Skills Regulation, Legislation & Training An ECN Supplement
Hager Academy Goes Online
NIGLON The time to act is now
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ello and welcome to the first ever ECN Skills Supplement. This supplement has been created to keep you informed with regards to regulations, legislation, and – perhaps most importantly – training. We know that training is essential to the industry. Whether this means training a new apprentice or teaching an experienced electrician new skills, everyone in the industry needs to be correctly trained and aware of the relevant regulations and legislation to ensure the job is done safely and properly. Recent research from online learning portal, Access Training UK, has revealed a 29% increase in applicants to its trade courses in 2020, including a noticeable 14% increase in female applicants. This increase could not come at a better time, as construction activity levels have experienced a seven year high, whilst demand for home improvements have soared significantly, as homeowners look to renovate and re-design homes to adapt to a new way of living. The company has also said that training to be an electrician has been the most popular avenue over the last year, with a 38% increase in trainees. And now that face-to-face training can resume once more, hopefully this will increase further. So please read on for the latest from Hager, IET, Niglon, Ideal Industries, NICEIC, NAPIT, Aico, CEDIA and ECA. Our next supplement will be published alongside the November issue and will focus on Lighting. To get involved or for more information, please contact Kelly Byne at firstname.lastname@example.org
The editor and publishers do not necessarily agree with the views expressed by contributors nor do they accept responsibility for any errors in the transmission of the subject matter in this publication. In all matters the editor’s decision is final. Editorial contributions to ECN are welcomed, and the editor reserves the right to alter or abridge text prior to the publication. Published monthly by All Things Media Ltd., Suite 14, 6-8 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Kent ME5 8UD. Tel: 01634 673163 Fax: 01634 673173 Overseas Subscription Rates: Europe £60.00; Rest of World £70.00 Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved. Printed by Micropress, Reydon Business Park Fountain Way, Reydon, Southwold, IP18 6SZ.
your knowledge and NAPIT expo roadshow 4 Develop 15 returns skills with the help of the for 2021 IET Academy’s dedicated e-learning platform! The Hager Academy 5 goes online
innovative drive 16 toAico’s support training and education within the sector
When it comes to electrical knowledge, most of us would agree that safety is the top priority
Industries is working 12 Ideal with a Cheshire college to help train the next generation of electricians
CEDIA explains the route 20 that electrical contractors need to take to benefit from the uptick in demand for home technology The ECA explains The 22 Electrotechnical Skills Partnership’s new ‘Mentor Me’ initiative
– continually raising 14 NICEIC standards crucial to safetycritical professions
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DEVELOP YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS WITH THE HELP OF THE IET ACADEMY’S DEDICATED E-LEARNING PLATFORM! The IET Academy provides comprehensive training across a variety of technical engineering and professional development topics, through fully online courses that can be accessed at anytime and anywhere.
he unique e-learning platform is the only mobile training resource of its kind where engineers can access trusted, expert-led courses covering a range of topics in both technical and professional subjects. Tailored for engineers at all levels, from apprentice right up to experienced senior engineer, learners gain an in-depth understanding of their specialist subject, enabling them to demonstrate the most up-to-date knowledge and skills required for their role.
Why choose e-learning with the IET Academy? Training to fit your schedule – fit course modules around your day with flexible access to course content when it suits you best, via your desktop or the handy mobile app. Learn effectively – with rich multimedia and interactive content designed to work for a range of different learning styles, you can be assured that the training will meet your needs. Gain confidence in your expertise – with proven understanding of the course content, through mini tests throughout courses and a final assessment to ensure you have fully embedded your learning.
Save time and travel costs – you are not tied to a specific time and don’t face commuting challenges, as e-learning can be undertaken from home, the office, or anywhere you choose! Personalise your training to meet your needs and save money – with each course unit available separately, you can pick and choose units that will benefit you the most, if a full course isn’t relevant. Mix units and full courses as you go to make the most of your training. Control the pace of your learning – as courses are not tutor-led, you control the pace at which you move through the units. IET, theiet.org/academy-e-learning
Learn how new technologies are helping to shape the 21st-century Smart Grid Our IET Academy e-learning is specifically designed to help new entrants into the Smart Grids market, enabling you to identify the key players and understand the role they play. This course will help you get to grips with how to approach and address the risks and security implications of Smart Grids by developing your knowledge on both the national and international best practice.
