Changes to ECS criteria

Some important changes are taking place to a number of ECS cards, effective from 01 August across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These new rules will apply to existing cardholders and those wishing to apply to the scheme for the first time.

Full details are below, but in summary they cover:

01 August 2018

  • Changes affecting new applications for Labourer, Manager, Site Visitor and Related Discipline cards

01 January 2019

  • Changes for those applying for their first Installation or Maintenance Electrician card
  • Changes for those renewing an existing Labourer, Manager or Related Discipline card

01 July 2019

  • Changes for those renewing their Installation or Maintenance Electrician card
  • Changes for existing Registered Electricians

Full information

From 01 August 2018:

  • Those applying for their first Labourer or Manager card must meet a set of new criteria which will involve holding a JIB-recognised health and safety qualification such as CCNSG Safety Passport or IOSH Working Safely.
  • Applicants for Related Discipline cards will have to pass a new Electrical Safety Unit Test and provide evidence of additional training in their specific field.
  • ECS Site Visitor cards will no longer be issued after 01 August 2018.

Download more information about:

From 01 January 2019:

  • All those who already hold a Manager, Labourer or Related Discipline card will have to renew it under the new criteria and gain one of the required qualifications, if they don’t already have it. 
  • Anyone applying for an Installation or Maintenance Electrician gold card for the first time will be required to sign up to Registered Electrician status. This means the applicant must be qualified to the current edition of BS7671 (the Wiring Regulations) when the application is made and sign up to a Code of Professional Practice, in addition to holding the minimum qualifications required for the card.

From 01 July 2019:

  • Any existing Installation or Maintenance Electrician gold card holders who have let their card lapse for more than a year will be required to renew as a Registered Electrician.
  • 01 July 2019 is also the deadline for Registered Electricians who have qualified to the 17th Edition of BS7671 to achieve a qualification in the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations (BS7671:2018), which was published on 02 July 2018.

Why are these changes being made?

The changes to Labourer, Manager and Related Discipline cards have been introduced so that the ECS can continue to meet Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) partnership criteria, following the announcement by the Construction Leadership Council that nationally-recognised qualifications should be in place for all construction-related occupations by 2020.

The changes to the gold cards are being introduced to promote and underpin the status of Registered Electrician, recognising those electricians who are not only working to the NVQ Level 3 standard, but also meet the latest British Standard (BS7671) for electrical installation.

The decision to withdraw the Site Visitor card is in alignment with the CSCS decision to withdraw the CSCS Site Visitor card and the Construction Leadership Council’s announcement that not everyone needs a card to gain access to site and cards should only be issued to those working in construction related occupations.

More details on these changes will be announced throughout 2018. 

How does this affect me? 

I haven’t applied for a gold card yet but plan to in the future: From 01 January 2019 if you wish to apply for an Installation or Maintenance Electrician gold card, you will be expected to become a Registered Electrician – you will need to meet full gold card requirements, plus the latest Wiring Regulations (the version which in force when you make your application), plus sign up to the Code of Practice.

I’m an Installation Electrician without Registered Electrician status: If you wish to continue without Registered Electrician status you should continue to renew your card on time. From 01 July 2019, if your card has expired for more than one year, you will have to renew as a Registered Electrician which will involve you holding the BS7671 edition qualification in force when you renew and signing up to the Code of Professional Practice. 

I’m already a Registered Electrician: From 01 July 2019, you will be required to have an 18th edition qualification and have uploaded it to MyECS. If your MyECS record does not show that you hold the 18th edition qualification by this date, your Registered Electrician status will be removed from your MyECS record and will not show on your MyECS virtual card.

We recommend as soon as you gain your 18th edition qualification to upload it via MyECS. There is no additional cost for adding your approved BS7671:2018 qualification to your MyECS account during the term of your ECS card.

I’m a gold card holder but my card has been expired for over a year: We recommend that you renew your card as soon as possible. Before 01 July 2019, if you intend to become an ECS Registered Electrician you can add this to your card once you have gained the 18th edition qualification. After 01 July 2019, you will not be able to renew your card until you have gained the 18th edition qualification and accept the Registered Electrician terms and conditions.