered through the Construction Leadership Forum Recovery Plan – demonstrating how we can work together to deliver the changes the sector needs. “This is just the start of an exciting process and I encourage other public bodies to share their data to broaden their market access.” Importantly, our work continues to ensure the Construction Pipeline Forecast Tool remains current and relevant and is updated every six months to ensure the construction sector receives up-to-date and vital information that helps them manage their businesses effectively and plan for future work. The pipeline tool is one of a number of initiatives that the Scottish Future Trust’s Construction Industry & Delivery team has developed to support improved outcomes across the construction industry and the public sector. The Construction Pipeline Forecast Tool can be accessed at pipeline.scottishfuturestrust.






forward After the uncertainties and upheaval of the last two years, our expert gazes into his crystal ball and outlines what construction business should be doing to safeguard their livelihoods in the next 12 months and beyond…




“One thing that concerns me greatly is the level of business failures in the industry during 2021, particularly in England and Wales ”

By Len Bunton



Contract Expert

eflecting on the events of 2020 and 2021, are we seeing much change for the prospects of the construction industry in 2022? Well one thing that concerns me greatly is the level of business failures in the industry during 2021, particularly in England and Wales where some big players have gone – some turning over £85 million per annum.

I recently saw the figures for a development company that was in administration and the level of money owed to creditors was a mind-boggling £68 million, with amounts due to individual organisations ranging from £12,000 to £450,000. With such horror stories in mind, now more than ever, my advice to SELECT Member businesses would be to keep a focused eye on your payments and cashflow and don’t let the level of your debt get out of control. I’m seeing an increasing number of situations where my own client base is continually chasing a contractor for payment for work, with the result that they end up saying: “We won’t work for that lot again.” Since the pandemic started, there has been much talk within the industry about the need for change and “we can’t go back to the way we have operated for years”. I agree with that, but getting major change to procurement strategies, tendering procedures and low-ball tendering is a huge issue and we await the publication of the Construction Accord by the Scottish Government shortly.

So what’s the solution in the meantime? Well, I hope that SELECT Members will see the benefits of project bank accounts (PBAs) which will have a significant impact on the timing of your monthly payments. A great deal of material on the subject is available on the CICV website at and if you need advice then SELECT can also assist you. My view is that all public sector construction projects should have PBAs and there should be no financial threshold. My second piece of advice is also dear to my heart and one that I feel is more important than ever – the Conflict Avoidance Process (CAP). As you’ll know, I’ve authored many articles about CAP for CABLEtalk in the past two years, emphasising its importance, and would I continue to encourage all SELECT Member organisations to read up on it and sign the Conflict Avoidance Pledge. This will allow you to have issues addressed at the earliest possible stage, before they escalate into a dispute, and also to find a way through any current payment issues. Again, if you need assistance then the SELECT team can help you to find out more. So, to summarise and I will not pull any punches – it is up to the industry to press ahead with implementing PBAs and CAP. The talking is over and the benefits have been explained. All I will add in conclusion is that moans and groans about payment can be resolved by actively supporting these processes.





Your mind matters


By Tessa Ogle Managing Director and CEO, Electrical Industries Charity

In today’s busy business world, it’s more important than ever to safeguard your mental health. Here are three things you can start doing now to flick the switch on a happier you… 52



ental health is a broad umbrella term which encompasses a huge number of different conditions, understandings and definitions. But put simply, it’s the wellbeing of your brain. This wellbeing is just as important as our physical health, if not more, and both depend on each other. Think of your mental and physical health as two points in a circuit; if one of them disconnects, the circuit cannot run. Just as we only have one body, we only have one brain, and that’s why we need to look after ourselves and our mental wellbeing. If you neglect yourself, you can begin to: ● Lose your sense of self ● Lose confidence and self-esteem ● Become withdrawn/isolated ● Feel more fatigued ● Lose sense of purpose ● Feel more anxious. And when you begin to feel these things it can be really hard to break the cycle. So, here’s how to start looking after your mental health just as much as your physical wellbeing.

