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2391 Inspection and Testing is back!

But what about 2394/2395?

Do not be alarmed if you already have the 2394/2395 qualifications or if you are still studying for them. These qualifications continue alongside the new 2391 and will be taught and examined up to August 2018; and of course the 2394 and 2395 qualifications will continue to be recognised by industry and employers.

The 2394 and 2395 qualifications have acquired a deserved reputation as high quality evidence of advanced electrical verification, inspection and testing skills. That said, many will agree that the examination method for 2394 and 2395 has not been easy or efficient – quarterly written exams with hard-to-schedule resits is costly and time-consuming for examination centres and for candidates. We don’t know if this is the reason behind the change, but we are sure it must have been taken into account by City & Guilds when taking the decision to introduce the new 2391 qualification.

The new 2391 qualifications

The new inspection and testing qualifications are to be known as 2391-50, 2391-51 and 2391-52. Each qualification will be assessed by a multiple choice eVolve exam and an assignment including a practical assessment and a short written paper exam.

The qualifications are active from now, June 2017; training centres and FE colleges will soon have them available for study. Electacourse are have commissioning expert tutors to write material for 2391-50, 2391-51 and 2391-52. We have a range of material for:

  • Electricians and other candidates planning to take the qualification, or
  • Training centres and colleges who require classroom and teaching material 

Full range of material here.

2391-50 Level 3 Award in Initial Verification

This qualification is aimed at domestic installers. Currently domestic installers have no formal requirement for initial verification. This award addresses this omission in skills and qualification. Assessed by a 40 question multiple choice test and two practical assignments involving verification skills on a test rig and a short written paper exam.

2391-51 Level 3 Award in Periodic Inspection & Testing

This award is designed for completing apprentices and engineers who need only periodic assessment. For apprentices and engineers who have completed the 2357 apprenticeship and will have been assessed on Initial Verification, it is not required for them to be assessed again. Assessed by a 40 question multiple choice test and three practical assignments involving visual photo exercise, inspection skills on a test rig and a short written paper exam.

2391-52 Level 3 Award in Inspection & Testing

This qualification is for practising electricians who want both disciplines – periodic and initial. Assessed by a 60 question multiple choice test and three practical assignments involving visual photo exercise, inspection skills on a test rig and a short written paper exam.

The 2391-52 is a combination of both 2391-50 and 2391-51. You do not need to do all three qualifications. Most people seem to be planning on doing the combined 2391-52.

Full range of 2391 training and support material >

 

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2394 and 2395 June 2017 exams – be prepared

Pass rates for 2394 and 2395 have picked up since the very poor results of December 2016. For the last set of exams for which the examiners have provided data is February 2017, the pass rate for 2394 is up to 68% well above the historical average. The pass rate for 2395 is 76%, the second highest ever.

For all of you who are taking your inspection and testing exams next week these results should give you confidence that the trend is in the right direction.

Reviewing the examiner’s report, we continue to see the comment: ‘A large number of candidates failed to read the questions and scenario carefully’ . This is Exam Technique 101. Unless you read the question correctly, it is not possible to answer it correctly. 

Again, and again, Electacourse see the examiners reporting that candidates repeatedly making the same errors. In the Electacourse products 2394 and 2395 Written Exam Guidance Notes, we go into detail about how to pass these exams and in another post we will highlight the most common errors seen by the examiners. In the meantime, by far the most common errors seen by examiners are:

2394 Common Errors

  1. Candidates use the term ‘live’ rather than ‘line and interchange the terms when describing test procedures
  2. Inability to list the three documents that must be completed and handed to the client on completion of an initial verification of an installation
  3. Candidates are only reading part of the question – this is simple to resolve with good exam technique (covered in our previous post)

2395 Common Errors

  1. Candidates need to be aware of the requirement to show calculations and descriptions to demonstrate their conclusions when answering questions
  2. Candidates are not sufficiently familiar with the items they are to consider, inspect and record. Familiarity will greatly improve both candidates understanding of the inspection process and their success in any related questions
  3. Candidates repeatedly seem to forget that 2395 is an examination of periodic inspection and not initial verification

Falling Candidate numbers

Our last report on candidate numbers suggested the continuing decline of candidates for the 2394 and 2395 may be related to Brexit. This may be true, we can all see the difficulties firms are having in recruiting electricians and the European route is quite slow now, but talking with our contacts, it looks like there may be a different reason.

There seems to be a lack of confidence in the 2394 and 2395 qualifications. We hear chatter that employers continue to not completely understand the qualification. We know this is nonsense. The 2394 and 2395 are high quality Level 3 qualifications which enable electricians to demonstrate their skills in initial verification, inspection and testing. But could the chatter be putting off candidates?