Why learn with the Academy? – Quality learning from industry experts. – Learn at your own pace, anywhere and anytime.
Find out more at: theiet.org/smartgrids-course
Interested in Net Zero topics from the IET Academy. See our range of courses at: theiet.org/netzero-courses
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No. 211014) and Scotland (No. SC038698). The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Michael Faraday House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2AY, United Kingdom.
THE HAGER ACADEMY GOES ONLINE Since the launch of Hager Academy over two years ago, the popular addition to Hager’s site in Telford, Shropshire has been welcomed across the trade. Offering face-to-face training, the learning centre has welcomed over 550 electrical contractors who have enhanced their skills and knowledge across a range of subjects, including the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations.
he interactive learning environment, which provides courses for both domestic and commercial installers, means attendees can immerse themselves in several technical subject areas. The training sessions are led by Hager’s highly experienced technical team, dedicated in supporting electrical professionals to maintain high standards, and gain a better understanding of requirements and regulations. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to adapt and be flexible has never been more important. To accommodate the ‘new normal’ and remain a strong and supportive resource for the electrical industry, Hager has introduced a series of interactive online training courses. Designed by the Hager Academy team of technical experts, the online learning platform acts as an extension of the high-quality courses provided at the Hager Academy. Ideal for those with full schedules, the online courses offer those in the electrical industry a convenient way to further their education at their own pace. Jade Shaw, Marketing Communication Executive at Hager, provides more detail on what to expect from the online courses.
What types of courses are available online?
The digital learning platform, Hager Academy Online, offers a catalogue of interactive courses varying by their category. By exploring the ‘Product Training’ category, learners can undertake technical courses that focus on regulations and requirements for specific topics. The Surge Protection and Arc Fault Detection courses each reference the British Standard Wiring Regulations and explore the purpose of these products from a technical perspective. Courses available in ‘Solution Training’ inspect hot topics within the electrical industry. The course on Electrical Vehicle Charging Requirements gives learners the knowledge of electrical supply requirements in line with BS 7671 and Hager’s protection solutions. Whilst technical training is important, the online platform also has a category devoted to Hager Products - ‘At A Glance’. These are ideal for electrical professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge about Hager’s products, or for those who are new to Hager’s extensive range of solutions.
How much time do the courses take to complete? “The Arc Fault detection training was very useful and helped us fully understand the importance of this. I distributed the training across all our work force” Bill Goodwin, Goodwin Electrical
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course, a certificate will be sent out in the post. These certificates can then support electricians in their learning and development for their governing bodies. Once completed, the product training and solution training courses and all the modules remain fully re-accessible and additional materials are made available for those who ever need a refresher on the training.
Can I keep track of my learning?
The technical focused courses can take on average 30- 60 minutes to complete. These courses are broken down into sections so it is easy for people to take a break and resume at their own convenience. There is no deadline set to complete the courses, they are flexible around an individual’s schedule. The ‘At A Glance’ courses take on average 10 minutes to complete.
Yes. Once a learner has registered, they are able to view which courses they have enrolled on, completed or their progress on courses they are yet to complete. They will receive notifications when courses have either been updated or when additional courses have been added.
Is a certificate of completion offered at the end of the courses?
Hager’s course catalogue is ever expanding, with new courses being added every couple of months. The catalogue also includes more categories to topics within the industry.
All Product Training courses offer a certificate on completion. Once learners have completed the interactive modules and received a passing grade in each
Will there be future courses available?
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Brought you by the experts behind Hager Academy, Hager Academy online is an interactive learning solution, helping you to continue learning on the go - anytime, anywhere while receiving a Hager certificate on completion. Visit: learn.hager.com
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THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW When it comes to electrical knowledge, most of us would agree that safety is the top priority – it’s all about knowing which are the safest products to use and why, and which comply with current regulations.
It is important for Niglon to know that its products have been properly tested
et every day there are unsafe products being installed in homes, businesses and other sites across the UK – all because the all-important question is often overlooked: “Has this product been independently and thoroughly tested?” It’s understandable why contractors may assume each of the choices they have when they select a component for an installation has been properly tested. But sadly, the team at Niglon is finding this is often not the case – and the instances of untested (or poorly tested) products being circulated on the market is rising, in the company’s experience. That’s why Commercial Director, Paul Dawson, has been on a mission over the past year to raise awareness across the industry, and use every opportunity possible to shout about how important conversations around certification are. He explains: “I started my career as an apprentice electrician more than 30 years ago so I know how dedicated contractors are to ensuring their knowledge and skills are up-to-date so that they can keep all of their customers as safe as possible. “But over time I’ve seen a worrying number of untested products on the market – and I believe that’s because we are all collectively failing to have the conversations we should be having around certification.
