Nigel Davey of Davey Electrical in Cornwall has been an Approved Contractor with the NICEIC since 1998. His team of six electricians are kept busy carrying out domestic work, commercial work in shops, hotels and guest houses and most recently a big expansion of Sharps Brewery.
He decided to purchase NICEIC Certification Software in June last year, one year on; Nigel outlines the good, the bad and the initial challenges.
“In 2008 I decided to investigate software packages to help us complete our electrical safety certificates; with six electricians all completing their own certificates, I wanted to streamline and modernise our certification process and pull everything into one central place.
The first thing on my action plan was to trial the various products available to me. I’d read about the new NICEIC software package, so called for a demo. After installing the software I found it easy to use, it looked good and I liked the fact you could print your certificates out directly onto plain paper.
I decided to go with NICEIC Certification Software – mainly because the other products I had looked at had high ongoing yearly fees and I would still have had to purchase certificates to print on, whereas with the NICEIC’s own software I could print onto plain paper. I was also used to buying the pads of certificates so the lower price of electronic certificate numbers was very appealing.
My next challenge, after receiving the software, was learning how to use it and rolling it out across the company, it all seemed quite daunting. I called tech support to help me out with a few problems I was having, they soon got me up and running and gave me an online demo to show me round the software.
I had another problem recently to do with importing and exporting certificates, when I called support they answered the phone straight away and took over my computer with the live help function and fixed it… I know it’s all sounding very good, but it’s true!
I’ve called support probably about three times in twelve months and any problems have been sorted out very quickly. Ideally, I feel the support line should be free as I’ve invested in the software, but I don’t mind paying the 10p per minute and I suppose, compared to the price of other packages, it is very good.
Generally, NICEIC Certification Software is very easy to use; it was stress-free showing the other electricians and apprentices how to use it. They now fill in all their test results onsite and it’s very easy for us to rectify mistakes if they’ve been made – you couldn’t do that with the pads!
We take laptops (we also have one tough-book) out onsite and we fill in the required information there and then whilst on the customer’s premises. We have NICEIC Certification Software installed on one computer in the office, and then we import the certificates back to the office computer. The guys in the field get on very well with it, they fill out most of the information on the certificates without any problems, the beautiful thing about it is; they can bring the laptop back to the office if they have a query and we can adjust it before clicking complete.
NICEIC have been adding in more certificates since the release last June, but we are still waiting for a fire alarm installation certificate to be in there. We also still have to purchase pads of certificates for minor works as we leave the top copy with the customer, we aren’t ready to start carrying printers around with us yet.
There are a few other features I would like to see in the software, such as the ability to log planned maintenance work and a diary. I know that electronic signatures are coming soon and I’m looking forward to using that feature.
I think NICEIC Certification Software has made the presentation of our certificates a lot neater and easier for our customers to read; they now all look the same and are in a printed format. Certificates are much quicker to complete and we aren’t losing money on void certificates. Although we aren’t doing our work any differently, I like to think it’s made our business look a lot more professional”.
Principal Duty Holder
[NOTE FROM CLIK:- Electronic signatures were released in June and certificate FIM - Fire Alarm Installation Certificates (Green) will be released in July].