Electacourse have the largest range of revision material for Inspection and Testing, if you need to do some last minute revision, visit the Electacourse Inspection and Testing Catalogue

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Dramatic fall in 2395 exam results

  1. The December 2016 series has seen a significant drop in the performance of candidates for the 2395 exam
  2. The number of candidates has fallen throughout 2016

From a rising trend, the December series for 2395 showed a drop in numbers of candidates passing the exam to just 35%. Back to the bad old days when the 2395 was first introduced in 2012.

The examiners have not identified a single reason for this result, but they do point out that ‘A large number of candidates failed to read the questions and scenario carefully [Electacourse – we keep reminding our customers of this]. One example being where candidates incorrectly listed x0.5, x1 and x5 as the applied test currents for RCBO testing, when the question clearly stated applied test current in mA, so needed the actual mA values.’

From August 2014, the pass rate has generally been above 50% for both 2394 and 2395 and is stabilising around 60% pass rate for 2394 and 55% pass rate for 2395.

Again, and again, Electacourse see the examiners reporting that candidates repeatedly making the same errors. In the Electacourse products 2394 and 2395 Written Exam Guidance Notes, we go into detail about how to pass these exams and in another post we will highlight the most common errors seen by the examiners. In the meantime, by far the most common errors seen by examiners are:

2394 Common Errors

  1. Candidates use the term ‘live’ rather than ‘line and interchange the terms when describing test procedures
  2. Inability to list the three documents that must be completed and handed to the client on completion of an initial verification of an installation
  3. Candidates are only reading part of the question – this is simple to resolve with good exam technique (covered in our previous post)

2395 Common Errors

  1. Candidates need to be aware of the requirement to show calculations and descriptions to demonstrate their conclusions when answering questions
  2. Candidates are not sufficiently familiar with the items they are to consider, inspect and record. Familiarity will greatly improve both candidates understanding of the inspection process and their success in any related questions
  3. Candidates repeatedly seem to forget that 2395 is an examination of periodic inspection and not initial verification

Falling Candidate numbers

Could this be the Brexit effect? As I think all of us in involved in the construction industry have noticed, the numbers of new entrants coming to work in the industry from Europe has gone down.

The Electacourse customer data does not fully support a drop of 50% in new staff coming into the electrical trade, but as we have Tweeted (@Electacourse) and reported previously, we can certainly see a Brexit impact.

This is bad news and good news

Bad news that a limit on the number of people coming in to the industry limits company growth and opportunity. Good news for individual sparkies already qualified: you will be able to increase your rates and choose your jobs.

For the rest of us, our home rewires will cost more.

View Electacourse Inspection and Testing Catalogue

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How to prepare for your City & Guilds electrical qualification exams

Exams are a nerve wracking time for anyone; not least of all for those who are relying on passing to help their career. This is particularly true for electricians who will need to ensure they have the relevant qualifications in order to provide customers with a service.

Here at Electacourse we have put together some top tips for exam preparation, meaning that no matter how important the exam is, you will find ready to face it.

Reduce your stress

It is normal to feel stressed as a big exam loom on the horizon. This can come in both physical and mental forms and whilst stress is normal, you should try to reduce how much it affects you.

Physical stress can be reduced in the lead up to an exam by making sure that you keep up a positive fitness and eating plan. Not only this, but in the week or so before the exam it is important to make sure that you get enough sleep, otherwise you may underperform due to tiredness when it really matters.

Mental stress can be a little trickier to combat. Fear is a huge part of stressful feelings, especially fear of what questions you may face and whether you will be able to answer them. One of the best ways you can combat these feelings is by sourcing question and answer practice books and guidance notes. These are designed to give you a feel for the types of questions you can expect and give you the confidence to face them on the day.

Never over-study

The temptation may be to cram as much information as you can into your head before an exam; however over-studying can be a dangerous game. Instead of filling your brain up with useful information, over-studying can lead to tiredness and stress.

Instead you should balance your studying with plenty of breaks, if you are struggling to understand something, once you leave it for 10 minutes you might find it becomes all the clearer in your mind.

Set a revision schedule

Preparation is key in so many aspects of life, especially exams. Make sure you draw yourself a revision schedule in the fortnight before your exam. Set out all the topics that you need to cover and slot them into realistic time scales. This means that you won’t be at risk of over-studying and that you can give yourself plenty of time to learn each different topic.

Don’t forget to plan in for your “normal life” too. There is a good chance that you will still have a job, family or other commitments and if this is the case then you should still make plenty of time for them too.

Pick the right study method

Everyone learns in different ways. Reading might be best for some, whilst others need to listen to the words in order to take them in. Identify the best way that you learn and stick to it. After all, there is no-one else sitting the exam in your place, so you might as well personalise it as much as you can.

So there you have it, some of the ways that you can be ready for your exam. Take a deep breath and remember that if you stay calm and believe in yourself and what you have studied, you will be surprised by what you can achieve.

