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Electrical Trade Bodies

The Institution of Engineering and Technology was formed by the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) and the Institution of Incorporated Engineers (IIE) and now has more than 150,000 members worldwide. It is the largest professional engineering society in Europe and the second largest of its type in the world.

NICEIC is a trading name of Certsure an organisation which came out of a partnership between Electrical Safety First and the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA). NICEIC acts as the electrical contracting industry’s independent voluntary regulatory body for electrical installation safety matters throughout the UK and maintains and publishes registers of electrical contractors that have been assessed against scheme requirements, including the national electrical safety standard BS 7671, the IEE Wiring Regulations.

Founded over 100 years ago, the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) is the UK’s largest and leading trade association representing electrical, electronic, installation engineering and building services companies.

NAPIT was formed in 1992 as the National Association for Professional Inspectors and Testers, with the aim of setting standards for industry. Since then NAPIT’s role has evolved and expanded to be one of the fastest growing Government Approved register holders for Part P Registered Domestic Electrical Installers (both full and defined scope) while continuing to serve the needs of those carrying out equipment testing and electrical installation and testing in commercial and industrial sectors.

Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors is the Leading Employers Trade Association for the Plumbing and Heating Industry in England and Wales.

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is the UK’s professional and technical body for all plumbing and heating professionals. It originated in 1906 as The Institute of Plumbers and since 1957 has been known as The Institute of Plumbing (IoP). CIPHE came into being on 4 June 2004 when IoP corporate members agreed that the new title better reflects their scope of work and firmly identifies plumbing and heating as an engineering discipline.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) provide organizations from all sectors with best practice solutions and standards that represent and support the needs of business and society in the UK and worldwide.

ELECSA started out as a joint venture between FENSA and the BBA to deliver an independent, no nonsense, certification scheme for tradesmen who undertake domestic electrical installation work. Such independent certification is required by Government as evidence that you are competent to undertake electrical work in accordance with the Building Act 1984, and specifically Approved Document P “Electrical safety in Dwellings”. Elecsa is now part of Certsure.

City and Guilds are the UK’s leading vocational awarding body. The City and Guilds 2382, 2391, 2394, 2395 and 2393 qualifications are of the most importance to practising electricians.

Benchmark – now part of NAPIT are a certification organisation accredited by UKAS. Benchmark started out specialising in heating engineers, but was now increasingly certifying electricians for Domestic Installer and Part P work prior to them becoming part of NAPIT.

UKAS are the UK accreditation service. All organisations which offer professional and trades certification need to be authorised by UKAS.

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Electacourse Brexit Statement

Electacourse are a leading provider of electrical training for people wishing to work as electricians in the UK.  Following the recent referendum on EU membership, the situation currently remains the same and there is no change to the Electacourse role or mission.

Electacourse will continue to monitor the situation closely by working with trade organisations and expert tutors and lecturers in the UK and Europe, but our current expectation is that very little will change from a training point of view.

Before the UK joined the European Union, the country welcomed skilled workers from all over the world including Europe. It is anticipated that the strong demand from businesses in the UK for electricians will continue and that freedom of movement for UK and European citizens will continue as it has done for over 70 years.

Wages for skilled and qualified electricians continues to rise in the UK to the benefit of both British citizens and skilled electricians from elsewhere in the world.

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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.


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 AM2 assessment is administered by NET ( 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 –

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 useful.  On this site you will also find information about transferring your home country qualifications to UK qualifications.