Can a Registered Master Electrician Supervise Electrical Installation or Maintenance?

The Role of a Registered Master Electrician in Supervising Electrical Installations

In the field of electrical engineering, the roles and responsibilities of professionals are clearly defined to ensure safety, efficiency, and adherence to regulatory standards. One such delineation involves the scope of practice for registered master electricians (RMEs) outlined in REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7920, also known as the “New Electrical Engineering Law.” This legislation governs the practice, licensing, and registration of electrical engineers and electricians in the Philippines. RMEs scopes concerning installations or machinery with specific power and voltage ratings. This article will explore whether RMEs can supervise electrical installations or maintenance with a capacity or connected load of up to 500 kilovolt-amperes (KVA) and employing voltages up to 600 volts (V).

Scope of Practice for Registered Master Electricians

Section 31 of REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7920 delineates the field of practice for a Registered Master Electrician. RMEs are licensed to perform the installation, wiring, operation, maintenance, and repair of electrical machinery, equipment, and devices in various settings, including residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings, as well as in power plants, substations, watercraft, and electric locomotives. However, their supervisory capacity is subject to specific limitations regarding the size and voltage of the installations.

Supervision Limits Based on Capacity and Voltage

The act specifies that an RME can supervise electrical installations and maintenance with a capacity or connected load of up to 500 kilovolt-amperes (kVA) and employing voltages of up to 600 volts (V). Beyond these thresholds, the work must be under the supervision of either a Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) or a Registered Electrical Engineer (REE).

This delineation ensures that more complex and higher-capacity electrical installations, which pose greater risks and require more advanced expertise, are overseen by professionals with higher qualifications. This regulation aims to uphold safety standards and ensure the integrity of electrical systems.

Section 33: Personnel Requirements

Section 33 of the relevant Act outlines the minimum personnel requirements for various electrical installations. Here’s a breakdown of the personnel requirements relevant to RMEs:

  1. Electric Plants:
    • Capacity and Voltage Requirements: Electric plants with total installed generating capacity of up to 500 KVA and employing voltages up to 600 V can be supervised by an RME.
    • Higher Ratings: Plants exceeding these ratings require a PEE or REE for supervision.
  2. Industrial Plants, Factories, Commercial Establishments, and Institutional Buildings:
    • Capacity and Voltage Requirements: For connected loads up to 500 KVA and employing voltages up to 600 V, an RME can provide supervision.
    • Higher Ratings: Connected loads and voltages exceeding these limits necessitate supervision by a PEE or REE.
  3. Watercrafts and Electric Locomotives:
    • Capacity and Voltage Requirements: Generating capacities up to 500 KVA and employing voltages up to 600 V can be managed by an RME.
    • Higher Ratings: For capacities and voltages beyond these limits, a PEE or REE is required.

Ensuring Safe Operation and Public Welfare

In all cases, additional qualified personnel must be employed to ensure the safe operation of electrical installations and to safeguard public welfare, life, and property. This includes situations where operations require more than one shift of personnel within a 24-hour period, ensuring that the minimum complement of qualified personnel is maintained for each shift.

Exemptions and Special Cases

Certain installations are exempt from the stringent personnel requirements:

  • Installations with a Connected Load of 50 KVA or Less and Voltages Not Exceeding 250 V: These installations do not require resident personnel for their safe operation, provided they are designed to be automatic. However, their maintenance and repair must be managed by duly registered personnel.
  • Annual Inspection Requirement: Such installations must undergo yearly inspections certified to be in safe operating condition by a PEE, REE, or RME.

Practical Implications for Registered Master Electricians

For RMEs, understanding the scope of their permissible activities is crucial. They are fully authorized to supervise installations and maintenance tasks for capacities up to 500 KVA and voltages up to 600 V. This makes them vital in residential, commercial, and smaller industrial projects. However, they must recognize the limitations of their licensure, stepping aside for PEEs or REEs when encountering higher capacity or voltage projects.


In summary, registered master electricians can indeed supervise electrical installations or maintenance with a capacity or connected load of up to 500 KVA and employing voltages of up to 600 V. This scope of practice ensures that they play a crucial role in a wide range of electrical projects while maintaining the safety and efficiency standards mandated by regulations. For installations exceeding these thresholds, professional electrical engineers or registered electrical engineers are required, ensuring that the highest standards of expertise are applied to more complex and potentially hazardous electrical systems.

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7920 provides a comprehensive framework for the roles and responsibilities of Registered Master Electricians in supervising electrical installations. By setting clear limits on the capacity and voltage of installations that RMEs can oversee, the act ensures that more complex and higher-risk electrical systems are managed by professionals with advanced qualifications. This regulatory structure is vital for maintaining high safety standards and operational efficiency in the electrical engineering field.

Understanding these regulations is crucial for electrical professionals, employers, and stakeholders in the industry. By adhering to these guidelines, they can ensure that electrical installations are safe, reliable, and compliant with national standards, ultimately protecting both people and property.


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