Help and FAQs

Answers to some commonly-asked questions

Help and FAQ's for operatives living in Scotland »

The ECS card

How do I know if I am eligible for an ECS card?
Where can I book an ECS H&S test?
Why do I have to take the ECS Health & Safety test?
What are the approved exemptions to the ECS H&S test?
How much does an ECS card cost?
How long is a card valid for?
What if I lose or damage my card?
What occupations are covered by ECS?
What are the benefits of holding an ECS card?
How do I apply to be graded or regraded?
I did my training prior to 1996. Can I get an ECS card?
I am a licensed Electrician in my home country. Can I get an ECS Installation Electrician gold card?
I did my training outside of the UK and do not hold a license from my home country. Can I get an ECS card?
Can an evaluation of my qualification by UK-NARIC be used to apply for an ECS card?
I need an ECS card of Installation Electrician for work, but do not have an NVQ, What do I do?
How do the new Inspection & Testing qualifications affect JIB grading and ECS cards?
I hold a qualification which is higher than the one required for the ECS card I am applying for. Does it count toward my application?
I do not qualify for a skilled ECS card. Is there any other route available to me?
Can I get a refund if I change my mind?
Can I get my money back if my application is not approved?
How long will it take to process my application?
How can I check on or track the status of my application?
Who can I speak to for help with queries?
I need to get a replacement AM2 certificate for my ECS application. How can I get one?
I have the EAL Installation and Commissioning engineering qualification, what ECS card can I apply for?


How do I know if I am eligible for an ECS card?

Eligibility information and requirements for the suite of ECS cards are printed on the ECS Card Application Form and on the 'card types' area of this site. Further information can be obtained by calling the ECS Card Administration team on: 03333 218 230.


Where can I book an ECS H&S test?

Please enquire directly with your preferred provider. A list of providers can be found on the ECS H&S test page.


Why do I have to take the ECS Health & Safety test?

The ECS card scheme matches the requirements of the CSCS scheme that all participants hold an up-to-date health & safety qualification. This is designed to prevent accidents and promote safety and quality of work. However, those who already hold an approved up-to-date Health & Safety qualification will not be required to take the ECS H&S assessment – (see next bullet)


What are the approved exemptions to the ECS H&S test?

Individuals who hold any of the following (current) certificates are exempted from taking an ECS Health & Safety Assessment:

Assessments and Qualifications which allow a five year exemption:

  • Apprentices, Adult Trainees and Crediting Electrotechnical Competence (CEC) Scheme candidates who have been awarded an SQA/SJIB SVQ Level 3 (Electrical Installation-Building and Structures) and SQA/SJIB SVQ Level 3 in Electrical Installation (awarded in Scotland)
  • Apprentices and Adult Trainees who have been awarded an NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Buildings, Structures & Environment) (awarded in England)
  • British Safety Council Level 3 Certificate in Occupational Safety & Health
  • British Safety Council International Certificate in Occupational Safety & Health
  • British Safety Council Level 6 Diploma in Occupational Safety & Health
  • CITB Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS)
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate and Level 5 Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety
  • EEF Woodland Grange in collaboration with Oxford Brooks University. MSc/PgDip/PgCert in Health, Safety and Environmental Management
  • EEF Woodland Post Graduate Diploma in Health & Safety Management (accepted until 2017)
  • Glasgow Caledonian Diploma in HS Management (Scotland only)
  • MSc in Health, Safety & Environmental Management
  • NEBOSH Level 3 International Certificte in Occupational Safety & Health
  • NEBOSH Level 3 Certificatein Construction Safety & Health
  • NEBOSH Level 3 National Certificate in Occupational Safety & Health
  • NEBOSH International Certificate in Construction
  • NEBOSH International Diploma in Safety & Health
  • NEBOSH Diploma in Occupational Safety & Health, Units A, B, C & D
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Health, Safety & Environmental Management
  • TUC Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety

Assessments and Qualifications which allow a three year exemption:

  • CCNSG Safety Passport - National Course
  • CCNSG Safety Passport - Renewal Course
  • CCNSG Safety Passport - Supervising Safety Course
  • ECITB International Health and Safety Passport

Assessment and Qualifications which allow a two year exemption:

  • CITB Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)
  • ECA Health and Safety Awareness
  • ECA Health and Safety for Site Managers
  • ECA Health and Safety for Contracts Manager
  • ECA Health and Safety for Owners and Managers
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Health & Safety
  • Safety Pass Alliance (SPA) Passport - Core
  • Safety Pass Alliance (SPA) Passprt - Sector Course (Building Maintenance, Construction, Renewable Energy and Supervision)

Any IOSH accredited course listed below from an IOSH or approved accredited provider (Note: Providers must obtain written accreditation from the SJIB before the course will be deemed suitable for SJIB purposes).

