Amendment 1 of BS7671 17th Edition Wiring Regulations- Latest Comments

by Steve on August 18, 2011

The recent negative comments regarding the need to own a copy of the Amendment 1 BS7671 Regulations have prompted a reply from James of .

Thanks to James and here’s his reply:

There seems to be a lot of negative response to the latest ammendment of BS7671 with people complaining about the price of the newest version. I would like to just like to therefore make a few points: –
1. Owning a copy of BS7671 is not compulsory and it is not a legal requirement
Many people forget BS7671 is not law and therefore is not enforceable. However regulation 114.1 does clearly state it may be used as evidence to claim compliance with some of the laws such as Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
2. Most schemes for electrical work insist that you have, (and use), a copy of BS7671 to ensure you are working to the latest statandard. Again this is not enforceable as being a member of a scheme is not a legal requirement.

The purpose of BS7671 is to help people install systems safely and achieve compliance with the Law in the UK. If we want to stop updating our knowledge and understanding of electrical energy then we need to stop technological advancements. I view BS7671 a an essential tool to do my job, much like an insurance policy and as essential as screwdrivers and side cutters and I am sure many of you will have purchased tools in ecess of the price of the book.

I have found in the past BS7671 has been a very valued asset and the work that goes into keeping it relevant and up to date is a very essential task and I know it takes a lot of time and effort to ensure it contains the best guidance possible to make sure we remain compliant with the law in an ever chaning work environment. I don’t know of many organisations that would be willing to work so hard on producing such an essential piece of work without charging for it. I know I always make sure I get paid for the work I do.

In closing as I said earlier it is not a legal requirement to have the book or be a member of a scheme. Therefore if you feel the book is too expensive don’t buy it but make sure you become an expert in the laws that you need to comply with and an expert in the advances in technology.


As James says the purpose or the Regs is to ensure that as electricians we install wiring systems safely and achieve compliance with the Law.  Yes, it can be annoying when you’re trying to earn a living and it seems as though there is a ever changing set of rules to comply with but we are working in an industry that is evolving with new technology. Anyone who wants to be a modern electrician needs to be aware of new developements and requirements.

The most important thing about having the Wiring Regulations to refer to is that we are all working to the same system and understand the reasons behind what we do.
When we comply with the Regs we aviod confusion, which helps keep things safe for us as electricians and the final users.



{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Kenny June 26, 2012 at 10:48

Probably 200 000 electricians who are sick of propping up a scam to the tune of over £60 on an all too regular basis.

Steve June 17, 2012 at 15:52

I don`t mind paying for the regs but what I object to is the amount of work being carried out that does not comply with any edition of the regs!
Yes our trade is top heavy with paperwork and you need your wits about you in order to comply with the regs but its still a great job.

Steve Smith March 29, 2012 at 12:51

I don’t expect an answer, but, here is a copy of an email that I sent to the IET

Dear Sir/Madam.

I would like to enquire as how the prices of the subject books are priced. It is the responsibility of all electricians’ to keep abreast of the changes in the industry.

However the cost of the books makes it unlikely that all electricians can afford to purchase them leading to a lowering of standards in some cases. I also appreciate that they don’t have to own them as they are not a legal document, but it is known that the HSE will refer to them as a standard should the need arise.

It is strongly felt that we are had over a barrel, and that’s not how the IET should make one feel. The 15th and 16th were never as expensive as the 17th and amendments. (Taken into account the relative cost)

They are not on upholders of the law’s salary.

I don’t at all wish to appear brash, but most comment’s on the web pertaining to these book’s gives the IET a bad name.

Your comments would be appreciated.

