The IEE Wiring Regulations 17th edition is the official standard for the whole of the UK, and it is a legal requirement that all new installations conform exactly to the new specifications, and where repairs, adaptations, extensions or replacements are made to existing wiring, these must all also conform to the latest standards.
The previous wiring regulations are about twenty years old, which means that the 17th edition training currently available has a good deal of ground to cover, and that those involved in the electrical industry need to be fully conversant with the new regulations, many of which very much affect even the most basic of household wiring installations. The official book, the IEE Wiring Regulations, is the industry's bible, and is a reference resource used by electricians involved in every single aspect of the business. The 17th edition not only includes a huge number of major changes and subtle differences in the way electrical installations and repairs should be carried out, but the structure of the book has changed significantly too.
The idea of this structure change is to help provide an easier, more streamlined approach which conforms to many industry changes and standards. It is often suggested that most electricians are not so much required to know all of the answers in the 17th edition, but should be very familiar with its contents so that they can quickly and easily find the required information. In part this is what 17th edition training helps to achieve, and those attending a 17th edition course will find themselves looking both at the changes in regulations and practice as well as the changes in the new structure and the way in which references are included within the 17th edition book.
Some of the most obvious changes included in the Wiring Regulations include the fact that for the first time socket outlets are now allowed in bathrooms, provided they are at least three metres from the edge of any source of water such as a bath or shower. Also, the 17th edition now includes specific information for the first time on electrical installations such as at exhibitions, fairgrounds, amusement parks, and marinas, as well as information and guidance on photovoltaic (pV) power supply systems and floor heating systems.
Those familiar with the 16th edition will need to attend a 17th edition training course in order to be able to adequately become familiar with the new ways in which chapters have been reorganised, renumbered and restructured in order to fit more appropriately with approved industry standards. Being able to work effectively and accurately to the standards included in the 17th edition is especially important now as the Building Regulations Part P Electrical Safety now applies fully to every electrical installation in all forms of dwelling, and the BS 7671 covers both the design, construction, development and verification of all electrical installations and systems, including any additions and alternations, however minor they may be.
Although any existing electrical installations may not conform to the 17th edition, this is not necessarily deemed to be a problem, but the moment any electrical work is undertaken in that dwelling all relevant and related wiring installations must then be made to ensure they conform to the new regulations. Being familiar not just with the contents of the latest IEE Wiring Regulations but with identifying quickly and easily the differences between the previous regulations and the new ones is essential, which is where 17th edition training courses are a vital way to help make sure that those differences are spotted straight away, and the appropriate methods employed immediately, accurately and safely.