You must pass the ECS Health, Safety & Environmental assessment to hold an ECS card, or you could have a valid exemption. The test/assessment is designed so that all electrotechnical workers meet basic Health & Safety requirements. When you pass the test, an ECS H&S Certificate is awarded to you by the SJIB (Scotland) or JIB (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland). The pass you obtain lasts for 2 years during which time you can apply for an ECS card.
How to Book an ECS Test
As of the 5th April 2021, the assessment for an ECS Health Safety & Environmental pass consists of fifty (50) multiple choice questions. You have to answer 43 questions correctly within 30 minutes of the assessment commencing.
The steps you should follow when you book an ECS test are as follows:
- Decide where you want to take the assessment. There are two options available. You can take the test online via your MyECS account, or you can book the test at a physical centre
- Revise as much as possible before you take the assessment
- Once you have taken the test, your MyECS will get updated with the information. Alternatively, you may be sent a letter or email to the address you provided
- When you pass your assessment, you can then go to your MyECS and finish your application for an ECS card
What to Expect on Test Day
Once you successful book an ECS test, you must take the following information to your chosen test centre on the day of your assessment:
- Photo ID – this can be a passport photo, driving licence photo, current or expired ECS card
- National Insurance number
- A valid private email address
When you arrive at your chosen test centre, an invigilator will confirm your identity. After this they will provide you with login details so you can access the computer-based assessment. Once you are allocated a computer, you have to login the details you were provided with on your arrival at the centre. You should then:
- Make sure all your details are correct because the information cannot be altered once you start your assessment
- If you find any errors you must inform the invigilator prior to commencing the test
- When all the information is correct, you can then begin your assessment
You should only begin your test when the invigilator tells you to, and you have 30 minutes to answer all fifty multi-choice questions that make up the assessment. You can review your answers when you complete all the questions and if you are happy, you can then click on the ‘Finish’ tab.
The results of your assessment will be instantly available on your computer screen. However, you will also receive a copy of the results by email to the address you provided.
Once you have completed the assessment and successfully passed, you can begin your application for an ECS card.
The Various Venues
As previously mentioned, you can book an ECS test and take your ECS HSE Assessment online via your MyECS account. All you have to do is login to your portal and follow the instructions provided. You can take the test online because of the remote invigilation allows you to do so making it a time saving option.
You can also choose to take the ECS assessment via the organisations listed below:
- JIB – to book an ECS test, you must call 01322 661 633
- ECA – the ECA provides the service in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland at various venues across the UK. To book your test, you can visit the ECA website, send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01582 531 047
- Unite the Union – the assessments provided by Unite the Union are computer-based at various venues across the country. To book a test, you can visit the Unite website or send an email at email@example.com
- Scotland – if you work in Scotland, paper-based assessments can be obtained from the SJIB
To book an ECS test in a physical centre, you must contact the chosen location and book a date directly with them. It is worth noting that some ECA partners also offer an assessment as part of their card application process. Some organisations and companies offer the assessment to their staff directly as well.
How Much Does it Cost?
The fastest and easiest way to apply for an ECS H&S assessment is to do so online on your MyECS portal. The cost of an application varies as detailed below:
- Initial application for an ECS card and H&S assessment costs £264 (inclusive of VAT)
- Renewal of an ECS card and H&S assessment costs £186 (inclusive of VAT)
If you are a JIB Member Company:
- Initial Application for an ECS craft card and H&S assessment costs £198 (inclusive of VAT)
- Initial ECS managers, RD, Site card and H&S assessment costs £234 (inclusive of VAT)
- Renewal of an ECS card and H&S assessment costs £162 (inclusive of VAT)
Exemptions for Health & Safety Assessments
If you can provide evidence that you hold a valid exemption, you will not have to book an ECS test. Information on exemptions can be found on the following links:
- JIB England, Wales, and Northern Ireland
ECS List of Approved Exemptions
- SJIB Scotland
ECS List of Approved Exemptions
New ECS Rules For Gold Card Applications
As of 1st January 2019 everyone who applies gold card for an Installation or Maintenance Electrician for the first time is required to sign up to a Registered Electrician status. In short, an applicant has to be qualified to the current Wiring Regulations (current edition of BS767). In addition, they must also hold a Code of Professional Practice together with the very minimum qualifications as dictated by their card.
If your card has lapsed, you must meet all card requirements that are in place for an initial ECS occupation as well as JIB grade you hold. If you are an Installation or Maintenance Electrician gold card holder, the ECS Registered Electrician requirements must be met. In short, you must hold the 18th Edition BS7671 qualification and you must sign up to the ECS Registered Electrician code of professional practice.
ECS Gold Card
If you need an ECS Gold Card in order to carry out your work, there are various routes you can take to obtain your card. These are explained below:
- You must be qualified to the NVQ Level 3 standard or the equivalent. In short, even if you obtained your qualification years ago, as long as you undertook an industry-recognised training scheme when you qualified, your qualification will be accepted. However, you must provide proof of said qualification
- If you do not hold a formal qualification by have been working in the industry for several years, you can take the Electrotechnical Experienced Worker Assessment route to gain the industry Level 3 standard. This will allow you to obtain a Gold Card