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The construction industry has a lot of branches. It is not just limited on carpenters, engineers, architects or even electricians. In fact, it’s more than just that. Hence, it’s no wonder that for every sector involved in a construction project, certification and demonstrating a certain level of skill, knowledge and competence is a mandatory requirement. Hence, there is a must to present an identification card that will show your competence and qualification.

One of the core fields in the construction industry is the Electrotechnical sector. This sector is involved in all electrical, electronic and its related technologies such as magnetic & electromagnetic, multimedia and telecommunications. In other words, electrotechnical is the technological use of electric power.

If you are one of many who works or is interested in working in the Electrotechnical Industry, there is a need to obtain an ECS Card.

What is an ECS Card?

ECS stands for Electrotechnical Certification Scheme. Before you will be recognized as a qualified installation or maintenance electrician, there is a need to undergo training and comply with the requirements prescribed by the scheme. Once completed, you will be granted an ECS Card – the only ID and competence card scheme for the electrotechnical industry in UK.

When applying for an ECS Card, the worker must first achieve at least an electrotechnical NVQ Level 3. Depending on your level and specialization, you will be given either a gold or platinum ECS card. However, those who were not able to achieve the required level or are still in the training process can still be given an ECS card that will still allow them to have access to the site and carry out the work depending on their skills and capacity.

It will likewise reflect the different sectors of the electrical installation industry – fire and security, data communications, street lighting, automobile and marine electrical work and installation of building controls and white goods.

Why should I apply for an ECS Card?

There are many reasons why you need to get the card. Among these reasons are –

  • Provides recognition, whether local or international, of your competency to carry out work in the electrotechnical industry
  • Allows you to access construction sites in order to comply with your work
  • It is supported by the government itself and the industry
  • Standards are based on the electrotechnical industry
  • It displays your qualifications, training, health & safety and identity credentials
  • It is endorsed and supported by employers and the whole industry, including the UK Competent Person Scheme for domestic electrical work

What are the benefits of having an ECS Card?

Again, the construction industry is very strict when it comes to the level of skills and qualifications of all its workers – from the skilled ones up to the management level. That is why they require their workers to undergo training and examinations to determine their qualifications and whether they are fit and knowledgeable of their job.

By having an ECS Card, your skills and qualifications are easily recognizable within the electrotechnical industry. It also allows you to demonstrate all your credentials to your employers, colleagues, business contacts and clients.

Aside from your skills, your ECS Card can prove that you are also knowledgeable in terms of health and safety. Note that as part of the application process, you are required to take the Health & Safety exam as a mandatory requirement to ensure awareness on these areas.

Apart from all of this, the ECS card gives you a job. Since an ECS Card is a compulsory requirement by employers, you can get an employment as an electrician. However, having an ECS Card does not guarantee instant employment since there may be many others who are also vying for the position.

What is the ECS Health & Safety Test?

In every sector in the construction industry, Health & Safety Test is required to be taken by all operatives. This is to ensure that all workers hold an updated health & safety qualifications in order to prevent accidents and promote safety and quality of work. However, every Health & Safety Test is different depending on the industry you belong.

H&S test is also required in electrotechnical industry. The Health & Safety Test for ECS card holders is designed to meet the health and safety requirements needed by every electrotechnical personnel. Once you successfully passed the assessment, an ECS H&S Certificate, which is valid for 2 years from the date of award, will be awarded. It will be issued either by JIB or SJIB and such certificate can only be used for purposes of ECS application.

There are instances where you can be exempted from taking the test. If you already meet or exceeded the level required of H&S knowledge due to approved qualifications you currently hold i.e. NVQ Level 3 (Installing and Commissioning Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment), NEBOSH Certificate, NEBOSH Health & Safety Diploma Part 1 and Woodland Grange Diploma in HS Management, you don’t have to take the test. However, such exemption must be supported by an up-to-date qualified certificate bearing your exemption.

What are the different card types which I can apply for?

The electrotechnical industry is a big industry that can be divided into different categories which you can apply for –

Electrical Electronic and Management

  • Electrical Site Manager
  • Contracts Manager
  • Installation Electrician
  • Maintenance Electrician
  • Electrical Fitter
  • Electrical Winder
  • Wireman / Panel Builder
  • Building Controls Engineer
  • Instruments Mechanic
  • Telecommunications Fitter
  • Distribution Networks Electrician
  • Office Machines Mechanic
  • Auto Electrician
  • Marine Electrician
  • Household Appliances Electrician
  • ECS Radio/Television Electrician


  • Trainee Datacomms Specialist
  • Datacomms Specialist
  • Advanced Datacomms Specialist
  • Datacomms Technician
  • Datacomms Engineer

Emergency & Security Systems

  • Apprentice
  • Trainee
  • Installer skilled
  • Installer unskilled
  • Maintenance skilled
  • Maintenance unskilled
  • Commissioning
  • Surveyor

Fire Detection & Alarm Systems

  • Apprentice
  • Trainee
  • Designer skilled
  • Designer unskilled
  • Installer skilled
  • Installer unskilled
  • Commissioning skilled
  • Commissioning unskilled
  • Maintenance unskilled

Additional Occupations, Apprentices & Trainees

  • ECS Related Disciplines i.e. Sound and Light Engineer
  • ECS Site visitor
  • ECS Trainee Electrician
  • ECS Apprentice


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    January 31, 2017 / 6 years ago

    Iam working as a cleaner and iam doing an electrical installation course and I have a level 2 Diploma in electrical installation.I have passed health and safety test.which card is relevant for me to work in this indusrty considering that I have to gain practical experience in this industry? I need your help and I am looking forward to hearing from

    regard Isaac

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