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Topic Title: ECS card
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Created On: 22 January 2013 01:11 PM
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 22 January 2013 01:11 PM
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mark2spark

Posts: 1444
Joined: 15 November 2006

I haven't worked on a building site for well over 10 years now, but with work drying up left right and centre, an up coming opportunity to work locally on a site that is going to go 'ballistic' due to housing association timetables, - completion of site by June 30 - sounds too good to miss.
"You've got a card I take it?" says the contractor.
Part P registration card? I ask
No, a ECS card, like a CSCS card but an electrical one.
Oh, right, errrr, no, don't have one of those.
So a bit of googling reveals the scope of this. H & S test? Err, ok.
Q1 Someone is burnt and you take him to first aid station, but there's no one there. Do you;
a. Shout for help
b. Go home.
c. kick the door in.
d. Go back to work.

Really.

But the best is yet to come. Despite working as an electrician since 1983, passing of C & G 236 in 1992, 17th edition 2382 in 2008, and being Elecsa registered for 4 years...
Do you have NVQ level 3?
No.
Then you can only get a trainee Electrician card then.

Wow.

Why do the JIB ECS card guys need this when Elecsa dont? I can do *anything* with my Elecsa membership, and sign it off, all unsupervised, yet...?
I feel like giving up sometimes.
My daughter works as a waitress at Frankie & Bennys and can make £200 in tips on a long Saturday shift. On top of wages.

Thanks for reading

-------------------------
I am prone to talking complete bol***ks at times, please accept my apologies in advance.
 22 January 2013 01:27 PM
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Jobbo

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Look here, from the ECS Website: They recently changed the dates for exisitng qualifications.

ECS Installation Electrician

As a general guide, since 1999 the mandatory requirement for the Installation Electrician ECS gold card has been the NVQ level 3.

To be eligible for an ECS Installation Electrician gold card, applicants must meet the following criteria:

.A recognised competency based qualification as certificated between the dates below:

Full Apprenticeship Deeds or Apprentice Completion Certificate
If a formal apprenticeship has been carried out the final signed apprenticeship deeds or the completion certificate which was issued at the end of the apprenticeship programme is needed as evidence.

Qualifications for new trainees - starting 1st September 2011
Anyone new to the electrical industry will have to complete the technical theory, practical and competency assessments of the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical systems and equipment (buildings, structures and the environment).

Qualifications completed and certificated from 1st September 1999
Since 1999 the mandatory requirement has been the NVQ level 3.
If formal training was carried out from 1st September 1996 it is likely that the theory elements of the NVQ training programme have been studied as a separate technical certificate (City & Guilds 2351 OR 2330 Levels two and three OR 2360 Levels two and three). A technical certificate on its own does not meet the full requirements of the NVQ Level 3 in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Installation - Buildings & Structures).

Qualifications completed and certificated between 1st January 1994 and 1st September 1999

The technical theory qualification, the City & Guilds 2360 (parts one and two) PLUS the AM2 assessment is needed. Bona fide references from previous and present employers covering the last three years will also be needed.

Qualifications completed before 1st January 1994

Formal training programmes prior to 1994 will probably have followed an apprenticeship training programme. If this is the case then the final Apprenticeship Deeds or Apprentice Completion Certificate will need to be provided. A technical certificate on its own does not meet the full requirements for an Installation Electrician ECS gold card.

From the information you have provided, you have grandfathers rights.

Good Luck

Jobbo
 22 January 2013 01:39 PM
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chris1982

Posts: 35
Joined: 09 August 2007

Originally posted by: mark2spark


Do you have NVQ level 3?

No.

Then you can only get a trainee Electrician card then.



Wow.



sounds familiar, in a previous job working for a consultancy everyone was told we needed to get a card to get onto the client's sites. There was people qualified from the school of life all the way through to doctor and I think because we weren't actually a trade we ended up being classed as "site visitor"
 22 January 2013 01:59 PM
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rougediablo

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Joined: 09 November 2011

I'm just in the process of getting mine renewed. Last one expired in 2008, prior to that I had exemption from the H&S test as I hold a NEBOSH cert. I wasn't involved directly in the industry at the time as I was working as a facilities manager so I didn't to the H&S & Iet it expire.

