Know your contractor: A glossary of qualifications and insurances 

Elli Jones

By Elli Jones

15 March 2023

In the world of repairs and maintenance, selecting the right contractor is a critical decision that can impact how quickly and efficiently your job is completed. Your process will usually involve evaluating a contractor's abilities, skills, and experience to ensure they are capable of completing the job within the specified timeline, budget, and quality requirements. 

Without contractor management software, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out who should have what qualifications and what they mean. There's a range of criteria to look for and standards that need to be considered.

Whether you're a property manager, landlord, agent, or contractor yourself, this glossary will serve as a valuable resource to help you understand what to look for and better equip you to evaluate your options. This glossary provides definitions related to contractor qualification, including commonly used terms and acronyms, to help you navigate this process more effectively. 

Here are the seven most common qualifications and insurances to look for when hiring a contractor:

18th Edition

Also called BS 7671 or wiring regs, 18th Edition is a British Standard for installing electrical wiring.

Competent person self-certification scheme

Competent person schemes were introduced by the UK Government to allow electrical contractors to self-certify that their work complies with Part P of the Building Regulations whenever they carry out ‘notifiable’ work.

Employers’ liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance safeguards businesses against legal and compensation expenses from employee claims. It also covers the cost of compensating employees who are injured or become ill through work. Anyone who employs one or more people must have employers’ liability insurance. 

Gas Safe Register

The Gas Safe Register is the official gas registration body for the UK, owned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It exists to protect the public from unsafe gas work. By law, all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register.

Level 2 plumbing & domestic heating

The NVQ Level 2 plumbing and heating qualification is designed "to professionally train plumbing or domestic heating engineers". It provides all the basic domestic heating and plumbing training needed to start work in the industry.


The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting is a renowned voluntary body that regulates the training and assesses the competence of businesses and electrical contractors undertaking electrical work in the UK.

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance covers claims made against your business by clients, contractors, or members of the public for accidental injury or property damage. This could arise from an incident on your business premises or as a direct result of your operations.

It is not a legal requirement, but it is considered essential among business owners, and in some professions, you may find it impossible to trade without it.

👇 If you are still unsure about which qualifications or insurance your contractor should have, read our Easy guide: How to find a reputable contractor.

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This article is intended for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions related to issues in this article, we strongly advise contacting a legal professional.
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Elli Jones

By Elli Jones

15 March 2023

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