The JIB has announced that two new routes to Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) gold cards for the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems (FESS) sector have been approved.
The EAL Level 3 NVQ Diploma in providing electronic fire and security systems, which is part of the FESS apprenticeship for Northern Ireland and Wales, is one route being used for experienced workers who have been in the industry for a number of years, but do not have a completed apprenticeship of relevant qualifications.
The other route now available is from BPEC, an awarding organisation with a history of operation across the building engineering services sector and an end-point awarding organisation for the FESS apprenticeship in England. This route focuses on the principles of in-centre assessment to provide a route which maps the equivalent underpinning knowledge, vocational aspects and assessment of competence expected as if someone was completing an apprenticeship.
Crucially, these experienced worker assessment routes are not training courses, but assessments for those already working in the industry, and therefore, do not require people to go back to college. They are based on the principles of work-based assessment and provide a more cost and time effective route to qualified status.
On completion, individuals will achieve FESS Technician status and entitlement to apply for a gold card under the ECS. Through the JIB, an ECS FESS Industry Working Group was set up several years ago to give voice to all different stakeholders in the sector, from the apprenticeship trailblazer group, awarding organisations, training providers, trade associations and certification bodies to reach consensus on the competence expectations for individuals. Through the dedicated work of this group and facilitated by Andy Reakes, JIB and ECS Director of Growth and Development, the industry has come together to develop two important routes to qualified status for those working in the fire and security sector on a UK wide basis.
All ECS card occupations have their own qualification requirements.
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