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AM2 Assessment – The Ultimate Guide

Electrical trainee taking notes on the workshop bench. Text reads "AM2 Assessment, The Ultimate Guide".

The AM2 assessment is the final stage for many trainees when gaining their NVQ Level 3. Upon passing the assessment, trainee electricians can apply for their ECS Gold Card and Installation Electrician status.

Here, we’re answering all the common questions surrounding the assessment and electrician training.

What is AM2?

AM2 stands for Achievement Measurement 2. The AM2 assessment is a skill-based exam consisting of five test modules administered by the National Electromechanical Training (NET). The exam ensures that those who pass can work unsupervised as qualified electricians.

The assessment has been around for nearly 40 years and has evolved and adapted to reflect changes in the industry, including best practices and requirements.

AM2 assessment is the final part of training that NVQ Level 3 candidates must complete to be eligible to apply for their ECS Gold Card and gain Installation Electrician status.

Completing the assessment is compulsory for apprentices, trainees and time-served/part-qualified electricians who wish to gain the qualified status that the NVQ provides.

What is the NET?

The NET is a registered charity in the UK that develops End Point Assessments and Assessments of Occupational Competence for the electrotechnical industry.

They aim to improve pass rates and minimise assessment re-takes.

Who is the AM2 assessment for?

AM2 assessment is for apprentices and trainees undertaking training against the Apprenticeship Framework, those following the NVQ Level 3 route or time-served or part-qualified electricians completing the JIB mature candidate assessment. The assessment ensures candidates have gained the relevant knowledge and skills throughout their training.

Completing your AM2 provides evidence that you are knowledgeable, skilled and reliable. Therefore, employers highly value it, with many viewing it as proof of competence. In addition, the assessment ensures that you meet the industry-agreed standards of the electrotechnical industry.

If you are an apprentice enrolled on the Apprenticeship Standard, you should undertake the AM2S assessment.

Electrical trainee wiring a light in the workshop, preparing for AM2 assessment

What qualifications do I need to do AM2?

Candidates must be enrolled on or complete a vocational programme at Level 3, or the equivalent covering knowledge of the electrotechnical industry, including installation.

Where can I do the AM2 assessment?

NET oversees AM2 assessment, and you can undertake it at more than 40 assessment centres across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

When do I need to take my AM2 Assessment?

City & Guilds and EAL state that learners should not be put forward for their AM2 assessment until they are ready to be assessed as competent. Both state the following in their quality manuals:

“Learners should not be put forward for the independent assessment unit (2357-399) (QEOC3/001) an ‘Assessment of Occupational Competence’, the Electrotechnical Occupational Competence unit (2357-399) (EOC3/001), until they are deemed ready to be assessed as competent. This underpins the assumption that the learner has sufficient technical expertise, knowledge, skill, and maturity to meet the expectancies of employers in terms of ‘Occupational Competence’. This unit is widely known and often referred to as the AM2.”

The training provider, employer, and learner must agree when a learner is ready for assessment via the NET checklist. The checklist covers nearly 50 aspects of electrical installation, including safe isolation and risk assessment. Each party must sign the checklist to confirm readiness. The NET then reviews the checklist to ensure the learner is registered.

Do you need AM2 to be a qualified electrician?

If you are an apprentice completing your final year, you must pass your AM2 to complete your apprenticeship. Should you not follow an apprenticeship but wish to gain your ECS gold card, you must earn your NVQ level 3 and AM2 certificates.

You will not need an AM2 certificate if you work as an electrician and have older qualifications recognised by JIB. However, if your qualifications are not recognised, you must complete your AM2. For example, if you want to gain your NVQ Level 3 in electrical installation and maintenance, the electrotechnical diploma now includes the AM2.

Though AM2 certification may not be required depending on your existing qualifications, it’s beneficial as many employers view it as evidence of competence and skills.

Two trainee electricians in the workshop working on the switch and socket board in preparation for their AM2 assessment

How long does it take to complete?

AM2 assessment is 16.5 hours (2.5 days) and consists of five test modules, including an online assessment.

What does AM2 consist of?

NET does not share the specifics of each exam. However, a brief outline of each module is available.

Candidates must undertake tasks in equipped booths within a specified time restriction. These will include installation, inspection and testing and fault finding. Work must be completed in line with health & safety best practices and comply with the current IEE Wiring Regulations.

  • Section A1: Safe Isolation and Risk Assessment – 45 mins
  • Sections A2-A5: Composite Installation – 8.5 hours
  • Section B: Inspection, Testing and Certification – 3.5 hours
  • Section C: Safe Isolation of Circuits – 30 mins
  • Section D: Fault Diagnosis and Rectification – 2 hours
  • Section E: Assessment of Applied Knowledge – 1 hour (Online assessment)

Do I need to complete a prep course?

No. Your training should provide you with everything you need to pass your AM2 assessment. However, NET does provide resources to help you prepare.

The ‘Readiness for Assessment’ checklist clearly explains what you’ll do in each assessment section. Using these resources will allow you to prepare and, if necessary, brush up on any areas in which you may need extra knowledge.

There are also video resources, a Pre-Assessment Manual and AM2 Common Candidate Errors Guide available.

Two trainee electricians in the workshop bay, one watching while the other works on a consumer unit

Is AM2 Assessment difficult?

AM2 assessment is challenging to ensure electricians meet industry standards and have a high level of competence. However, resources are available for candidates to measure their readiness for assessment.

With the appropriate training and using the resources provided, candidates should be able to pass their assessment and gain their certificate.

How to prepare for the assessment

While all exams and assessments can result in nerves, it’s important to remember you wouldn’t be taking your AM2 assessment unless you and your training provider deemed you capable.

Ensure you get a good amount of sleep each night before the assessment. You need to rest, so don’t make any plans for the evenings prior – conserve your energy!

If necessary, practice the route to the test centre before your assessment. The last thing you want is to get lost or arrive late. Though it may be easier said than done, don’t panic. If you feel nervous, take deep breaths.

You must bring your current photographic identification with you on the assessment day. Without it, you will be unable to take your assessment. Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • Passport
  • Driving Licence
  • ECS Card
  • Employer photographic ID card

During The Assessment

We asked existing electricians on Twitter what advice they would give those completing their AM2 assessment, and they came back with some great tips and tricks.

First off, make sure you study. While you may be confident in the trade, there is always more to learn, and reviewing notes is a great way to refresh your memory.

Each section has a time limit, but clock-watching won’t help anyone! Instead, focus on the task and work at your own pace. There’s no need to rush through the assessment.

And, of course, read and reread the spec and follow the instructions. Missing critical information or rushing through the assessment could result in you making little mistakes.

It’s true that stressing about something gets you nowhere and takes your attention away from what you need to do. So take it easy and concentrate. If you were to fail, resits are always an option!

AM2 Cost & Resits

How many resits you can take will depend on your employer. After three resits, trainees will require an action plan to be resubmitted.

NET may restrict trainees if sufficient training hasn’t taken place, or they have taken a significant number of resits.

The recommended assessment price is £765 until 31 March 2023.

The recommended prices for re-sits until 31 March 2023 are as follows:

  • Section: A1, C, E – £150
  • Section: B, D – £210
  • One section: £195
  • Two sections: £310
  • Three sections: £375
  • Four sections: £455
  • Five sections: £505

Receiving your certificate

NET will issue you an Assessment of Occupational Competence certificate upon completing your assessment. You will receive your certificate within a week of passing the assessment.

All data correct at time of publication.