What is a Qualified Electrician?

The industry expects all operatives who are working unsupervised in the electrotechnical industry to hold the ECS gold card.
 
To qualify for the ECS gold card you'll need a relevant industry level 3 qualification, which includes the underpinning knowledge and assessment of your competence that you'll need to work in the industry.

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

If you can demonstrate previous electrical experience, via the JIB Mature Candidate Assessment you 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 focuses on completing and assessing any gaps to help you meet NVQ3 standard. So it means your existing competence is recognised and ‘credited’ toward achieving the full industry qualification.
 
A list of approved organisations that carry out this assessment is available in our Mature Candidate Assessment section. 

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). It is not a general requirement for individually-qualified electricians.

Short course ‘Part P’ training programmes are only for individuals that worked in the industry for at least two years and want to be a Qualified Supervisor for their company. These courses do not qualify individuals as electricians, as the training is focused on Building Regulations requirements.
 
If you are already formally qualified to NVQ Level 3, you do not need to re-qualify if you are the proposed Qualified Supervisor for their company, but you will need to demonstrate your knowledge of the Building Regulations during your company’s Part P assessment visit by the Competent Persons Scheme provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an ECS card cost?

The cost of an ECS card will depend on the type of card being applied for. Full details of ECS card costs can be found in the "ECS Card Payment Details" document.