“In an ideal world, every time a wholesaler purchased a product from a supplier, they would ask for proof of third-party certification. Every time a contractor purchased from a wholesaler, they would do the same. And we would also educate the end-user about this process too. “That would mean there were checks at every stage of the supply chain and would, in theory, totally minimise the risk of an untested product making it into a home or business.”
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Transparency For the team at Niglon, it’s important not only that they know their products have been properly tested – but that they can demonstrate this openly to the entire industry. That’s why certification details are displayed on the company’s website and brochure, and why the company has proof of certification ready to show any customer who asks.
And Niglon believes this should be industry standard rather than gold standard. Because it’s only by having these open conversations that the products which haven’t been thoroughly tested can be highlighted and eventually removed from the market.
Customer confidence Not only is it a question of doing what is ethically correct, a focus across the electrical industry on certification would help bolster customer confidence. Most end-users probably assume that anything installed in their home, business or other property is safe, and would be horrified to learn of the number of untested or poorly tested products on the market. By firstly educating them about different standards of testing and the need for proof of certification, and then as a contractor being able to demonstrate you have done your due diligence when making choices about which products to use, customers know they can trust you to do the right thing. Generating trust is a fantastic way to guarantee repeat custom and positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, so it’s definitely something not to be overlooked – even without considering that using properly tested products is simply the right thing to do!
Everyone in the industry is faced with choices when it comes to products, and there are various factors such as quality, aesthetics and price to be considered. The Niglon team has been practising what they preach by placing testing at the top of that consideration list. When surge protection devices were introduced into the 18th Edition wiring regulations, the company was faced with a choice of sourcing an untested low-cost surge protection device, or partnering with a European manufacturer that had more than seven decades of experience. Niglon stocks the latter simply because the products are certified, especially important in this case because of the limited ability installers have to test a surge protection device once it’s installed. It might cost a little more to stock these products, but how can you put a price on the safety of end-users where these devices will be installed?
Paul adds: “The consequences are terrible should an electrical product fail. At the most minor end of the scale, there’s the time, cost and inconvenience of replacing a faulty component. But it can get much worse than that, as we saw during the Grenfell Tower fire which tragically claimed the life of 72 people. While there were other factors which exacerbated the disaster, experts have traced the cause of the fire back to electrical equipment failing. “Nobody wants another tragedy like Grenfell, and yet four years on I’m seeing a continued rise in the number of untested products on the market. That’s why the time to act is now – we shouldn’t be waiting until a disaster, or even a near miss, to start having these conversations about certification. “Sadly, it’s simply not safe to assume that a manufacturer has done all of the necessary checks and tested the product to a high standard. So, the onus is on all of us within the industry to do our bit to prevent untested components making it into a home, business or other building where it has the potential to do harm. “It’s not something which can, or should, be left to chance – especially when there is something we can do collectively to minimise the risk. Knowing they could have intervened and didn’t isn’t something anyone wants on their conscience, and that’s why I am calling on the industry to act now before there is a disaster.
Making the choice
“Let’s put aside any competition between businesses and focus on collectively minimising the risk, working together to ensure third-party testing and producing proof of certification become a matter of course.”
A focus across the electrical industry on certification would help bolster customer confidence
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KNOWLEDGE SHARING BRINGS COMMERCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS Ideal Industries is working with a Cheshire college to help train the next generation of electricians.
Ideal Industries has supplied the college with equipment
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or a long time, the electrical sector has been calling for trainees who are ‘site ready’ and highlighting the need to align education to the needs of employers. Meanwhile, further education providers have been keen to work with employers to understand their requirements and generate learning and work experience opportunities for their students. Ideal Industries, the global specialist in electrical tools and accessories, has partnered with Warrington & Vale Royal College in Cheshire to put these principles into action, and both sides can already see the benefits and how they will multiply over time. Warrington & Vale Royal College offers a wide range of courses for school leavers, apprentices and adults, including training and re-training as electricians. Dave Love is the Curriculum and Apprenticeship Manager for Electrical Installation and, having worked on site as an electrician himself, he was keen to work with electrical supply chain companies. “When Ideal Industries first approached us there was no specific plan,” Dave explains. “They are based locally to us and wanted to see how we could work together. We gave them a tour and talked through how we can help each other, and the relationship has snowballed from there.”
