ECS stands for Electrotechnical Certification Scheme; it is the sole ID and competence card scheme for electrotechnical operatives in the UK and it’s recognised and endorsed by the industry.
Holding an ECS card proves your qualification status, main electrical occupation, identity, as well as your health and safety awareness and any additional disciplines in which you are skilled to work.
The ECS is a partner of CSCS and covers not just core electrotechnical occupations, but specialised industries such as building controls, data communications, highway electrical and fire and security.
There are differing card types available and you can view those on the ECS website. Alongside modifications to qualifications, rules for the application and eligibility for ECS cards change, and so it is worth investigating direct with ECS here.
The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme has announced some important changes to the scheme that took effect in 2019 across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These new rules apply to existing cardholders and those wishing to apply to the scheme for the first time.
Since 01 January 2019
Anyone applying for an Installation or Maintenance Electrician gold card for the first time is required to sign up to Registered Electrician status. This means the applicant must be qualified to the current edition of BS 7671 (the IET Wiring Regulations) when the application is made and sign up to a Code of Professional Practice, in addition to holding the minimum qualifications required for the card.
Since 01 July 2019
Any existing Installation or Maintenance Electrician gold card holders who have let their card lapse for more than a year are required to renew as a Registered Electrician.
Since 01 January 2020
When Registered Electricians renew their card they must hold the BS7671:2018 (18th Edition) qualification.
The changes are being introduced to promote and underpin the status of Registered Electrician, recognising those electricians who are not only working to the NVQ Level 3 standard, but also meet the latest British Standard (BS 7671) for electrical installation.
As of the 01 January 2019 if you wish to apply for an Installation or Maintenance Electrician gold card, you will be expected to become a Registered Electrician – you will need to meet full gold card requirements, plus the latest Wiring Regulations (the version in force when you make your application), plus sign up to the Code of Practice.
If you wish to continue without Registered Electrician status you should continue to renew your ECS card on time or as soon as possible. However, from 01 July 2019, if your card has expired for more than one year, you will have to renew as a Registered Electrician which will involve you holding the BS 7671 edition qualification in force when you renew and signing up to the Code of Professional Practice.
Since 01 July 2019, you have been required to have an 18th edition qualification and have uploaded it to MyECS. If your MyECS record does not show that you hold the 18th edition qualification, your Registered Electrician status will have been removed from your MyECS record and will not show on your MyECS virtual card. We recommend as soon as you gain your 18th edition qualification to upload it via MyECS. There is no additional cost for adding your approved BS7671:2018 qualification to your MyECS account during the term of your ECS card.