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Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

Am I eligible for an ECS card?

ECS cards are available to anyone who meets the rules and requirements for the card they wish to apply for. Information and requirements for each ECS card are explained on the Card Types page.

 

Can I have a craft card as well as a manager's card?

Yes – you can hold a card in different application types - for instance a Craft card and a Manager card. You will need to make two separate applications via the same MyECS account.

I did my training before 1999. Can I get an ECS card?

If you trained as an electrician prior to 1999, you may be eligible to apply via the ‘Industry Accreditation’ route if you can supply the appropriate evidence.

This process is strictly based on the submission of appropriate qualification certificates, in addition to bona fide references from current and/or past employers.

If you wish to apply in this way, you will also need to hold or obtain a current ECS Health & Safety Certificate, or recognised exemption.

Documents required:

Route 1:

  • A copy of the candidates Apprenticeship Deeds or Completion Certificate
  • Employer references

Route 2:

  • City and Guilds 2360 Parts 1 and 2 plus AM2 test (passed) certificate - both completed and certificated between 1st January 1994 and 1st September 1999
  • Employer references

I do not qualify for an ECS Gold Card, is there any other route available to me?

The JIB Mature Candidate Assessment is designed for electricians that have been working in the industry for many years but have not gained a formal NVQ Level 3. It allows you to show that you meet the full requirements of an ECS Gold Card.

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

If you trained prior to the introduction of NVQs and can demonstrate that you trained under a recognised apprenticeship in Electrical Installation, you can apply for an Installation Electrician ECS card under the Industry Accredited route. This is done via the normal application route via MyECS. The requirement for the BS7671 qualification and the Health and Safety assessment must also be met.

Experienced Workers with other qualifications
If you do not have an NVQ but have other industry qualifications and experience, you may be able to demonstrate your competence by undertaking the JIB Mature Candidate Assessment. You will need to take this assessment before you make an application for an Installation Electrician ECS card.

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.

Is my Electrotechnical Qualification (EAL 601/7345/2 or C&G 601/6299/5) recognised for and ECS card?

JIB Recognition of the Electrotechnical Qualification (Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard for Installation Electrician and Maintenance Electrician)

The qualification combination of the Electrotechnical Qualification (Installation or Maintenance) (available from EAL 601/7345/2 and C&G 601/6299/5) and the AM2 is not recognised by the JIB for the issue of an ECS card.

The JIB recognises the Electrotechnical Qualification when achieved as part of the Electrotechnical Apprenticeship Standard (with the requirement of the AM2S) as a qualification pathway in the JIB 2017 Apprenticeship Scheme, the JIB 2017 Craft Training Scheme or a formal industry recognised apprenticeship framework certificated by one of the UK devolved administrations.

Download the full details about the permissible Electrotechnical Qualification JIB combinations for an ECS card here.

Why do you need proof of my certificates?

In order for the scheme to be robust, we need to carefully check each applicant’s qualifications and training – the only way of proving that an applicant has a particular qualification is by seeing the certificate that has been awarded. Unfortunately we cannot take an applicant’s word or promise that they hold a particular qualification, as it opens the scheme up for abuse and fraudulent card applications.

General

Can I get a refund if I change my mind?

No. We cannot provide refunds of fees paid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.

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

No. Once paid, fees are non-refundable. For this reason we strongly recommend that you ensure you meet the application criteria and enclose all documents and evidence that is required when submitting your application.
Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.

Can I have a craft card as well as a manager's card?

Yes – you can hold a card in different application types - for instance a Craft card and a Manager card. You will need to make two separate applications via the same MyECS account.

How do I apply for a card?

The most straightforward way to apply for a card is online via MyECS. Via MyECS you can upload all relevant documents and evidence, and can track your application as it progresses.

How do I make an ECS replacement card application?

  1. Log into your MyECS account
  2. Go you your MyECS dashboard
  3. Select ‘Apply for a New Card’
  4. Agree to the Terms & Conditions of the scheme
  5. Confirm that you wish to Replace your existing card

How do I renew my card?

If your card is reaching its expiry date, the best way to renew your card is via the MyECS service – via MyECS you can view your existing card on our system and make your application for a renewed card.

You will need to ensure you have an up to date H&S Assessment you don’t have one already.

Full information about the renewal process is available on our Renew page.

 

How long is a card valid for?

The length of time an ECS card is valid for depends on the card type. Typically, an ECS card will be valid for three years, however, some ECS cards have a shorter expiry date. For instance, ECS Trainee cards are valid for 24 months, Experienced Worker and Provisional graded cards valid for 18 months and Work Experience cards are valid for 12 months.

You can renew your card when it has less than 3 months before its expiry date.

Trainee cards cannot be renewed. Their training programme requirements must be met at each stage before the trainee can progress to the next stage. Please see the adult training scheme in the JIB handbook for more information.

Experienced Worker, Provisional grade and Work Experience cards have specific requirements and cannot be renewed. Please see the grading definitions in the JIB handbook for more information.