I was concerned about the NVQ3 aspect. When I rang them they said as long as I don't want regrading (I held Approved Electrician Gold Card) I just needed to do the H&S test which I did last Friday & then reapply. The H&S insn't exactly hard & it only took me 9 minutes to answer the 40 questions!
 22 January 2013 08:01 PM
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prtadko

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same old same old here i am sorry to say. this is a subject that has been talked about at great length before on this fourm. There is a whole generation of electricians, myself included that did their C&G's at college only to find out later that they are not technicaly fully qualified and a ''top up'' ''course'' is required to get the holy grail that is the NVQ. the ''top up'' ''course'' to which i refer was, from memory pay the college about £800-900, take some really nice photos of some conduit or tray work that you may or may not have done then have a couple of chats on site with an assessor. presto changeo your now a ''fully qualified'' electrician.
I was not able to do it anyway as i did not do enough variety of work to complete all the required job cards.
building sites are a closed shop and the union is just looking out for its own interests. Level 3 2330 or Prt 2 2360 are good enough for every registration body and every company that i have ever worked for. most only ask for a 17th edition anyway.
 22 January 2013 08:23 PM
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Fm

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Stop bitching anout the ecs tests, and nvq3 and cant get a gold card blah blah

If you want to work, get the card

So what if a consultant has to get a site visitor card, i bet hes not bitching about it on the consultancy forums, no he had done what is required to get onto site and will charge accordingly

Same for a spark, plumber joiner etc
 23 January 2013 12:26 PM
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mark2spark

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Thanks for the replies. The contractor said it doesn't matter if it's got trainee on it, only Poles and newly qualified apprentices have the full monty card anyway

-------------------------
I am prone to talking complete bol***ks at times, please accept my apologies in advance.
 23 January 2013 03:01 PM
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Zs

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Yes mark2spark, there does appear to be a thriving black market for these cards. I was offered one recently for £100 and the duplicate of my 2391 certificate which I recieved in error from C&G.

I freaked out at the whole bunch of them. Unusual for me to swear but I did.

Zs
 23 January 2013 03:20 PM
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Parsley

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Originally posted by: mark2spark

Thanks for the replies. The contractor said it doesn't matter if it's got trainee on it, only Poles and newly qualified apprentices have the full monty card anyway


Will he only pay you as an trainee though?

I don't think that last statement is accurate, the ECS cards have been around for many years, it's your livelihood and you've choosen not to keep up to date.

Regards
 23 January 2013 03:43 PM
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OMS

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Yes mark2spark, there does appear to be a thriving black market for these cards. I was offered one recently for £100 and the duplicate of my 2391 certificate which I recieved in error from C&G.


You would have to conclude that some employers are colluding with those who have fraudulent cards then - the majority of sites have card readers that scan the card chip - and there is also an online checking service between selected hours.

If anyone is serious about it - then "borrowed" or other dubious use of the card is pretty easy to detect. I know Vinci for example picked one up recently where the same identity was used on two sites that were a long way apart - the operative clearly coudn't have been in two places. It can be brutal - not just the guy involved but his firm as well were escorted off site and thier contract terminated - who knows how much further that information will spread and if some one puts it on a list made of dark paper.

I guess though, like all these things, if there is a need to have one,then there will always be a black market. The photo on my card isn't the mae west and if I had a name with an over abundance of "i" s and "y"s in it it's probably not that difficult to pass for someone else - particulary if you are responding in broken English, with a prounounced accent.

Perhaps unfair of me to pick on one group - it's probably commonplace

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 23 January 2013 09:45 PM
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slittle

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It's probably the only reason I bother to keep mine up to date so I'm not so likely to fall into the "need an NVQ" trap.

I've been asked for it three times in six years, twice I was on site doing antenna install work so the card wasn't really relevant and I've just been asked for it again as we are providing a couple of FCU's for a mate's job on a "unusual" site.


Stu
 23 January 2013 10:19 PM
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Jobbo

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Since the beginning of the year, it seems all of our regular clients are requesting evidence of competence and will only except an ECS card for electrical works. The JIB have now stopped issuing a H&S certificate when completing the CSCS affiliated multi-guess exam, as people where using this to obtain entry onto construction sites. They will now issue you with a letter granting permission to apply for an ECS card. This was the intended purpose of the certificate, as stated on the front.

If a consultant was to recommend to his client the best way to assess an electrician (not contractor) in his competency to carry out electrical work, what would he/she recommend?. Does the JIB have some responsibility for their graded individual? They assessed them after all.

Jobbo
 23 January 2013 10:40 PM
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John Peckham

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Apart from very small building sites getting on site requires an ECS card and to go through a site induction process in my experience. Some sites as Jobbo said would let you on if you had the H&S test certificate but as he pointed out I only received a letter confirming I passed on my recent re-assessment. Other than that no card no access.

Some of my clients require and ECS card to enter non-building site premises to carry out inspection and testing. I cannot see why admission to banking floors in a large office block requires an ECS card but that is a rule for one particular FM company.

In addition some of my clients ask for copies of competences in the form of 2382 and 2391 prior to attendance on site together with Method Statements and insurance details.

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 23 January 2013 11:17 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: John Peckham

Apart from very small building sites getting on site requires an ECS card and to go through a site induction process in my experience. Some sites as Jobbo said would let you on if you had the H&S test certificate but as he pointed out I only received a letter confirming I passed on my recent re-assessment. Other than that no card no access.

