18th Edition Amendment
Everything You Need to Know
From the 28th March 2022, 18th Edition will be updated to Amendment 2. This change marks the first major revision in over two years and includes additional guidance, updated sections and an entirely new chapter for electricians and electrical installers to get their heads around.
What is the 18th Edition?
18th Edition Wiring Regulations (BS 7671:2018) refer to British Standards relating to the installation of electrical wiring and systems. It's considered one of the most important documents that electricians can own in the UK.
As the regulations cover various aspects of electrical installation it remains an important textbook for many working within the electrotechnical services industry. Many professionals within the sector refer to it, to ensure compliance with up-to-date electrical regulations such as Electricity at Work Regulations.
Why does the 18th Edition require updating?
As new technologies, processes and best practices continue to evolve so too do the regulations that guide them. The first iteration of such regulations were actually published all the way back in 1882, and have since been continually updated to reflect changes in the world around us.
While the current BS7671:2018 Wiring Regulations (first published in 2018) remains the most up to date standard, the pace of change within the electrotechnical industry means that revisions and updates need to be made from time to time in the form of amendments. Amendment 1 released in 2020, as an example, included entirely new information around electric vehicle charging installations, not included within the original 2018 edition.
Can I just read 18th Edition to become compliant?
Unfortunately it's not as simple as just reading an updated copy of the 18th Edition (BS7671) Wiring Regulations. You need to be able to interpret the the text book within every electrical installation you carry out, from initial design, erection, verification to any additions and alterations you make. Given the complex nature of what the book covers it's not really designed for bedtime reading either.
For this reason, there are specific training courses designed to help individuals navigate the book effectively and give a deeper understanding of how it should be used when working out in the field. Many courses such as those offered by Universal Skills have an examination element to them which enable candidates to receive an industry recognised qualification with City & Guilds (C&G 2382-22).
What's different in 18th Edition Amendment 2?
Amendment 2 seeks to expand and focus on areas within new and sustainable technology including information around efficiency measures and low-voltage (LV) installs.
The main changes highlighted by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) who publish the 18th Edition textbook, include:
- a new requirement for Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) in some AC final circuits for installations in some types of higher risk residential buildings;
- the requirement for the fire safety design of buildings to be documented where specific conditions of external influence exist, such as protected escape routes and locations with risk of fire;
- method for determining the requirement to provide overvoltage protection;
- changes to identification, labels and notices, such as for consumer units, affecting how safety information is provided to the user of the electrical installation;
- a chapter on Prosumer’s Low Voltage Electrical Installations, in a new chapter.
What do I need to do for Amendment 2?
You should be aware of the contents of Amendment 2 as they include the most up to date British Standards that everyone working in the sector will need to follow to ensure that any work they do remains compliant.
Those working under a Competent Person Scheme (CPS) such as NAPIT will also be required to update their knowledge of 18th Edition to include Amendment 2 (BS 7671:2018+A2:2022) to ensure they are able to evidence continuous professional development. At the moment, those under a CPS have until the end of September to attend an updated 18th Edition course or a recognised 18th Edition Amendment 2 refresher course in order to avoid being flagged by their scheme.
Even if you don't work under a CPS, being compliant with IET Wiring Regulations ensures you can protect yourself and your colleagues whilst offering piece of mind to your customers that any installs you do meet the most up-to-date safety standards.
Universal Skills is currently offering an Amendment 2 Refresher Course in partnership with NAPIT find out more about the course and what it entails through the link below.