Coming soon tips on how to make a success of the exam once you are at the exam centre.

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Home study advantages

The Advantages of Home Study

Home study, also known as distance learning is now an established part of education and training throughout the UK and other countries – in the US some of the largest training establishments are distance learning.

The quality of distance learning has greatly improved in the past few years, as both students and training companies have become more comfortable with the technology, and as stories of best practices have been shared and duplicated.

Electacourse have been involved in home study/distance learning for many years – both as a company and from individual members of staff. One of our senior colleagues has been in the field for 20 years and in the past was responsible for the management and education of over a million US university students – all learning whilst at home.

Home study features a number of advantages.

Advantages include:

  • Accessibility for those living away from a training centre
  • No waste of time or other resources in transport, commuting to a central location for each class
  • Flexibility to study in any convenient location with an Internet connection
  • Self-paced learning: Quickly browse materials you have already mastered, and concentrate time and effort in areas containing new information and / or skills
  • Study materials at a personal speed and intensity, without having to wait for slower pace of the average classroom
  • Just-in-time learning; more opportunities to study the most current material available
  • Flexibility for those with irregular work schedules
  • Accessibility for those with restricted mobility
  • Accessibility for those with family responsibilities
  • Communication with other students (not yet a facility on Electacourse, but one we are planning to introduce)

Recent research has shown that the most significant factor helping students to succeed has been their ability to manage time. The more successful students reported spending time regularly studying and not leaving it until the last minute.

For the 17th Edition Course which concludes with the 2382-15 exam (rated by City & Guilds as requiring 35 hours of study), Electacourse recommend you are regularly achieving high scores with the exam simulator before putting yourself up for the exam.

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How to become an electrician in the UK

The electrical industry in the UK has recognised formal qualifications that provide a clear qualification route for an electrician whether or not they are a new entrant, already experienced or have overseas qualifications.

Introduction

Electacourse strongly recommend you contact electrotechnical industry bodies and organisations to confirm the qualifications required for becoming an electrician in the UK (link below) for the work which you plan to undertake, but the Electacourse summary understanding of the process of becoming qualified to work as an electrician in the UK is:

All people who are working unsupervised as a fully qualified electrician in the electrotechnical sector need to be qualified to the level of the industry-recognised NVQ level 3 qualifications. How you get to this level is dependent on your status.

For people who want to work only on domestic electrical installations, there is a lower threshold alternative of becoming registered on a self-certification scheme (run by Elecsa, Benchmark and others) who may be able to undertake and self-certify their work on domestic installations. See below the information about Part P and qualifying as a domestic installer.

Fully Qualified Electrician

To become a fully qualified electrician able to do industrial, commercial and not just domestic work, the following are the routes to qualification:

  1. For all new entrants to become recognised as an electrician, the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical systems and equipment (building structures and the environment) is required. This diploma can be obtained by undertaking study either with or without employer sponsorship at Further Education colleges or private training providers. By the nature of the practical requirement of some parts of electrical training, it is not possible to undertake all elements of this qualification by self-study alone.
  2. For individuals who have some previous experience whether in the UK or elsewhere, they need an interview with an assessor to develop an individual assessment plan without necessarily the need to go back to college to train in the classroom, (see AM2 on electricalqualifications.com).The AM2 assessment is administered by NET (http://netservices.org.uk/). We recommend that even if you have no electrical installation employment experience but have completed a college course, you seek advice from NET on final qualification requirements. AM2 is normally part of NVQ Diplomas.
  3. If you are already qualified in another country, then for some countries there are special arrangements where equivalence between electrical qualifications has been established, the following website has more information – http://summitskillsframework.naric.org.uk/index.asp?file=introduction

Domestic Electrical Installer

Domestic Installer Part P Courses available from some providers are designed to prepare candidates for the self-certification scheme Part P Assessment. On successful completion of a Part P Assessment, electricians are qualified to self-certify their own electrical work on domestic installations.

Electacourse Courses

Electacourse publish the 18th Edition Course provides everything required to achieve the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations qualification as assessed by the City & Guilds 2382-158examination. This is an essential qualification for all UK electricians. It is also a general requirement (but not necessarily obligatory) for Domestic Installers. Optionally this course includes the City & Guilds 2382-18 18th Edition exam, we have partner examination centres throughout the UK.

Most of the other material which we publish at Electacourse is designed as preparation and revision material for the various City and Guilds examinations and are used by people who are taking these exams as part of their route to qualification and professional improvement as electricians.

We have courses and exam practice simulators which cover

On our website you will find links to our courses and to trade bodies and organisations which can provide complete information about becoming an electrician in the UK.  You may also find the information on http://www.electricalqualifications.com useful.  On this site you will also find information about transferring your home country qualifications to UK qualifications.