WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED TO BECOME A FULLY QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN?


Trying to understand the range of electrician qualifications and awards available can be quite daunting. To make matters worse, there are old websites in the public domain that have not been updated for many years contain out-of-date information.
Options Skills have put together an easy to follow guide that will help you make sense of it all. If you are looking to re-train as an electrician, the following guide will help you to understand the stages to follow in order to gain the electrician qualifications that you need.

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If you want to become a qualified electrician, then your objective should be to obtain an JIB/ECS (Electrotechnical Certification Scheme) Gold Card. This recognises you as a fully qualified and competent installation electrician.

The Gold Card acts as a kind of passport for employment opportunities. Employers, agencies, contract and site managers view this card as evidence of your qualifications and abilities. This is the proof you require to demonstrate that you are a Fully Qualified Electrician. JIB/ECS maintains extremely high standards. Anyone applying for an JIB/ECS Gold Card as an Installation Electrician for the first time will be expected to hold the following qualifications:

• An Electrotechnical NVQ at Level 3 or Mature Candidate Assessment Qualification

• 18th Edition Wiring Regulations

• AM2 – Achievement Measure Test

This requirement is the same regardless of when you joined the industry. New entrants must follow a full and robust training programme such as the Options Skills three step programme. This incorporates centre led training, on-site work experience, portfolio building and assessment, followed by AM2 – an independent assessment of skills and knowledge.

Sometimes trainees may have previously part-completed an Electrotechnical Course. On this occasion, training time can be reduced if evidence of existing qualifications can be provided. In all instances, an Individual Learning Plan will be agreed on to allow the trainee to gain the full NVQ. This will involve evidence and portfolio building and direct observation.

Experienced operatives that hold older Electrotechnical Technical Certificates may be suitable for a Mature Candidate Assessment Course. This course reduces training time and focuses on evidence building for a portfolio and direct observation.

Gaining your JIB/ECSGold Card comes at the very end of your journey to becoming a fully qualified electrician. Nobody can jump from novice to Gold Card holder overnight. To build the evidence needed to gain your qualifications, you must start your journey as an Electrical Trainee. Enrolling onto a recognised Electrotechnical NVQ Level 3 Training Course entitles you to hold an JIB/ECS Electrical Trainee card. As with the Gold Card, this will allow you to seek employment and contracts within the industry.

Electrician Qualifications - Glossary Of Terms

Electrotechnical Certification Scheme. ECS issues a variety of cards to people within the industry that verifies an individual’s qualifications and experience. This demonstrates to would be employers an individual’s qualifications and competence. ECS Cards are widely sought by major electrical employers, contractors and agencies. This is often the precursor to interview and employment.
Joint Industries Board. JIB work closely with ECS. You will often hear the ECS Gold Card referred to as a JIB card. This was a forerunner of the ECS card scheme. It is the same thing but ECS Card is the correct and current terminology.
Issued to qualified electricians that have successfully achieved an Electrotechnical NVQ Level 3 and have passed the independent AM2 assessment.
Issued to individuals working in the electrotechnical industry that are enrolled on a NVQ Training Course.
Issued to a non-qualified electrical labourer.
Part P of the Building Regulations sets out that all electrical installation work in a domestic dwelling must conform to current Wiring Regulations and can only be undertaken by a Competent Person. Any such works that fall under the scope of Part P must be notified to Local Building Control. This usually takes place via the installers Competent Persons Scheme Provider.
Following introduction of Part P Building Regulations, Competent Persons Schemes were set up to allow Domestic Electrical Installers to notify Local Building Control of electrical installations that fall under Part P Building Regulations. A member of a Competent Person Scheme can self-certify their work and notify via their Scheme Provider. There are several Scheme Providers that offer this service including but not limited to NICEIC, ELECSA and ECA. Scheme providers will require their members to demonstrate competence and to hold minimum qualifications such as 18th Edition Wiring Regulations and a Domestic Electrical Installer award. Increasingly Scheme Providers wish to see that their members hold or are working towards a full Electrotechnical NVQ.
Domestic Electrical Installer Award. Sometimes referred to as Part P Award, this is a qualification that all installers that work in domestic properties are expected to hold by their CPS. It looks at requirements and implications of Part P Building Regulations for Domestic Electrical Installers.
A National Vocational Qualification that is recognised and accepted by the Electrotechnical Industry as the standard to which all electricians must achieve. This full award incorporates all types of domestic and industrial wiring and installation. It combines training with assessments, portfolio building and direct observation by an NVQ assessor in the workplace. NVQ awards for the Electrotechnical Industry are currently offered by EAL and City and Guilds. They are soon to be joined by NICEIC in offering this qualification.
In addition to NVQ Level 3 and as a prerequisite for applying for an ECS Gold Card it is expected that an AM2 Test is undertaken. The AM2 is an independent assessment of skills and knowledge. This test is undertaken by an independent AM2 centre. It will underpin the whole training and assessment process and is usually the final step taken before applying for an ECS Gold Card.
For those that do not hold a full NVQ Level 3. This qualification will allow the individual to inspect, test and certify an existing electrical installation. i.e. on behalf of landlord. This qualification is not available as a stand-alone and usually must be accompanied by 17th/ 18th Edition and DEI qualifications as a minimum.
For those that do not hold a full NVQ Level 3. This qualification will allow the individual to inspect, test and certify a new electrical installation where the installation has been carried by a 3rd party, i.e. builder, kitchen fitter, plumber etc. This qualification is not available as a stand-alone and usually must be accompanied by 17th/ 18th Edition and DEI qualifications as a minimum.
A person that works predominantly single phase, domestic electrical installations. This person is usually self-employed as their own electrical business and will be a member of a CPS.