Where to find electrical courses for CPD?

Where to find electrical courses for CPD?

21 Feb 2022

CPD News Team

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Electricity not only plays a big part in our daily lives at home, but is extremely important for everything in our modern life. The huge variety of jobs that an electrician has to do means that there’s always an opportunity to learn, understand, and master new skills. This article provides a brief overview to being an electrician, including the most useful skills to have, and where to find electrical courses for CPD.

What is the role of an electrician?

The role of an electrician is to design, install, and repair electrical power systems, including communications, lighting, and control networks in all types of buildings and structures. Electricians can either work independently, or as part of an organisation or crew.

Although the exact role of an electrician will vary, some of the common responsibilities are:

  • Installing electrical systems such as power systems and lighting
  • Maintaining and checking electrical systems for efficiency and safety
  • Repairing and rewiring
  • Supervising other members of an electrical team

What skills does an electrician need?

Becoming an electrician is a specialised career and requires a broad range of formal qualifications, training and experience. Any good electrician will typically utilize a number of diverse skills and knowledge that may fall under several categories. We’ve outlined some of the key skills that make for a successful career.

Technical ability

Electricians perform numerous electrical work tasks, from installing and repairing wiring to maintaining electrical systems. Technical skills and knowledge ensure that any tasks carried out are done so effectively and safely. An understanding of the relevant regulations and electrical codes is essential, and an ability to learn, and retain new information. Technical skills can typically be acquired through training and apprenticeships, or by undertaking CPD electrical courses.

Problem-solving skills

The diagnosis and fixing of electrical issues is a large part of an electrician’s job. Electricians must be able to think logically, which often requires a solid understanding of math and critical thinking. Effective problem-solving involves diagnosing problems correctly and devising creative solutions to resolve these effectively and safely. In some cases, electricians must think outside the box to resolve electrical issues at a worksite, and be able to think quickly and adapt to meet the needs of their clients.

Business knowledge

Whether working as an independent contractor or employed by a company, electricians must understand the basics of business principles like time management and customer service. Electricians will need to build organisational skills that enable them to manage their work effectively and efficiently. Basic business capabilities help electrical professionals to build their client list, and create a reputation for reliability that sets them apart from others in the industry.

Communication abilities

Because electrical work is technical in nature, many people are surprised to learn that interpersonal communication skills are essential. Electricians must be able to understand what work needs to be done and communicate the various solutions, often to those who have no working knowledge of electrical systems. i.e. architects, contractors, managers, crews, etc. 

On the job, electricians will be expected to understand the importance of excellent customer service, manage interactions with businesses and organisations, and relay any unexpected roadblocks upon fixing them. 

How to become an electrician

How long does it take to become an electrician?

It is essential that anyone working in the electrical industry is adequately trained to do so. There are multiple routes to becoming an electrician, and this may take a few weeks to several years, depending on the route chosen, existing skill level, and any related commitments.

For those wanting to start a career in the electrical industry, it’s worth taking the time to become a fully qualified electrician. Electricians in the UK can either undertake an apprenticeship program, study a technical certificate or diploma, or complete a domestic installer course.

Electrician Apprenticeships are a great way to gain the knowledge and experience required to become qualified and has traditionally been the preferred method by the industry. This allows you to learn while on the job, and usually involves both practical training and study at a training centre or college. The Level 3 NVQ Diploma takes 2 years, after which you will have to complete a 12-month NVQ assessment that includes onsite evaluation and exams.

Another option is to pursue a Level 3 NVQ in electrotechnical systems or a Level 3 NVQ in electrotechnical qualification. The NVQ courses cover a variety of units, including safety practices, inspection and wiring installation. It can typically take 1-3 years to get the NVQ, but you have the advantage of being able to learn while you study.

If you are unsuccessful in getting an apprenticeship, you can instead undertake a technical certificate or Level 2 & 3 Diploma in electrical installation. It usually takes around 16 weeks to pursue the diploma, which includes assessments and an exam in a classroom and workshop setting.

After becoming a qualified electrician, there are a number of different routes within the industry that you can take, such as choosing to specialise in a field like machine repair or a particular industry, for example, agriculture or automotive. Any specialisation may require additional training and qualifications.

What do you learn on a CPD online electrical course?

Online electrical courses apply to anyone either looking to gain new skills or improve their existing knowledge within their electrical career. With the advancement in available industry training and development, there is an increasing variety of different learning opportunities to explore. This includes a broad range of courses available to suit everyone’s needs and skill level, from beginners, associate trades to experienced electricians.

Electrical CPD courses are a great way to gain preliminary knowledge in the growing field of electrical work. Online electrical courses will usually be self-paced, meaning you can study and learn when you have the time and it is convenient for you.

Common subjects might include the main types of electricity, UK accident and death statistics, and an overview of the main standards, guidance, workplace legislation, or even how to help someone who might have suffered an electric shock.

Within the Construction CPD Industry Hub, you can find a full scope of related CPD providers and courses, covering a whole range of subjects that have been formally CPD certified for your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Benefits of online electrical courses

Career benefits of CPD electrical courses

The main objective of electrical courses is to gain additional qualifications and experience, or to specialise in a particular area of the industry. The benefit of CPD electrical courses is that it can serve as a stepping stone, blending theory and practical skills, to help you on your way to becoming a fully qualified electrician.

Electrical training provide an opportunity to further learn, develop and practice the key skills required for a range of careers in the electrical industry. Electricians can develop and build their skill set either through formal training or personal development opportunities while working.

If you’re changing career rather than just starting out, you may have existing skills that can act as a starting point. For example, if you’re a gas installer, you may only have to take shorter CPD electrical courses that instruct you in things like isolation and wiring skills.

Be wary of any training that falsely claims to qualify you as an electrician within a few weeks or months. You can ensure that any training is of a high industry standard and meets the required benchmarks by ensuring it has been CPD certified or accredited by the relevant industry bodies.

The Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) is the UK trade body for electrotechnical and engineering services' design, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and monitoring across England and Wales.

How to get CPD accreditation for your electrical courses

Having your electrical courses and training CPD certified helps to support the professional development requirements of those working in the electrical industry, and provides peace of mind for learners that any electrical training has been independently checked to ensure that it is suitable.

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996, and is the largest and leading independent CPD accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. We offer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training courses, eLearning, workshops, and events across a wide range of subjects.

We hope this brief overview was helpful. If you are an electrical organisation and are thinking of applying CPD accreditation to your new or existing electrical training, please contact our team to discuss in more detail.

CPD News Team

For more information from CPD News Team, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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