  • IOSH Working Safely Together
  • IOSH Working Safety
  • IOSH Managing Safely
  • IOSH Managing Safely in Construction
  • IOSH Safety Passport
  • IOSH Supervising Safely

Note: Apprentices are exempt from the need to sit the assessment and can obtain a card on application. If you have any questions regarding this information, you are advised to contact the JIB.


How much does an ECS card cost?

  • The standard card fee is £36.00, which includes VAT. Full fees and payment information can be found on the ECS application guidance notes.
  • If you need to obtain an ECS Health & Safety certificate, there is a separate charge to sit the assessment (usually £42.00). Please contact an ECS H&S Assessment provider directly to enquire.
Visit the ECS H&S test page  


How long is a card valid for?

An ECS card is valid for 3 years. At this point it must be renewed, and the holder will have to sit a subsequent Health & Safety assessment in order to obtain an up-to-date H&S certificate.


What if I lose or damage my card?

If an ECS card is lost or damaged it can be reissued using our replacement service. A copy of the last card issued will be provided on application and payment of the replacement card fee. The application for a replacement card is available up to three months before the original ECS card is due to expire. If there is less than three months left on the card an application to renew the ECS card will need to be made in the normal way.

The easiest way to get a replacement card is to use the online renewal service. Alternatively, the Replacement Card Application form can be downloaded via the following button.

Download the Replacement Card Application form  .


What occupations are covered by ECS?

The ECS scheme certifies a range of occupations across the commercial and industrial and domestic sectors and includes specialist areas such as Fire, Security, Highways, Domestic, Managerial, Site Visitors and many more. To see the range of cards available, see Card Types.


What are the benefits of holding an ECS card?

  • Identifies that the holder is formally licensed to carry out UK electrotechnical work in the area or occupation identified by the card, or to a particular level, and displays any additional qualifications or affiliations relevant to that individual.
  • A valid identity card to show employers and gain access to a construction site or a property
  • Certification schemes including ECS, are government and industry backed
  • Displays an individuals’ qualification and training credentials
  • Proves competency in both electrical work and in Health and Safety
  • Recognises the high skill levels required by those working with electricity
  • Participation in a certification card scheme is a compulsory requirement by many construction employers and may become a legal requirement in the future

How do I apply to be graded or regraded?

Apply in the normal way via the Application Form, remembering to complete Section 5 which asks you if you want your card to display details of your grade. Eligibility criteria apply.


I did my training prior to 1996. Can I get an ECS card?

If you trained as an electrician prior to 1996 you may be eligible to apply via the ‘Industry Accreditation’ route if you are able to supply the appropriate evidence documentation.

This process is strictly based on the ability of the candidate to submit of a portfolio containing copies of the appropriate qualification certificates in addition to bona fide references from current and/or past employers.

Candidates applying in this way will also be required to hold or obtain a current ECS Health & Safety Certificate, or recognised exemption.

Documents required:

  • A copy of the candidates Apprenticeship Deeds or Completion Certificate – and -
  • Employer references: [requires detail]
  • Passport photo etc.
OR
  • City and Guilds 2360 Parts 1 and 2 achieved before 1996 – copy certificate/s – and -
  • AM2 test (passed) certificate
  • Employer references [requires detail]
  • Passport photo etc.

I am a licensed Electrician in my home country. Can I get an ECS Installation Electrician gold card?

If the country where you did your training has a mandatory licensing system, and you can provide validated proof that you hold a current licence in this country, then you can apply for an ECS Installation Electrician gold card.

In addition to your validated proof, you will require the ECS health and safety assessment and the UK wiring regulations qualification, the Level 3 Award in Requirements for Electrical Installations BS7671: June 2008 (2011).

All applications and supporting evidence should be made in English. Information not provided in English cannot be considered and the application will be returned. Verified formal translations should be provided as necessary.


