Frequently Asked Questions
Select your category to look at relevant questions and answers. You can also return to the Experienced Worker Assessment main page.
I’m not currently working as an electrician but would like my skills recognised. Can I take the EWA?
If you aren’t currently working as an electrician, you are unlikely to be able to complete the EWA’s practical assessments. The EWA is targeted at practising electricians, and the performance assessments have to be based on current, authenticated activity. You may have evidence from past work that will confirm that you’re a suitable candidate for EWA, but you’d still need to be working now in order to generate up to date evidence. Unfortunately, there are no exemptions from the performance units within EWA.
I have electrical qualifications from outside of the UK – can I take the Experienced Worker Assessment?
We have developed a new service with the qualifications recognition body Ecctis (formally known as UK Naric), that will map non-UK electrical qualifications against the specific knowledge requirements of the Experienced Worker Assessment.
The service will provide you with an ‘Industry Skills Statement’ – find out more on the Ecctis website.
There will be no exemptions from the practical performance elements – even if you have significant practical experiences of working overseas, you will still need to be working in the UK to complete the practical elements of the EWA.
To gain an ECS card with non-UK qualifications, you will need to complete the Electrotechnical Experienced Worker Assessment, which includes:
- BS7671:2018 (18th edition) Requirements for Electrical Installations
- The level 3 Initial Verification of Electrical Installations
- The UK Industry Assessment of Occupational Competence (AM2E), provided by National Electrotechnical Training
You will also need to complete the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment.
I have passed the AM2 previously – will I still need to take the AM2E?
If you are completing the Experienced Worker Assessment and have already passed the AM2, you will only have to undertake a supplementary AM2E unit rather than the whole assessment.
The unit to be completed depends on when the original AM2 was passed:
- Before April 2010: Testing and Safe Isolation supplementary unit
- After April 2010: Containment and Safe Isolation supplementary unit
Some assessments in 2010 were carried out after the April changeover, but as part of NET’s checks during the application process it will be confirmed which unit you will need to carry out.
Find out more about the AM2E on the NET website:
Can I use a previous Inspection & Testing qualification such as a 2391 when undertaking the EWA?
The Initial Verification qualification and up to date knowledge is a requirement of the EWA. If learners have an existing Initial Electrical Inspection and Testing qualification this may be used to meet the EWR requirements with no need to repeat.
The training provider may verify that skills and knowledge are up to date as part of their initial discussion and skills scan interview in order to credit the Electrical Inspection and Testing qualification against the EWA requirements.
Why is the Initial Verification unit within the EWA – is this just for JIB Approved Electrician grading?
The Experienced Worker Qualification is not linked in any way to the JIB Grading structure. The Initial Verification unit is there because the EWA has been designed in parity with the electrotechnical apprenticeship, so those on either route are both qualifying to the same industry standard. If the apprenticeship content changes, the EWA will be updated in line with this.
On completion of the EWA and AM2E, plus the ECS HSE assessment, you will be eligible for an ECS Electrician gold card.
Is this the right qualification for me?
The Experienced Worker Assessment is for electricians who have been working in the industry for at least 5 years (not including time spent in full or part time training) but have not formally completed an industry apprenticeship or equivalent Level 3 NVQ qualification. You will need to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and competence to the standard of the Level 3 electrotechnical apprenticeship. There is a Skills Scan at the start of the process to assess this.
It’s suitable for both self-employed and employed electricians who have worked for a number of years but have never gained full, formal recognition of their skills or experience.
The qualification is not suitable for new entrants to the electrotechnical industry, apprentices, or those who have completed an electrotechnical technical qualification with less than last five years relevant experience as an electrician.
Your previous technical qualifications may also meet some of the Experienced Worker Assessment requirements, which means you only need to provide any outstanding items of evidence.
What is the Skills Scan?
The Skills Scan is designed to determine your eligibility for the Experienced Worker Assessment by helping you understand the depth of knowledge, skill and experience that will be expected to complete the assessment. It’s designed to help you avoid wasting money and struggling to complete qualification or the assessment process if this is not quite the right pathway for you.
What if this is not right for me?
If you are working in the industry but the Experienced Worker Assessment isn’t right for you at this time due to gaps in your knowledge or experience, don’t give up! It may be you just need a more time or experience in certain areas before you’re ready to apply.
It’s always recommended you complete a relevant industry-approved Level 3 route, recognised by employers.
If you’re employed, the Electrotechnical Apprenticeship qualification may be suitable. There’s no age restriction or financial contribution from you, you don’t have to start at the beginning and prior knowledge and qualifications can be recognised to reduce the typical 4-year duration.
Otherwise the NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Buildings, Structures and the Environment) can be taken whether you’re employed or self-employed.
What’s in the Experienced Worker Qualification?
There are six Level 3 Performance Units to be assessed before you can gain the Experienced Worker qualification:
- Apply Health, Safety and Environmental Considerations
- Organise and Oversee the Electrical Work Environment
- Apply Design and Installation Practices and Procedures
- Terminate and Connect Conductors
- Inspect, Test and Commission Electrical Systems
- Apply Fault Diagnosis and Rectification
To pass these units, you must provide evidence from a site of your work to demonstrate you can fully meet the performance requirements of each unit.
You’ll be assessed via a range of methods and an assessor will need to observe you at work on at least one occasion during the evidence gathering process.
Additionally, units for BS 7671 and Initial Verification are examined within the Experienced Worker qualification, if you don’t already have these qualifications.
How long will it take to complete the Experienced Worker Assessment?
This will depend on what evidence you already have that counts towards the qualification. For instance, if you hold the BS 7671:2018 qualification and/or the Initial Verification qualification you can eliminate the time and cost needed to gain those. We estimate anywhere between 3 and 15 months depending on what evidence you need to provide. Most of the time spent will involve portfolio building and on-site assessment of your current work.
