Newell McGuiness, managing director of Select, the Scottish electrical contractors’ trade association, said new legislation was needed in Scotland.
The Building (Scotland) Act 2003 permits the design or construction of building work to be certified by appropriate building professionals as complying with the building regulations without the need for detailed scrutiny of designs or inspections by local authorities.
Mr McGuiness said it had been a flaw in the legislation not to make certification the industry standard. Over the past 10 years there has been a fall in certificate numbers. He said there were concerns that the industry had become disengaged from the process and that lack of government support meant that the schemes now risk failure.
Mr McGuiness said certification of construction was “a robust and reliable method for signing off electrical work”. Although the 2003 act re-instituted competency into the sign-off process, it allowed certification to become optional, he said.
He said: "In correcting one flaw we inadvertently introduced another, and what we are now seeing with the fall-off in certificate numbers and the disengagement from the certification process is really exactly the same effect we saw with previous schemes. History is, I’m afraid, repeating itself and it is because we have not learned to make sure the legislation is watertight, or robust enough."