Undertaking of an investigation by a competent person

Provision of a written report on CP's findings

The Electricity Supply Lines (Protection) Regulation (the "Regulation"), made under the Electricity Ordinance, Cap. 406, prescribes certain requirements such that the works activities carried out in the vicinity of underground electricity cables or overhead electricity lines do not prejudice safety or the continuity of the supply of electricity. The Regulation prohibits the carrying out of certain works in the vicinity of an underground electricity cable or overhead electricity line unless all reasonable steps have been taken to ascertain the existence of such cable or line together with certain information relating to it.

In the case of an underground electricity cable, those reasonable steps include:

  1. the undertaking of an investigation by a competent person for the purpose of ascertaining within the proposed works site and its vicinity the existence, alignment and depth of any such cable and
  2. the provision of a written report by the competent person on his findings.

Who Should Apply

Any person who wishes to be a competent person for the purposes of the Regulation should apply to the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services (DEMS).

Approval Requirements

To be qualified for approval as a competent person, the applicant should have the qualifications and experience listed in one of the following paragraphs, i.e. (a) or (b) : -

  1. The applicant has attended and passed a course in the locating of underground electricity cables which has been approved by DEMS, and during the period of 3 years immediately preceding his application, has had not less than 6 months' practical experience in locating underground electricity cables, or has had such other practical experience as DEMS may consider relevant and equivalent; or
  2. In the opinion of DEMS, the applicant is by reason of his knowledge and practical experience capable of carrying out the work of locating underground electricity cables in a competent manner.

How to Apply

Application for approval as competent person may be made to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD). The procedures are as follows:

  1. Obtain an Application Form CPA1 from:
    1. Registration and Permit Office, EMSD, G/F, 3 Kai Shing Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong;
    2. District Offices; or
    3. Download here the application form - FORM CPA1 EMSD/EL/CPA1 (04/2019) [PDF format (637KB)].
  2. Complete the application form according to the requirements stipulated in the "Notes to Form CPA1" attached to it.
  3. Submit the completed application form together with supporting documents and application fee in person or by mail to Registration and Permit Office, EMSD. 

Renewal of certificate of approval as a competent person shall be made at least one month before and no earlier than four months before the expiry date. Please note that the renewal application submitted after the expiry date of the certificate of approval as a competent person will not be accepted, the applicant must submit a new application.

Application fees are not refundable. A certificate of approval as a competent person is valid for a period of three years.


Enquiries may be made to Registration and Permit Office, EMSD, from 9:00am to 5:15pm, Monday to Friday (closed on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays).

G/F, 3 Kai Shing Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Telephone hotline: 1823.

Note: This is not a legal document and it provides general information only.