Start talking

In the UK, we’re the biggest advocates of ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘keep calm and carry on’, but sometimes it’s OK to let the lip wobble a little and chat to people you trust about how you’re feeling. It’s completely natural to feel apprehensive about opening up, especially if you’re so used to being independent or dealing with things on your own, but it’s important to remember that those you trust will only want to support you, not judge you, so give them a chance to help. You may want to reach out to a family member, friend, or colleague. If you’re nervous about worrying them then why not try reaching out to a free talk service like the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) for a non-judgemental listening ear.

Start exercising

As well as being important for your physical health, regular exercise is vital for your mental wellbeing, releasing feel-good hormones that boost your confidence and give you more energy.

“It’s important to remember that those you trust will only want to support you, not judge you, so give them a chance to help”

people in the UK live with some sort of mental health condition, ranging from common anxiety to bipolar disorder, anorexia, self-harming and addiction Physical activity releases cortisol, which reduces stress, and can also help you sleep better, reduce the risk of depression and help you connect with like-minded people. Different types of exercise you can try at home are: ● Sitting a little bit less – move about for five minutes every hour to introduce some physical activity. ● Chair-based exercises – a great way to build strength and still get blood pumping. Find out more at sitting-exercises ● Home workouts – there is a whole wealth of videos available through YouTube and Instagram. Try searching for ‘home workouts for beginners’. Don’t be put off if you find some of the moves too challenging – just attempt what you can.

HOW TO ASK FOR HELP SELECT Members can access support seven days a week on the EIC’s free and confidential helpline: 0800 652 1618. The helpline is open 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 8am-1pm on weekends. Help is also available by emailing

If you’d rather exercise out and about, try giving these a go: ● Walk a bit more – set yourself a goal of achieving 15, 30 or 45 minutes of walking a day. Explore your local neighbourhood or walk to your local shop instead of driving. ● Volunteer – if you need

something to get you out and about, why not volunteer outdoors at The National Trust for Scotland or The Wildlife Trusts. ● Join your local leisure centre – your leisure centre is more than a gym and a pool. Why not try an aerobics class, dance class or a go on the squash courts? Walking or running groups are a great way to meet people and get some exercise.

Start accepting who you are

Self-acceptance is the single biggest thing you can do to safeguard your mental wellbeing and ensure greater happiness. That doesn’t mean saying you can’t improve or better yourself, but the fundamentals of who you are are good enough. We’re all different and that’s what makes us great. Accept you’re unique and you’re great at being you. Knowing we’re good enough, valued and worthy means that when life does take a difficult turn, we can cope better. Be proud of yourself that you’re doing your best and you are who you are. Recognise and accept that you’re fab at some things and not great at others and that that’s OK. Focus on what you can do well and excel at it.

Money-related stress: Pages 54-55 CABLEtalk




Money and mental health In the current climate, financial issues can be another unwelcome burden on your wellbeing. If money is currently causing you stress, here are some tools to improve your mental health and details of organisations who can help ease the pressure

By Vicki Leslie Client Relationship Manager, EC Insurance Services Limited


f the start of a new year has you worried about money, you’re not alone. Many of us, from all walks of life, have to deal with financial stresses, strains and uncertainty. Whether problems stem from the loss of work, escalating debt, unexpected expenses or a combination of different factors, financial worry is one of the most common stressors in today’s world. Financial problems can affect your mental health in many ways. For example, you might be feeling, behaving or thinking differently to usual. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder. Fear plays a huge part in our emotions regarding money. Feeling low or anxious is a normal response when you have 54



financial problems, but we often jump to the worst-case scenario: Can I pay my bills? Will staff be paid on time? Can I put food on the table? When we let fear take over, our stress increases and we make decisions that are often not in our best interest. This can soon become a vicious cycle: Financial problems adversely impact your mental health: The stress of other money issues leaves you feeling depressed or anxious. It can lead to poor sleep and eating habits and affect our relationships.

The decline in your mental health makes it harder to manage money: You may find it harder to concentrate or lack the energy to tackle a mounting pile of bills. Or you may lose income by taking time off work due to anxiety or depression.

