ECS Labourer Card

The ECS Labourer card is an industry-recognised pass. It confirms that the holder is qualified to support electricians in their undertaking of electrotechnical work. This includes the installation of cables, general non-electrotechnical manual tasks, and other, unskilled work. Individuals who carry an ECS Labourer Card must be supervised on any cabling works they deliver, at all times. It is crucial that labourers do not conduct any ‘craft’ work (i.e., an endeavour that requires a trained professional), or engage in activities unsuitable for their qualification level.  For clarity, a labourer is a formally-recognised position within the sector’s grading structure. This process is co-ordinated by the Joint Industry Board (JIB – body accountable for delivering testing standards and regulation across the electrotechnical field).The ECS  occasionally deploys an awarding of the labourer card in circumstances where an individual is deemed unable to meet the qualification criteria set out by other, more developed card programmes. This point usually applies to those who are keen to attain an electro-technical ECS gold card. However, this article intends to provide an overview of the application and renewal process for those acquiring the card who are not subjected to this ECS intervention. An overview will be given on how to apply for the card. This will include detail on experience and previous qualifications acquired that may influence the application process.

It’s important to note that the industry has recently updated the card’s qualifying criteria, and also some associated periphery information.

Differences in eligibility

There are two key application routes for the ECS Labourer Card. The path you choose is dependent on a number of factors. Information on both is detailed below.

Qualified Route

If you have already attained one of the following qualifications, candidates will be permitted to move to the next stage of the application process. These are: C&G (City and Guilds) 2365, 2330, or 2360. The equivalent certifications gained under an EAL programme are also accepted. For reference, the EAL is an industry-renowned body, entrusted to provide specialist skills. It is recognised as a legitimate awarding body within the electrotechnical space.

There is also an additional accredited list of courses which have similarly been approved as qualifying criteria. Although the full list is shown below, individuals should note that those with Level 3 standard qualifications are unlikely to apply for this scheme. This is due to their level of competency, and the likelihood that they will be on their way to becoming a fully-fledged electrician.

The qualifying courses to move to the next step of the card application process are as follows:

JIB-recognised Level 2 courses

  • City & Guilds 2330 Certificate in Electrotechnical Technology at Level 2.
  • City & Guilds 236 Parts 1.
  • City & Guilds 2360 Parts 1.
  • City & Guilds 2351 (Units 1, 2, 3 & 4).
  • City and Guilds 2365-02 Level 2 Diploma in Electrical Installation (Buildings and Structures) 600/5498/0.
  • City and Guilds 8202-20 Level 2 Technical Certificate in Electrical Installation (Tecbac) (603/0228/8) -Unit Accreditation of C&G 2356 – Electrotechnical Services.
  • Unit Accreditation of C&G 2357 Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment.
  • EAL Diploma in Electrotechnical Services (Units 1,2,3,4,5 & 6).
  • EAL Level 2 Diploma in Electrical Installation (QCF) (600/6724/X).
  • EAL Level 2 Intermediate Diploma in Electrical Installation (601/4561/4).
  • Unit Accreditation of EAL NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment.

JIB recognised Level 3 courses

  • City & Guilds 2330 Certificate in Electrotechnical Technology at Level 2 and Level 3.
  • City & Guilds 236 Parts 2.
  • City & Guilds 2360 Parts 2.
  • City & Guilds 2351 (All eight units).
  • City and Guilds 2365-03 Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installation (Buildings and Structures) 600/5499/2.
  • City and Guilds 8202-30 Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Electrical Installation (Tecbac) (601/7307/5).
  • EAL Diploma in Electrotechnical Services Level 3 (All ten units) (500/3526/5).
  • EAL Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installation (QCF) (600/9331/6).
  • EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation (601/4563/8).

It’s essential to note that, although important to consolidating knowledge within the industry, a Level 3 Award in the Requirements for Electrical Installations bs7671 is not accepted as an approved certification form here.

