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Short cut qualifications.

Postby harvester28 » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:25 am

I know someone whose knowledge of Electrics extends only to that of a D.I.Yer.
Altho' I'm not an puzzles me how this person can attend a 6 week course at a college in Birmingham after which he gets a'qualified' status
including 'part P'....with no outside experience!!
This to me...makes a mockery of all 'Apprentice Served' Electricians...
and shouldn't be I right??

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Postby kuzz » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:40 am

I agree. Have a friend who is a stairlift engineer, as there is no nvq in stairlifts his company sent him on an electrical course basically so they were allowed to pay him apprentice wages whilst he learnt stairlifts on site. Although it took him 2 yrs (1 day a week) at college he is now more qualified than some of the electricians i work with (has the 2391) and has never had a days practical experience in his life. Silly thing is not only does he lack practical knowledge as basic as how to lift a floorboard he lacks any kind of electrical knowledge! Due to the lack of on site learning the lecturer got them through the exams just concentrating on past questions until they knew the answers parrot fashion. He wouldn't have a clue how to wire a one way light, let alone fault finding on an intermediate set up.
I think the exams are far easier now than 10years ago. Seems the higher powers decided that the answer to so many people dropping out after the first year was to make the exams easier. Can you imagine the consequences if they did the same with doctors?
multiple choice exams are ridiculuos anyway.
How hard can an exam be when the answer is on the page!
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Postby ericmark » Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:53 pm

There are many types of electricians and not so long ago I was working on a very large site before they had baggage problems with an electrician who we looked at as hopeless when it came to repairing the computer controlled concrete making plants. But as the job went on less concrete was required and he moved form maintenance to installation and he was one of the best. I have seen many the electrician who has never worked with three phase and making off gas tight glands in explosive areas was completely foreign to them. Yet they could lift a floor board etc. Which to many electricians has nothing to do with electrics. That’s a chippies job. These huge variations in what is expected from an electrician mean it is very hard to lay down any standard as to what is required. Should every electrician be able to program PLC’s many would not even know what one was. Companies under the electricity at work act must ensure there employees are trained in the tasks given to them. And where very limited knowledge or specialist knowledge is required there is nothing to stop them teaching in house. I know some people who were taught how to fit alarm/access systems in one type of building and they were experts at what they did but would not have much chance of fitting an alarm in a domestic house. And when the contract finished they could not find any one else who would employ them. I had been an industrial electrician for years without any 2381 or 2391 working in Algeria, Falklands, and Hong Kong I did not need them completely useless if you spend most of your time looking after conveyors and programming PLC’s. And as an industrial electrician it is the engineers who plan the job you put wire 1 into hole B without the slightest clue as to what it does. You read a plan and follow it to the letter. You learn how to install tray work, how to make off SWA glands in petro-chemical plants. How to label and how to make the whole not only serviceable but look professional. Never used so many tie wraps in my life. One is taught on how many tie wraps are needed to be stainless steel in case of fire so the cables will not fall on fire fighters. And the employers have to check you have done it all to their exacting standards. The problem arises with one man bands. If someone goes to a domestic house and claims he is an electrician and is skilled enough to do the work how can a house holder with little or no electrical knowledge know if he can do what he says he can do? Part P was intended to redress this problem. No one would deny that a law that reduces the cow boys who pose as electricians and leave a wake of dangerous and costly work behind them is a good thing.
But this did not happen. Part P holds the house holder responsible for the wrong doings of the cowboys and effectively suppresses reports of their wrong doings and has protected the cowboy by frightening any house holder for coming forward and reporting them in fear they may have to foot the bill.
As well as that the qualified industrial electricians has been effectively stopped from doing domestic work by the unrealistic prices charged by the local councils for relatively minor work where the council is charging twice the price for processing paper work to what the electrician is charging for the job.
This has forced many householders to do there own work illegally and without having any electrically trained person checking their work.
Also it has increased the use of extension leads and other temporary electrical items so as not to pay the huge fees demanded by the councils.
On the first of July we have stricter regulations come into force which to be honest if followed should improve electrical safety but unless something is done to reduce the negative impact of Part P is just going to expiate the shortage of electricians.
We all make mistakes but it takes a lot to admit it.
A major rethink is required maybe moving the burden of responsibility from the householder to person doing the work to ensure all building permissions have been granted. And to require qualifications rather than membership of one of the electrical clubs.
The only qualifications one can get once out of ones time are C&G 2382 and 2391 and the PAT testing one can’t remember number as they are the only courses available as night classes. And having taken my 2391 I would not have thought someone without electrical knowledge could really pass it. And I have seen many domestic electricians without it which since they act as design, installation, and testers is really needed for the domestic trade. For industrial the employers will soon work out who can and who can’t do the job. So which is best? Must pass exam before working on domestic or must pay money to clearing agent before working on domestic. And don't try saying the clearing agents check the work, that only happens to 1% of the jobs or less. I would go for exams every time but with a degree maybe I have ulterior motive?

Postby sparx » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:47 pm

Hi all,

He will not be qualified-period!

There is no such thing as a 'part-p' qualification in spite of what these half-hard 'colleges' are offering.
In order to celf certify to LABC you have to join a competant person scheme with one of the recognised bodies who should insist on a minimum entrance standard including C&G 2381 or equivalent.
Unfortunately some, notably the Nicy-icy, have lowered their standards so far in an attempt to gain members that it seems some of these 5min wonders are getting on the rolls of schemes, it is deplorable & the reason the 'time-served' amongst us are getting peed off!


Fortunately those of use who only do a small amount of domestic work will never be fighting these 'semi-lecs' for work as they could not do the kind of work we do.

Rant over for now.....I feel really sorry for people like the lad who spoke to me last night, just finished 2nd year of 3day/week @ local tech. now can't start final year until he has a job placement, I get loads of mail from guys in same boat, they are doing it right but get 'back-doored' by these short courses.
All I can do is never take on a 'semi-lec' to work for me.....

regards SPARX M.D. Omega Technical Services Ltd.
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