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ECA backs ECS plans to embrace 18th edition

19 April 2017

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 ECA 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."

Alex Meikle, ECA Director of Employment and Skills commented:

“This decision to link the ECS Gold Card to the upcoming 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations is excellent news for skilled electricians in the industry. As a result, cardholders will be able to quickly and clearly highlight their expertise and knowledge of the new regulations to clients and employers.

“With plans now being set in motion for a Licence to Practise, the electrotechnical industry is helping ensure it maintains the highest levels of safety and technical standards. The ECA fully supports this agenda, and we look forward to working with partners, including ECS and the JIB, to putting these plans into practice.”