Forms for lodging a complaint (77 KB).
Got a Problem with Electrical Work?
The first thing to do if you have a problem with electrical work is to discuss it with
the electrical worker or company who did the job. If you cant come to a resolution
youre happy with, you have the option of laying a formal complaint. This page
explains the grounds on which you can make a formal complaint, how to make a complaint and
the process for assessing and resolving complaints.
If youre worried about the safety of any electrical work contact the Electrical
Workers Registration Board
PO Box 10 156
Tel: 0800 661 000
0800 661 000
Fax: 04 473 2395
The Complaints Process
If you need advice or information, call the Electrical Workers Registration Board on
0800 66 1000. Once you have made a formal complaint to the Registrar of the Board, the law
does not allow you to withdraw it.
What You Can Make a Formal Complaint About
You can make a complaint about what a registered or authorised worker did when they
carried out electrical work (or gave instructions for the work to be carried out) for you
or for someone else. You can make a complaint about any person not authorised or licensed to carry out electrical work, doing electrical work. You may also make a complaint against a company if you believe its actions led to the unsatisfactory electrical work.
A complaint will only progress against a registered person if it is likely that a disciplinary offence under the Electrcity Act 1992 has occurred, for example where:
- the electrical work was done in an negligent or incompetent way
- the work done did not meet the requirements of the appropriate regulations or standards
- the work created a risk of serious harm to any person, or significant damage to property
- the work done was outside the restrictions or limitations applying to the registered person who undertook the work
- mandatory documents such as Certificates of Compliance were not provided or were misleading.
A complaint will progress against a non-registered person or a company if, for example
The complaints process does not cover things like overcharging or damage to property as these are not disciplinary offences. If you have this type of complaint, consider contacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau. You may be referred to the Disputes Tribunal or Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
- the person was not authorised to undertake electrical work, or
- unauthorised people were employed to do electrical work.
Who You Can Make a Formal Complaint About
You can lodge a complaint about anyone registered or authorised by the Board to carry out electrical work for the public. You can complain about an individual, or a number of individuals. You can complain about a person or persons who were not authorised or licensed to undertake electrical work. However, you cannot lay a complaint about a company in respect of a disciplinary offence - it must be the individual(s) who did the work. You can lodge a complaint about a company if that company did, or caused to be done, electrical work which was could lead to prosecution proceedings initiated by the Board.
Registered and authorised workers include electricians; electrical service technicians; electrical inspectors, trainees (apprentices); line mechanics; qualified engineers; tradespersons (plumbers and gasfitters with an electrical work certificate) and provisional licence holders.
If your complaint is about a registered or authorised worker, the Board will consider an Investigator’s report and recommendations.
If your complaint is about an unregistered or unauthorised worker, or a company, the Board will, following investigation, recommend action such as prosecution if justified.
However, before any complaints are investigated, the Registrar will determine that the complaint is not frivolous or vexatious.
How to Lay a Complaint
A complaint about electrical work must be made in writing and sent to the Registrar.
You need to tell the Registrar:
- where and when the electrical work was done
- who asked for the electrical work to be done
- who did it and their registration (if know) and contact details
- the name and address of any company involved (if applicable)
- what electrical work was done
- what you think is wrong with the electrical work or the way it was done.
- your full contact details.
You should also send copies of any relevant paperwork, for example, certificates of
compliance, invoices, quotes, correspondence etc and photographs of the work.
Forms for lodging a complaint are available on this website, or will be posted to you on request by telephoning 0800 66 1000. However, complaints made in writing, by email or letter, provided they contain all of the details listed above, are acceptable.
Forms for lodging a complaint (77 KB).
What Happens to Your Complaint
The Registrar will refer your complaint to an appointed Investigator, if he is satisfied that the complaint is not frivolous or vexatious. The Investigator will then contact you and explain the process of the investigation.
As part of the investigation, the Investigator will:
- provide full details of the complaint to the worker you have complained about. Your name will be released to that person unless there are very good reasons not to
- seek additional/supporting information and/or seek clarification of information you have provided
- seek information from other parties involved and from witnesses
- give the worker complained about the chance to provide an explanation in response to your complaint. This can be in writing and/or in person.
The Investigator may:
- have an independent person investigate the electrical work (usually a registered electrical Inspector)
- ask that any information (from you or other parties) is supported by a statutory declaration
- enter any land or premises for the purpose of the investigation (if necessary, a Court Order can be obtained for this purpose)
The Investigator determines the complaint and reports to the Board. If the Investigator determines the complaint should not be heard by the Board, the matter ends there. However, if the Investigator determines the complaint should be heard by the Board, the Board must hold a disciplinary hearing, or consider prosecution.
Electrical Workers Registration Board Process
Conducting disciplinary hearings is one of the main functions of the Board. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if a disciplinary offence has been committed by the registered worker you have complained about, and if it has, to decide what discipline and penalties are to be imposed. The Board must also, after investigation, conduct a hearing to consider referring matters concerning unregistered persons or companies to the Courts for prosecution.
The Board will try to hold the hearing at the main centre closest to where the worker you have complained about lives. Hearings are usually held in public and you may wish to attend. You are entitled to attend the hearing as the complainant. The Board may pay the expenses involved with you attending the hearing. The Board has the power to have a summons issued requiring you to attend.
Hearings are a formal procedure. Witnesses are sworn in before they give evidence. The Board and the worker you complained about can call witnesses, and each party is able to cross-examine. This means that if you appear as the complainant it is likely you and your witnesses will be questioned by the worker you complained about (or his/her representative).
If the Board finds the registered worker you complained about not guilty of a disciplinary offence, the matter ends there.
If the Board finds the registered worker guilty of a disciplinary offence, it will (usually) impose penalties which can include:
- removal of registration
- suspension of registration
- removal of the right to do electrical work
- the requirement to undergo training or sit examinations
- censure, or
- a fine.
Non-registered workers and companies may be referred to the Courts for prosecution if the Board considers there is a case to answer. If it considers there is insufficient merit to the complaint, the matter ends there.
For matters which may be regarded as minor infringement offences by unauthorised persons or companies, the Registrar has the ability to issue infringement notices without reference to the Board.
How Long Will the Complaints Process Take?
The investigation of your complaint should take less than 12 weeks, unless matters are particularly complex or some important information is not available. If the Investigator determines that a hearing is required, the timing of this will depend on the Board’s sitting dates and location. Every effort will be made to reach an outcome as soon as possible.