A specially-designed computer programme that allows qualifications to be automatically verified during an ECS card application has been developed by the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme and City & Guilds.
The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) certifies the skills of electrotechnical workers across the UK. Holding an ECS card proves the cardholder’s qualification status, main electrical occupation, identity, health and safety awareness and any additional areas in which they are skilled to work.
The new online system not only combats those who attempt to gain an ECS card with falsified certificates, but also replaces the previous method of manual checking between the two organisations, making the application process more efficient.
When an application is made to the ECS, the qualification details are searched for directly within the City and Guilds database to check the certificate number, name and date. The same online check is also carried out on those renewing cards, as well as first-time ECS applicants.
Those who are found to be making a fraudulent application are referred to the Fraud Investigations Team who work in conjunction with other schemes and the police if necessary, to investigate and decide upon appropriate action.
The ECS is also in discussions to develop similar online links with other partners, to allow qualifications from all partners to be checked in this way.
“We are continuously looking to improve our service and the robustness of the scheme overall,” said Martin Thurbon, ECS Contact Centre Operations Manager.
“Our work with City & Guilds and other partners not only makes the application process more streamlined for customers, but also importantly catches and deters those who attempt to gain an ECS card under false pretences. These people are potentially endangering the safety of themselves and others if they are carrying out work for which they are not qualified.”
“As an organisation we are always looking to continuously improve our operational processes,” said David Phillips, City & Guilds Executive Director, Market Strategy, Products and Services.
“This newly designed interface will ensure both organisations’ systems are communicating by providing a layer of security in identifying fraudulent certification and raising standards within the electrotechnical industry.”
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