One of the challenges facing the further education sector is lack of funding, which sometimes means that students don’t have access to innovative new tools and equipment, making it harder for colleges to train them in the variety of installation methods they might be expected to use on site. “It’s in the nature of training that things will get broken,” Dave continues, “that’s how we learn. But on limited college budgets it can mean that older, cheaper products are used, rather than broadening training to newer innovations. In the electrical sector, where there are regular developments both in products and regulation, working with manufacturers is an important way of keeping up to date and giving our students the skills they will need on site.”
Products in practice Ideal Industries has supplied the college with the company’s In-Sure Push-In and Lever Wire Connectors, enabling students to learn a faster and easier method for terminations, alongside the use of terminal strips. Dave continues: “It’s important that we continue to teach students how to use terminal strips, but having Ideal’s In-Sure Connectors means that they have experience of newer techniques they may need on site. “It means that they’re not just confident in using wire connectors but also confident about trying alternatives and using different tools and techniques, which makes them much more adaptable and workplace ready.” Ideal Industries has also provided Safe Isolation kits to the College to support safety training for testing, locking out and tagging isolations. “Safety is another important aspect of our students’ training,” Dave adds, “and our aim is to ensure that they’re familiar with the equipment they will need to use to stay safe on site, so that safety becomes second nature.”
Further education providers are keen to work with employers to understand their requirements and generate opportunities for their students
Reciprocal benefits The benefits of the knowledge sharing partnership are just as clear for Ideal Industries. Explains Brett Smyth, general manager of Ideal Industries EMEA: “Our products have been developed to help make electrical installations faster, more cost effective, more compliant and more consistent, so we see working with the next generation of electricians as an important way of driving best practice in the sector. “We also get a lot out of the relationship. Engagement with the students feeds into our product development process and we have access to all the technical know-how and latest industry learning and standards from the college’s teaching team.” Moving forward, both Ideal and the college want to build on these foundations. Talks to the students from the Ideal team are planned for the next academic year, along with work placement opportunities. Dave adds: “The value is not just in the electrical products and expertise that Ideal can offer, but also in the company’s commercial experience and workplace environment. Many of our students will be self-employed or work with small companies, so our partnership with Ideal Industries will help them understand about business as well as providing materials, knowledge and adaptability for their role on site.” Ideal Industries, idealind.com
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CONTINUALLY RAISING STANDARDS CRUCIAL TO SAFETY-CRITICAL PROFESSIONS Launched in January 2020, the most recent update to the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) has led to changes in the way all certification and registration bodies assess competence across all electrical schemes. Keenly positioned to provide insight on how this significant update will change our industry we sat down with NICEIC’s Technical Services Manager, Paul Collins, to learn more. Paul, can you start by outlining what the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification is? The Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) is the document that sets out the criteria contractors/businesses must be assessed on in order to be registered with a certification or registration body. In other words, it is the industry agreed standard that certification bodies (CBs), such as NICEIC and ELECSA, must adhere to when designing and conducting assessments. It also sets the standard for enrolment criteria. So, to be clear, EAS applies to all certification and registration bodies not just NICEIC and ELECSA? Correct. EAS is the industry agreed standard which all electrotechnical certification and registration bodies that offer electrical schemes follow. Ok, so moving on to the recent update, which has been described as the most significant update for many years, can you outline the key changes and discuss the implications for contractors? I will split my answer to this question into two if I may:
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should be held for a minimum of six years. • Recorded evidence demonstrating that all employed persons are competent and/or adequately supervised to undertake electrical work – this will include sub-contractors as well. • R ecords of relevant qualifications, ongoing training including Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and experience levels of all employed persons. Also, if a registered contractor undertakes EICR’s as part of their scheme registration, they must have professional indemnity insurance cover in place for no less than £250k. New applicants – applying to become registered with a certification/registration body Moving on to part two and new applicants, as of 1 September, applicant qualified supervisors (QS’s) who haven’t been a registered QS within the last two years will need to meet the new requirements. The most notable change here relates to the list of acceptable education. From September onwards, auditable evidence routes, short courses and certificates of competence will no longer be acceptable by EAS, and as such, will not be recognised by CB’s such as NICEIC and ELECSA. This is a significant change that will effectively end the ‘short course’ route for proposed QS’s wanting to be registered with a certification/registration body.
