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Discuss Clarity on Qualifications in Scotland/UK in the Electrical Courses & Electrical NVQ's area at ElectriciansForums.net

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I am one of the many people interested in training to be an Electrician. But am baffled by all the courses on offer and who it is offering them?

I have a domestic ventilation company in Scotland, I currently do everything, bar install the products as I am not an Electrician. The work gets sub contracted at the moment. Obviously I want to change this to make the business more profitable.

A number of years ago I started an adult apprenticeship with a friends company, mainly doing council property electrical upgrades, but unfortunately the contract that the company had was due to end and I was warned that they may not get subsequent contracts due to the economical climate, ultimately my Adult apprenticeship ended prematurely.

Therefore I do have some experience on the tools although basic and I have the opportunity to do jobs and get further training with my own business. Ultimately I want to employ an electrician and get the electrician to put me through my adult apprenticeship, obviously i will be paying for it all.

This website seems to be a fantastic source for information, however It's not hard to find a large number of people creating posts who are not electricians and want to be electricians (like myself) who do not really know where to start in finding out what each course or qualification means and how it is relevant in the real world in both the UK and more importantly in my case Scotland. And its quite a pain trudging through posts trying to find out who is correct and slowly piece together the information. Newbies (like myself) ask the same questions over and over again to the point that the often get a poor response.

Basically, to save everyone's time, I am looking for some bright 'spark' to create some clarity on this and create a thread that would be an honest definitive resource on this matter pinned to the top of this subject. I think you would soon be thanked more than any other poster on this forum. And I for 1 would be internally grateful!

I would love to know what the course is, what it involves, what I will know at the end of it if I pass, what it allows me to do ect.

Thanks for reading this, I hope someone (possibly a moderator) extremely knowledgeable agrees that the value of doing this to everyone on this board is absolutely massive.

I would love to hear thoughts on this matter.



big danny

hi mackenzie,
im in the same boat as you, ive contacted many many companies regarding adult apprenticeships but its seems no one is interested which i feel leaves me with no other option than to go through a training centre, i have an appointment next week with one and as far as ive been told over the phone the qualifications gained over the training period are the new City and Guilds 2357 which is replacing three other courses and rolls it all into one thus also including an NVQ level 3 certificate, also to pass on the course is the 17th edition wiring regs and an AM2 which is a practical assesment im sure a few of the guys here have told me, after this you are free to register to work as an electrician through SJib NICEIC etc.
they also told me that once completed you would not be able to register with Select as they do not accept a NVQ, they want an SVQ level 3 as which is normally done in Scotland(trust our nation to be the Awkward one). what the difference is, i have no idea. Must be because its means national instaed of scottish.
that particular course is around 6k and average completion time is 18-20 months but as its flexi it could be shorter or longer depending on when you have time to do it.

i hope this has helped you out a bit and please post back if you find anymore info as it might help me understand it all a bit better also
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Hi Danny,

Thanks for your reply. The SVQ is basically the Scottish version of the NVQ. OLCI operate in Livingstone but from what I understand, don't offer you the chance to do the SVQ. There must be a college that does this distance learning somewhere in Scotland?

It would be good to stay in touch to see how you get on.

Alana Fox

Hi MacKenzie303,

Alana here from OLCI Construction Training.

I can see you have a few questions about qualifications in Scotland. I would be happy to discuss this further with you and any other questions that you may have.

Please give us a call on 0800 316 8100. Alternatively you can email me on [email protected] with a phone number and suitable time to call you back.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Alana Fox.

big danny

Hi Danny,

Thanks for your reply. The SVQ is basically the Scottish version of the NVQ. OLCI operate in Livingstone but from what I understand, don't offer you the chance to do the SVQ. There must be a college that does this distance learning somewhere in Scotland?

i really dont see the problem with having an nvq instead of a svq as you can still register with niceic etc any sparks who have served there time down south and moved here later in life would also have a nvq and im sure they would expect to operate as normal within the industry


You might be right, but I want a definitive answer. Surely someone without a financial interest can help?

Maybe I started this thread in the wrong topic??


Just me
Electrician's Arms
id advise phoning the SJIB,SELECT re qualifications ect as to obtain an electricians card, approved you must have done an approved apprenticeship from what I gather
SJIB,SELECT have different rules from JIB, NICEIC napit ect ect they seem to discourage 5wws
as for "Adult apprenticeships " the programme by the government seems only to cater for younger people of between 18 and 24 I think


Forum Mentor
It depends when you were made redundant, but the Scottish Government are offering a £2000 grant to any company that takes on a redundant apprentice as long as they were on a recognised scheme
As the adult trainee scheme (run by SECTT) is recognised this counts

If you stay in Glasgow there is also the Commonwealth Games fund available


would be interested in finding out how yous guys got on im looking to get into the electrical industry and was thinking of one of these short courses coupled with few years aprenticeship.


I am still in the same position. However I am about to work with an electrician, who is going to do my installs and also put me through an Adult apprenticeship. Im pretty sure STOW college do similar courses to OLCI and from what I found out, they were much cheaper.


Regular EF Member
I have been studying for a year now through OLCI on the 2357 course and I am currently gaining work experience with a local electrical contractor in my home town. I couldn't register with SJIB as I am doing the NVQ 3 and therefore SELECT wouldn't look at me neither. What I had to do was register with CSCS to complete my H&S test and then apply to CSCS for my CSCS card as an Labourer, this allows me to work on sites within the UK. I also had to complete an online Asbestos awareness course to make sure I had that in the bag as well. These tests and tickets cost £££££ so be aware it isn't cheap. My current status on the theory is about half way through at this point which isn't bad for someone who has never been involved directly with any electrical systems or experiences. The company i'm doing the practical work with are very good and do employ adult learners on the odd occasion which is promising for someone of my age. I have made my feelings known regarding OLCI so I won't be repeating them on this post. So far I am feeling positive about getting through the remainder of the theory by the end of this year and depending on the flow of work with my employer I might have a chance to see out to the end of the year. This would give me a good 9 months of practical skills I would never have gained otherwise through the OLCI training so i'm happy with this stage of things as well. Once I have completed all the theory units it will be just a case of my own confidence and competence to go for my trade test (AM2) which is encompassed within my qualification. After that I fully expect to apply to NICEIC to register my pass and see where I am at that point. This course was expensive for me along with the tickets, tests, tools etc....it's all a huge cost to maintain, however, the end results will justify the financial output within the first year and that quantifies my own judgement that I am doing the right thing. I do believe that once I have completed everything and have my NICEIC membership, i will have a fight on my hands to attain membership with either JIB or SJIB but it makes no difference because currently the only recognised body is NICEIC and because it's nationwide i will be fine.


Electrician's Arms
Hi once you have completed you NVQ you will be able to apply for JIB Gold Card with Installation Electrician on it and on the back will show other quals Like 2382-12, 2391-10 or 2392, 94, 95, 96
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