There is tons of information out there about electrician courses. It can become very overwhelming and confusing if you choose to qualify as an electrician. It can be quite daunting for most people to work their way through all the information and wondering which electrician courses they need to do to become qualified. We are here to provide you with that information so you can know what electrical courses you need to take to qualify on the level you want. If you are interested in electrical training please have a look here.

 

There are a few different routes to take if you want to qualify as an electrician in the UK namely:

  • Electrical apprentice route
  • Working as an employed adult
  • Retraining as an adult electrician
  • Full time electrician course
  • Joining a domestic electrical installer scheme

 

Then after all these routes there are still scores of other electrical courses you can take to broaden your skills such as solar PV courses, Electric vehicle charging point installers and quite a bit more. It is very important to know exactly which electrical courses to take, because of you choose the wrong course for the purpose you want it could cost you a lot of money.

 

Many people have fallen into the trap where they took some ill, but well meaning, advice from someone went out and paid for courses only to later find out that what they did is not what is required to do the level of electrical work they intended. Or maybe some course centres sell people extra courses they do not need.

 

Electrical apprenticeship

 

This is for younger people looking to qualify as an electrician. Between the ages of 16-18 years of age full funding is available for your electrical apprenticeship. Between 19-24 only part time funding is available to qualify as an electrician and above 25 there is unfortunately no funding available unless your employer is willing to pay for your courses.

 

Your electrical apprenticeship is normally provided in conjunction with the JTL and in Scotland the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust, and will normally last up to 4 years. It is important that you have an employer that before applying for an apprenticeship, but if you do not have one you can apply before you have arranged an employer.

You can also apply for an apprenticeship if you are still in education, but will need to have left at the time of starting. Unfortunately if you are colour blind you will not be accepted. It is too much of a risk for you as colour coding in the electrical field is very important and can cause serious problems if cable colours get mixed up.

The Government requires a framework resembling an Advanced Apprenticeship to reflect a higher level of competence. This is at the moment the City and Guilds 2357 which will include the following:

Knowledge based units at level 3 (Currently City and Guilds 2357)

ELTK01/Unit 301 (6 credits)
  • This unit compromises of  an understanding of Health and Safety Practices and procedures and the legislation itself with relation to installing and maintaining electrotechnical systems and equipment. This will include:
  • How Health and Safety legislation applies in the workplace
  • The procedures for dealing with Health and Safety in the work environment
  • The procedures for establishing a safe working environment
  • The requirements for identifying and dealing with hazards in the work environment.

This unit will be assessed by: 

  • A knowledge assignment (2357-101.)
  •  An on-line multiple choice GOLA test (2357-301)

 

ELTK02/Unit 302 (4 credits)
  • This unit compromises an understanding of  environmental legislation, working practices and the principles of environmental technology systems. Subjects covered will include:
  • You will learn different working practices, environmental legislation and working practises relating to the electrical trade
  • How to reduce material wastage and how that has an impact on the environment
  • Application of environmental technology systems

Assessment

  • This unit will be assessed by an assignment

 

ELTK03/Unit 303 (6 credits)

You will learn and understand the practices and procedures for overseeing and organising the work environment with relation to electrical installations. The subjects you will cover will be:

  • The different types of technical and functional information that is available for the installation of electrical systems and equipment
  • The correct procedures for supplying technical and functional information to relevant people
  • The requirements for administering Health and Safety in the place of work
  • The requirements for working with other people in the work place when organising and supervising work activities
  • Organising and supervising work programmes
  • How to organise storage of resources that you will use in your work activities

Assessment

  • This unit will be assessed by an assignment

 

ELTK04a/Unit 304 (8 credits)

You will learn and understand the  principles of planning  and selection of the correct electrical equipment and systems for installation in  buildings, structures and the environment.The subjects you will complete will be:

  •  The characteristics and applications of consumer supply systems
  • External and internal earthing arrangements for various electrical installations
  • Selecting the correct cables and circuit protection devices
  • Selecting the correct wiring systems, equipment and enclosures for various electrical installations

Assessment

  • This unit will be assessed by an assignment covering practical skills and underpinning knowledge

 

ELTK04/Unit 305 (10 credits)

