Associations join up for competence drive

Certsure, ECA and Electrical Safety First (ESF) join forces to drive measurement and recognitition

Certsure, ECA and Electrical Safety First (ESF) have worked together to develop plans to raise standards across the industry. The organisations are the driving force behind proposals to change the ways competence within the industry is measured.

While the electrotechnical industry prides itself on a robust approach to competence and safety, and indeed has an excellent safety record, there is always more that can be done. Driving up standards of electrotechnical work is a fundamental objective if the sector is to thrive in the years ahead.

Certsure, ECA and ESF have worked together to develop a blueprint which they believe will ensure that only qualified individuals with the right knowledge, skills and understanding are deemed competent to undertake electrotechnical work. The thinking is that this approach will help to drive up standards and aligns with Government policy on technical education standards and competence.

The group has put forward proposals to simplify yet strengthen entry requirements into the industry and ensure consistency across all registration and certification bodies. The aim is tthat all applicants to a scheme should be from one of two routes: the apprenticeship route, or the experienced worker route.

The proposals will ensure that individuals seeking to become a qualified supervisor or electrical operative undertaking periodic inspection must have the following:

• an electrotechnical apprenticeship (or proscribed alternative)

• a minimum of two years’ experience

• a recognised knowledge of the latest Wiring Regulations

• be well versed in inspection and testing electrotechnical installations

The proposal is fairly straightforward to implement for new applications. However, there remains a challenge for existing registrants. The group proposal is that there must be proportionate quality management systems, for new and existing registrants, in place for demonstrating business process and operative competence. This would need to be assessed in situ as part of the ongoing assessment process by registration and certification body assessors.

In a joint statement, the three associations state: “We believe that this proposal is the best way to properly ensure the competence of the registered organisation, qualified supervisors, and operatives undertaking electrotechnical work and provide the consumer protections that are required.”

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