“There are plenty of external organisations who can offer help on how to manage your debt” These difficulties managing money lead to more financial problems and worsening mental health problems, and so on: You become trapped in a downward spiral of increasing money problems and declining mental health. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep on top of your financial stress. The first is to look at what you can do to help cope with stress, such as having regular exercise, eating well and limiting alcohol intake. The second is to look at practical things, such as budget planning, raising funds, or seeking advice from specialist debt advisers. There are also several simple things you can do straight away to ensure you’re looking after yourself: Stay active: Keep seeing your friends and family; they are our primary source of support. If you have more time

because you’re not at work, do some form of exercise – physical activity can improve your mood if you’re feeling low. Face your fears: Don’t bury your head in the sand. When people feel anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to others. Some people can lose their confidence about driving or travelling. If this happens, facing these situations will generally make them more manageable. Don’t drink too much alcohol: For some people, alcohol can become a problem. You may drink more than usual as a way of dealing with your emotions or to fill up some time. But alcohol will not help you deal with your problems. Don’t give up your daily routine: Get up at your regular time and stick to your usual routine. If you lose your way, it can affect your eating – you may stop cooking, miss breakfast because you’re

LENDING AN EAR Helpful organisations that are happy to offer expert advice include: ● Money Advice Service: 0300 500 5000 ● National Debtline: 0808 808 4000 ● StepChange Debt Charity: 0800 138 1111 ● Citizens Advice Scotland: 0808 800 9060

still in bed, or eat snacks instead of having proper meals. In addition, there are plenty of external organisations who can offer help on how to manage your debt: Citizens Advice Bureau: The Citizens Advice Bureau is an excellent place to get information on how to deal with debt, budgeting, what you’re entitled to if you’re made redundant, borrowing money and mortgage problems. Find your nearest one at Budgeting and savings apps: Understanding how your financial problems started is key to getting your finances on the straight and narrow. Budgeting apps can help you understand how much and where you spend your money. Once you are on the correct debt recovery path, savings apps like Plum and MoneyBox can help you save money too. GOV.UK: The GOV.UK website has sections on redundancy and dismissals, benefits and managing debt and is always worth visiting to find out more. How can we help? While a private medical scheme will not solve your money problems, you need to be fighting fit to get through this period of financial stress. Through our partnership with EC Insurance Services (ECIS), SELECT Members have access to a range of healthcare options to support both mental and physical health. For more information, email ecis@ecins. or visit






By Anne Galbraith Chief Executive, SECTT


think it’s an understatement to say that the last two years have been extremely difficult for employers, yet it’s been heartening to see their ongoing enthusiasm for apprenticeships. Electrical contractors have always been highly supportive of developing talent, as was proved by the 500 apprentices that were still taken on at the peak of the pandemic in 2020. This commitment was reinforced by the number of new electrical apprentices and adult trainees recruited in 2021, which reached a 12-year high and saw more than 800 new learners enrolled. It’s clear to me that SELECT Businesses have remained committed to apprenticeships




Support for more learning As electrical training continues in the classroom and on-site, here’s how the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) will offer help and advice this year to help develop the talent of tomorrow Members have a real belief in the value of apprenticeships and training, and we will return this faith by continuing to work hard in the following key areas over the next 12 months.

Electrical apprenticeships

To quote Alan Wilson, Managing Director of SELECT: “The future is electric – and that future is here now.” Therefore we need to equip our trainees with the skills to install, operate and maintain new and emerging technology. An electrical apprenticeship remains the main way to do this, offering highquality, value-for-money training and a well-structured journey, balanced between the site and classroom and taught by knowledgeable and enthusiastic lecturers. SECTT will continue to work closely with the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) to ensure all course content is modern, interactive, dynamic and keeps pace with the ever-changing landscape, while also encouraging the development of the maturity, knowledge and understanding that lies at the heart of the scheme. We’ll also continue to focus on safety at all times, ensuring that all apprentices work safely and to the highest standards,

Get Into Electrical Installation

SECTT has been working with The Prince’s Trust for the past seven years to deliver the Get Into Electrical Installation programme, funded by SELECT and the Electrical Education Training Foundation (EETF). The six-week intensive programme has given hundreds of 16-29 year olds an opportunity to gain electrical skills and experience and we will continue to promote it as an alternative route into employment.

