Advice is being issued to ECS card holders by the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) that under the rules of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) it will be withdrawing ECS cards issued under the “conditional” or “restricted” route, sometimes known as Industry Accreditation. ECS card holders who hold a conditional graded card should note that while they will be able to renew their card one more time, they may need to update the type of card held in the future when they come to renew their card.
The electrical industry and the JIB have always championed high standards, since the introduction of modern apprenticeships in the 1980s, NVQs in the 1980s and 1990s and more recently the introduction of continuing professional development (CPD) and the higher standards required to achieve ECS Registered Electrician status.
All CSCS cards issued under these Industry Accreditation routes, including those under ECS, will expire by 31st December 2024.
CSCS will require those without qualifications to register for the appropriate qualification for their occupation before their cards expire in 2024 and ECS will be required to follow suit as part of the audit of partner schemes. This announcement is therefore being issued now to provide advanced warning to card holders and employers to ensure they have enough time to make the necessary alternative arrangements.
For many ECS card holders under these Conditional or Restricted gradings, no action will need to be taken as card holders will be moved over to the correct card upon renewal in the period leading up to December 2024. Much of this has already been undertaken in the background to make this process as smooth as possible and this only affects a small number of historical cards issued.
For example, there are many card holders who, since their original application for one of the affected cards, have completed a relevant qualification such as an apprenticeship, Experienced Worker (or Mature Candidate) Assessment, NVQ Level 3 qualification or the practical performance assessments (e.g. AM2). These records will be updated where applicable and people automatically moved across to the correct card type.
This will also apply to card holders who have completed historically recognised training routes, such as the City & Guilds Part 1 and Part 2 and AM2 (prior to 1999) but have also not yet updated their card or their online record.
Andy Reakes, Head of Growth at the Joint Industry Board and ECS, explained: “Since July 2019, those who held Conditional and Restricted grading cards which expired and weren’t subsequently renewed within a 12-month period have needed to meet ECS Registered Electrician status on renewal. This is the industry agreed standard for electricians under ECS including relevant qualifications, latest edition of the Wiring Regulations and commitments to ongoing learning. Please look out for communications through your MyECS account and from the ECS team who will inform you if you are affected, if any action will be required and what options are available.
“For those who do not hold any qualifications and want to recognise their skills and experience through an NVQ Level 3, the Government has recently launched a scheme to provide free level 3 qualifications through the ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee’. This can include full funding for a number of qualifications including the NVQ Level 3 in Electrical Installation.”
For those who hold Conditional Gradings (employed by JIB member companies), the JIB Skills Development Fund has agreed to provide £25,000 in funding for those who wish to undertake the Experienced Worker Assessment and cannot obtain funding through the Lifetime Skills Guarantee. If this applies to you, and you want to find out more about the support available, please email email@example.com
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