If you don’t hold BS 7671 and Initial Verification, these are taught and assessed as if they were taken separately outside of the Experience Worker Assessment.
The AM2E Assessment, which is separate to the Experienced Worker Qualification, is a practical assessment where you will have to attend a NET-licensed centre. This can only be booked after the Experienced Worker qualification is achieved.
How much will it cost?
Each training provider will set their own price for delivery of the Experienced Worker Assessment process and so we are unable to provide a definitive price. However, we expect that where you have existing skills, qualifications or experience that counts towards the criteria, the cost will be reduced if you do not require training or assessment on every unit of the qualification. This should be discussed with your training provider, TESP does not have any influence in this area.
Furthermore, some training providers will include the cost for AM2E in their overall price, others may not. The training provider should provide you with clear, written information.
What is the AM2E assessment?
The AM2E is a practical assessment where you have to carry out a series of tasks covering safe isolation, installation, fault finding and inspection and testing, which are then marked by an assessor. It mirrors the AM2S assessment which is taken by apprentices at the end of their training programme. You can find out full details about each section of the AM2E and the tasks you’ll need to carry out on the NET website.
Please also refer to our news article which clarifies a number of inaccuracies published elsewhere in the industry.
Where can I register for the Experienced Worker Assessment qualification?
Where can I take the AM2E Assessment?
What is Recognition of Prior Learning?
This is where the training provider, in accordance with guidance set by the Awarding Organisations, accepts a previous qualification as meeting the learning outcomes for one or more units, so you don’t need to take it as part of your Experienced Worker Assessment.
This reduces the number of units (and the length of time) required to complete your qualification.
What ECS card am I eligible for throughout this process?
Once you are registered on the Experienced Worker Assessment programme you can apply for an ECS Experienced Worker card (EWA) which is valid for 18 months. The best way to apply for the ECS EWA card is to ask your training provider to apply for the card on your behalf. Alternatively, you can apply directly to the JIB yourself by making an application with your training documentation and existing underpinning knowledge certificates.
Once you successfully complete the AM2E assessment, you can apply for an ECS Gold Card. You will still also need to hold a valid ECS Health, Safety & Environmental test as part of the application process. For more information please visit the ECS website.
Who is this qualification for – self-employed or employed workers?
It’s suitable for both self-employed or employed individuals who have been working as an electrician for more than 5 years but have never gained full, formal recognition of their knowledge, skills or experience.
Prior to undertaking the qualification, learners must have their suitability assessed by the completion of the qualification’s pre-entry Skills Scan.
Learners MUST possess the knowledge and understanding comparable to the Level 3 Electrotechnical apprenticeship qualification which can be evidenced by relevant electrotechnical qualifications as given on the qualification (RPL) document. Where learners do not hold the relevant qualifications, their eligibility will be probed through the skills scan to verify if they have the equivalent knowledge and understanding.
Will they need time off the job to complete this – how much?
Most of the work will be assessed on site, the candidate will also need time to complete portfolio work, but this can be done inside or outside of work hours. As each candidate’s experience will differ, we are unable to provide an estimate of time required off the job.
They will have usually attend an approved centre to undertake the online exams for BS 7671:2018 and Initial Verification (if required).
The AM2E Assessment, which is separate to the Experienced Worker Qualification, is a practical assessment where the candidate will have to attend a NET-licensed centre.
What if the Experienced Worker Qualification is not suitable?
An apprenticeship can be taken by a learner of any age to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviour required by an electrician. The typical 4-year duration of an apprenticeship can be reduced if the learner has relevant prior experience and knowledge. To be eligible for an apprenticeship, the learner must require at least 12 month’s training with 20% off-the-job learning within the learner’s usual working hours.
Recognition of Prior Learning will reduce the level of funding required for the apprenticeship. The maximum funding available for the Electrotechnical Apprenticeship is £18,000 for the full programme.
Small employers (who do not pay apprenticeship levy contributions) share the costs of apprenticeship training with government and pay only 5% of the total funding required, spread over the duration of the apprenticeship. For example, a two-year apprenticeship would cost the employer a maximum of £450 over the two-year period, including the cost of end-point assessment and any technical training or assessment required with the provider.
Large employers fund apprenticeships through their existing levy contributions.
Otherwise, the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Buildings, Structures and the Environment) can be used to assess performance in the workplace. This will require full funding by the either the learner or employer.
How do we offer the Experienced Worker Assessment?
This qualification can be offered by all accredited C&G and EAL centres
Please contact your awarding organisation to find out more.
How do we administer the Skills Scan?
The Skills Scan is designed to help the assess the learner’s eligibility for the Experienced Worker Qualification. There is a self-assessment of the depth of knowledge, skill and experience expected of the assessment. The centre is then responsible for verifying the learner’s suitability and recording on the Skills Scan.
This is an auditable part of the Awarding Organisation’s external quality assurance requirements, importantly this must be undertaken by occupationally competent staff.
What if a candidate is not suitable for the Experienced Worker Assessment?
If employed, explore the option of an apprenticeship with the employer, many employers remain unaware the apprenticeship is available to learners of any age, and that prior experience, knowledge and skill reduces the duration and cost. Otherwise direct the learner to relevant technical training depending on the gaps in knowledge, or sensitively explain that a greater breadth and/or depth of work experience would help develop the skills required and produce valid evidence for work-based assessment.
How do I book AM2E?
The AM2E should be booked via NET but this cannot be done until the candidate has achieved the Experienced Worker qualification. You will need to provide the qualification certificate as evidence as part of the booking process.
Please also refer to our news article which clarifies a number of inaccuracies published elsewhere in the industry.