The Joint Industry Board (JIB) has launched ECS Check, a new free-to-use digital system from the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS), which allows clients and contractors to verify the ECS card status of electrotechnical workers in real-time.
The scheme has more than 175,000 cardholders who have been assessed in line with the standards set out by industry.
ECS Check allows the industry and its customers to conduct their own audits to verify all electrotechnical personnel on-site throughout the supply chain. There are already over 40 clients, main contractors or electrical contractors using the system.
Richard Harris, Labour Manager for Gratte Brothers Group, has praised the new system. He said: “Knowledge, competence and safety is absolutely crucial within ou business. Whilst on site we want our clients to be reassured that our workforce has the necessary qualifications and experience to carry out their work safely and to a good standard. ECS Check enables our clients to guarantee for themselves that the workforce we have on site are up to the task in hand.”
Clients and main contractors can also use the ECS Check system to promote apprenticeships and training; for example, by setting required targets for apprentices or trainees to be part of the workforce. This helps promote social and best value in procurement as well as allowing clients to specify the expected levels of qualification and competency for their projects.
Andy Reakes, Head of Operations, Employment and Skills at the JIB, said: “The quality of an electrical installation depends on not only the electrical contractor’s company registration but, crucially, the person carrying out the work. Through ECS Check’s online portal, clients, main contractors and project managers can have confidence in the identity and quality of the electrical workforce on their projects.
“While we know clients will do the necessary checks on main contractors who have tendered for work, often the scale and number of companies involved in subcontracting supply chains means there is very little awareness of the qualifications and training of the person actually undertaking this work on site. ECS Check transforms that by providing one system through which clients and contractors can have this essential visibility and greater transparency.”
ECS Check is available through an online portal and smartphone app. The ECS virtual card is also available to all cardholders and can also be accessed free of charge via an app.
Meanwhile, the Engineering Services SKILLcard (managed by the Building Engineering Services Association,BESA), which has over 64,000 cardholders used by heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration operatives, has also made the recording of employer endorsements for card applicants fully digital.
This latest development means endorsers will now receive a link via email and can complete their endorsement with a digital signature in a fraction of the time.
Rachel Davidson, director of certification at BESA said: “We are constantly striving to improve the service we offer to those working in the building engineering services sector. Obtaining a valid SKILLcard is essential for them to access sites proving their skills, qualifications and occupation. The quicker we can turn applications around, the better.”