Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How do I become an electrician?
If you have no previous experience, we suggest you come on one of our Domestic Installer packages. The first two weeks include basic electrical theory and installation, including practical exercises in domestic wiring. You will also sit a City and Guilds Building Regulations exam during the second week. After this you will spend two days learning about three-phase before moving onto formal qualifications in the wiring regulations and test/inspection/certification. Armed with these qualifications you would be in a good position to apply to join one of the Part P Scheme Operators, such as the NICEIC or ECA/ELECSA.
Q2. Why can’t I do a course that registers me as a Part P electrician?
You need a course to obtain an up-to-date electrical qualification, but in addition the government Part P scheme requires independent bodies such as ECA/ELECSA and the NICEIC to assess potential Part P Competent Persons before they are allowed to self-certify that all their work complies with the Building Regulations. The assessment covers more than is possible on a training course, as it includes two jobs that you have completed which are inspected by the Assessor. You also have to demonstrate your ability to carry out the full test and inspection of the electrical installation, fill in the Certificate and Schedules, and show your understanding of the Building Regulations. This process is repeated annually.
Q3. What does it cost to become an electrician?
If you are starting off from scratch, you will need to budget for training, publications, time on jobs to obtain experience, buying or renting test equipment and joining a Part P organisation if you intend to work in dwellings. Ongoing costs will include calibration of test equipment, the annual cost of Part P registration, and keeping up to date with changes in Regulations. So the start-up cost could be from £2000, with annual costs from £500.
Q4. How long does it take to become qualified?
Our courses are generally short, intensive courses, whereas college courses tend to be structured around terms. Our longest course is the Domestic Installer course at 19-days, but this can be broken down into separate modules if necessary. Qualifications are one thing, but it takes longer to gain the appropriate experience that would allow you to be considered “competent”. Apprenticeship courses integrated between the workplace and a college take several years before you could consider yourself “time served”, but with a tightly structured series of course with us and the appropriate experience gained in the workplace, you could become a domestic electrician in a much shorter time, hopefully a matter of months not years. We have case histories where this has been achieved.
Q5. What is the difference between the C&G 2392 inspection/testing course and the 2391-50 or 2391-51?
2392-10 is a “Level 2” qualification for people testing their own work, which would be a small single-phase installation that they have designed and installed themselves. 2391-50 Initial verification and 2391-51 Periodic Inspection are “Level 3” qualifications for electricians testing single and 3-phase installations up to the largest possible size, and includes performing Periodic Inspections (2391-51) and Testing of installations that they have not necessarily been involved with before. The Level 3 qualification is much harder to achieve, and consists of a 2 hour online exam on every aspect of inspection, testing and certification, as well as 2½ hour practical assessments on a simulated 3-phase commercial installation.
Q6. How often do I have to take a wiring regulations course?
When the wiring regulations are reissued with a new Edition number, such as going from the 17th to 18th edition. There may also be a requirement to be updated when the regulations undergo significant amendment, as can occur between the Edition numbers.
Q7. Can I take electrical qualifications by correspondence course?
There are commercially available web-based exams that you can practise on, but we would recommend that you attend a classroom-based course.
Q8. I am colour blind with red/green deficiencies, can I become an Electrician?
Theoretically, yes. The colour coding that was introduced in 2004 removed the colour red and emphasised the requirement to label conductors L1, L2, N etc. However, there is still a substantial amount of legacy wiring, pre-2004, that is red and black with no labelling, and very early wiring with green (rather than green/yellow striped) for earth, so there is still scope for confusion depending on the extent of your red/green deficiency. We would strongly recommend that you took an eye test to establish the degree of your deficiencies and then decide what to do.
Q9. I have some electrical experience helping on wiring projects – how can I get formally qualified?
We suggest you phone us first, so we can assess what level you are already at. After that, if you have a good knowledge of electrical princples and installation we would recommend that you attend the City & Guilds 2382 18th edition wiring regulations course, followed by the C&G 2392 Fundamental Inspection/Testing course. If you already have experience of inspection and testing, you may want to try the Level 3 C&G 2391 or equivalent EAL testing courses. If you are aiming to work in houses, we also recommend you take the C&G 2393-10 course as preparation for applying to one of the Part P Scheme Operators, such as the NICEIC/ELECSA or NAPIT.
Q10 I don’t live nearby, is there accommodation nearby?
Yes, there are options available to suit all budgets and tastes, see our hotel page for some suggestions, and if you stay in somewhere nice, let us know and we’ll recommend it to others.