I did my training outside of the UK and do not hold a license from my home country. Can I get an ECS card?

Yes; it is possible for overseas-trained electrotechnical personnel to be issued with an ECS card, provided the applicant can demonstrate that they meet the full UK requirements of the card being applied for.

Generally, existing qualifications held by the individual will be recognised; however, in all cases, the same scope as the UK requirements must be demonstrated for the issue of an ECS card. There may be a requirement to undertake an additional UK-specific practical assessment and/or qualifications; for example a recognised qualification on the UK wiring regulations. In all cases the applicant must provide sufficient evidence that the UK requirement and standards have been fully met for a specific card being applied for.

The easiest way for overseas-trained personnel to demonstrate that they meet the UK requirement is by having their qualifications and experience assessed against the UK qualification required for the ECS card being applied for. It is unlikely that any re-training will be required if the full scope of the UK qualification can be demonstrated.

If the qualifications held by an applicant are considered higher than the ones required for a specific ECS card being applied for, an assessment may be needed to demonstrate that the scope of the desired card has been fully met. The ECS cannot accept qualifications of applicants without verification of their suitability for the card being applied for.

Alternatively the applicant will need to provide a fully mapped evaluation of the learning outcomes of their qualification against the UK National Occupational Standards including the UK Assessment of Occupational Competence.

UK Assessment services are available from training providers and colleges including:

JTL on 01689 884 100 and
EAS Education on 01227 830919 and
CTD Quickstep on 01579 324 126

If an application for an ECS card has resulted in a different ECS card being issued than the one applied for, this is likely to be because the applicant has not yet demonstrated the full requirement of the UK card applied for. The desired card can only be obtained once the applicant’s qualifications and experience have been assessed against the UK qualification, showing that the scope of the desired card has been fully met.

In all cases, advice should be taken from the ECS team to clarify the requirements for individual applications.

All applications and supporting evidence must be made in English. Information not provided in English cannot be considered and the application will be returned. Verified formal translations should be provided as necessary.

For additional information please see the FAQ’s below:


Can an evaluation of my qualification by UK-NARIC be used to apply for an ECS card?

Overseas-trained electeotechnical personnel are advised to first check the requirements of the ECS card they which to obtain and then have their qualifications evaluated against UK standards before applying for an ECS card.

Translation documents obtained from UK Naric relating to an individual’s qualifications do not alone prove an individual’s competence and experience to obtain an ECS card. A translation document from UK NARIC will only refer to a level of the qualification and is not an assessment or mapping of the qualification content that is required for an ECS card application. Hence it is useful to identify a holder’s qualification/s but, on its own, does not identify the scope of the qualification/s taken.

In all cases the applicant are required to provide sufficient evidence that the UK requirement and standards have been fully met for a specific ECS card being applied for. UK NARIC themselves state “Due to the style and nature of an award it is not appropriate to directly compare it to an NVQ level”. UK NARIC only provided a guide to the qualification level, and not the relevance of the content of an overseas qualification against any specific UK qualification.

In these circumstances it is likely that some additional assessment will be required in order to meet the UK requirements of a specific ECS card being applied for.

If this is not done it is likely that an ECS card will be issued that reflects the UK interpretation of the qualifications presented and not the ECS card that may have been desired.

If an application for an ECS card has resulted in a different ECS card being issued than the one applied for it is likely that the applicant has not yet demonstrated the full requirement of the UK card applied for. It is likely that the desired card can be obtained once the applicant’s qualifications and experience have been assessed against the UK qualification showing that the scope of the desired card has been fully met.

In all cases advice should be taken from the ECS to clarify the requirements for individual applications. The ECS cannot accept qualifications of applicants without verification of their suitability for the card being applied for.

For additional information please see the FAQ’s below:


I need an ECS card of Installation Electrician for work, but do not have an NVQ, What do I do?

The requirement for an Installation Electrician ECS card is:

  • Level 3 NVQ in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Installation - Buildings & Structures)
  • The current BS7671 IEE Wiring Regulations qualification (Level 3 Award in Requirements for Electrical Installations BS7671: June 2008 (2011))
  • A current ECS Health & Safety Certificate (or recognised exemption)

Electricians qualified prior to the introduction of NVQ’s

Applicants who trained prior to the introduction of NVQ’s and can demonstrate that they trained under a recognised apprenticeship in Electrical Installation can apply for an Installation Electrician ECS card under the Industry Accredited route. This is done via the normal application form. The requirement for the BS7671 qualification and the Health and Safety assessment must also be met.

