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What is a 'qualified' electrician?

The industry expects all operatives who are working unsupervised in the electrotechnical industry to hold, and be qualified to, the requirements of the ECS gold card, issued by the JIB.
 
To qualify for the ECS gold card a relevant industry level 3 qualification is required, which includes the necessary underpinning knowledge and competency assessment.

Becoming Qualified – for New Entrants

For all new entrants into the sector, the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Building Structures and the Environment) is required.
 
Alternatively, it may be possible to meet the ECS card requirements with the Level 3 NVQ in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Installation - Buildings & Structures), with the necessary underpinning knowledge qualification (or technical certificate) at Level 3 and the AM2 assessment.
 
The Level 3 qualifications are available from both EAL and City & Guilds, with the industry AM2 assessment being available from NET.

JIB Mature Candidate Assessment

Those who can demonstrate previous electrical experience can have a professional interview with an assessor, in order to have an individual training plan developed with a view to becoming formally qualified.
 
This training plan will be in line with the normal industry qualification requirements and focus on completing and assessing the part of the qualification that is still required. The value of this approach is that the individual’s existing competence is recognised and ‘credited’ toward achieving the full industry qualification.
 
A list of approved organisations that are approved to carry out this assessment is available from the ECS card website. These organisations would also support the candidate, and employer, in making sure the opportunities for the full requirements of the industry qualification where identified from the normal working environment and formal training programme.

Training that does not lead to ‘qualified’ status

Qualifications such as the stand-alone 17th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations, the Certificate in Fundamental Inspection, and the Certificate in the Certification of Electrical Installations (inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations) are designed as professional development for qualified electricians and are not suitable for unqualified personal or new entrants in to the industry.
 
On their own, these qualifications do not demonstrate the industry required qualification and competence.
 
Any reference to Part P of the Building Regulations is for company registration to comply with legislation (in England and Wales) and is not a general requirement for individually qualified electricians employed within the industry. Short training ‘Part P’ training programmes are only for individuals that have been working within the industry for at least two years and are looking to be the proposed Qualified Supervisor for their company. These courses do not qualify individuals as electricians as the training is focused on Building Regulations requirements.
 
Operatives who are already formally qualified to NVQ Level 3 do not need to re-qualify if they are the proposed Qualified Supervisor for their company, but they will need to demonstrate their knowledge of the Building Regulations during their company’s Part P assessment visit by the Competent Persons Scheme provider.