The ECS Scheme
This document is intended to help to answer some of the common questions that are asked about the ECS scheme.
It can be almost impossible to gain access to a construction site without proof of identification, your competence, and qualification levels. Holding an ECS card means you can prove your identity, your qualified status, and your occupation when working on-site.
ECS is affiliated to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), so when it is suggested that a CSCS card is required, the ECS card is the one that's relevant to the Electrotechnical Industry.
What ECS card do I need?
There is a range of ECS cards available. Deciding which card is right for you will depend on the type of work you do, how experienced you are and your qualifications and membership of professional bodies.
The ECS website provides further guidance to applicants as to the available card types. Please note that whilst you apply for a particular type of card, it is entirely at the discretion of ECS as to whether they approve the application or select an alternative card type based on their assessment of your application.
What do I need to apply for a Datacomms Specialist ECS card?
To be eligible for an ECS Datacomms Specialist ECS card, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Hold an Award in Communications Cabling
This award is gained by sitting the City & Guilds 3667-02 101 Basic Principles Course AND EITHER City & Guilds 3667-02 102/103 Fibre Optic Cabling Combined Internal & External course OR City & Guilds 3667-02 104 Copper Cabling in an Internal Environment Course.
- Hold an NVQ in Structured Cabling Systems
Applicants must then provide a letter of support and a job description form from their employer – if you are
self-employed, a letter from yourself covering this information should suffice.
Hold a current (up-to-date) Health & Safety Certificate or recognised H&S qualification. (Please see below for more information on the H&S Assessment)
What evidence do I need to supply with the application?
A single, countersigned passport-sized photograph will need to be provided to accompany your application and this will be used to print the holder’s image onto the front of the ECS card. In addition, clear, legible photocopies of relevant certification relating to qualifications claimed, employer and industry references, and apprenticeship deeds, if applicable, will also be required to validate the application.
What is the Health & Safety Assessment and how do I sit it?
Applicants must pass a closed-book ECS Health and Safety Assessment. The test consists of 45 multiple-choice questions, which are randomly selected from a database of approximately 300. Candidates are allowed a maximum of 30 minutes to complete the assessment. The pass mark to achieve success in the assessment is approximately 85% (38 correct answers out of 45). A Health and Safety Assessment Revision Guide is available to help candidates prepare for their ECS Health and Safety Assessment.
On successful completion, the candidate will be provided with an ECS Health & Safety Certificate, which is valid for 2 years and enables the candidate to make an application for an ECS card. The assessment must be completed at an approved centre and cannot be completed at home or online. Examination centres are available across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the ECS website provides an assessment venue list that can be downloaded. To obtain details of the dates available at a chosen venue, contact is generally made by telephone - full contact details are available on the website.
To see which topics are covered in the assessment, please click HERE.
Does everyone have to undertake the assessment?
No. Applicants who already meet or exceed the required level of Health & Safety knowledge due to existing, approved qualifications held will be exempt from having to undertake the ECS Health & Safety Assessment. Such applicants will need to provide a copy of a current qualification certificate showing that they hold one of the approved exemptions.
There are exemptions, based on assessments previously undertaken and qualifications held, specified on the ECS website that may apply and all such queries should be directed to ECS.
Does the card have an expiry date?
The duration of validity for an ECS card depends on the type of card held and the rules of the scheme. Typically, an ECS Craft Card will be valid for a maximum of 3 years, ECS Trainee cards are valid for 24 months while Experienced Worker, Temporary, Conditional and Provisional cards remain valid for a maximum of 18 months.
Only if all the correct evidence has been supplied to ECS will they be able to review your application. A new card can take anywhere from 2-3 weeks to be sent out so bear this in mind when your renew date comes up. Please also remember that this time frame does not include time taken to sit the relevant courses.
Note: The information provided within this document is based upon current guidance provided by the ECS. It is subject to change at any time and therefore further guidance should be obtained where necessary to ensure that information remains current, up to date and is based on any relevant changes. It is anticipated that this document will be altered in due course to reflect any future changes. Whilst it is believed that the information contained in this document is accurate, it is advised that all users rely on their own knowledge and skills when referencing it. No responsibility is assumed for any loss or damage caused by error or omission in this work, and any and all such liability is disclaimed.