Two new qualifications have been launched to ensure electricians have the best practical as well as theoretical knowledge to do the job.

EAL, the specialist awarding organisation for industry, developed the qualifications for electrical installation covering inspection, testing and understanding of building regulations aimed at those with little or no knowledge as well as those working in the industry looking to enhance their skills and qualifications.

Nigel Best, company director of Electrician Courses 4U (EC4U), is one of the first organisations approved to deliver the courses and believes they will offer people the best chance of a successful career as an electrician.

Mr Best anticipates putting hundreds of learners through the courses every year and successful completion will allow them to progress on to more specialised qualifications.

"These new qualifications are much more realistic than much of what is on offer from other awarding organisations," he said. "They are current, up-to-date and specific to the inspection, testing and building regulations as they currently stand.

"As well as the online exam element, learners for the fundamental inspection and testing commission a small installation in accordance with BS 7671. The open book assessments are aligned to real world situations."

EC4U is an organisation of experienced and qualified electricians based at purpose-built workshops in Ditchling, East Sussex.

"All the feedback I get from my staff is that EAL provide excellent customer service," said Mr Best. "They listen, react and provide solutions."

The new qualifications are:

EAL Level 2 Award in Fundamental Inspection, Testing and Initial Verification: This qualification is for learners who wish to obtain fundamental knowledge and the practical skills involved with inspection and testing of simple single phase electrical installations in accordance with statutory and non-statutory requirements. Centres can utilise existing single-phase rigs and facilities so can adopt the new qualification with minimal or no extra cost.

EAL Level 3 Award in the Building Regulations for Electrical Installations in Dwellings: This is for learners who wish to obtain an understanding of the building regulations and approved documents, which are applicable to electrical installations in dwellings. It covers the requirements in both England and Wales, and follows the Electrician's Guide to the Building Regulations published by the IET.

Mr Best said: "I am a strong advocate of EAL's approach and I am convinced their qualifications provide an excellent route to a career as an electrician."

Julia Chippendale, managing director of EAL, said: "We pride ourselves on our flexible approach to ensure our qualifications are robust to meet customer needs.

"These new qualifications have been devised to ensure learning outcomes and assessment criteria are right up to date, putting learners through scenarios and getting them to provide solutions to real problems they would face in the workplace.

"In addition, they are supported by on demand examinations and EAL's full time employed dedicated External Quality Assurers, who are always on hand to provide advice and guidance to both the employer and the learner, something that EAL prides itself on, giving excellent customer service."

EAL's Customer Care Team is poised to connect you with their sector specialists to provide all the relevant up to date information. Contact them at customercare@eal.org.uk or call 01923 652400.

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