Some of my clients require and ECS card to enter non-building site premises to carry out inspection and testing. I cannot see why admission to banking floors in a large office block requires an ECS card but that is a rule for one particular FM company.

In addition some of my clients ask for copies of competences in the form of 2382 and 2391 prior to attendance on site together with Method Statements and insurance details.


Its now over 5 years since I have been asked for a card, last time I was I provided a CSCS certificate and the words were "crack on"

Its a nice to have I feel, money rules and when work needs doing cards are overlooked as bureaucracy - which in reality is all they are.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 24 January 2013 02:41 PM
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OMS

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If a consultant was to recommend to his client the best way to assess an electrician (not contractor) in his competency to carry out electrical work, what would he/she recommend?.


As always, it depends on the vclient sector, complexity etc.

For run of the mill commercial we probably wouldn't bother with individuals relying instead on ECA/NICEIC with perhaps the electrical foreman/technician being identified and reviewed via CV (or maybe interview).

Beyond that, and particularly for testing, we would ask for CV's of the individuals with interview of the team lead.

From there things like Compex come into play.

JIB grading obviously plays a part in that.

For critical installations (in a variety of sectors) we have held full "Suitably Qualified and Experienced Person" interviews on a one to one basis.

Obviously, in the latter circumstances, as consultants, we would also submit to the SQEP process coupled with narrowly defined roles and responsibilities for individualxs depending on the pay grade and level of assumed responsibility. So for example, for one client, staff working for me would be reviewed by me, but I would submit to independant review by the client (or another consultant acting as due diligence advisors)

Horses for courses based on the risk I guess

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 24 January 2013 02:48 PM
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OMS

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Its now over 5 years since I have been asked for a card, last time I was I provided a CSCS certificate and the words were "crack on"

Its a nice to have I feel, money rules and when work needs doing cards are overlooked as bureaucracy - which in reality is all they are.


You've been lucky Martyn - I've not been on a site in that period without producing a card - craft operatives simply wouldn't get through the gates without a card, no exceptions -

no hard hat, no boots, no card = no work

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 24 January 2013 10:34 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: OMS

no hard hat, no boots, no card = no work


More like No card, No workers, No Progress = No standing! there is an unrealistic deadline to meet.

I could get a card if I wanted one but I will wait until I need it, if ever.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 24 January 2013 11:07 PM
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Zs

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Quite right too Mart. A trip to the dartford Tunnel to answer some questions about rat wee and whether it is alright to drill a hole in your hard hat for keeping you cool, a very long lunchtime pizza twiddling your thumbs and back to the place with the crittle windows, the gold card is yours Mr NVQ3. Don't bother until you need it.

Alternatively, £100 from a bloke in Berkhamsted and job sorted eh?

Oooh, I have just realised as I typed that... Berko...Norm... Emma Clancy... Dodgy JIB cards... Me getting a parking ticket and my bag nicked (but not my JIB card if you remember that?)...I think I have to put this in my novel? Norm, please explain Preferably over a cup of tea in one of your posh cafe bars.


Zs
 24 January 2013 11:25 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: Zs

Alternatively, £100 from a bloke in Berkhamsted and job sorted eh?


Christ they used to be £20 on eBay!

Oooh, I have just realised as I typed that... Berko...Norm... Emma Clancy... Dodgy JIB cards...


Careful Zs you will upset norm mentioning his name alongside that of the worlds top boss!

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 25 January 2013 10:27 AM
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OMS

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Whatever you need to do guys, whatever works for you.

You won't work for my company without one, full stop - and we don't do installation works.

We will not take a risk on the individual not getting on site in the first instance, we use the card as a basic method of demonstrating our designers have health and safety awareness and are thus more likely to address the designers responsibilities under the CDM regulations and we have a commitment from board level to operate safely in the construction sector for the wider benefit of all parties involved - we would expect our people to comment to someone with responsibility if we observe unsafe practices on site or review design solutions that are potentially unsafe in implementation, or may lead to safety issues during operation and maintenance. Don't forget that a death in construction barely ripples our bottom line - that's how little it impacts, so you just might, one day, be grateful for one of our people creating a s!!tstorm on site based on something they picked up from a H&S test

As a simple example, location and configuration of switchgear is reviewed not only to address the design criteria, but for safe access, ability to be tested/maintained, operated in a variety of situations including abnormals and finally decommissioned. That assessment would extend to the working environment (lighting, access to small power, temperature, ventilation etc) - essentially it requires the designer to understand what say an inspector would be doing in 5 years time in terms of an EICR perhaps, or the client undertaking emergency switching during a flood situation.

To my mind, this is actually one of those few scenarios where the phrase "If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem" is true - often tragically.

regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
IET » Wiring and the regulations » ECS card

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