Applying for your ECS managers card? We’ve broken down the steps below to make the process as simple as possible. Jump straight to the steps.
Overview of the ECS
The ECS (Electrotechnical Certification Scheme) is the only ID and competence card scheme for electrical operatives in the UK, recognised and endorsed across the industry. A lot of electrical roles will want you to hold a card relevant to your role before you start work.
ECS is a partner of CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme), there’s also a link between the ECS and the JIB (Joint Industry Board). The JIB administer the ECS scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, historically only people working for JIB could get an ECS card, because of that it was often referred to as the JIB card and still is today.
Since 2002 the scheme has been available to all people working in the industry.
Types of Card
There’s an ECS card for almost any level in the industry, from Apprentices to Managers. There are cards for all types of occupation, some of the more common cards though are:
- ECS Labourers Card (green)
- ECS Installation Electrician Card (gold)
- ECS Managers Card (black)
What ECS Manager’s Card Do I Need?
So what card do you need? Typically you’ll know you need an ECS Managers Card because of your occupation, the following occupations are available:
- Electrical Site Manager
- Electrical Contract Manager
- Site Manager
- Project Manager
- Contract Manager
If you aren’t sure if you need the card, speak to your employer or the principal contractor.
ECS Managers Card Changes October 2018
Since October 2018 there have been new requirements to apply for the ECS Managers Card. The ‘grace period’ for meeting the new standards expired in July 2021. Therefore, you now have to meet the new criteria without exception, even if you have held a black ECS card previously.
Steps to the Manager’s Card
You need to either:
- Have an ECS Gold Card
- Meet the requirements for one
- Hold a Level 4 management qualification such as BTEC, Degree or JIB recognised qualification.
Plus, you’ll need to have successfully completed a health and safety qualification:
- CITB SSSTS
- CITB SMSTS
- IOSH Managing Safely in Construction
- IOSH Safety for Directors
- CCNSG Safety Passport
- NEBOSH Diploma is Occupational Safety
If you’ve completed your health and safety qualification in the last 3 years you can apply for your card.
If your health and safety qualification is older than 3 years, you’ll need to take the ECS HS&E assessment before applying.
What’s your next step? Take our quiz to find out!
How do I apply for the Manager’s Card?
As with any ECS card application, you are encouraged to register an account on the MyECS portal. By having an account, the application process is much more straight forward. You will need a passport-style photograph, and some basic personal information. When you have successfully registered, you will be able to keep track of your application and any certification or qualifications that you have acquired. it is worth keeping your page updated by informing ECS of any merits earned that have not become logged on your landing page. For example, this could be the result of your latest edition wiring regulations assessment.
You can always apply through completing a paper form, but you will have to pay an additional administration fee. No extra charge is made for any online applications. To receive the card itself however, you will have to pay a fee. There are discounts available if you are registered on JIB’s Employer Portal or a Unite Union member, so it is always worth asking if discounts are available to you before you make an application!
Requirements for ECS Gold Card
The Gold Installation Electrician ECS Gold Card is for skilled individuals able to work unsupervised on the installation, commissioning and maintenance of low voltage electrical devices and appliances.
To qualify for the card you must:
- Have a JIB recognised UK competency-based qualification (electrotechnical Level 3 NVQ or a formal UK electrotechnical apprenticeship)
- And, a formal BS7671 qualification in the current edition of the wiring regulations currently in force
If you do not have a level 3 qualification, you can go through the JIB Mature Candidate Assessment. You’ll be assessed on your existing skills and experience by an independent assessor.
Find out more on the ECS website.