Penmilne Contractors Ltd

Penmilne Electrical Contractors first registered as a company with the Scheme in 2010. The company has since won two National Company Awards and have become one of the Scheme's Company Partners. Penmilne talks to Industry Image about how the Scheme has benefitted them and why other companies should consider registering.

Please tell us a bit about your company and some of the projects you have worked on.

penmilne-contractors-2Penmilne Electrical Contractors were established in 1977, we are a family run business with committed staff, working in partnership with Local Authorities, Housing Associations, together with commercial and domestic customers throughout that time. Our offices and depot are located in Hitchin; we offer a wide range of electrical services working within a 50 mile radius.

Penmilne is headed by Managing Director Barry Underwood, a qualified electrician, having served a 5 year apprenticeship with the Electricity Board. Barry has over 40 years experience in the electrical industry, having undertaken work for various Local Authorities, commercial and domestic customers throughout that time.

Since the formation of Penmilne Contractors in 1977, we have built an excellent reputation for meeting the needs of our customers by providing high quality electrical services. We are a family run business, passionate about providing a high quality service. We take great pride in our work and value our reputation. We provide the very highest level of service to our clients, and continually monitor and evaluate our quality control procedures.

Our systems and procedures are also subject to aggressive auditing by independent external bodies, which monitor and verify our procedures, ensuring compliance with the stipulated regulations. Penmilne have been registered with the NICEIC since 1983 (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) Registration no. 013640 and are also accredited to CHAS, the ECA, SafeContractors, Constructionline, RoSPA members and belong to the Government Endorsed Standards agency TrustMark.

Our quality management systems are accredited to the national standard ISO9001:2008. Working within these systems ensure that Penmilne are able to provide effective process controls, providing compliance with specified technical and workmanship standards. (ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Certification - Registration No: 2100489)


Programmed Electrical Works - One of our current projects includes programmed electrical works in local authority domestic properties in Hertfordshire. Rewiring occupied properties present many challenges - residents are often reluctant to progress the works with us and don’t see how the works are going to be of benefit to them. In the first instance we provide a comprehensive Q&A leaflet which helps to allay many of their issues and we also include the CCS leaflet. Our Resident Liaison Officers play a vital role in assisting any residents who require additional help and support in the preparation of the rewire works. Pre-surveys are carried out to each property and residents are provided with fridge magnets which includes all contact details, and an out of hours emergency number.

Sheltered complex for elderly/vulnerable residents - This was a challenging project as the complex was undergoing general refurbishment whilst occupied.
In additional to our electrical operatives rewiring the communal areas and individual flats, there were a variety of trades and contractors onsite, installing replacement kitchens, fire doors, alarms, fire breaks walls in the loft, plus painting and decorating.

Due to the major disruption these works caused, Penmilnes’ Resident Liaison Officers made arrangements to provide the residents with hot food and drinks in the communal lounge throughout the course of the works. The elderly residents were very grateful for the way in which all the Penmilne staff members put in so much time and effort to ensure they could still have the benefit of hot meals and drinks, despite the extensive refurbishment of the residential complex.

On completion Penmilne organised a ‘traditional tea party’ for all the residents, it was a great success and very well attended. Each resident was also presented with a Gift Voucher for the local Co-Op store. 


Local Authority Rewires - Another recent project included a contract for the rewiring of over 400 local authority properties, we completed these properties on target (5 month period) and achieved a customer satisfaction rating of 97.6% (based on an 87% survey response rate).

Consumer Unit Installation Programme - We have recently completed a programme of replacement consumer unit installations at a large residential complex owned by a housing association. Due to the complex medical needs of the residents, we had to work very closely with the individual care teams to ensure vital medical equipment was accessible at all times. Our electrical operatives adapted their working hours to suit the needs of the residents, and ensured that any interruption to the power supply was kept to a minimum.

How have you found registration with the Scheme and would you recommend it to other construction companies?

Registration with the CCS has benefited our company. Our systems and customer care procedures were already in place, but joining the Scheme encouraged us to further formalise and document our existing procedures and make our clients, and their customers, aware of the high level of services we provide.

We recommend the Considerate Constructors Scheme to SME’s in the construction industry, smaller companies like ours can benefit from the pool of knowledge and resources made available to its members.

Since registering with the Scheme, we are proud to have received a Bronze National Company Award, following by a Gold National Company Award.
Company membership to the Scheme has benefited our staff, clients and the area in which we work.

How have you found the Monitor visits and were they beneficial?

CCS visits have been most valuable, having the benefit of an experienced Scheme Monitor reviewing our systems and procedures has helped highlight areas for improvement.

For example, prior to joining the Scheme, we did not make our clients (and their tenants) fully aware of the ‘environment’ aspects of how we work. Working closely with the Scheme's Monitors we were able to make improvements in this area.

Could you detail a few examples of good practice you have put in place on your sites?

Working within the Scheme has helped us make further improvements, which in turn has benefitted our clients and their residents.

As part of our procedures for local authority & housing association programmed electrical works in domestic dwellings, we send an initial letter to each property to informing them of the forthcoming work and make arrangements to conduct a pre-survey of their home.

Through working with the Scheme's Monitor, that initial letter of introduction includes the Scheme leaflet ‘Construction work in your area’. The Scheme Monitor also suggested that we include photographs of the surveyors who will be attending the first appointment, to provide additional security to vulnerable & elderly residents. We have since developed this further by including photographs of the RLO and the Operatives who will carry out the work in their home.

Any other comments about Company Registration?

We fully embrace the Considerate Constructors Scheme and are committed to raising our current benchmarks to provide the highest possible standards of consideration, safety, respect, protecting the environment, responsibility, appearance, accountability, and above all professionalism.

We are proud to work in partnership with the Scheme, we believe that working together and sharing best practice will be of benefit to the communities in which we work.

For more information on Company Partnership, please click here.