Plans are underway to incorporate the forthcoming 18th edition of the IET Wiring Regulations into the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to allow ECS cardholders to demonstrate their continuing professional development.
The JIB National Board, which comprises representatives of the Electrical Contractors' Association and Unite the Union, supported the move in principle at its meeting on 6th April and has asked the JIB Employee Relations Committee to develop a delivery plan for the Board to consider in September.
The ECS scheme has been in operation for over 45 years and currently 105,000 electricians and other workers in the electrotechnical industry hold an ECS card as proof of their qualifications and occupational status.
By including the 18th Edition within the ECS scheme, gold cardholders will be able to show clients and employers that they not only meet the industry required NVQ Level 3 standard, but also that their work adheres to the latest British Standard for electrical installation.
The Board also supported the development of the ECS as a future Licence to Practice and further work will take place to achieve this objective.
Steve Brawley, JIB Chief Executive, said: "The significance of the decision to align the ECS with the IET Wiring Regulations should not be underestimated, because it will formalise the existing strong links between the scheme and the industry's standard.
“We will now work to develop proposals to introduce the 18th Edition for skilled cards, taking full account of existing cardholders’ interests and the need to adopt an inclusive approach, to ensure a smooth transition takes place. The ECS has the potential to form the basis of a Licence to Practice for the industry in the future and this decision will move that aspiration forward.