ECS Practice Test
You have 30 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice ECS Test questions. You need to score 43 out of 50 to pass this mock. You may review answers as you go along or wait until the end of the test. Best of luck!
ECS Mock Tests
The questions in the following ECS mock tests are from the most up to date ECS question bank (2021). There are about 300 questions in this question bank. For all of these tests below, you will have 30 minutes to answer 50 questions. These questions will appear in your actual ECS Test. If you take and pass all of the mock tests below, you will be in a good position to pass your real assessment. The format of these mock tests will be the same as your real assessment.
If you would like to take a mock test for a specific ECS topic:
Take an ECS Personal Protective Equipment at Work Test (28 questions)
- 1 ECS Practice Test
- 2 ECS Mock Tests
- 3 About ECS
- 4 What is the ECS Test?
- 5 ECS Test Practice
- 6 Topics Covered in the ECS Test
- 7 ECS Test Structure
- 8 ECS Test Booking
- 9 ECS Test Cost
- 10 Taking the ECS Test: What to Expect
- 11 After the ECS Test
- 12 Applying for an ECS Card
- 13 ECS Card Check
- 14 What is the ECS Premium Service?
- 15 CSCS or ECS, which cards do Electricians need and why?
- 16 The difference between a CSCS card and an ECS Card
- 17 Which ECS Card will I need?
- 18 Summary
The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) is the card scheme that is specifically for electrotechnical operatives that work in the UK. A partner of CSCS, the ECS card is a valid identity card which will gain the card holder access to a construction site or a property, displaying their qualifications and confirms that they meet a certain level of health and safety awareness requirements. In order to qualify for an ECS card an individual is required to pass the ECS test first, an examination which assesses health and safety knowledge.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about the ECS test including the costs involved, how to book the test and how to prepare. We will also go through how to apply for an ECS Card so that the process is plain sailing.
ECS stands for the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme which is an ID and competence card scheme for those working in the electrotechnical industry in the UK. If you are working in England, Wales and Northern Ireland the ECS Card will demonstrate to employers or homeowners the level of your qualifications, that you meet certain health and safety requirements and that you are backed by the industry (if you work in Scotland you need to apply for a card through the Scottish JIB). There are a variety of cards that reflect the skill level of the worker and the application process requires you to complete the ECS Health and Safety Assessment (also known as the ECS test).
What is the ECS Test?
To ensure that those working in the electrotechnical industry are working to a high standard of health and safety, in order to protect themselves and those around them, those in the industry can only apply for an ECS card if they have passed the ECS Health and Safety Test. The test is valid for 2 years after passing and consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The test lasts for 30 minutes and in order to pass the test, you must answer 43 out of the 50 questions correctly. Once you have passed the ECS test, you will have shown that you meet the minimum required level of health and safety awareness to apply for an ECS card.
Holding certain qualifications can mean that you are exempt from taking the ECS Test as they demonstrate that you already exceed the level of health and safety knowledge necessary to gain an ECS card. You can find a list of the Assessments and Qualifications which allow a 3 year exemption from taking the ECS Test here.
The test is a computer-based assessment so requires a basic level of computer literacy. However, if you are not confident using a computer you can request to do a practice test using a computer before you complete your main assessment. If you require this you will need to arrange it with the session invigilator at the test centre when you book your assessment (you will not be charged for the practice test).
ECS Test Practice
The test itself will access your knowledge in the following eleven topic areas: general health and safety, manual handling operations, reporting accidents, personal protective equipment at work, health and hygiene, fire and emergency, working at height, work equipment, special site hazards, electrotechnical safety knowledge, and environmental awareness and safety.
To prepare for the ECS Test, you may use this website which contains the entire question bank of approximately 300 questions. This means that, if you prepare properly, you will have seen all of the questions put to you in the test beforehand. Candidates are not permitted to take revision materials into the assessment with them. Alternatively, you may download the revision guide from the ECS website or you can order a printed copy of this guide for £4.50 from ECS directly by calling the booking team on 01322 661 633.
