‘Electrician Plus’ concept launched to highlight pivotal role in low-carbon tech installation

solar installer

The new concept ‘Electrician Plus’ has been launched by The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) to highlight how the role of a qualified electrician is central to the installation of low carbon and renewable technologies.

Adequate understanding of electrical scientific theory and principles and demonstrable occupational competence are critical for the safe installation of technologies such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, battery storage systems and electric vehicle charging points (EVCP). The core competence of a qualified electrician is the foundation from which to upskill and train in these areas.

The Electrician Plus model attempts to bring some attention to the fact that, once someone reaches qualified electrician status, all that is needed is top-up CPD and qualifications in specific new technologies, to enable safe, compliant and competent installations.

Awarding bodies such as City & Guilds, EAL and BPEC have been leading the way in this area with their updated EVCP and solar qualifications, designed so that only electricians who meet the industry Level 3 standard can enrol on these courses, helping safeguard against non-qualified and under-qualified personnel undertaking renewable installations and the potential safety and fire risk this poses.

The new Electrician Plus logo will be used to endorse relevant qualifications to show they are industry approved in terms of content and assessment, providing robust upskilling for qualified electricians who have a solid foundation of electrical skills and knowledge.

“The boom of low carbon technologies has led to some misinformed claims that a whole new set of narrow occupations are needed around low carbon technology installation – this is simply not the case,” said Ruth Devine, Chair of TESP. “A significant proportion of activity is firmly within the skills remit of qualified members of the existing workforce; electricians are leading the way in this area.”

“The Electrician Plus model highlights that, once armed with core electrical competence, CPD and additional qualifications can be undertaken in a variety of low carbon technologies, helping electricians and electrical contractors bring added value to their business and customers.

“Working with industry and awarding bodies we want to ensure that installations are carried out competently and are safe, high-quality and effective. Look out for the Electrician Plus badge to be sure the qualification is industry-recognised and approved.”