Protection of title

Teaching the latest techniques is important

and are up to date with the latest technical advances. This way, we can ensure that today’s apprentices earn public confidence when they become the electricians of tomorrow.

Adult Training Scheme

SECTT will also continue to manage the Adult Training Scheme, which is designed for those already working in the electrical industry with no formal qualifications. We are keen to build on this highly successful programme and give opportunities to even more people, reinforcing the message that there is no dilution in the quality of training – only a recognition that mature people learn and absorb information in a different way.

Final Integrated Competence Assessment (FICA)

The FICA is a huge part of every qualified electrician’s journey, and SECTT will continue to help trainees prepare for this important step. Employers and industry experts will also

be deeply involved in defining the requirements for this test of competence, confidence and ability.


We’ll continue the good work on our pre-apprenticeship courses, which integrate people at approved centres for work experience and progression into full-time employment on the modern apprenticeship. The course gives employers the chance to assess if a person is suitable for their business, and also offers the preapprentice an opportunity to experience working life and choose if being an electrician is for them.

SECTT has been an enthusiastic supporter of SELECT’s campaign for regulation of the electrical industry and this backing will continue in 2022. Along with SELECT, the SJIB and Unite the Union, we will keep pressing the Scottish Government to make the profession of electrician a protected title and, in turn, protect people and property. Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to employers and contractors for all your support throughout the pandemic and hope we all have a productive 2022. I’d also like to remind companies that a fully-skilled workforce is essential if they want to remain competitive and strong. Therefore, now is the time to consider your requirements for the coming academic session and to recruit an apprentice to support your business for today – and the future.

SECTT manages high-quality training on behalf of the SJIB. To find out more about SECTT and its work, call 0131 445 5659, email or visit


“A fully-skilled workforce is essential if companies want to remain competitive and strong” CABLEtalk



PRO ZONE News from our Associate Members and the wider PROTECTION COMBINES WITH STYLE FOR DRAPER TOOLS’ XP1000 RANGE Protection on the job is essential. Check out the XP1000 range from Draper Tools – a smart, new series of VDE and EN60900 compliant pliers with tethered options as well as standard and slimline screwdrivers. They look great and perform brilliantly. Certified for work on live AC circuits up to

1kV and DC circuits up to 1.5kV, all XP1000 tools are fully insulated, with screwdrivers that boast a unique dual-layer safety sheath on their blades. Part of the high-quality Draper Expert range, they come with a lifetime warranty too. Safety has never been so sexy.

REGULATE YOUR BODY HEAT IN SNICKERS WORKWEAR CLOTHING Dressing right and staying comfortable when it’s cold and wet demands the best in climate control working clothes. Continuous work in cold weather produces body heat and sweat. But when your work rate slows, the sweat cools and you’ll start to feel cold and damp. The solution is Snickers Workwear’s body-mapping mid-layer work clothes that deliver advanced ventilation to control and regulate heat from your body. Made to last from sustainable fabrics, they’re great for work and leisure. They complement Snickers Workwear’s FlexiWork


Thorn Lighting has introduced its new Cetus luminaire, a low height LED downlight, easy to install, available in three different sizes and perfect for new installations and refurbs. With the Lumen Colour Select (LCS) feature, colour temperatures and lumen outputs can be chosen after the luminaire has been installed, meaning use of a space can be defined lastminute or changed over time. There are two lumen outputs to choose from and three colour temperatures. Available in small, medium or large recess sizes, the Cetus range is extremely flexible. Fitting or covering all ceiling cut-outs from 95 to 230mm, tolerances of ceiling cut outs of 30-40mm can be covered without the need for retro-fit rings. A recessed depth of just 100mm also means that Cetus is well suited to installation in ceilings with shallow voids.

