WHAT ELECTRIC/POWER TRAINING DOES SERT OFFER?

30.04.2021

SERT are pleased to announce that we are now expanding our electrical area, our electricians are hard at work and we are now building new training and assessment areas ready to start delivering high quality courses in partnership with the awarding organisation LCL.  We are going to start delivering training courses to both newly qualified and experienced electricians with the view to providing conversion upskill training for Smart metering installers to be competent in EV charging installations.

Given the recent changes to the electrotechnical assessment specification and the introduction of mandatory Electrical Installation Condition Reports in the private rental sector, we are starting to see a large skills gap opening as more companies become aware of the new requirements that all electricians undertaking an EICR need to hold both the Initial Verification qualifications and Periodic qualifications. No longer may you have one qualified supervisor in the company sign off operatives’ work carte blanche.

The regulations

To counter this skills gap SERT will be offering two different courses in the requirements for Electrical installations BS7671:2018, this award is the LCL equivalent of the City and Guilds 2391 and will be offered as either a three-day course or a one-day update course, both of which culminate in a 60-question online exam.

Our three-day course is designed for those working in industry or in an electrically related area and have not taken a formalised exam on the third amendment of the 17th edition.  It will cover the major changes in the 18th edition, train you how to navigate around the book, and teach you how to interpret the questions that you will come up against in the exam. Expect this to be an intensive three days running from 08:00-16:00, working through the book from front to back highlighting important sections, teaching you to navigate the book, and running over past papers.  We will also endeavour to teach you how to interpret and ‘read’ the questions presented to you in your exam in order to pick out the key information required for you to find the answer in a fast and efficient manner.

Our one-day course is specifically designed for those who did take an update course for the 2015 update of the 17th edition, and in order to join this course you will need to provide us with a copy of your existing qualification. This day will be focused solely on the major changes and exam preparation, prepare to be worked hard! There is a lot to do in a short amount of time and given this we will spend the vast majority of the day carrying out exam practice, with some time devoted to covering the major changes between editions. If you have not picked up your book since the last time you took the 2382, then this course is unlikely to be suitable for you.

Testing and inspection

The second set of courses SERT will run are those around testing and inspection of Electrical installations and are equivalent of the C&G 2391 or 2394/2395.  We are looking to run both the individual qualifications and the combined qualification over both 3 days and 5-days, respectively.

The individual qualifications are designed for those who would like to learn over a longer period, require distinct qualifications for their job roles, or who already have one of the qualifications under their belt. Whereas the weeklong course is designed for those who are electrically competent but are seeking to upskill and gain a greater understanding about the legal practices, procedures and requirements for the certification of electrical installations. These courses will be structured around both book learning and hands on practical experience, culminating in written, online, and practical exams. It is SERT’s goal to ensure that you are competent and safe when you leave us and be able to issue certification giving both you, your employer and your customers peace of mind.

 

The future

Electric vehicle charging, and renewable energy.

Looking forward, SERT are looking to create an assessment area on the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging solutions and will be offering the LCL equivalent of the City and Guilds 2919. This course will run over two days, with a day devoted to learning about all the requirements for these installations and some of the more interesting interactions between different systems. For example, did you know that when using an electrical energy storage system (EESS) you are not able to use an ‘O-PEN’ or ‘MATT: E’ device as they will not work when the storage system is operating in Island mode? This results with us resorting back to installing earth electrodes to supply these systems and is something that will become increasingly common as battery technology progresses and EESS become more common place.

Given the potential for the market for EESS to expand rapidly, we are also looking at providing a course in this area. This is an emergent technology and has the potential to bring us into a new age of renewable energy as it can drastically increase the self-consumption of a solar photovoltaic system, a simple 5kWh battery increases your self-consumption by up to a whopping 50% (ref MGD:003 – Guidance note, table 9-21) assuming that you are out at work most the day and only in at night. This means your clients will start to see a real return on their solar PV panels, and you as electricians have the potential to get a constant trickle of work maintaining the batteries and systems that you installed. Our aim is to provide you with all the training you need to understand how to design, install, and test these systems over a three-day course, however you will then need to liaise with a manufacture to learn how to commission their system as they are all bespoke with some requiring strong programming skills to set up correctly.

NVQs and mature candidate assessment

Jon, our primary Assessor, has spent a number of years assessing Apprentices in the workplace and as such is intimately familiar with both the City and Guilds 2357 and 5357. Through his travels he has noticed an increasing number of experienced operatives who are unable to get their ECS gold card or join a competent person scheme as they only have their City and Guilds 2365/2330 at level 3 and are missing the NVQ. This is a position that he himself was in at one point, and as such he knows exactly how frustrating it is. We at SERT are looking to provide the LCL alternative to the City and Guilds 2356 as soon as they begin to offer it in order to bridge this gap and allow for progression towards becoming a qualified Electrician.

Your NVQ will take place over a maximum of two years, with a minimum of two on-site observations and will require you to be working full time with a qualified Electrician throughout. Unlike an Apprenticeship however, you will be able to change employer easily and can be self-employed, this opens up a larger range of employers to you and increases your chances of successfully finding a place. The course will require you to install, at minimum, five different types of cable and containments, carry out initial verification on two occasions, fault find on three occasions, and oversee a job twice. You will be required to evidence this work via photos, reflective accounts, and observations by an assessor. As such you can spend the vast majority of your time working, and only come into the centre for support as and when you feel like you need it. When you’ve completed this qualification you will be ready to undertake the AM2E, this is an advanced AM2 aimed at those who have been working for a number of years in the industry and once this is completed you will finally be able to apply for your ECS card and be recognised as a fully competent and qualified electrician.

Posted by: Andrew de Bere

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