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.

How quickly can I get my card?

If you’ve not had an ECS card before, your card should normally issued approximately 4 weeks after we have received your application – providing you have supplied a fully completed application form together with all the necessary supporting evidence, documentation and payment. If there are items missing or that need further investigation, this process may take longer.

If you are renewing an existing card via MyECS, the turnaround time is approximately 2 weeks.

There may be times when applications may take longer due to a high demand – if this is the case we’ll announce it on the front page of the ECS website.

If you need your ECS card urgently, we offer a same-day turnaround Premium Service

Is an ECS card the same as a JIB card?

Yes. Historically when the JIB only issued cards to electricians working for JIB member companies, it became known as the ‘JIB card’ – this is a name that has continued to be used to this day, as it has such an embedded meaning across the industry. However, in 1999 the card scheme was opened to all eligible electricians and became the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS). Now all cards are called ECS cards, whether they are issued to a JIB member company or non-member company. 

Is my Electrotechnical Qualification (EAL 601/7345/2 or C&G 601/6299/5) recognised for and ECS card?

JIB Recognition of the Electrotechnical Qualification (Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard for Installation Electrician and Maintenance Electrician)

The qualification combination of the Electrotechnical Qualification (Installation or Maintenance) (available from EAL 601/7345/2 and C&G 601/6299/5) and the AM2 is not recognised by the JIB for the issue of an ECS card.

The JIB recognises the Electrotechnical Qualification when achieved as part of the Electrotechnical Apprenticeship Standard (with the requirement of the AM2S) as a qualification pathway in the JIB 2017 Apprenticeship Scheme, the JIB 2017 Craft Training Scheme or a formal industry recognised apprenticeship framework certificated by one of the UK devolved administrations.

Download the full details about the permissible Electrotechnical Qualification JIB combinations for an ECS card here.

I've lost or damaged my card - how do I get a new one?

If your ECS card is lost or damaged it can be reissued using our replacement service. If you apply for this service you will be issued with a copy of the current card you hold, with the same expiry date.

You can apply for a replacement card up to three months before your original ECS card is due to expire. If there is less than three months left on your card, you will need to Renew your card in the standard way.

The easiest way to get a replacement or renewed card is via MyECS.

What do you accept as an Employer Reference?

If your application requires an employer reference, we require the following:

  • A detailed job description specific to the applicant written on company headed paper.
  • It must be signed and dated by the person writing the reference.
  • It must include a note of your job title, duties, training undertaken and competency in the field.

What is a 'craft' card?

Put simply, if you're not a manager or an apprentice then your occupation is within the craft card application.

A craft card is a term used for the card types that are learned traditionally via a ‘craft’ such as a vocational apprenticeship e.g. electrician.

The general ECS card groups are 'Apprentices', 'Management' (black) cards and then all others, whether gold or white, are 'Craft' cards.

What is a 'Related Discipline' card?

Related Discipline ECS cards are for operatives that are not directly involved in Electrical Installation work, but their work is allied or in support to the electrical industry, where an electrical occupation does not already exist.

Typically, a Related Discipline ECS card would be used for an activity that requires an awareness of electrical safety for the user, but did not involve any core electrical installation work.

Why do I need an ECS card?

In addition to allowing you access to CSCS-controlled construction sites, the ECS card shows that your skills and qualifications have been independently assessed and certified, and you are qualified to work at the level shown on your card. If you work for a JIB member company, your JIB grade shown on your ECS card allows you to secure the correct rate of pay for the grade you are working at.

Why do you need proof of my certificates?

In order for the scheme to be robust, we need to carefully check each applicant’s qualifications and training – the only way of proving that an applicant has a particular qualification is by seeing the certificate that has been awarded. Unfortunately we cannot take an applicant’s word or promise that they hold a particular qualification, as it opens the scheme up for abuse and fraudulent card applications.

H&S Assessment

Do you accept the CSCS test?

No we cannot accept the CSCS test. The ECS test must be used for ECS card applications and it specifically covers health and safety knowledge relating to electrotechnical work and sites.

What are the exemptions for the H&S Assessment?

Take a look at our Exemptions page for a full list

Where can I book the ECS H&S Assessment?

ECS H&S assessments are openly available from the JIB, the ECA or Unite the Union. A list of locations where you can take the assessment is available in the ECS H&S Assessment Venues section. Please enquire directly to your preferred provider for your assessment booking and details.

Why do I need to do the ECS H&S Assessment?

The ECS is partnered to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). CSCS requires all cardholders to have an up-to-date health & safety qualification. This is designed to prevent accidents and promote safety and quality of work.

The ECS Health and Safety Assessment shows that you have an awareness of Health and Safety that is equivalent to CSCS requirements. It also covers electrotechnical-specific health and safety knowledge required for working in the electrotechnical industry.

However, if you already have an approved and current Health & Safety qualification you will not be required to take the ECS H&S assessment – take a look at our Exemptions page for more information.

