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Case Study – SELECT

SELECT is the trade association for the electrical contracting industry in Scotland and was the first trade association in the world to serve the electrical industry.

SELECT has been UKAS accredited to the recognised standard for Inspection Bodies – ISO/IEC 17020:2012 for 23 years.  Despite being non-mandatory, accreditation has formed a key part of SELECT’s commercial strategy.

Why embark on non-mandatory accreditation?

Dave Forrester, Director of Technical Services at SELECT recognises the importance of this work:

“Being UKAS accredited is extremely important for us, our Members and the wider public.  Holding UKAS accredited status is a key part of our inspection work and brings great confidence to customers and the wider industry.”

SELECT’s most recent UKAS assessment was overseen by Malcolm Duncan, SELECT’s Training and Development Adviser and QA Manager, who outlines the importance of accreditation in underpinning consumer safety.  “Using an accredited body helps consumers reduce the risk of accident and injuries, improves productivity and sends the right message about maintaining best practice, professionalism and integrity.”

In achieving and maintaining ISO/IEC 17020 accreditation, SELECT enables its Members to sign off their work in line with the requirements of the Scottish Building Standards, passing on the competitive advantage to them.

A different type of assessment

The most recent assessment was carried out remotely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Malcolm confirms that initially he had reservations about the remote approach.  “I was concerned that the admin would become overwhelming, however I’m pleased to say that our Assessment Manager, Mark Nelson, was very helpful and gave us plenty of support that enabled us to navigate this process.  It worked a lot better than I thought it would and, most importantly, helped us to maintain our accredited status.”

Accreditation to support future projects

In addition to acting as an important badge of quality and competence, SELECT is involved in a number of projects designed to drive further electrical safety improvements in Scotland, and they believe UKAS accreditation provides the necessary gravitas to assist with this.

SELECT is currently actively working with the Scottish government to protect the title of electrician, which is not currently a requirement in Scotland.  Malcolm explained this step would lead to considerable improvements in public safety and trust, which would in turn help the electrical industry move forward.

“We like to fly the flag of our UKAS accreditation, and it certainly helps us demonstrate that we have the necessary knowledge and experience to comment on such things, and that this expertise has been independently assessed.”

SELECT also sits on a number of J/PEL Sub Committees involved in the production and evolution of BS 7671 (IET Wiring Regulations, 18th Edition)  and is presently working closely with the Building Standards Division in connection with a number of changes to legislation that will impact the electrical industry.

UKAS is proud of our long-standing relationship with such an influential stakeholder to the electrical industry and congratulates SELECT on their 23 years of accreditation.