TIS is on the right page base-layer undergarments, as well as AllRoundWork and FlexiWork weatherproof jackets and trousers. Call 01484 854788, visit www.snickersworkwear. or email sales@



Spotlight on new Cetus luminaire


Test Instrument Solutions (TIS) is proud to announce the launch of its new full product digital catalogue. It includes sections on full EVSE charge station testing kits along with solar PV test instrumentation for domestic, commercial and industrial installation. Go to

The new range also has a focus on sustainability, with efficacy up to 140 lm/W and a lifetime of L80 50,000 hours. Cetus is aligned with the Single Lighting Regulation which now requires that lighting products comply with ecodesign requirements. Ulrich Juergenschellert, Product Manager Downlights, said: “Whether it’s a new project or a renovation, Cetus provides an easy solution.” Find out more at www. products/indoor-lighting/ downlights/Cetus3



David Hughes: 07767 407 402

ESP’S FIRE DESIGN SERVICE RECEIVES BAFE ACCREDITATION ESP is proud to announce that it has been awarded BAFE accreditation for its fire design service. BAFE is the independent registration body for third-party certified fire safety service providers across the UK, and ESP now appears on the National BAFE Fire Safety Register. BAFE manages and maintains a scheme called BAFE SP203-1, which covers fire detection and alarm systems. This scheme exists to deliver quality, independent evidence that providers – like ESP – are competent to deliver fire system designs for its fire detection and alarm systems. It gives assurances to

OVIA’S GATOR RANGE OF LED STREET LIGHTING HELPS YOU GET IT BRIGHT Ovia continues to expand its floodlight collection with the Gator range of LED street lighting with CTA switch. With an IK10 housing and IP66 rated, Gator is ideal for lighting large outdoor areas and is designed to be quick and simple to install via toolless entry, with the toolless gear tray allowing for easy maintenance.

There are three size/wattage options that offer 50,000-hour lifetime and 85⁰ x 150⁰ beam angle, available in a grey finish with a five-year warranty. The full Gator range can be seen in the Ovia Issue 3 catalogue, which can be downloaded from the Ovia website, and the Scolmore Group app.

customers that the company will deliver a fire system design that complies with all the relevant British Standards. For support with any fire system design requirements, contact

Say goodbye to stress during EOFY with tips from simPRO The end of the financial year (EOFY) is a busy time for businesses. It can seem like an endless task of organising and wishing you’d prepared better through the year. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s a great opportunity to consider how you could improve your business. But no matter how organised you are, if you are using manual or paper-based workflows, or outdated software, EOFY can become a tedious time. A cloud-based job management software, such as simPRO, integrates with your accounting system and can help you streamline your work processes from initial customer contact to final invoicing, making EOFY a little less stressful. It will also capture data and aid the tracking of outstanding payments.

Here are three ways it can help reduce preparation time in the lead up to EOFY: Accounting integrations – Cloud-based software which integrates with your accounting package can help keep your financial data accurate while also streamlining your workflows. Reduce the time you spend cross-referencing

financial transactions and reconciling accounts and also gain better control with greater visibility of your cash flow. Data processing – Operations management software allows you to say goodbye to duplicate data entry. With workflow triggers and automated actions, you’ll improve the accuracy of your data. Invoicing, quotes and payments – The mobility of cloud-based software allows you to quote, invoice and collect payment while on site. This will help limit the number of unpaid invoices you need to chase in the lead-up to the EOFY. Discover how software can help at simPRO Sales Manager Steven Crake stars in a new video in which he talks about top recurring revenue ideas for your electrical business to help kickstart 2022. Watch it at




PRO ZONE News from our Associate Members and the wider

Unlock the power of data with TCW Stay ahead in our fast-paced industry with Luceco Academy Keeping up with industrychanging technology can be difficult as more and more innovations hit the market. Luckily, Luceco Group has launched the Luceco Academy online training platform to help contractors stay ahead and develop their business. The Academy has been specifically designed to help you improve your knowledge base and keep you up to date with the latest trends and regulations. Launched in late 2020, thousands of electrical contractors have already signed

up and are now enjoying regular and varied content. All CPD courses are fully accredited and each provides one credit towards annual CPD requirements. Plus the topics covered are driven by electrical contractors themselves via valued feedback and ideas. If you would like to further your career development with high-quality training and CPD courses, visit and register your details. New CPD courses are added regularly, so you’ll receive updates when the next one is available.