ECS recommends that you give yourself at least 10 working days before taking the test to prepare. This will give you adequate time to go over the revision guide and ensure that you have a good understanding of the 11 topic areas and the questions that you could potentially be asked. If you are an employer booking the ECS Test for your employee/s it is important to make sure they are given the revision guide at least 10 days before they undertake their assessment.
Topics Covered in the ECS Test
As stated above there are 11 different topic areas that are covered in the ECS Test. In this next section, we will go into a little more detail about each one to give you a comprehensive overview of the knowledge required for the test. Please note that this is not a revision guide, please ensure that you refer to the ECS Revision when revising for your test.
General Health & Safety
For this section of the test, you will be required to have an understanding of your responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and what your employer’s responsibilities are in line with this Act. You will also be expected to understand health and safety signs, know how health and safety law is enforced and understand the powers of HSE inspectors.
Manual Handling Operations
This section covers the principles behind good manual handling including how to keep yourself and others safe, and the responsibilities of your employer to ensure that you are protected from injury.
This section looks at the importance of incident reporting and why it is necessary to report accidents to your employer.
Personal Protective Equipment at Work
For this section, you will need to have an understanding of what PPE should be worn and why you must use it as well as understanding the obligation of your employer to provide you with PPE. It also covers why you must take care of PPE, reporting lost or damaged PPE, the dangers inherent in not wearing PPE and its limitations.
Health and Hygiene
This section requires you to have a basic understanding of a variety of areas related to health and hygiene. This includes the dangers of exposure to substances such as asbestos, working with hazardous substances, reducing the risk of disease carried by vermin, welfare facilities on construction sites, and reducing the risks related to hand-arm vibration and noise exposure.
Fire and Emergency
In the Fire and Emergency section you will be required to understand what action to take if there was an emergency at work, what the different fire extinguishers are and when they should be used, and the importance of first aid when an incident occurs.
Work at Height
For this section, you are required to understand the safety measures behind working at height. This includes using the appropriate access equipment for the task at height, only using ladders or stepladders if the task will be for a short time and is assessed to be low risk, and the safety precautions required when working at height.
This section is assessing your awareness of using work equipment safely. This includes only using equipment which you are trained to use, checking equipment before using it, reporting broken equipment, using low-voltage systems for hand-held electrical equipment and using extension cables safely.
Special Site Hazards
This section is assessing your knowledge and awareness of hazards that you may come across when working and how to deal with these safely. This includes the safety precautions that need to be taken when working in a confined space, carrying out excavation work, and working near overhead power lines. It will also be accessing your awareness of the dangers of vehicles to pedestrians on site and the risks faced by lone workers and young people.
This section will test your understanding of the specific health and safety risks that are inherent when working in the electrotechnical industry. This includes having an understanding of safe working practices such as using residual current devices and safe isolation procedures. You will also need to have an understanding of the effects electric current can have on the body. An awareness of the types of socket outlets that are found on a construction site, safely working with optical fibres and only working ‘live’ in exceptional circumstances is also required.
The Environmental section covers handling materials safely, minimising waste as you work, effective recycling procedures, identifying and handling hazardous/special waste, and working sustainably.
Remember that you will not be tested on all of the questions in the Revision Guide, the questions will be selected from this list at random on the day you take your ECS Test.
ECS Test Structure
As mentioned, the ECS test will consist of 50 questions randomly selected from a bank of approximately 300 questions. You will be asked questions from each topic so you must have comprehensive knowledge of the revision material. The number of questions from each topic that will be appear on your test is as follows:
- General Health and Safety at Work – 6 questions
- Manual Handling Operations – 4 questions
- Reporting Accidents – 3 questions
- Personal Protective Equipment at Work – 4 questions
- Health and Hygiene – 3 questions
- Fire and Emergency – 9 questions
- Work at Height – 5 questions
- Work Equipment – 4 questions
- Special Site Hazards – 3 questions
- Electrotechnical – 6 questions
- Environmental – 3 questions
The mock tests on our website follow this structure.
