ECS launches Qualified Supervisor endorsement and related discipline card

From September 2021, the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) – the assessment protocols and entry criteria for certification bodies such as the NICEIC and ELECSA – have been updated to mirror the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) minimum standards for electricians as well as requiring evidence relating to Continuing Professional Development (CPD), supervising employed person and insurance levels during assessment visits.

To recognise this role and standard within the sector, those who are qualified supervisors within their company can apply to have this recognised on their ECS card while they are working for this company. This is contained under the endorsements section of an ECS application. This means that Gold Card Electricians can have this important endorsement as part of their physical and virtual ECS records, giving greater visibility of their role and experience.

A separate Qualified Supervisor ECS card is also available to show those with this responsibility within an organisation assessed by a Competent Person Scheme. The requirements for the Qualified Supervisor related discipline card are set out here.

For many years, the Joint Industry Board (JIB) has worked with the wider electrical industry to raise standards for those responsible for electrical installations. The requirements for occupations and cards are set by industry bodies and employers. For a Gold Card Installation or Maintenance Electrician, the core requirements have been the same since 1999.

This is an apprenticeship or equivalent (such as underpinning technical theory and a vocational qualification to a Level 3, and a practical performance assessment of competence – the relevant version of the AM2). More recently, the minimum requirements have been strengthened to include a qualification in the latest edition of the Wiring Regulations, a commitment to wider CPD and a code of professional conduct.

This is shown by those who have achieved ECS Registered Electrician status. Electricians can then upskill and progress in their career through further qualifications and training, such as inspection and testing, or design and verification, and achieve Approved Electrician or Technician grading.

Although Registered Electrician status is the minimum standard expected for commercial and industrial sectors, the same standard is not always expected in the domestic sector where individuals responsible for electrical installations are assessed under Part P of the Building Regulations rather than the industry approved National Occupational Standards, and more recently apprentice “trailblazer” standards. Now these standards are aligned so that the minimum entry criteria for Qualified Supervisor is the same as those routes for an ECS Gold card.

Martyn Allen, Electrical Safety First’s Technical Director, comments: “In industries such as ours, competence is key, and safety is paramount. The changes seen within this update are essential as collectively we strive to raise standards and enhance consumer protection. Updated processes to allow ECS recognition for QS status is an important part of essential visibility of competence.”

Mike Smith, ECA Technical Director, explains: “It’s great to the see the electrical industry coming together under the EAS to agree higher standards within the specification, and ECS provides the necessary verification and assurance of these standards – recognised by government and industry – as a core part of competence frameworks.”

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