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ACI and ECA launch code of practice

The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) has joined with the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) to launch a guide for contractors to help avoid common pitfalls when ordering cable.

The guide, which is available from the ECA and downloadable from the ACI website, aims to help contractors by way of a ten point reminder of the key requirements when placing an order for electrical cables.

The ten point Code of Practice for contractors prompts the contractor to include the following information when completing a purchase order:

• Type of cable
• BS or other standard number
• Cable reference number or code
• No of cores and nominal cross section
• Quantity and lengths of cable required
• Manufacturer’s details
• Traceability details
• Third party approval
• Technical options
• Delivery details

Peter Smeeth of the Approved Cables Initiative said: “By developing this guide we aim to make better cable ordering practice a habit rather than an occasional activity. If contractors follow this process they will stand a greater chance of receiving a cable product that meets the required specification and relevant standard and won’t let them down.

“Responsibility remains with the contractor right the way through from order to installation and we also advocate contractors should cross check cable delivered against purchase orders. They should also commission regular tests and cable inspections to check a cable before it is installed. This needs to be rigorously carried out.”

Copies of the guide have already been mailed to more than 3,000 ECA members. The guide is available to download at or alternatively a hard copy can be gained by emailing

The ACI is an industry-wide working group set up to help stamp out faulty cables. Defective cables ACI and ECA launch Code of Practice are a major problem in the electrical supply industry and electrical contractors face enormous pressure to demonstrate their cable choices will withstand scrutiny.

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