The only relevant part of the aforementioned qualifications recognised by JIB in the context of the one’s application is the Health & Safety element.

Despite this, candidates must successfully complete the ECS Health, Safety & Environmental Assessment. This is seen as the only way to demonstrate the required level of proficiency for working safely on-site in this instance.

Unqualified Route

This route demands that applicants pass one of the following courses:

  • CITB Health and Safety Awareness: Site Safety Plus.
  • CCNSG Safety Passport- National or Renewal Course.
  • Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H&S Course.
  • IOSH Working Safely.
  • IOSH Safety, Health & Environment for Construction Site Workers.

Please Note: For the IOSH Working Safely program, candidates must have completed the full, classroom-based examination. The remote, online assessment will not be accepted as qualifying certification. In the case of the CITB Health and Safety Awareness: Site Safety Plus, both classroom and remote-based testing options are accepted. A variety of institutions and education providers offer the these courses. A simple search will return the information required to commence the booking process.

In this case, the standard ECS Health, Safety & Environmental Assessment will only need to be completed if a three-year period has elapsed since undertaking one of the above listed courses. Furthermore, you may have already passed this assessment previously. You’ll be able to double-check this by logging into your personal account on MyECS, as any other certification relating to personal performance should also visible on your specific page.

Proof of sector work engagement

For those individuals taking the unqualified path, they will also need to proof they are actively engaged in work within the electrotechnical sector. This proof can be provided in a variety of ways.

If your employer has applied for an ECS Labourer Card on your behalf, and has done so through the Employer Portal on the ECS webpage, then no further action is required. If your currently in employment with a company in the trade, then a written reference from that employer will be sufficient to progress your application. In terms of the content of this reference letter, there are some minimum expectations set by ECS.

These are:

  • The letter is compiled on company-headed paper.
  • There is a note to state that you’re employed with that company as an electrical labourer.
  • A start date from when you commenced employment with the company is provided.
  • The document should be signed by the employer, with the name and position of the signatory included.

Individuals contracted to an employment agency, must ask their employer to confirm the duration of time spent as an electrical labourer. If you’re currently undergoing an electrical qualification or certification programme, or are enrolled on an associated course, then you must also provide documented proof that this is the case.

Lastly, an offer letter, contract of employment, or recent payslip from a business within the industry can be provided to gain approval.

Only when all of the above following steps have been completed, can the individual gain their ECS Labourer Card.

January 2019 Update

As mentioned previously, the card has recently been subjected to some updates. These changes were actioned in January 2019. Therefore, any person attaining a card prior would have followed a slightly different process to that which is mentioned above. If, and when, those individuals require a replacement card, they must follow the new application process accordingly.

It’s perhaps worth noting that this re-calibration brought about some visual and wording changes to the card. Although these are minor tweaks, they are worth understanding, as they will help you to swiftly identify relevant workers on-site. The title of the role is now ‘Electrical Labourer,’ which replaces the previous ‘Ancillary Operative’ title. Although the format and style of the card remains the same, the colour has changed from brown to light green.

Future Changes

These updates are evidently quite recent. However, it’s important to be aware that this card (and other ECS affiliated cards and qualifications) may be subject to further changes down the line. The ECS, in partnership with JIB, have recently announced their renewed commitment to raising standards yet further across the electrotechnical industry. Therefore, qualifying criteria may either increase or become more challenging in future months.

In Summary

This guide has hopefully produced a clear and detailed insight into the ECS Labourer Card application process, including key information on the routes available, latest regulatory body guidance and qualifying criteria, and the recent, minor changes to the associated role’s title and appearance of the actual card itself. By adhering to the instructions outlined above, candidates should find both applying and acquiring this card within their reach. If you are unsure on any of the content included in this article, or would like some further information, please consult your course convenor, or an industry-related professional.

Best of luck in applying for your ECS Labourer card!