You will learn the practices and procedures for preparing to install wiring systems and electrical equipment in buildings , structures and the environment. Subjects covered will be:

  • How to prepare a work site and installation of wiring system with regards to procedures and practices of non statutory and statutory regulations 
  • Checking the work site before starting the job
  • Safe isolation procedure of electrical circuits and entire electrical installations
  • Learn the different types of wiring systems and associated equipment, their applications and limitations
  • How to select and use the correct tools and equipment for fixing enclosures and the wiring system
  • The different practices and procedures for installing enclosures and wiring systems
  • To have a knowledge of the regulations and their requirements which applies to installation of wiring                   systems,enclosures and related equipment

This unit will be assessed by:

  • A knowledge and practical assignment
  • An on-line multiple choice GOLA test

 

ELTK05/Unit 306  (9 credits)

In this unit you learn how to understand and interpret the practices and principles with regards to terminating and connecting cables, cords and conductors in electrical installations in accordance with non statutory and statutory regulations and requirements.Subject to be covered will be:

  • How to isolate electrical circuits and entire electrical installations while complying with the required regulations
  • How to terminate and connect cables, conductors and flexible cords in electrical wiring systems and related equipment and   complying with regulations
  • The procedures and applications of different methods of terminating and connecting conductors, cables, and flexible cords    in electrical wiring systems and equipment.

Assessment

  • This unit will be assessed by an assignment covering practical skills and underpinning knowledge

 

ELTK06/Unit 307   (8 credits)

In this unit you will learn to do inspection, testing commissioning and certification of electrical installations to the required non statutory and statutory regulations.

  • How to complete the safe isolation procedure  as in the previous 2 units in preparation for inspection, testing and                   commissioning of electrical installations
  • Understand the principles and regulatory requirements for inspecting, testing and commissioning electrical systems,             equipment and components
  • Understanding and following the correct procedures and regulations for doing inspections of electrical installations
  • Understanding and following the correct procedures and regulations for the safe testing and commissioning of electrical           installations
  • How to correctly complete electrical installation inspection certificates and related documentation

Assessment

  • This unit will be assessed by an assignment covering practical skills and underpinning knowledge

 

ELTK07/Unit 308 (6 credits)

Its content is the knowledge needed by a learner to underpin the application of skills used for fault diagnosis and correction in electrotechnical systems and equipment in buildings, structures and the environment. Subjects that will be covered will include:

  • Safe isolation procedure as in previous units
  • How to do the complete reporting and recording of electrical fault diagnosis and rectifying work
  • How to do the preparation work before diagnosing faults and doing remedial work
  • The procedures and techniques for diagnosing electrical faults
  • The procedures and techniques for rectifying electrical faults

Assessment

  • This unit will be assessed by an assignment covering practical skills and underpinning knowledge

 

ELTK08/Unit 302  (12 credits)

In this unit you will learn how to apply your learned skills with relation to installing and maintaining electrical systems and equipment.Subjects that will be covered will be the following:

  • Mathematical principles which are applicable to electrical installation, design and maintenance work
  • Standard units of measurement used in electrical installation, maintenance and design work
  • The basic mechanics and relationship between power, work, force and energy
  • Understanding power, current, voltage and resistance and how they affect each other
  • How magnetism and electricity affect each other
  • Understanding electrical supply and distribution systems
  • How different electrical properties can affect electrical equipment, systems and circuits
  • How DC machines and AC motors work
  • How different electrical components work
  • Understand the principles and applications of electrical lighting systems
  • Understanding the principles and applications of electrical heating
  • The different types, applications and limitations of electronic components electrical systems and equipment

This unit will be assessed by:

  • A short answer knowledge test
  • An on-line multiple choice GOLA test

 

If you achieved a C grade on your GCSE or an E grade in you’re A or AS levels you will be exempt the subjects below:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Information Technology

 

Performance based units at level 3

ELTP01/Unit 311 (3 credits)

This unit deals with the application of  Health and Safety legislation, practices and procedures when installing and
maintaining electrical systems and equipment.The outcomes of this unit is the following:

  • Apply relevant Health and Safety legislation in the workplace
  • Do risk assessments and take remedial action in accordance with Health and Safety legislation
  • Apply methods and procedures to make sure that the site complies with Health and Safety legislation
  • Apply procedures to deal with and report Health and Safety in accordance with Health and Safety legislation

Assessment

  • This unit will be assessed within the workplace.