Occupations and Grading

What occupations are covered by the ECS?

The ECS scheme covers a range of occupations across the electrotechnical industry. It includes specialist areas such as Fire, Security, Highways, Managerial, Site Visitors and many more. To see the range of cards available, visit the Card Types section for more information.

Qualification and Certificate Queries

Can you accept unit credits as qualification proof?

Unit credits show that only part of a qualification has been achieved and so we cannot accept unit credits as proof of a full qualification.

Can you get proof of my qualifications from the awarding body?

No. Awarding bodies will not issue certificates to a third party such as the ECS because of data protection issues. However, you can contact the awarding body yourself and ask for a copy of your certificate/s.

Do you accept EAL qualifications?

Yes we accept EAL qualifications along with City & Guilds, Logic Certification, BTEC and other recognised awarding bodies – you’ll be able to find the full list of accepted qualifications once you start your application process.

 

Do you accept Part P as a qualification?

The ECS scheme does not accept Competent Persons Scheme assessments as part of an application. Full details of the qualifications needed are listed in the Card Types section under each card.

I do not qualify for an ECS Gold Card, is there any other route available to me?

The JIB Mature Candidate Assessment is designed for electricians that have been working in the industry for many years but have not gained a formal NVQ Level 3. It allows you to show that you meet the full requirements of an ECS Gold Card.

I need a replacement AM2 certificate - how can I get one?

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

Is my Electrotechnical Qualification (EAL 601/7345/2 or C&G 601/6299/5) recognised for and ECS card?

JIB Recognition of the Electrotechnical Qualification (Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard for Installation Electrician and Maintenance Electrician)

The qualification combination of the Electrotechnical Qualification (Installation or Maintenance) (available from EAL 601/7345/2 and C&G 601/6299/5) and the AM2 is not recognised by the JIB for the issue of an ECS card.

The JIB recognises the Electrotechnical Qualification when achieved as part of the Electrotechnical Apprenticeship Standard (with the requirement of the AM2S) as a qualification pathway in the JIB 2017 Apprenticeship Scheme, the JIB 2017 Craft Training Scheme or a formal industry recognised apprenticeship framework certificated by one of the UK devolved administrations.

Download the full details about the permissible Electrotechnical Qualification JIB combinations for an ECS card here.

What awarding bodies do you accept?

We accept City & Guilds and EAL qualifications along with Logic Certification, BTEC and other recognised awarding bodies – you’ll be able to find the full list of accepted qualifications once you start your application process.

Why do you need proof of my certificates?

In order for the scheme to be robust, we need to carefully check each applicant’s qualifications and training – the only way of proving that an applicant has a particular qualification is by seeing the certificate that has been awarded. Unfortunately we cannot take an applicant’s word or promise that they hold a particular qualification, as it opens the scheme up for abuse and fraudulent card applications.

The Application Process

Can I get a refund if I change my mind?

No. We cannot provide refunds of fees paid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.

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

No. Once paid, fees are non-refundable. For this reason we strongly recommend that you ensure you meet the application criteria and enclose all documents and evidence that is required when submitting your application.
Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.

Can my employer pay for my application via MyECS?

If you log into your MyECS account with your employer, so they have access to your payment screen, they can make payment at this stage. 

Alternatively if you are happy for your employer to have your MyECS login and password they can pay via your MyECS account separately. However we recommend that you keep your MyECS account details private.

If you do make payment yourself, you can also download a receipt if you are able to claim the cost back from your employer that way.

If your employer is making an application on your behalf using the ECS Employer Portal, they can both make the application and pay directly

How do I apply for a card?

The most straightforward way to apply for a card is online via MyECS. Via MyECS you can upload all relevant documents and evidence, and can track your application as it progresses.

How do I download a receipt for an ECS card application?

  1. Log into your MyECS account
  2. Go you your MyECS dashboard
  3. Scroll down to ‘Payments Made’
  4. Download the .pdf for the application required

How do I renew my card?

If your card is reaching its expiry date, the best way to renew your card is via the MyECS service – via MyECS you can view your existing card on our system and make your application for a renewed card.

You will need to ensure you have an up to date H&S Assessment you don’t have one already.

Full information about the renewal process is available on our Renew page.

 

How quickly can I get my card?

If you’ve not had an ECS card before, your card should normally issued approximately 4 weeks after we have received your application – providing you have supplied a fully completed application form together with all the necessary supporting evidence, documentation and payment. If there are items missing or that need further investigation, this process may take longer.

If you are renewing an existing card via MyECS, the turnaround time is approximately 2 weeks.

There may be times when applications may take longer due to a high demand – if this is the case we’ll announce it on the front page of the ECS website.

If you need your ECS card urgently, we offer a same-day turnaround Premium Service

What do you accept as an Employer Reference?

If your application requires an employer reference, we require the following:

  • A detailed job description specific to the applicant written on company headed paper.
  • It must be signed and dated by the person writing the reference.
  • It must include a note of your job title, duties, training undertaken and competency in the field.