Trying to understand the range of electrician qualifications and awards available can be daunting. To make matters worse, there are old websites in the public domain that have not been updated for many years containing out-of-date information.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 understand the stages to follow to gain the electrician qualifications you need.
If you want to become a qualified electrician, your objective should be to obtain an ECS (Electrotechnical Certification Scheme) Gold Card through JIB. This recognises you as a fully qualified electrician and comes in different levels depending on your qualifications and skills.
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. A Gold Card is the proof you require to demonstrate that you are a qualified Electrician.
JIB maintains extremely high standards. JIB will expect anyone applying for an ECS Gold Card as an Approved Electrician for the first time to hold the following electrician qualifications:
This requirement is the same regardless of when you joined the industry.
New entrants must follow a complete and robust training programme such as the Options Skills five-step programme. For example, our NVQ Level 3 Electrical Training Course 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 plan 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 ECS Gold Card comes at the very end of your journey to becoming a fully qualified electrician. Nobody can jump from novice to Gold Cardholder overnight. To build the evidence needed to gain your qualifications, you must start your journey as an Electrical Trainee. Enrolling on a recognised Electrotechnical NVQ Level 3 Training Course entitles you to hold an ECS Electrical Trainee card. As with the Gold Card, this will allow you to seek employment and contracts within the industry.
Up to 31st December 2020 Regulated qualifications and UKAS Accredited certificates of competence issued in the UK were widely recognised by other EU member states. However, since the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, individual member states that previously recognised a UK qualification may now no longer do so. Learners undertaking qualifications on the basis that it is recognised by an EU member state should in the first instance make enquiries with the relevant bodies in that Country to confirm its recognition status.
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.
In addition to NVQ Level 3 and as a prerequisite for applying for an ECS Gold Card, an AM2 Test is expected to be undertaken. The AM2 is an independent assessment of skills and knowledge. This test is undertaken at 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.
Electrotechnical Certification Scheme. ECS issues various cards to people within the industry that verifies an individual’s qualifications and experience. These cards demonstrate to would-be employers an individual’s qualifications and competence. ECS Cards are widely sought by major electrical employers, contractors and agencies and are often the precursor to interview and employment.
Issued to individuals working in the electrotechnical industry that are enrolled on an NVQ Training Course.
Issued to qualified electricians that have successfully achieved an Electrotechnical NVQ Level 3 and have passed the independent AM2 assessment.
Issued to a non-qualified electrical labourer.
The Inspection & Testing award demonstrates competency in the ability to inspect, test, report and certify both new (initial) and existing (periodic) electrical installations.
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.
A National Vocational Qualification 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. EAL and City and Guilds currently offer NVQ awards for the Electrotechnical Industry. They are soon to be joined by NICEIC in delivering this qualification.
Not all electrical works that are undertaken are classed as a Notifiable Event under Part P, i.e. upgrading of lighting circuits, upgrading of light figments and controls, replacing damaged surface boxes, replacing damaged/faulty wiring & adding onto existing circuits, new socket points A Minor Works certificate should be left by the Domestic Electrical Installer however these works would not be classed as a notifiable event under Part P.
No, you don’t have to. Competent Persons Schemes exist for Domestic Electrical Installers to notify their local building control/local authority of any works that fall under Part P of The Building Regulations. These are known as notifiable events. However, an installer does not need to be a member of a CPS. They may notify their local council directly of a notifiable event or may ask a Competent Person to check and certify their work.
For a Domestic Electrical Installer to be able to ‘self-certify a notifiable event, they must be a CPS/Competent Persons Scheme member. A Domestic Electrical Installer who is not a CPS member should ask CPS Member to certify any works that require notification or notify local building control of the works. Note: Notification is not the same as Self Certification. The householder will still need the works to be certified.
A notifiable event is any electrical installation that falls under Part P of Building Regulations. Local Building Control at your local council must be notified of any such installation either directly or via a CPS Provider. Notifiable events will include but are not limited to new electrical installations, re-wires and electrical works in special locations such as bathrooms or kitchens.
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