What is the National Building Trades Register?

The NBTR is a proposed scheme which would encourage Home Owners to use only tradespeople whose name appears on a central register, administered by Government. To appear on the register a tradesperson would need to prove they have the relevant insurances in place to work for a member of the public and they would need to belong to at least one Trade Association. The Trade Association would be responsible for vetting (following up references and continuous monitoring of work) and providing an arbitration service should the relationship between Trade and Home Owner turn sour.

No new laws would be introduced and DIY would not be affected. The proposed scheme affects only work which requires (existing) legal permissions and regulation approval. Our project pages on Planning permission and also Building Regulations rules and laws cover these. There is no separate legislation for DIY it is simply building work done by amateurs. It is governed by exactly the same laws as cover builders and other Tradesmen.

FACT: If you do, or commission to be done, work in your home which does not meet the requirements of relevant Building or other regulations, and/or places you, or others entering your home in danger, your house insurance is not valid. Your home, and the lives of those entering it, are your responsibility.

It is illegal to carry out any structural work in your home without the appropriate permissions.

Would you ask someone to drive your car if they had not passed their driving test?

Why then are we prepared to let people into our homes and cause unbelievable and life threatening damage without even asking if they have done it before?!

As a pre curser to the hoped for introduction of a NBTR we are working hard to make sure the builders you use have been vetted and already have the appropriate insurances. The builders we use are also credit checked to make sure they will be able to complete the work on your home. This is done via a lead Generation scheme which finances the work required to eliminate the Cowboys.

Common Questions and Answers:


Why are there so many Cowboy Builders?


Because in the UK you can be any trade you want to be simply by announcing that you are: There is no obligation to register as a tradesman, there are no legal requirements to provide insurance against accidents at work, there is absolutely no legislation which protects the consumer from being scammed by criminals who masquerade as builders and tradesmen.

There is of course the courts. The courts are expensive and by the time the accused tradesman has declared themselves bankrupt, the court cannot order any costs or compensation.

In this Country each successive Government has ignored the fact that UK homeowners are getting ripped off for millions of pounds every year.

The other reason for allowing so many cowboys in the UK is because people employ builders and tradesmen without asking for references because they are either cheaper than other quotes or they promise more for the money.


When a consumer chooses a tradesman (who is not insured and does not belong to a Trade Association) to do a job in their home what protections do they have if things go badly wrong?


None, other than taking the offender to court.


Given the answer to the first question, why would one choose a Tradesperson who was not insured and did not belong to a Trade Organisation?


Because it is so difficult to find a Tradesman who is both insured and belongs to a Trade Association. Insurance and T.A. Membership cost money and (unfortunately) the majority of builders and Tradesmen in the UK do not bother with it because there is no legal requirement to do so.


So you are saying that a lot of Tradesmen are not responsible enough to get the correct protection in place for their customers and a lot of home owners are not responsible enough to take the appropriate steps to protect their home and family?


Yes, thousands and thousands of them ! We call them Cowboys either way !


How do you propose to combat this?


By lobbying Government to introduce A National Building Trades Register. (NBTR)


How does that work?


Any person who intends to deal with the public in any way related to the building Industry, and be paid for the work they do there, must be registered on the NBTR.

If a person wishes to announce they are a builder or Tradesman, they must prove they have the appropriate insurances to protect both their employees and the home owner. They must also show that they have membership of a Trades Association that offers a guaranteed arbitration service and an insurance backed guarantee scheme for the consumer.

The Homeowner must choose their Tradesman from the register in order to have any recourse whatever to work that is done badly, negligence or other issues with the provider of the work.

The insurance backed guarantee scheme must also include insurance against the Tradesperson being made insolvent during the course of an existing contract. For this to be relevant the home owner must insist that an appropriate contract is in place.


What happens if the Homeowner chooses to ignore the register and finds someone else to do the work?


This will not affect the Homeowners statutory rights under UK law but if the builder chosen by the homeowner is not insured and has no affiliation with a Trade Association then all costs in pursuing legal proceedings will be bourne by the home owner until judgment by the law is passed.

It is important to not at this point that the introduction of a National Building Trades Register would not affect the DIY enthusiast any more or any less than Building (and other) Regulations do already. There is no distinction between DIY and building. They are both dealt with under exactly the same laws and regulations.

If you, or anyone else does work in your home which could place anyone entering your home into danger, you can be prosecuted. You have a duty of care to protect those in your home and by allowing dangerous work to be done, or doing dangerous work yourself, you could be prosecuted. Furthermore you would not be covered by your home insurance. This is the legal situation today and is not affected or initiated by a proposed National Building Trades Register.

DIY Doctor is not proposing to outlaw DIY....Far from it. We are happy to show home owners how to do thousands of jobs safely. But it MUST be remembered that the home owner is responsible for their home and the people in it. If a job cannot be done safely and to all of the rel event laws and regulations by a DIY 'er, then it must be done by a competent Tradesman with the relevant level of qualification to prove competency.

If you think this proposed scheme will help you then please sign our National Building Trades Register petition.