SELECT’s latest Associate Member is TCW, a truly unique software as a service (SaaS) platform that revolutionises the compliance and asset management arena in a variety of sectors. Simply add all of your compliance and maintenance documents to TCW and within minutes each is checked and validated, cross-referencing with legislation and wiring regulations, etc, just as a qualified person would, presenting risk in a unique way. Failing assets, obsolete parts and appliances, noncompliance, safety issues and latent faults are pinpointed,

allowing your data to be searchable and at your fingertips. TCW provides an autonomous solution, reading your documents so you are not forced to create new ones or spend hours telling the software what and where to check. The software has been built to understand wiring and gas regulations, control of asbestos, PAS79 and the many British Standards around fire safety, such as BS583 and 5266. Actions monitoring means you can have actions created and sent to whoever needs to rectify the risk automatically. Over time you’ll be able to track and see the positive


LUCECO ACADEMY LAUNCHES SMART HOME CPD ACCREDITED COURSE The Luceco Academy has recently added a free, fully CPD accredited course on smart homes to help support industry professionals. This latest essential module covers one of the fastest developing areas in electrical installation, both in popularity and complexity. It includes the types of devices available, the methods of communication different systems use, commonly used terms and different methods of control. Like the other

courses, it provides one credit towards annual CPD requirements. Find out more at electrical-cpd-courses





As the market for home automation products grows, consumers and building owners are turning to more decorative finishes. In anticipation of growing demand in this area, Scolmore has added new decorative sockets in some of the most popular ranges. One and two-gang smart sockets are available in the Definity screwless, Deco+ premium decorative and

Deco decorative wiring accessories ranges. A new Click Smart+ Fused Connection Unit has also been added to the Mode antiviral and antibacterial smart wiring accessories range. The Click Smart+ range utilises Zigbee technology one of the most widely adopted smart home communication protocols. Find out more by visiting



To inquire about becoming an Associate Member, email


progression with regards to actively managing real compliance and assurance tasks. More than 1.2 million social housing properties benefit from TCW’s intelligent and fully automated solution. It provides a single location for all compliance certificates and reports, including the ‘Big Six’, revolutionising how people manage safety.

By unlocking your data the facts, analytics and knowledge gleaned provide genuinely actionable insights, enabling you to predict future events and make proactive risk-reducing and costeffective decisions. For further information on how TCW turns information into insight, go to or email

Unicrimp has added a 20mm conduit earth electrode box to its growing earth rods and components range. The earth electrode box protects the connection to an earth electrode. It is compatible with 20mm conduit, with provision for brass earth terminal, and is suitable for countersunk installation. It is supplied with a warning printed lid screwed into the box.

Unicrimp launched its earthing rods and components range in 2019 and offers installers a one-stop shop for all their needs. All its earthing products meet British, European and international standards and are made from high-quality materials designed for long-lasting performance. Call 01827 300600, email or visit

Celebrating our stars Nominations are now open for the Aico | HomeLINK Community Awards 2022, which recognise the achievements of inspirational individuals and organisations working in the local community and social housing. Hosted by TV presenter George Clarke, the ceremony on 12 May will welcome more 300 people and finalists at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. The 11 categories include Electrical Contractor of the Year and the Women in Fire Safety Award. Entries close on 31 March with finalists announced in April. For more information, visit






Employment & Skills Operations Manager Hello Natalie. Many Members will remember you from when you were the SELECT Membership Manager. So what have you been doing since and what brings you back to The Walled Garden?

I was working at Edinburgh Zoo as Membership Manager. While I enjoyed my time working there, I had missed working at SELECT and wanted a real challenge so I’m delighted to be back. My role has been held for many years by Fiona Cornwall, who will be retiring in April, so I’ll have some big boots to fill!

