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UK ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY MOVES TO SAFER, BETTER PRACTICES

The industry bodies represented on the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) Management Committee have agreed the requirements for new Qualified Supervisors that will be introduced in January 2012.

From 1st January 2012, for the first time, a level of technical competence equivalent to level 3 NVQ competences is to be the minimum requirement for all new applications for Qualified Supervisors.

NAPIT CEO John Andrews commented on the new requirements...

"Over the last five years NAPIT have been working really hard to persuade the Electrical Industry to raise its standards and we’re pleased that they have at last agreed to adopt as a minimum, the standard that NAPIT has been insisting on for many years.

This new industry-wide requirement will not be onerous for real Electricians to achieve, as it requires no higher standards than the ones they should already possess. This new requirement has our full support"

There are five different routes to achieve this standard, including on-site assessment, off-site assessment, a mixture of both and the gaining of appropriate qualifications.

Existing Qualified Supervisors

No change will be required for existing Qualified Supervisors and current other suitably qualified staff. It must be emphasised that individuals who already have a competency-based qualification recognised by the EAS Management Committee will not have to take the new qualification if they are applying to become a new Qualified Supervisor after 1st January 2012.

What about practising Qualified Supervisors appointed pre-January 2012?

The requirement only applies to all new applications for Qualified Supervisors received after 1st January 2012, and it will not affect those who are currently holders of the post, or Qualified Supervisors appointed before 1st January 2012.

What about past holders of the Qualified Supervisor role (not currently responsible)?

If you have been a registered Qualified Supervisor within the last two years for an employer, you will be eligible to be nominated as a Qualified Supervisor for a new employer without the need to demonstrate the new level of technical competence.

For those choosing the qualification route, the Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Installing, Testing and Ensuring Compliance of Electrical Installation Work in Dwellings should be available from the 1st January 2012 as the minimum qualification level for Qualified Supervisors responsible for electrical work carried out in domestic properties which comes under Part P of the Building Regulations (for England and Wales).

For compliance with Building Regulations in Scotland, Approved Certifiers of electrical installations must be eligible to be graded as approved electricians and be suitably qualified e.g. SVQ Level 3 in electrical engineering or equivalent.

For work in the Commercial or Industrial Sectors, the minimum qualification requirement for Qualified Supervisors will be the new Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Building and Structures).

This is a move towards safer, better practice in the UK electrical installation industry.

Appropriate Electrotechnical NVQ qualifications are certificated through the two awarding bodies at the current time in the UK:

• City and Guilds (www.cityandguilds.com)
• EAL (www.eal.org.uk)

For more information on Electrotechnical Level 3 NVQs, see the SummitSkills, City and Guilds and EAL websites.

About the EAS Management Committee.

This decision was reached by the industry’s EAS Management Committee, which is the National Committee for the electrical industry responsible for determining the minimum technical standards to which companies in the Electrotechnical industry are assessed.

The Committee is formed of representatives from organisations across the industry, including the competent person schemes. The EAS document can be downloaded free from the IET website