Contractors already registered with a certification/registration body Starting with how the update impacts those already registered with a certification/registration body such as the NICEIC and ELECSA. Under the new requirements, a greater focus will be applied to record-keeping, with additional checks being made during assessment visits. A summary of some of the information needed is shown below:
That is a significant change, one which I am sure many will welcome. Is there a new list which details the qualifying forms of education?
• Records of all electrical work carried out together with the specifications, drawings, certificates, reports, and other relevant documents relating to that work. These
A full list of suitable ‘craft’ qualifications can be found on the IET website. It is also available via the NICEIC EAS Qualification Guide which can be found at www.niceic.com/eas.
Going back to those contractors who are already registered, are the NICEIC and ELECSA offering any support and where can contractors go for more information? Our dedicated webpage, www.niceic. com/eas provides a wealth of helpful information and tools. Here you will find an overview of the changes alongside more detailed guidance, suggested templates for recording evidence, and bite-sized podcasts on the topic. We will also be hosting a dedicated webinar on the subject – more information on this will be shared in the coming weeks and months. Looking specifically at CPD, NICEIC and ELECSA customers already have access to a range of free and exclusive forms of CPD. Examples include, but are not limited to, the in-depth technical articles seen in Connections Magazine and our popular technical webinar series, the WIRE. In addition, we also offer a vast range of formal training which is open to the entire industry. Delivering a solution to suit all, we offer face-to-face, virtual, blended and bespoke options across a full spectrum of courses. For more information, please visit www.niceic.com/training. With regards to insurance, NICEIC insurance services also offers cover to meet all needs and can provide cover for those undertaking EICR’s. For more details, please visit www.niceic-andelecsa-insurance.com. Ok, thanks for that, Paul – before we end, do you have any final words for the readers? Yes, while we appreciate this update may require some adjustment, it is important to remember in safety-critical professions such as ours, continually raising standards is crucial. Please embrace the change and use it as an opportunity to focus on continually updating your knowledge and skills. NICEIC, niceic.com
NAPIT EXPO ROADSHOW RETURNS FOR 2021 In anticipation of events set to take place again later this year, NAPIT has officially released the rescheduled dates and locations for the NAPIT EXPO Technical Roadshow for 2021/22.
he Roadshow is a networking and CPD event for like-minded people in the industry, open to both members and non-members, free of charge. On the day of the events, support will be available including on-site technical, training and membership advice. View the schedule of dates and locations below:
Preston Durham Hull Coventry Bracknell Swansea Dartford Norwich Milton Keynes Chesterfield Cornwall Exeter Romford Brighton
1 September 2021 2 September 2021 5 October 2021 6 October 2021 27 October 2021 28 October 2021 10 November 2021 11 November 2021 1 December 2021 2 December 2021 9 February 2022 10 February 2022 9 March 2022 10 March 2022
Supporting partners NAPIT Trade Association, NAPIT Insurance, Megger, EPSON, Hager, Scolmore, Surge Protection Devices, GARO, CHINT, AICO, DEHN, eSales Hub, BASEC and TradePoint will be joining each event and on the day visitors can browse the latest products and services, receive live demos and take away free gifts.
Event Timetable 08:00
EV Charging Masterclass
BS 5839 Part 6 Fire detection and fire alarm systems
BS 7671 Amendment 2 PDC proposed changes
Mike Andrews, NAPIT’s Group Chief Executive comments: “We are looking forward to re-opening the doors to our NAPIT EXPO Technical Roadshow and meeting our members face-to-face again this autumn, following the go ahead from the Government and providing it is safe to do so. It has been a tough year, so getting out to network with like-minded industry professionals will be a welcomed change. Visitors at our events can expect on-site technical, training and membership advice as well as exclusive technical CPD masterclasses hosted by our experts. It won’t be one to miss!” As always, the Technical Roadshows are FREE to attend for both NAPIT members and non-members. All visitors will receive a digital CPD certificate of attendance. The new seminar schedule will be announced soon. Book your free ticket at napitexpo.co.uk/events.