 

ELTP02/Unit 312 (3 credits)

You will learn to apply the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989), the current edition of BS7671 Wiring Regulations, Health & Safety Act (1974) and  Building Regulations (2000)

  • Apply environmental legislation, working practices and principles for electrotechnical services
  • Implement methods to reduce material wastage  and to reduce the impact your work has on the environment
  • Supply information on environmental technology systems in the work location such as installing solar PV systems

Assessment

  • This unit will be assessed within the workplace.

 

ELTP03/Unit 313 (3 credits)

Candidates will be able to demonstrate they can implement practices and procedures for administering and organising the work place for the installation of electrical systems and equipment. The outcomes of this unit is the following:

  • Providing technical and functional information to all relevant people
  • Over see Health and Safety procedure when work is done on electrical systems and equipment
  • Co-ordinate with other people on the job site such as other contractors, and to resolve issues outside of their scope of work
  • Administer and organise work activities and operations
  • Organise a programme for working on electrical systems and equipment
  • Organise which materials and resources will be needed for work on the electrical system

Assessment

  • This unit will be assessed within the workplace

 

 ELTP04/Unit 315  (6 credits)
  • You will plan, prepare and install wiring systems and any related equipment to the required regulations and practices.
  • Prepare the work place for the installation of enclosures and the wiring system with related equipment
  • Must use relevant and in date documentation and information to the work to be carried out and that materials and                        equipment is of the right quantity and free from damage
  • Make sure that the planned work is in accordance with the installation specifications
  • Make sure that the electricity supply complies with the installation specification such as the earthing arrangements
  • Measure, mark the locations of the fittings and wiring system and enclosures with required regulations
  • Fix and fit out enclosures, wiring system and relevant electrical equipment to the installation specifications
  • Make sure if there is any changes to the installation specifications or the work programme

Assessment 

  • This unit will be assessed within the workplace

 

ELTP05/Unit 316  (4 credits)

Terminate and connect conductors, cables and flexible cords in electrical systems to the required regulations.The outcomes of this unit is the following:

  • Make sure the system is safe before completion of any termination in accordance with the required regulations, such as            proving dead to GS38
  • You will terminate and connect flexible cords, cables and conductors according to the regulations and manufacturer                  specifications.
  • You have to confirm that you r connections and terminations are sound and robust according to the regulations and                  manufacturer specifications

Assessment 

  • This unit will be assessed within the workplace

 

ELTP06/Unit 317  (6 credits)

You will need to inspect, test, commission and certify electrical installation in accordance with the required standards.The outcomes of this unit is the following:

  • Confirm safety of the system and equipment prior to completion of inspection, testing and commissioning in accordance with statutory and non statutory regulations
  • Inspect the wiring systems and equipment
  • Test the wiring systems and equipment
  • Commission the wiring systems and equipment.

Assessment 

  • This unit will be assessed within the workplace

 

 ELTP07/Unit 318  ( 6 credits)

You will need to be able to show competence in fault finding and rectifying of faults in an electrical system and equipment in accordance with the required regulations. The outcomes of this unit is the following:

  • Ensure the electrical system is safe to work on before commencing with fault diagnostics and rectification all done in                 accordance to the required regulations.
  • Diagnose faults by carrying out certain procedures
  • Rectify faults on the electrical system or equipment

Assessment 

  • This unit will be assessed within the workplace

Electrotechnical competence unit (AM2) FICA (Scotland)

ELTC01/Unit 399  AM2 Practical competency based test

The AM2 is divided into four sections labelled A, B, C and D.

  • A – Composite Installation
  • B – Inspection and Testing of the Composite Installation
  • C – Fault Diagnosis
  • D – Assessment of Applied Knowledge (1 Hour Online Multiple Choice Exam)

For full information and handy tips for the AM2 or FICA exams check out www.netservices.org.uk

You will also have to show competence in the following, but it is not formal qualifications

Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR).