ECS Test Booking
The ECS Test can be undertaken via a number of organisations, these are; The JIB, The ECA and Unite the Union.
The JIB only offers computer-based assessments at their office in Swanley, Kent. However, if you are an employer and have a large number of staff members that need to take the ECS Test this can be arranged via their ‘in-company’ service. You can book an assessment via JIB by calling 01322 661 633.
The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) are also a provider of the ECS Test. They have test centres in various towns and cities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Bookings can be made via their website, they offer Individual Bookings and also Multiple Employee Bookings if you are an employer wishing to book multiple staff members on the ECS Test at the same time. ECA also take bookings via email (email@example.com) and by phone on 01582 531 047.
Unite the Union provides test centres for the ECS Test throughout the UK. To see the locations and current availability see here.
If you are living in Scotland and need to take the ECS Test you can find more information about this on the SJIB website.
ECS Test Cost
The total cost of the ECS Test is £48 (including VAT) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Be wary of third party companies that offer to book the assessment for you as they will charge an extra fee in addition to the test costs. It is unnecessary to use a third party agency to book your test as it is a straightforward process that can be done online (via one of the companies listed above).
If you fail the ECS Test it is possible to retake it but you will be required to book another assessment and to pay the test fees again.
Taking the ECS Test: What to Expect
When the day of your ECS Test arrives you will need to take the following with you to the test centre:
- Photo ID which can be either a passport, photo driving license or a current (or expired) ECS card
- Your National Insurance Number
- Personal e-mail address (you need to provide a valid email address so that your result can be sent to you after completing the test).
On arrival at the test centre the invigilator will ask you for your photo ID in order to confirm your identity. They will then take your photograph and give you the log in details you will need in order to access the computer assessment. You will then be allocated a computer to undertake the ECS Test on. The first step is to log in using the log in details provided by the invigilator, once logged in you need to carefully check the personal details listed on your account. This is an important step as this information cannot be changed once you have started the test, so double check that your name is spelt correctly and that your National Insurance number is correct. If anything needs changing you will need to inform the invigilator before starting the test if all is correct simply click the correct button and proceed.
The next stage is the test itself, but make sure that you do not start the test until your invigilator tells you to do so. Once started, you will have 30 minutes to answer the 50 multiple-choice questions. After selecting the correct answer to the question click ‘Next’ to move on to the next question. When you have completed all of the 50 questions you will have the opportunity to review your answers. When you are confident that you have completed all of the questions and are happy with your answers you can click the ‘Finish’ button. The computer will calculate your result instantly and it will flash up on the screen. You will also be sent a copy of your results to the e-mail address provided.
After the ECS Test
Once you have completed the ECS Test and have secured a positive result you can now start the process of applying for your ECS card. The next stage is to log into your account on the MyECS portal in order to start the application process for the ECS card. If your employer has arranged the ECS Test for you and is handling your application they can log into to the employer portal in order to take your application to the next stage.
Applying for an ECS Card
The application for an ECS Card is done online via your MyECS account. When you log into your account you will see that your ECS Test result is logged on there, this states that you have met the Health and Safety Requirements in order to apply for the ECS Card.
Identify which card type to apply for
The next stage is to take a look at which ECS card you should apply for. This will depend on where you are at in your career and what qualifications you have achieved. If you are just starting out in your career you will most likely need to apply for a Trainee Electrician ECS card, this allows you to work as an electricians mate whilst you complete your qualification. There is also an Apprentice ECS card available for those undertaking electrical/electronic advanced apprenticeships.
For workers who are qualified, there are a range of ECS cards available that cover a range of roles within the electrotechnical industry. There are also specific ECS cards that relate to the fields of Management, Datacomms, Fire Detection and Alarm Systems, Emergency and Security Systems, as well as cards for those who are in related disciplines but are not qualified electricians. See here for a full list of card types.