All relevant COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be adhered to, making both the exhibitor and visitor experiences as safe as possible. Should restrictions change nearer the time, NAPIT will continue to keep visitors informed of any date amendments. NAPIT, napit.org.uk
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AICO’S INNOVATIVE DRIVE TO SUPPORT TRAINING AND EDUCATION WITHIN THE SECTOR At the heart of Aico is education, quality, service and innovation, with the company’s mission statement promising to promote best practice and delivering safer homes. This ethos is demonstrated in the free Expert Installer training it offers, available all over the UK.
ico initially launched its training scheme in 2009, formerly known as Aico Fire Products Trained Installer (AFPTIS), to encourage best practice in the siting and installation of the company’s life-saving devices - effective protection relies on having the best alarms correctly installed. The free of charge AFPTIS training scheme was delivered by knowledgeable Regional Specification Managers at venues across the whole of the UK.
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The training scheme was rebranded in 2015 as Expert Installer. This relaunch completely overhauled the way in which the training was structured and delivered; the training was broken down into modules to be tailored to specific needs and requirements, making the training more flexible and focused, and facilitating the enhancing of knowledge and progression of a professional throughout the course of his/her career. To ensure content remains fresh, relevant and is delivered in a way that is engaging,
Expert Installer is regularly reviewed and re-formatted by focus groups from across Aico, including the Technical Team and the Regional Specification Managers who deliver the training on a regular basis. To date, Aico’s Expert Installer training scheme has trained over 30,000 industry professionals in domestic fire alarm specification and installation and is FIA approved, with many of the modules CPD accredited, enabling installers to earn CPD time. The core module must be completed if certification is to be granted - this
module is CPD certified and provides an overview of domestic smoke and carbon monoxide alarms within the UK, covering standards, regulations and legislation, BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020, alarm system design, sensor types and installation. Aico also offers a CPD certified module dedicated specifically to the 2019 updates to BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020, designed for those with an underlying knowledge of the British Standard. The new Scottish legislation is covered in a module that focuses on the basis of the legislation, achieving the requirements and how this impacts landlords and homeowners. Interconnecting smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is covered in another module, discussing the benefits and considerations of interconnection within a property, while there is a module dedicated to Aico’s new, innovative SmartLINK technology and Gateway solution, detailing requirements, installation and information on how live notifications and reporting present huge benefits to managing housing stock. The modular structure allows the training to be adapted to be applicable to all, including students, local authorities and housing associations, therefore promoting best practice within the electrical sector across the board. The training can also be expanded with additional modules when required, for example, with the 2019 revision to BS 5839-6 or the release of new products or technologies, to expand knowledge and facilitate learning and development in an ever-advancing industry. All trained Expert Installers are listed on Aico’s website, allowing customers to search and find local professionals that have up-to-date knowledge about standards, regulations, and the latest Aico products and technologies.
Aico has four Mobile Training and Demonstration Units that cover the length and breadth of the country
Expert Installers can network with fellow professionals, particpate in discussions and expand their knowledge
In 2017, Aico acquired the first of its Mobile Training and Demonstration Units, a bespoke, state-of-the-art vehicle enabling the training of more professionals than ever before. Aico has since expanded its fleet and currently has four Mobile Training and Demonstration Units that cover the length and breadth of the country, delivering Expert Installer training wherever its customers need it. After having the breaks on for the past 16 months, the Mobile Training and Demonstration Units are now back out on the road. Aico has recently announced the launch of the Aico Installer Community, a connected online community built to support Expert Installers. After delivering training and education to its customers for over 10 years, and during this time improving the delivery to meet the evolving needs of customers, Aico has created a means of self-directed learning, as well as a way of giving back to loyal customers – the Aico Installer Community. Feedback from Expert Installer training sessions demonstrated the demand for online training modules, a rewards scheme and technical forums. As one of Aico’s core values is to educate through sharing knowledge and promoting best practice, the Aico Installer Community aligns to these values and vision for supporting customers. The Aico Installer Community aims to deliver training, encourage members to share knowledge and facilitate best practice to deliver safer communities.
