What is an electricians ECS JIB Gold card?

What is an electricians ECS Gold card and do you need one?

The installation electricians ECS gold card is a site ID card awarded to electricians who have met specific criteria set out by the ECS. It shows the cardholders competence and allows electricians to work unsupervised on low voltage electrical installations (0-1000volts). 

If you are considering becoming an electrician or already training as an electrician, the JIB gold card is what you should be aiming to achieve.

The criteria for being awarded an Installation Electrician JIB Gold card are:

  • Applicants must have JIB approved electrical L3 NVQ qualification.
  • Current BS7671 wiring regulations exam certificate (also known as the 18th edition exam).
  • ECS health, safety and environment exam certificate.

If you don’t have either of the first two and apply for a card you will be awarded a different electrical grade ECS card. These cards are usually as follows:

  • ECS Electrical apprentice card – Issued to apprentices undertaking an electrical/electronic apprenticeship.
  • ECS Trainee electrician card is given to trainees undertaking a JIB approved  electrical training course. This is often awarded to adult trainees attending college part time.
  • ECS Electrical laborer card – issued to those working alongside and assisting electricians carrying out unskilled work.

In order to obtain any ECS card you have to pass the ECS health and safety and environment exam. This means the card can be used in place of a CSCS card on site. Most building/construction sites will insist on you holding either an ECS card or CSCS card. Electricians use the ECS card, most other trades use the CSCS. You will not be allowed on site without an ECS/CSCS card.

The ECS card and CSCS card are basically the same thing, the ECS is just electrically biased. The cards prove the holder has the appropriate training and qualifications to carry out their job on site.

If you are new to the industry and considering getting your ECS card then my advice is to get it done asap. It can take a little while for the card to process and you want to have it ready should a job offer come your way. In my first year at college I actually lost an electrical job offer as I didn’t have my site card, by the time I had it the offer had long gone.

ECS Electrical gold cards will have any eligible qualifications you have achieved printed on the back. If you have completed an apprenticeship this will also be printed on the back.

If you have held your installation electrician gold card for more than than two years, have completed the Initial Verification and Periodic Inspection & Testing course and are able to prove you have been working in a more supervisory electrical role on site, you are then able to apply for your grade changing. The next step from the installation electrician gold card is the approved electrician gold card. Electricians with the approved electricians grade are generally held in much higher regard by employers and usually commands more money so is a worth while step to take.

The next step on from the approved electrician gold card is the technician grade electrician card. In order to obtain this grade you must have held an approved card for at least 5 years, 3 of which must have been in a supervisory role. You also need to have obtained a level 4 electrical qualification.