Experienced Workers

Applicants who do not hold an NVQ but have other industry qualifications and experience may be able to demonstrate their competence by undertaking an assessment against the Level 3 NVQ in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Installation - Buildings & Structures).

The easiest way to demonstrate the requirements of the Installation Electrician ECS card is by having their qualifications and experience assessed against the requirements of the Level 3 NVQ in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Installation - Buildings & Structures). It is unlikely that any re-training will be required if the full scope of the qualification can be demonstrated.

Generally, existing qualifications, training and experience are recognised toward meeting the requirements of the qualification. However, in all cases the applicant must provide sufficient evidence that the full scope of the qualification has been met. It should be remembered that this is not a training exercise but an assessment of a person’s competence against the industry standards and is often done in the work place.

If the qualifications held by an applicant are considered higher than the ones required for the Installation Electrician ECS card, an assessment may be needed to demonstrate that the scope of the card has been fully met. The scheme cannot accept qualifications of applicants without verification of their suitability for the Installation Electrician ECS card.

Prior to making an application for an Installation Electrician ECS card, an experienced worker must have their qualifications and experience assessed against the requirements of the Level 3 NVQ in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Installation - Buildings & Structures).

This service is available from training providers and colleges including:

JTL on 01689 884 100 and
EAS Education on 01227 830919 and
CTD Quickstep on 01579 324 126

New entrants

To meet the requirements of an Installation Electrician ECS card in the future, new entrants to the industry will need to take the full Level 3 NVQ. The new qualification required by new entrants to the industry is the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical systems and equipment (building structures and the environment) which is part of the industry apprenticeship and widely available training providers and colleges.

Additional information

For additional information please see the FAQ’s:


How do the new Inspection & Testing qualifications affect JIB grading and ECS cards?

The JIB and ECS have issued guidance following the introduction of two new City & Guilds qualifications to replace the C&G 2391, which expires at the end of this year. EAL has also introduced two new qualifications to replace its previous Inspection & Testing Diploma.

The two new qualifications for each awarding body are:
EAL:

  • Level 3 Award in the Initial Verification and Certification of Electrical Installations and
  • Level 3 Award in the Periodic Inspection, Testing and Certification of Electrical Installations

City and Guilds:

  • 2394 - Level 3 Award in the Initial Verification and Certification of Electrical Installations and
  • 2395 - Level 3 Award in the Periodic Inspection, Testing and Certification of Electrical Installations

The current definitions within the JIB Grading Scheme and the ECS within England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be amended to incorporate the new qualifications as together being equivalents to the previous City & Guilds 2391 and the EAL Inspecting and Testing Diploma.

ECS cardholders should be reassured that if you already hold the 2391, this remains valid and you do not need to do anything. Those who have already achieved Approved Electrician grading and/or Approved Electrician as a grade within the ECS are not required to undertake the new qualification.

The ECA has provided some very useful more detailed information on the new qualifications and their assessment.

Download the information sheet for more details  .


I hold a qualification which is higher than the one required for the ECS card I am applying for. Does it count toward my application?

The scope of the qualification and experience required for any given ECS card must be evidenced for any ECS card to be issued. A higher qualification such as a degree or HNC may not have covered the same syllabus or occupational competency assessment required for a given ECS card. For example a degree in Electronic Engineering may not have demonstrated the requirement for inspection and testing to BS7671.

The issue for an applicant is not the level of qualification rather the scope of the qualification required for a given ECS card.

Generally, due the number and complexity of qualifications, the ECS is not in a position to hold records and mapping to qualifications which are not the primary ones recognised within the electrotechnical industry. The ECS cards available have been mapped against specific qualifications to ensure that the required skill-set of the card holder meet the industry requirements for that job role. For this reason it is necessary for applicants to demonstrate the scope of the ECS card being applied for and not the level of qualification held. The scheme cannot accept qualifications of applicants without verification of their suitability for the card being applied for.