This means your and your employers rights and responsibilities under the Employment Law, you must understand the procedures and documentation in your organisation and various other things. You can download all the information here

 

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)

You will need to demonstrate the following skills Creative thinking, team work, independent enquiry, reflective learning, effective participation and self management.

 

If you do not achieve the above 2 you will not be able to claim your apprenticeship.

 

You will write 3 GOLA exam(on-line exams) For units

  • 301, Understanding Health and Safety legislation, practices and procedures
  • 305 Understanding the practices and procedures for the preparation and installation of wiring systems
  • 309 Understanding the electrical principles associated with the design, building, installation and maintenance of electrical equipment and systems.

 

Assignments

There are various assignments that you will have to complete during your time as an electrical apprentice. For example you will need to show that you are capable of terminating various types of cables such as SWA and MICC cables. You will need to show that you can do a safe isolation. You might practise this first on a simulator before doing the real thing. You will also have to show you are able to do a whole range of installation work to the required standards as well.

 

You can also expect to do a question paper after every C&G 2357 unit. This will all count towards your final qualification upon successful completion.

 

How will my electrical apprenticeship be carried out?

 

In England your training and assessments will either be done in house or an external assessor might come to your premises. You might not always complete your training at a JTL centre as they do work in conjunction with colleges where you will attend classes.

Some places work on a block release program where you will be at college for several weeks at a time and working for the other weeks. There is also the day release program where you will work 4 out of 5 days of the week and attend college the other day of the week.

 

In Scotland

Stage 1 This will be a block release of 17 weeks  at a local college. You normally start in August with 5 weeks at college and the 3 blocks or 4 weeks each before July the following year.You will do site experience between attending college attendance.

You will cover theoretical and practical work during this period such as installation regulations, wiring systems, health and safety, wiring enclosures,  etc.

Stage 2 This will be a 11 week block release at college and again you will do site experience in between college attendance.

You will again do theoretical and practical work such as electrical installation work, motors etc.

Stage 3 This part will be 1 week of college and the rest is site experience

The work you will learn will be safe isolation,  inspection, testing and commissioning of electrical installations, assessment of safe working practices.

In both places an assessor will come out to your premises and you  will need to keep a portfolio of the work you have carried out. This will include showing actual installation work you would have done and other things like taking photographic evidence for example doing the job with all the required PPE. This will be everything you learned in college that you will show how to apply it in the workplace so that they can see you are capable or applying what they taught you.

 

Adult trainee electrician course

 

If you are above the age of 25 you are unable to get funding for an electrical apprenticeship. This is when you will have to pursue the adult electrician trainee route. There are 2 qualification that you can choose from, both which are recognized by the JIB and will gain you a card as an electrician. These are the City and Guilds 2367 and the EAL Electrician Course.

 

Adult electrical apprenticeship or Adult trainee electrician?

 

You can still do an electrical apprenticeship as an adult or you can choose to do the C&G 2357 or EAL electrical course diploma. With the apprenticeship option you will cover all the same things as mentioned earlier for the normal apprenticeship. The only difference is that you or your employer will have to pay all the costs for that if you are over the age of 25.

If you choose to you can just complete the C&G 2357 or EAL electrical course diploma and will have to pass your Achievement Measurement 2 Practical assessment or AM2 as it is better known as. Both these qualifications comply with the S/NVQ 3 QCF framework and you will be able to get an electrician grading with the JIB or SJIB. You will need to submit your paperwork to verify your electrical qualifications.

There is no difference between the 2 qualifications and both cover the same units during the course, so you do not have to be concerned if you are doing the one or the other. Most employers however are familiar with City and Guilds rather than EAL, but the NICEIC and EAL are working in partnership.

 

Retraining as an Adult Electrician

 

If you are considering a career change and retrain as an electrician then there is more than one option available to you to become a fully qualified electrician. Your first option might be to follow the route I mentioned above where you can do the C&G 2357 electrician course. Then you can choose to do the City & Guilds 2365 Course Level 2 & 3 Diploma. The latter is for people who have no knowledge of the electrical field.

There is also part funding available under certain circumstances.

