ECS announces route to Registered Electrician status for military personnel

The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) has announced that Defence Awarding Organisation electrical military qualifications for the Corps of Royal Engineers will form a route to an Installation Electrician occupation and ECS Registered Electrician status.

The quality of training provided by the Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) to the Royal Engineers at Chatham in Kent is extremely high, with personnel typically spending a minimum of five a half years in the Corps, inclusive of training to become artisan tradespeople in their relevant engineering specialism.

However, military qualifications have rarely, if ever, been fully recognised outside the armed forces, with many candidates having to undertake additional civilian vocational qualifications once they have made the transition from military life. The Joint Industry Board (JIB), National Electrotechnical Training (NET), Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) and Unite the Union have been working with the Royal Engineers at Chatham to map these worthwhile and valuable qualifications into the electrical industry, for equivalence to the established National Occupational Standards and industry criteria.

Andy Reakes, Head of Operations, Employment and Skills at the JIB, said: “The Armed Forces offer a range of professional careers as well as many transferrable skills that will serve soldiers well once they leave. It is vital to be able to transition into civilian life as smoothly as possible and this work provides important industry recognition of the skills and experience gained during their time in the military within ECS. This announcement will create a career path for ex-military personnel who will be a great addition to the pool of talent in the building sector.”

Qualifications undertaken through the Royal Engineers for electrotechnical studies and practice culminate in the awarding of Level 3 or Level 4 Diplomas in Electrotechnical Studies and Practice (Military Engineering). An AM2 end point assessment is also required. Furthermore, upon completion personnel achieve continuing professional development qualifications for inspection and testing, and BS 7671: 2018 through City & Guilds.

The Ministry of Defence has established the Ofqual approved Defence Awarding Organisation (DAO) to award vocational qualifications to armed forces personnel, helping individuals to gain this valuable recognition, and as such the Royal School of Military Engineering were able to work with the JIB to gain recognition through ECS. Industry and employers value the skills, work ethic and organisation of those who have been in the military. This is why ECS cards awarded to those who qualify through this route will be recognised with ‘HM Forces Trained’ on the reverse of their ECS card.

For personnel who trained prior to the introduction of vocational qualifications through the DAO, the industry has the Experienced Worker Assessment (EWA) which includes facility for industry Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for training via HM Forces routes.

Lt Col Stuart Brown, Head of People Policy for the Royal Engineers, said: “I’m delighted to find out how the qualifications gained at the RSME for our electricians can now result in the award of an Installation Electrician and ECS Registered Electrician status. This shows just how good our training is and a massive thank you to the Royal School of Military Engineering for that and to our partner MKC Training who are responsible for the instruction and who have been working with the awarding body to attain the qualifications.”

Lt Col Stuart Brown added: “It is hugely important to have the work and skills of our soldiers recognised by the civilian industry. This shows the quality of work we do in the Army and also, considering how everyone leaves the Army one day, this allows our soldiers to apply for a job getting the full credit for the skills and experience they have amassed. Being ‘HM Forces Trained’ is a sign of quality, integrity and something to be proud of.”

Andy Mitchell, Head of Defence Awarding Organisation at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, said: “This is very pleasing to hear of the ECS recognition, not only will this be very helpful to many Service Personnel but also falls into line with other industrial bodies’ recognition of DAO qualifications.”

All images are ‘Copyright Royal Engineers 2020. All rights reserved’.

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