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New ECS cards launched for Building Controls sector


The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) has launched a series of new ECS cards for the Building Controls industry.

Following the launch of the Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) apprenticeship standard, an occupational qualification structure was developed by the Building Controls industry following feedback from the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA), employers, training providers and other industry representatives to align the future industry skills need. This structure has now been in place for a number of years and has recently been reviewed and updated by industry employers and other stakeholders to ensure this is fit for purpose while maintaining the standard set for Engineers by way of the BEMS apprenticeship. The suite of ECS cards for Building Controls includes:

  • Building Controls Apprentice: For those on an apprenticeship programme being undertaken for Building Controls, such as the Level 4 Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) Controls Engineer.
  • Building Controls Associate: For those who are generally working under supervision or deploying engineered elements and defined tasks and activities. Provides a progression route for people working in the BEMS sector.
  • Building Controls Installer (Electrical): For technical staff that need to support the installation of building control systems in areas of set up, programming and end user training of the installed system.
  • Building Controls Technician (Commissioning): For technical staff that need to support the installation of building control systems in areas of software, fault finding, and commissioning, but do not undertake installation or electrical works.
  • Building Controls Experienced Worker: For applicants that have enrolled onto the BEMS EWA route and completed the BEMS Experienced Worker Assessment (EWA) knowledge assessment (as a prerequisite for eligibility onto the EWA), but do not yet have a full industry qualification such as BEMS Controls Engineer apprenticeship.
  • Building Controls Engineer: For operatives who work unsupervised to install and maintain integrated building controls that manage the environmental services within a building, for the comfort of its users.

ECS is currently working with the BCIA to develop an Experienced Worker Assessment which will lead to a gold card. This will give the opportunity for experienced professionals, who did not have the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship or regulated training routes to meet the same standard as those completing their BEMS apprenticeship. The EWA recognises a person’s existing industry experience and takes into account the work they have been carrying out to the nationally recognised standard so it means people do not need to go back to college and is a cost and time effective way of assessing the level of work already being undertaken. When you’ve successfully gone through the assessment process, you’ll gain an industry recognised certification that meets the requirements for an ECS gold card application.

The EWA is being developed by leading training provider Group Horizon. Director, Peter Behan said:

“We are delighted to be working with two leading industry organisations in the BCIA and ECS to develop the Building Controls Experienced Worker Assessment. Group Horizon’s fully accredited qualifications are delivered by our specialist assessors who each bring a wealth of experience in their chosen field to ensure all our delegates are fully prepared for their professional journey.”

Andy Reakes, Director of Growth and Development for ECS, said:

“The ECS is delighted to be working with the BCIA to upskill the industry in a sector that is set to grow rapidly over the next few years. Building Controls will have a significant role to play in developing energy efficient buildings in the future and we are committed to ensuring there is a professional and competent workforce in place to deliver them. This updated occupational framework sets out the routes for new entrants as well as encouraging good career progression which will be incredibly important for all those concerned about workforce competence and with the Building Safety Regulator looming to enforce industry-led competence standards through all levels of the supply chain.”

All ECS cards require a valid ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Awareness assessment to have been completed or a valid exemption held.

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