What Is an Electrically Instructed Person?

Electrically instructed person: a person adequately advised or supervised by electrically skilled persons to enable him or her to perceive risks and to avoid hazards that electricity can create [defined in the IEC 60050-195-2021].

British Standard BS 7671 defined the term “electrically instructed person” similarly to the IEC.

In some regulatory documents, instead of the correct term “(electrically) instructed person”, the incorrect terms “(electrically) instructed personnel” or “instructed personnel” are used, because replacing the general term “person”, which refers to any person, with the private term “personnel”, which describes persons who service electrical equipment, leads to a narrowing of the scope of the term in question.

For example, a electrically instructed person can also be a designer of electrical installation of buildings, and an employee of the supervisory authorities, who are not personnel who service electrical equipment.

The term “instructed person” describes a group of persons who:

  • have proper training in the operation of the electrical equipment installed in the electrical installation of a building or any parts thereof;
  • are informed of the safety rules for operating electrical equipment;
  • perform some maintenance work on electrical equipment under the supervision of skilled persons.

The knowledge possessed by instructed persons enables them to be really aware of the potential hazard of electric shock and to avoid it consciously. Instructed persons are generally persons who are involved in the electrical installation of a building, maintaining them, and supervising the safe operation of electrical installations.

The term “instructed person” is used in regulatory documents, including to specify the conditions under which the electrical installation of a building or individual parts thereof will be operated. Table 51A, “Characteristics of external influences” of IEC 60364-5-51, provides a classification of external influences that must be taken into account when designing, installing and operating electrical installations of buildings. The following are excerpts from the above table that relate to the capabilities of instructed persons.

CodeExternal influencesCharacteristics required for selection and erection of equipment
BA4InstructedPersons adequately advised or supervised by skilled persons to enable them to avoid dangers which electricity may create (operating and maintenance staff).

Electrical operating areas.
Extract from Table 51A of IEC 60364-5-51 – Characteristics of external influences

In areas of the building accessible only to instructed persons, it is permitted to use such electrical equipment and to use such protective measures and protective provisions as cannot be used in areas where ordinary persons might be present. For example, electrical equipment with a degree of protection less than IP20 may be used in these rooms, and barriers, out-of-reach hazardous-live-parts, local equipotential bonding and certain other protective measures and protective provisions may be used to protect against electric shock.