The 7-Step Programme to Good Lighting: Step 6 – The Install

All things being equal, this really shouldn’t be a problem. The problem is – not all things are equal.

Between a rock and a hard place, electrical sub-contractors are obliged to cut the true value of their work in order to win tenders, but they still need to earn the money to keep themselves in business. So when there’s insufficient value in the tender bid there are only three options; reduce the amount of time committed to the installation; reduce the cost/value of materials; or reduce the cost of labour (whatever that might mean).

We’re heading for project wreckage. But does it really have to be like this?

Paul Meenan CEng FIET FCMI is one of those people who tells it like it is – not as you’d like it to be, or pretend that it sometime might be. A fully-paid-up member of the awkward squad, Paul will look you in the eye and tell you why its all going wrong. My kind of Good Chap.

This is what Paul says about himself:

I am a former Electrician, now Asset Manager and Chartered Engineer, I am also a Fellow of the IET and CMI and I achieved this through hard work, determination, CPD, as well as extensive experience and knowledge of the Construction, Electrical and Railway Industries.
I have served the Electrical and Mechanical sectors at all levels, from being ‘on the tools’ through to supervisor, site engineer, project engineer, project manager, auditor, consultant and now client.
I try to align my approach and behaviours to the task at hand; and whatever objectives are set before me I take a pragmatic ‘systems’ approach in everything I do and also make a whole life based set of decisions rather than short term decisions. In saying that, I’m also a person who will ensure ethical principals are adhered to and am not afraid to stand firm for the right course of action to be taken.
I put passion and pride in all I do. I dedicate a lot of my time to volunteering and giving back to those who want or need help.

And why are we featuring Paul here?

That bit about ‘giving back to those who want and need help’ has translated into an active support for the contracting industry that Paul champions so well. Its an initiative called e5 . . . and its all about ethical practices.
. . . and that’s why The Light Review is interested. In our 7-Step Programme to Good Lighting, that just about wraps up the issue of Step 6: The Install.

So how can we know that we have a reliable electrical contractor?

One ‘simple’ way is to ask contractors to step up to the crease and commit to Good Service. And there’s now a relatively straightforward way of doing that, provided that contractors are prepared to hold the line, against all the usual odds, and provide that Good Service on the ground.

Paul has established e5 as a self-defining platform based on the ethical practices set out by The Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) . . . in paragraph e5: Exercise responsibilities in an ethical manner

e5 – see what he did there?

The Statement of Ethical Principles is set out in 15 robust paragraphs:. Specifically, Codes of Conduct should oblige members to:

1 Act with due skill, care and diligence and with proper regard for professional standards.

2 Prevent avoidable danger to health or safety.

3 Act in accordance with the principles of sustainability, and prevent avoidable adverse impact on the environment and society.

4 Maintain and enhance their competence, undertake only professional tasks for which they are competent, and disclose relevant limitations of competence.

5 Accept appropriate responsibility for work carried out under their supervision.

6 Treat all persons fairly and with respect.

7 Encourage others to advance their learning and competence.

8 Avoid where possible real or perceived conflict of interest, and advise affected parties when such conflicts arise.

9 Observe the proper duties of confidentiality owed to appropriate parties.

10 Reject bribery and all forms of corrupt behaviour, and make positive efforts to ensure others do likewise.

11 Raise a concern about a danger, risk, malpractice or wrongdoing which affects others (‘blow the whistle’), and support a colleague or any other person to whom you have a duty of care who in good faith raises any such concern.

12 Assess and manage relevant risks and communicate these appropriately.

13 Assess relevant liability, and if appropriate hold professional indemnity insurance.

14 Notify the Institution if convicted of a criminal offence or upon becoming bankrupt or disqualified as a Company Director.

15 Notify the Institution of any significant violation of the Institution’s Code of Conduct by another member.


Let’s hear from Paul himself, explaining what e5 is all about.

We are entering a new phase for the construction industry:

Too many things are going wrong. Grenfell Tower casts a terrible shadow, but its by no means the only example where specifications have failed. The mood music is changing; the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched the Quality Tracker Tool.

It’s a methodology that ensures that construction specifications are upheld throughout the stages of the project. The Light Review’s 7-Step Programme to Good Lighting echoes those principles and the e5 initiative stands as an elhical foundation stone for the electrical engineering profession.

Times are changing – in a Good Way.

The Light Review 7-Step Programme to Good Lighting -Step 6: The Install
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About John Bullock

John Bullock is the editor of The Light Review

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