 Funding for the Level 2 Part:

Depending on your circumstances  you can gain funding and drastically reduce the cost of this course. Simply work out which of the following categories you fall into to find out how much you would pay for the course:

Employed by a company with less than 250 employees?

  • Aged 19-23 with no previous level 2 qualifications – You pay just £1500 for the course
  • Aged 24+ with previous level 2 qualifications – You pay just £2995 for the course

Employed by a company with more than 250 employees?

  • Aged 19-23 with no previous level 2 qualifications – You pay just £1500 for the course
  • Aged 24+ with previous level 2 qualifications – No funding available so full price applies

You are taught from the very beginning and progress your way through until you are an electrician. The advantage of the C&G2365 is that you do not need to be employed by an electrical contractor. Once you completed the course you will have a qualification that will make you more employable for an electrical contracting company. You can then complete the final NVQ and AM2 test to then get your grading card as an electrician should you pass.

Throughout the course you will be assessed by a range of methods including online exams, practical assessments and written assignments.

The course content for the C&G 2365 is as follow:

 

Level 2 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Units)

  • Health & Safety in Building Services.   (3 credits)
  • Principles of Electrical Science such as ohms law etc.  ( 10 credits)
  • Practical and theoretical training in electrical installations technology  (12 credits)
  • Practical and theoretical training in installation of enclosures and  Wiring Systems (21 credits)
  • How to communicate and liaise with other people in  Building Services Engineering. Practical & Theory Training (3 credits)

Upon successful completion you will achieve the required 49 credits to get your  Level 2 Diploma in Electrical installations.

 

Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations Units

  •  Health and Safety in Building Services  (3 credits)
  • Principles of Electrical Science such as ohms law etc.  ( 12 credits)
  • Practical and theoretical training in electrical inspection, testing and commissioning (3 credits)
  • Practical and theoretical training in fault finding and rectification in electrical installations and equipment  (9 credits)
  • Understanding the need and advantage  of environmental technology systems like solar PV systems (2 credits)
  • Practical and theoretical training in designing of electrical system  (12 credits)
  • Career awareness in building services engineering ( 2 credits)

Exams

Throughout the course you will be assessed by a range of methods including online exams, practical assessments and written assignments.

 

City and Guilds 2365 Level 2 Exams & Assessments:

  •  201 Health and Safety in Building Services. 75 minute long online exam (40 items) with 1 practical assessment
  • 202 Electrical Science. 80 minute  long online test consisting of 45 items
  • 203 Electrical Installations Technology. 90 minute long online test consisting of 40 items
  • 204 Installing enclosures, electrical wiring systems and related equipment. This is a practical assesment with some questions attached
  • 210 Communicating and liaising with other people others in building services. A 75 minute long online test

City and Guilds 2365 Level 3 Exams & Assessments:

  • 301  Understanding the need and advantage  of environmental technology systems like solar PV systems. 60 minute test consisting 40 questions
  • 302 Principles of Electrical Science. Practical and some exam questions attached
  • 303 Fault finding and rectification in electrical systems and equipment. Will consist of an assignment and practical task
  • 304 Inspecting, testing and commissioning of an electrical installation which will consist of an assignment and practical task
  • 305 Design of electrical systems which will consist of an assignment and written exam
  • 308 Career awareness in building services engineering. Theoretical assignment.

 

Just to mention again that upon completion of these electrician courses you will still need to complete your NVQ and AM2 test. This will be achieved once you are employed in the electrical trade and once you passed that you will be able to get a Gold Electrician card. However because you will have some theoretical and practical knowledge you should be able to find employment at the level of an electricians mate/trainee.

 

Full Time Electrician Courses

 

If you have exhausted all possibilities of obtaining an electrical apprenticeship then you might consider doing a full time electrical course. However if you want to eventually want to receive your grading card as an electrician then you will need to complete the NVQ and the AM2 assessments.

Other reasons why people might take full time electrical courses might be that they want to see if it is for them, or they might work in a related industry where electrical knowledge is important. Millwrights and refrigeration is 2 trades where electrical knowledge is important.

The courses that you will need to complete will be the same as mentioned in the retraining section above. This will either be the City and Guilds 2357 or City and guilds 2365, depending on which one will suite you best. The only difference will be if you have any electrical knowledge or not.

