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Construction Licenses and Certificates to Look For

Licenses & certificates in construction

When hiring a contractor for a renovation project, there are specific licenses and insurance documents you should ask for to ensure that the contractor is qualified and properly insured. 

Whether you are looking for documents to confirm your potential contractor’s credibility or you own a company and want to become more professional, this article will help you.

Licenses and Certifications

  1. Popular Trade Associations
  2. Certificates and Registries
    • Gas Safe Register Certification: Required for any contractor working with gas appliances. This ensures they are qualified to handle gas installations safely.
    • NICEIC or SELECT Certification: For electrical work, ensure the contractor is registered with either NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) or SELECT (The Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland).
    • Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Card: Contractors should hold a valid CSCS card, which demonstrates they have the necessary training and qualifications for the type of work they are undertaking (usually only used on large construction sites)

Insurance Documents

1. Public Liability Insurance:

  • Ask For: A certificate showing the contractor’s public liability insurance, which covers damages to your property or injuries to third parties that might occur during the project.
  • Coverage Amount: Ideally, this should be at least £1 million, but higher coverage may be preferable for larger projects.

Public liability insurance is not compulsory by law.

Sweet Homes Edinburgh | Certificate of Insurance

Sample Certificate of Insurance

2. Employer’s Liability Insurance:

  • Ask For: Proof of employer’s liability insurance, which is required by law if the contractor employs staff. This covers claims from employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their work.
  • Coverage Amount: The legal minimum is £5 million.

Public liability insurance is compulsory by law.

Learn more about Employer’s Liability Insurance on Employers’ liability insurance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

3. Contractors’ All Risks Insurance:

  • Ask For: Documentation showing that the contractor has contractors’ all risks (CAR) insurance. This covers the construction work and materials on-site against damage or loss.

Verification

1. Check the Contractor’s Details:

  • Verify Credentials: Use online resources to verify the contractor’s licenses and memberships. For instance, you can check the Gas Safe Register online or the NICEIC and SELECT websites for electrical contractors.
  • Request Copies: Ask for physical or digital copies of all licenses and insurance documents, and verify their validity by contacting the issuing bodies if necessary.

These documents will allow you to assess whether the contractor you’d like to hire meets all necessary legal obligations and follows additional good practices that ensure the safety of you, your property, and the contractor’s personnel and equipment.

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