Submit your qualifications
Once you have identified which ECS card you need to apply for, and checked that you have the correct qualifications to apply for that card, you will need to submit evidence of your qualifications. The evidence needs to be uploaded online via the MyECS portal. It can either be in the form of high-quality scans of the original qualification certificate(s), or good quality digital photos of your certificate(s). It is a good idea to have all of your evidence ready to upload before you begin the online application. Once your qualifications are uploaded and you have completed the online application form you are ready to submit.
Tracking your application and receiving your card
Once you have submitted your application via the MyECS portal you will be able to track your application as it progresses. It will take about 4 weeks to process the application, after which you will receive your ECS card in the post. If you need a faster turnaround time for an ECS card you can apply via the ECS Premium Service
ECS Card Check
ECS has over 150,000 valid ECS cardholders who conform to the standards that have been set by the industry and it is important for customers to be able to audit and verify personnel onsite. To do this, ECS has provided an online system that allows card holders, contractors and other users to verify the current status of ECS Cards of electrotechnical workers.
To use this search, click here.
What is the ECS Premium Service?
The ECS Premium Service allows you to fast-track your ECS card application. This needs to be done in person at the ECS office in Swanley, Kent. You will be required to bring evidence of your qualifications as well as photo identification. This is the full list of paperwork you need to bring to apply for the Premium Service. The ECS Test can be completed at the Swanley office if you do not hold a valid test certificate. In order to access the ECS Premium Service, you will need to book an appointment via the central booking office on 01322 661 663. Once you have submitted all of the required information at the ECS office you will receive your ECS card at your home address via Next Day Special Delivery. The costs involved in applying for an ECS card via the ECS Premium Service can be found here.
CSCS or ECS, which cards do Electricians need and why?
In order to gain access to a construction site, on site personnel would need to be able to prove their identity, qualifications and occupation and this is shown with the possession of a trade card. The trade card also confirms knowledge of and adherence to Health and Safety standards and over the last decade, deaths at construction sites has reached an all-time low. There are several cards currently being used on construction sites, the most common being the CSCS card, however as an electrician, you would need an ECS card as this would be the only card that would allow you to carry out electrical work. The ECS card is the only affiliated CSCS card for the electrical industry.
The difference between a CSCS card and an ECS Card
Frequently, there is confusion surrounding the CSCS card and the ECS card. Often employers advertise electrical jobs and ask for a CSCS card, but it is the ECS card that would be required for electrical work. CSCS cards are used for construction jobs and is proof that individuals can work safely on site, however there are a number of cards that are affiliated to CSCS but are a different type of card. This is because there may be workers with different occupations on site at any given time and they need to have the relevant qualifications and the card helps differentiate between them and increase health and safety in the workplace.
Which ECS Card will I need?
Often electricians may talk about different cards. In England and Wales, these cards are called ECS cards whilst in Scotland they are known as SJIB (Scottish Joint Industry Board). The two cards are the same in terms of qualifications however you would need the relevant card depending on your location. You may have also heard about the JIB card. This is an issuing authority called the Joint Industry Board and they issue ECS cards, there would be no need for an additional card. After the date of issue, the ECS card must be renewed every 3 years and a Health and Safety assessment taken.
If you are working in the electrotechnical industry then acquiring an ECS card is a near essential requirement in order to access work on a construction site, as well as a means of evidencing your credentials if you require access to personal property in order to practice your trade. To apply for an ECS card you will be required to have passed the ECS test, this is a test which assesses your health and safety knowledge in relation to the electrotechnical industry. The ECS test is a way in which ECS can determine whether or not you meet the essential health and safety requirements necessary to safely practice your trade.
The ECS test can be accessed either through the JIB, the ECA or Unite the Union at one of their test centres which are located across the country and can be booked online. It is a computer-based test with 50 multiple-choice questions, of which you are required to answer 43 correctly in order to pass. Once you have passed the ECS test you can apply for the relevant ECS card to your experience and occupation within the industry. The application process takes around 4 weeks and your ECS card will be valid for 3 years.