 

Domestic Electrician Course

 

Before January 2012 there was various ways people could do short electrical courses to be able to work as a domestic electrician. Since then the rules have changed and to become a domestic electrician you will have to satisfy various requirements. In England to become a domestic installer you will need to become a Qualified Supervisor responsible for electrical work in domestic dwellings subject to Part P of the Building Regulations (England & Wales). I know that is a mouth full but do not worry it is not as complicated as it sounds.

There were plenty of places offering courses to fast track people as “electricians” stating that they could earn over £50000 per year with 5 week courses and various other damaging claims. Not only did they miss-sell people these courses, but they were turning these people through their doors like a mass production factory. This has caused a lot of damage in the industry, because there were people going around doing sub-standard work in people`s homes and putting their lives in danger. I would say that it was not entirely their fault because they believed what these electrical training providers told them, and that was that they would be able to perform this type of work after completing their courses.

This is the reason why there has now been set a minimum standard to become a domestic electrical installer. From 6 April 2013 there are 5 different way to register as an domestic electrical installer you can have at the flowchart here.

There are a few different courses you could pursue to register as an electrical domestic installer, but you never know when the government might change the requirements to register as a competent person. You will also be ill advised if you choose the cheapest option. Would you if you were to get surgery get the cheapest surgeon? Probably not.

If you plan to do electrical work in people`s homes you must provide them a decent and safe service. By going for the cheapest and quickest option then you probably do not have quality in mind, and you should then ask if this occupation is for you.

There are 2 different courses that will class you as a Qualified Supervisor under the new rules. They are:

  • City and Guilds 2397 Installing, Testing and Ensuring Compliance of Electrical Installation Work in Dwellings (not yet available)
  • EAL 7695 Level 3 Certificate In Installing, Testing & Ensuring Compliance of Electrical Installations in Dwellings

Because the C&G 2397 is not yet available in training centres and colleges I will not go into any detail about it.When you have successfully comleted this course you will be able to register as a Qualified Supervisor under most of the schemes. This EAL course is in partnership with the NICEIC and thus you will be able to register with them and be able to self certify your work.

 

 The course units for the EAL 7695 Electrician course is as follow:

 

  • ELTD3-01 (4 credits) 35 question online exam. Understanding and applying Health and Safety procedures, legislation and practices in relation to electrical installations in dwelling

  • ELTD3-03 (3 credits) 55 question online exam. Understanding and applying the correct procedures and practices for administering and organising the job site when installing an electrical system in a dwelling .

  • ELTD3-04 (3 credits) 50 question online exam and assignment. Planning, preparing and selecting the correct wiring system end electrical equipment for use in dwellings

  • ELTD3-05 (3 credits) One 40 question and one 20 question open book exam. How to follow the correct procedures and practices for installing and connecting of wiring systems and electrical equipment in dwellings

  • ELTD3-02 (4 credits) 35 question online exam. Understanding and application of environmental technology systems associated with electrical installations in dwellings such as solar PV systems

  • ELTD3-6.1  (5 credits) One 55 question and one 20 question open book exam and an assignment.  How to inspect, test, commission, approve and certify domestic electrical installations in accordance with the required regulations

  • ELTD3-07 (4 credits) 55 question online exam and assignment.  How to do fault finding and rectification in domestic installations in compliance with the required regulations

  • ELTD3-OCU (1 credit)  4 hour practical assessment one-on-one with an assessor. Approval of electrical installations in dwellings

 

Some of the units studies here will help towards getting a electrical installation diploma. Your next starting point will then be the C&G 2365. There are also more units you can progress to such as Initial Verification C&G 2394, Periodic Inspection & Testing C&G 2395,Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)  C&G 2377 or Level 4 Design & Verification C&G 2396. 

 

Conclusion

 

You should have a better idea of what is required depending on the level of qualification you would like to achieve. Every few years the course change as to adapt with the different changes in the electrical industry. We will keep you updated about all the different electrician courses on our site so that you will be best informed to take the right choice depending on your own needs.

 

**footnote**The ECS Gold card is the reference used as a Qualified Electrician.