What does your new job entail? Tell us more about what you’ll be doing. I’m only scratching the surface at the moment! I’ll mainly be providing support to Fiona Harper, who is Director of Employment & Skills and The Secretary of the SJIB. This will include assisting in the development of policies and procedures for SELECT, the SJIB and the industry, managing the team of Employment & Skills Administrators, dealing with queries from Members on the National Working Rules, preparing and updating SJIB circulars to keep our Members up to date with the latest changes, ensuring SJIB content is up to date on our websites and managing the BS EN ISO 9001: 2008 audits.

What’s a typical day been like for you so far?

I’m spending a lot of time shadowing Fiona Cornwall, learning the ins and outs of the role and the many different processes. One thing I have gathered so far is that you really can’t predict what the day will be like, however you can guarantee that each day is a busy one (which I like). I’m also spending time with each of the Employment & Skills Administrators and doing my best to absorb 62



“I’m so glad that by the time I started back at SELECT, I was able to come into the office and spend time with my colleagues”

as much of the SJIB Handbook and grading requirements as possible.

Have you had chance to reconnect with any SELECT Members yet? Not yet. I do have my first visit to one of our Members in February, though, which I’m very much looking forward to. I’ll hopefully get an opportunity to meet more later this year.

What impact did COVID-19, lockdown and working remotely have on your working life?

Initially it was a massive shock to the system. However, I adapted really quickly and though adjustments needed to be made, I feel that it made me work smarter and use my time even more productively. I’m so glad that by the time I started back at SELECT, I was able to come into the office and spend time with my colleagues.

What do you think are the main benefits of SELECT membership?

The level of support you get as a SELECT Member is incredible. The amount of information out there can be overwhelming and SELECT Members can turn to us for help with employment, technical, health and safety and many other issues or queries. No one has to suffer in silence and there will always be someone at SELECT who is happy to help, which I think is invaluable.

And finally, what are you looking forward to most about your new role?

I think I’ll get a lot of job satisfaction from the role. It’s only early days and I can already see how much is being worked on and developed in the background to streamline and improve things for Members and the industry. I’m looking forward to being a part of that and having an input.

QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS: Cheese or chocolate? Cheese Dog or cat person? Dog First car owned? Volkswagen Polo Favourite film? One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Favourite TV show? Outlander Favourite holiday spot? Florida Dream date? Out for dinner somewhere that does a good steak and even better cocktails. Favourite colour? Purple One thing people might not know about you? I’m obsessed with sharks and will hopefully be going to South Africa in the next few years to go diving with Great Whites.


£50 OF



December 2021/ January 2022 answers: A D E F G H I J K N L M N O H P Q R S T I U























Here’s your chance to win £50 of Amazon vouchers with our prize wordfit compiled by SELECT Training Administrator Laurie Burns. Fit the words to reveal what the letters in the coloured squares spell out and email it to by 14 March. The winner will be drawn at random. Ts&Cs are online. Congratulations to December/January winner Helen Hardie from JS Hardie Ltd in Lauder.

• • • • •

Alpine skiing Beijing Biathlon Bobsleigh Cross country skiing • Curling • February • Figure skating

• • • • • • • •

Ice hockey Luge Mascot Medals Skeleton Ski jumping Snowboarding Torch

Letters in the coloured squares make up a Winter Olympics related word. Let us know the answer!

Dumfries and Galloway – Tuesday 15 March All Branch Updates start at 6pm and will be held remotely via webinar. For more information, please email MemberServices or call 0131 445 5577. Inverness and North Scotland – Tuesday 8 March Glasgow and West of Scotland – Thursday 10 March


Edinburgh and South East Scotland – Thursday 17 March Ayrshire – Tuesday 22 March

16 May – President’s Cup, Dunblane New Golf Club

4 June – President’s Walk, Chatelherault Country Park

25 June – Summer Carnival, The Walled Garden

30 September – President’s Lunch, Venue to be announced

Aberdeen and North East Scotland – Thursday 24 March Lanarkshire – Tuesday 29 March Tayside – Thursday 31 March CABLEtalk