Steve Smith March 29, 2012 at 11:29

I don’t disagree with at all the fact that it is in our interest to make sure that we comply with all the changes that occur in the electrical industry. It is only a fool that doesn’t. I like all electricians feel that this series of books is completely over priced. My wife subscribes to a law book that has new amendments twice a year. It is an A5 binder that is 32mm thick. All you do is associate the pages that have been amended and change them. (Nicer for the trees). This book is £20 to buy and a further £10 per year for the updates. SO WHERE IS THE JUSTIFICATION FOR BS-7671. We are most defiantly being ripped off. That’s the issue! Not whether it is in our interest to keep up with change. That law firm is a private company and their able to make money and they have competition. The IET don’t.

Just for proof the law company is

Nic December 18, 2011 at 12:06

I believe that James of Tradeskills comments are highly irresponsible. Every job requires a completion certificate. This IS a legal document. On it we all sign that work is according to BS7671 and that any departures to BS7671 are disclosed.
Similarly, if you do not belong to a self cert scheme then you have to go through Building Regs.
In addition, Electrical Safety at work act etc state that work must be to an “appropriate standard”. BS7671 is the only “appropriate standard” that I know of!!

andyfi September 29, 2011 at 10:53

interesting to me is the fact that the documents our regs are harmonizing with are out there – why cant 7671 be brought into line with these cenelec documents all in one hit, rather than dribbled out paltry little updates every year or two? Do these Beng ers think we cant handle it??!! Or are they genuinely having too much fun sitting in on their “unpaid” meetings to agree the rate at which they issue these amendments. Cynical? o yes.

Alisdair Mason September 20, 2011 at 08:37

The regulations has some way to go regards earthing.
BS EN 50310 2006 is now the BS and European Norm for Earthing for IT equipment.
The terms used in this standard:-
CBN – Common Bonding Network
PE – Protective Earth (CPC to you and me).
FE – Functional Earth is used for the correct operation of IT equipment and is cross bonding to particular items of Kit.
The term “clean earth” is now dropped fully from the regulations and what ever happenen to Section 607!!!!!

Neil September 15, 2011 at 22:08

Thanks bas, and your quote about the rewire was a great analagy, point made.

bas September 14, 2011 at 14:21

I agree with Neil – it is shameful that the Amendment can’t be downloaded from the IET website as was possible in the past. The Amendment on its own is of no use without the Regs, so making it available for free would not hurt sales of those. Of course a new publication revision including the amendments should be done for new purchasers, but people who already own a red copy ought to be able to update it, not to have to pay to replace it when almost all of it is unchanged.

If nothing else it’s environmentally unsound – unnecessarily using all that paper and ink.

An electrician who made a customer pay to have his entire house rewired when there was nothing wrong with it at all and all he wanted was a new cooker circuit would find himself starring in an episode of Rogue Traders.

What the IET are doing is exactly the same in principle.

Neil September 2, 2011 at 17:27

Thanks James for bringing it to our attention that owning a copy of the 17th edition regulations is not mandatory, oh unless you are part of a registration scheme which although still poorly policed and constructed (another matter) allows you to earn a living. Kind of falls down, your statement there? Sure, most electricians, I would hope, reference their copy of the regs and guides and I doubt many deny the value of having it as part of their tool kit. What is getting everyones back up is the cost of this amendment/s. Justifiably, there will be alterations to the regulations over a period of time from the publication of the 17th and it is in everyones interest to be aware, acknowledge and understand these amendments. However, the costs associated with having to buy a complete new book every time a regulation is amended is scandalous. How many new 17th editions of varing colours are we to buy befor the 18th edition is announced? Fine, produce amendments and charge us for those amended pages. And £50 to £80 is no where near relistic. Thats it, rant over, back to my part of the real world for self employed.

Steve August 26, 2011 at 15:20

Re; New regs, on your web site an advert from eBay regs £59.00 and free delivery got one spread the news. With regards to the regs it gets goobled googe each time it comes out

Most of it seems to apply to engineers not to the electricians at the sharp end, now we will have to a on site guide, ect ect.

I would love to know how much is padded out from the cenlec regulations issued.

David Elgood

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