New Testing and Inspection Qualifications Available

New testing and inspection qualifications are now available — but which one is right for you?

It was announced by City and Guilds that the existing Level 3 Certificate in the Certification of Electrical Installations (2391-10) course will close for registration by December 31st 2011. This was then extended to the 31st July 2012.

When one became two

Before the beginning of the year, two new courses were launched to replace the 2391:

  • 2394 — Level 3 Award in the Initial Verification and Certification of Electrical Installations (2394-01)
  • 2395 — Level 3 Award in the Periodic Inspection, Testing and Certification of Electrical Installations (2395-01)

The initial observation is that one course has been replaced by two. You may think that it’s going to take longer and cost more, but this is not the case.

It’s important to understand that the 2394 course actually covers an area that was not covered before — the initial verification of commercial/industrial installations. The scope of this course has introduced further study into the essential measures that need to be taken to installations during erection and on completion before they are put into service.

The 2392

If you are a practicing electrician/domestic installer and you haven’t picked up a tester before, or don’t know your way around one then the 2392 is the course for you. This Level 2 course will introduce you to the fundamental principles of inspection and testing, in other words the basics including how to do the tests.
The assessment consists of an online multiple choice exam and practical assessment simulating the commissioning of a domestic installation.

The 2394

Initial verification requires strict testing sequences be understood and followed with an understanding on supplier authorities expectations and requirements for completing the inspection of electrical installations prior to their being placed into service. This course also concentrates on the requirements for the safe testing and commissioning of electrical installations, which previously was not inclusive of the 2391 scope.

The assessment with this one is an online multiple choice exam (the same exam as the 2395), a practical assessment simulating the commissioning of a commercial installation (3-phase), a couple of little assessments consisting of earth fault loop impedance, insulation resistance and visual fault finding. Finally, there will be a written exam paper — closed book.

If you have previously attempted the 2391 practical assessment, you will see a great deal of similarity to that of the 2394 practical assessment, the difference being the certificate filled in on the larger assessment is now an installation certificate.

The 2395

Periodic inspection and testing relies on a competent person who can carry out the necessary works safely and apply a comprehensive understanding of the wiring regulations to support their observations. This course will involve a study of the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) allowing learners to complete their own findings and also review existing reports. The effectiveness of the assessment in the 2395 is much more relevant to the fault finding aspect compared to the 2391, as this has now been introduced.

The assessment for the 2395 includes the same online multiple choice exam as the 2394. If you have completed the 2394, then this assessment will not be necessary. The practical assessment includes a periodic inspection and test on a simulated installation. An EICR will need to be completed and there will be some assessor selected faults in there for you to find in your report. This course has also introduced a new assessment where you are issued some images preselected by City and Guilds, and you are asked to offer the scenarios any codes that you would use on the EICR. Finally there is the big one, the closed book written paper.

So where do you start?

Well first of all it depends on two things:

  1. Your field of work, whether it is domestic or commercial/industrial — in other words, single phase small installations or three phase larger installations; and
  2. Your current level of competence — dictated by the combination of your previous experience and any training you have already received.

If you are changing career, taking up testing and inspection for the first time or just working in the domestic field, then the 2392 is the starting block you are looking for. Here we will talk you through the tests one at a time and give you the time with the equipment you need to feel confident with them.

If you’re working in larger installations, or installing three phase circuits then the 2394 is more suited for the commissioning of these installations. Some experience with inspection and testing will be required.

If you want to be able to carry out periodic inspections and complete condition reports, regardless of the field you work in, then the 2395 is the course you need to complete. The 2395 should be considered as the like for like replacement of the old 2391. This course also requires you to have prior experience in testing and inspection.

A note for Domestic Installers

Domestic installers are not strictly limited to the 2392 & 2395 approach; if they wish to attempt the 2394 then this will assist greatly in their professional understanding and development in the testing and inspection field.choosing-a-testing-course

Written by David Watts