The Aico Installer Community is a connected, online community for electrical contractors to discover opportunities, interact and engage with one another to share knowledge, and earn rewards. Expert Installers can network with fellow professionals, participate in discussions and expand their knowledge. Members can access the knowledge base within the community, view FAQs, how-to videos and new technical bulletins. Challenges facilitate learning and development and enable members to accumulate points to redeem rewards and be entered into monthly prize draws. Through engaging and learning, Expert Installers earn points which they can exchange for rewards. Regular challenges are created within the hub; a mixture of fun tasks and helpful training that carry varying numbers of points. An interactive leader board encourages competition, with installers that have the most points earning badges and bigger rewards. The rewards programme was designed around Aico’s customers and includes items from Greggs, branded practical Aico merchandise such as tape measures, as well as overnight stays and tickets to watch the British Superbikes. Members can start their own discussions in the hub, asking questions and sharing knowledge with fellow installers, as well as sending private messages, to help build a sense of community and share best practice. Aico, aico.co.uk/community
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Become an Aico Expert Installer
Register today at www.aico.co.uk/becomean-expert-installer
Aico’s award winning Expert Installer training is a FREE scheme designed to provide Installers with all the information they need to select and install Fire and Carbon Monoxide alarm systems. Modules include: Core Module - 60 minutes CPD Siting Sensor Types Installation
Testing and Maintenance Integration Standards and Regulations Gateway and Portal
All members of the Expert Installer training will be invited to join the brand new
This is an online, connected community built to support Expert Installers. Discover opportunities, interact, engage and share your knowledge to earn rewards. With monthly prize draws, you could win up to £500 and the chance to see the British Superbikes!
CONNECT with fellow professionals LEARN new skills to earn points and receive prizes REWARD for the first 1,000 to join
www.aico.co.uk | 01691 664100 | firstname.lastname@example.org Untitled-2 2
The European Leader in Home Life Safety Aico, an Ei Company, are leading the way in home life safety by pioneering new technologies and offering high quality alarms, developed and manufactured in Ireland. All alarms meet UK standards and offer a variety of sensor types to guarantee protection for every home, the cornerstone of which is delivering Education, Quality, Service and Innovation. Corporate Social Responsibility is a key focus for Aico; launching the ‘Aico in the Community’ initiative to help schools, colleges, charities and community organisations achieve their goals to help create safer communities and build sustainable futures. Aico does this through the core areas of Education, Business Enterprise, Volunteering, Charity and Environmental Impact.
www.aico.co.uk | 01691 664100 | email@example.com Untitled-2 3
THE FUTURE IS SMART The development of connected technology is exciting, and incredibly fast-paced. Matt Nimmons, Managing Director of CEDIA EMEA, explains the route that electrical contractors need to take to benefit from the uptick in demand for home technology.
he last 18 months has seen people spend much more time at home and this has resulted in greater investment in home renovation and improvements, which has been great news for those who can complete professional smart home installs. Almost every household today includes some sort of smart connectivity device as more and more homeowners become aware of the benefits smart technology can offer. We’ve seen a real acceleration in the trend for technologies to facilitate working from home, or as some are calling it, living at work. Many CEDIA members have worked for clients on delivering robust and secure Wi-Fi connected spaces that can serve as the home office, complete with the high quality audio and video performance to match. If dedicated rooms are not available, our members have been adding home office functionality to existing media rooms which are, by definition, multi-functional spaces and can be re-purposed for gaming or family viewing at other times. Unsurprisingly, dedicated cinema rooms have been big business during the pandemic and the design and installation work for these spaces are showing no signs of slowing down. We’ve also seen an increase in high quality audio systems for dedicated listening rooms, a growth in outdoor entertainment systems, helping people to be sociable with others as well as relax in a safe space, and a rise in home security, with smart cameras, doorbells, and security systems all proving popular. With the demand for technology so high, it is no surprise that electrical contractors are looking to expand their businesses into the smart home world. But to be able to do so, electricians need to ensure they are fully trained and certified. The good news is that CEDIA is here to help.
Next available sessions: Date
20th September 2021
4th October 2021
St Neots and Online
20 | August 2021
The power of education With new technology, unfamiliar terminology and specialist integration skills, it can be overwhelming to enter the industry without the necessary training. CEDIA is the leading industry association to help electrical contractors make the transition into the home technology industry, with a number of training courses, events, and resources to help you gain awareness of the market and progress your career. CEDIA’s carefully curated training courses are perfect for electrical contractors who want to extend their smart home knowledge. CEDIA’s Cabling & Infrastructure Technician (CIT) pathway is a perfect introduction to the smart home installation world. It will provide the knowledge and skills that every technician should possess to work safely and effectively on a job site during the first years of their career and is a perfect introduction for electrical retailers who are seeking to add smart home to the services they provide. The training for this pathway is a blend of in-person practical education and online remote learning and is supported by a dedicated publication, the Cabling & Infrastructure Technician book. The hybrid course covers the basics of electricity, jobsite safety, project documentation, tools, cable, and cable properties, as well as the pre-wire and first fix phases of projects. Students learn how to safely and effectively follow direction to install, terminate and verify cabling in both new construction and retrofit environments. Featuring five self-paced modules, the online portion of this course’s content provides the foundational knowledge required to begin working as a technician, installing cabling and infrastructure to support integrated communications and entertainment systems in the home. The in-person sessions expand upon the vast technical knowledge from the CEDIA Academy. This three-day course involves hands-on activities that are designed to give you a feel for those on-the-job tasks. The final portion of the CIT hybrid school is completion of the CEDIA Cabling and Infrastructure Technician certification exam. Tom Winters of Smart Spark Solutions recently completed the hybrid course in the UK and found the course invaluable in progressing his career.