In some cases, the outcome of such an application might be that a ‘Related Occupational Discipline’ card such as ‘Electrical Engineer’ or ‘Labourer’ can be issued, as the closest relevant card for the qualifications presented. If an application for an ECS card has resulted in a different ECS card being issued than the one applied for, it is because that application has not demonstrated the full requirement of the ECS card applied for. It is likely that the desired card can be obtained once the applicant’s qualifications and experience have been assessed against the relevant qualification showing that the scope of the desired card has been fully met.

In this situation the easiest way to demonstrate that the full requirements of an ECS card have been covered is to undertake an assessment and mapping against the qualification required for the ECS card being applied for (organisations like EAS UK (www.easukltd.com) provide such services). This assessment will include a consideration of experience from real work situations and reflect the experience of the applicant. Once this assessment has been carried out any gaps in the requirements can be addressed by the applicant.

In most cases it is unlikely that any retraining will be required but short CPD (Continued Professional Development) and /or additional assessment may be required, to successfully demonstrate that the requirements of the desired ECS card have been met.


I do not qualify for a skilled ECS card. Is there any other route available to me?

Individuals employed by JIB member companies who do not meet the application criteria for an ECS card may qualify for a Conditional Electrician card.

The Conditional Electrician card is issued under the control of the sponsoring employer to allow the holder to work as an electrician while achieving the formal qualification requirement for an ECS card in their own right.

In order to be eligible / to apply for the Conditional Electrician card, applicants must:

  • Have a proven work record for the past 10 years
  • Work directly for a JIB member electrical company who are willing to sponsor them
  • The employers must be able to supply a detailed reference confirming the applicants training, experience and the number of years that they have worked with them.
  • The employer undertakes responsibility to ensure that the Conditional Electrician ECS card holder works to obtain the appropriate NVQ Level 3 Diploma qualification within three years of the Conditional Electrician ECS card being issued.

Under the rules of the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme, the Conditional Electrician ECS card is valid for three years and cannot be renewed.

For more information please call the ECS Card Administration team on 03333 218 230


Can I get a refund if I change my mind?

No. We will not be able to provide refunds of fees paid.


Can I get my money back if my application is not approved?

No. Once paid, fees are non-refundable. For this reason we recommend that applicants ensure they meet the application criteria and enclose all documentation as required when submitting an application.


How long will it take to process my application?

ECS Cards are normally issued approximately 4 weeks from the date of receipt of a satisfactory application, where the candidate has supplied a fully completed application form together with all the necessary supporting paperwork and evidence documentation.


How can I check on or track the status of my application?

You can track the progress of your application online by clicking here.


Who can I speak to for help with queries?

If you would like to speak to someone, please call our ECS Card Administration team on 03333 218 230.


I need to get a replacement AM2 certificate for my ECS application. How can I get one?

Replacement AM2 certificate request forms can be downloaded from the FAQs page of the NET website.

I have the EAL Installation and Commissioning engineering qualification, what ECS card can I apply for?

The EAL Installation and Commissioning (Equipment Installation) qualification or the new QCF version, the Level 3 Diploma in Installation and Commissioning (Equipment Installation), is acceptable for an application for the ECS engineering maintenance card.

Alternatively an ECS Installation Electrician Gold card can be applied for if the following requirements are met.

  1. Qualification certificated before 01/01/2014
    Candidates who have either the EAL NQF Installation and Commissioning (Equipment Installation) qualification or the EAL QCF Level 3 Diploma in Installation and Commissioning (Equipment Installation) qualification certificated before 01/01/2014 are required to additionally pass the electrical industry’s Assessment of Occupational Competence the AM2.
    Candidates will also require the Level 3 Award in Requirements for Electrical Installations BS7671: June 2008 (2011) (17th Edition) before an application can be made.
  2. Qualification certificated on or after 01/01/2014
    Candidates who have the EAL QCF Level 3 Diploma in Installation and Commissioning (Equipment Installation) qualification certificated on or after 01/01/2014 will be required to undertake a mature candidate assessment of their existing qualification and experience against the full Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical systems and equipment (buildings, structures and the environment) (including the electrical industry’s Assessment of Occupational Competence the AM2). This will allow existing experience and competence to be credited toward the full electrical installation qualification.
    Candidates will also require the Level 3 Award in Requirements for Electrical Installations BS7671: June 2008 (2011) (17th Edition) before an application can be made.