“The online units were a great way of familiarising myself with the basics before attending the face-to-face classes. As you’d expect, I learnt more from the in-person training, but having the online units to complete first gave me a great foundation of understanding, which allowed me to feel ready for the classes. “Geoff Meads was incredibly knowledgeable on all topics covered in the course and was an enthusiastic trainer who brought a ton of energy to each day, making it a fun experience. Geoff managed the different levels of knowledge of each attendee really well. I was probably the least experienced on the course and appreciated that he still went over every topic in detail so that I gained the understanding that I required. “In terms of attending a face-to-face session in the midst of the COVID pandemic, I felt that the social distancing and safety methods that CEDIA put in place were very well managed. “Overall, the hybrid course has helped me elevate my knowledge and skills to a more professional level. I would encourage those who are not sure if it is for them to attend as it is well worth doing, particularly if you are looking to step up your expertise within the AV and home technology industry. I really enjoyed the course so much that I have now registered for the Integrated Systems Technician (IST) School to make the next step following on from my completion of the CIT course and exam.” By becoming CEDIA certified, electrical contractors can ensure that their credibility is validated, reflecting expertise and defined areas of knowledge and allowing them to demonstrate that they have the required field experience. CEDIA, cedia.net/education-events/ education/cit-school
certification NOW MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER We’ve updated the programme, so now your CEDIA Certification means that you’re absolutely at the top of your field in the integration industry. It’s a mark that tells the world you’re the best at what you do. Learn more about the new CIT (Cabling and Infrastructure Technician) and IST (Integrated Systems Technician) certifications at cedia.net/certification.
CALLING ALL INDUSTRY MENTORS! Carolyn Mason, ECA Head of Education and Training, explains TESP’s new ‘Mentor Me’ initiative.
hat has been the most useful careers advice you’ve ever received? Was it during your school years, at college, or from someone already working in the industry? Whilst careers advisers will do their best with the resources they have, it cannot replace the wisdom of someone who has worked in a particular industry and can give a personal account of their experiences. Now more than ever we must support the next generation and give sound advice to those who need it. Over the last 18 months, young people at career crossroads in their lives have had to make important decisions without the support, guidance and resources they may have received previously. That’s why The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) is asking people from all corners of the electrotechnical industry to donate just 45 minutes of their time to mentor a young person under The Youth Group’s ‘Mentor Me’ initiative. To date, over 1.7 million young people have been supported by The Youth Group, providing them with mentoring, advice and careers guidance.
The fact that these are online mentoring sessions is an added benefit, as it removes the time and travel barriers normally associated with traditional careers events. You don’t have to currently be working as an electrician. Whether your active involvement in electrical contracting is current or historic, all those with experience can make a
valuable contribution. The minimum commitment is to support just one 45 minute online mentoring session with a young person. From a low carbon perspective, ECA is also pleased to hear that for each mentoring session carried out via The Youth Group, a tree will be planted in one of the National Parks across the UK as part of the ‘Net Zero with Nature’ programme. If you choose to continue as a mentor, you can speak to a variety of different job seekers and share your experiences and insights, or work with one individual and support them on their journey to develop and get a job. Why not look within your organisation to see who might volunteer – from owner to apprentice, electrician to designer – anyone with industry experience could make a real difference in supporting a young person. The ECA will also be encouraging its own staff to get involved. Now is the chance to build a network of electrotechnical mentors to inform and inspire young people and show them the opportunities this industry holds. For more information, please visit the-esp.org.uk/mentor-me. ECA, eca.co.uk
22 | August 2021
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