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How often should you calibrate your test equipment?

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 18th September 2018

To ensure that your electrical testing equipment and test meters provide you with accurate results in accordance with its specifications it is recommended that you have these calibrated on regular basis.

A frequently asked question is “How often should I calibrate my test equipment” and the short answer is that unfortunately there is no short answer! There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ as every instrument will have a different calibration frequency requirement as recommended by the manufacture.

Therefore, to give peace of mind and to ensure that you can use your equipment safely and reliably, it is advised that you follow the manufacturers recommended frequency. However, you should also bear in mind that critical measurements may require different intervals.

How important is Calibration

The calibration process compares a measuring instrument with a measurement standard to establish the relationship between the values indicated by the instrument and those of the standard.

The accuracy of your test instruments can drop over time, therefore it is advisable that regular calibration is undertaken. The accuracy of major components of instruments like voltage references, input dividers and current shunts will start to shift over time. However, this shift is minor and won’t affect the measurements if you maintain a good calibration schedule.

The calibration of your test instruments must be undertaken by an accredited laboratory. All meter calibrations must be traceable back to the National Standards and procedures detailed in BS EN/IEC17025:2017 and carried out by suppliers who are ISO 9001:2015 certified. The organisation you use should be AKAS accredited. If they are not, the following risks could include compliance and safety issues, litigation issues, wastage of resources and materials, increased downtimes, low quality of the final products.

It is also worth noting that by keeping your own record of measurements, you will be satisfying guidelines from bodies such as the NICEIC, ELECSA and NAPIT who will carry out your annual assessment.

If you do this using a known fixed resistor bank, for example, record the results at the frequency and manner specified by the bodies and the readings remain the same, this may satisfy the need for calibration.

Listed below are some calibration frequencies, which we hope you will find helpful:

Manufacturers’ recommendation - You should keep up with the manufacturers’ recommend frequency, however you should also note that critical measurements may require different intervals.

Before you start a major critical measuring project - If you have a project that requires highly accurate measurements, firstly decide which instruments you will use and then send them for calibration, then lock them down in storage until testing begins to ensure you get absolutely accurate results.

After a major critical measuring project ends - After a major critical measuring project you should send the same equipment for calibration. When you get the results back you can confirm the accuracy of your testing results for that project.

After an accident/event - You may need to consider having the instrument checked for accuracy following a hit, eg if something knocked out the internal overload or they had physical impact.

Per project requirements - Each job regardless of the project size will have a different calibration requirement. Some will require certified and calibrated test equipment, where others may not require stringent calibration standards. These requirements may not be explicitly stated, therefor you should review the specs before the test.

Monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually - If you do critical measurements often then a shorter time span between calibrations will mean there is less chance of questionable test results. Often calibrating at shorter intervals will afford you with better specifications. Depending on their usage, you may have to calibrate equipment on a monthly, quarterly or semiannually basis. One way of achieving this is to use a circuit with known readings, a proprietary calibration card or check box.

Annually - If you carry out a mix of critical and non-critical measurements, annual calibration tends to be a good option with the right balance between prudence and cost.

Biannually - If you don’t carry out many critical measurements and don’t expose your meter to an event, calibration at long frequencies can be more cost-effective.

And finally… Your business insurance may require you to have a valid calibration certificate, as well as an awarding organisation, therefore it’s advisable to check with them.

You may also be interested to read our blog What is Meter Calibration and Why is it Important? and view the results from a survey we ran in 2017 Survey Results: How often should you have your test meter calibrated? 

If you are interested in taking a course with us and would like to speak to a Course Advisor please contact 0800 856 4448, alternatively for more information please visit our Course Finder page. 

Categories: calibration frequency, calibrate, testing equipment, test meters

Trade Skills 4U Group Launches New Electrical Training For Business Division

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 14th August 2018

trade skills business

We are proud to announce the launch of a new corporate division, Trade Skills Business, offering electrical training programmes for business.

This new division will focus on delivering quality practical and theoretical electrical training solutions to commercial businesses wanting a more bespoke service tailored to their individual needs.

Training schedules structured to your business needs

We have seen a growing demand for training courses nationwide especially since the introduction of the C&G 2382-18 18th Edition Wiring Regulations. As the electrical industry continues to grow we feel it is more important than ever the correct electrical training is given to employees of larger companies as well as the sole traders. With this in mind we will be talking to local and national businesses across the country with a view to gaining an understanding of their requirements to enable us to create training schedules specifically structured to their business needs.

Carl Bennett Executive Chairman said “We are celebrating a year of growth and expansion and we understand the importance of maintaining and delivering quality training to our customers paving the way for our continued future growth.

“We believe we are the perfect business partner to offer bespoke electrical training not only for our existing customers who we have built productive relationships with over the years, but also to new customers who are looking to work with a partner to deliver real business benefits. We are also proud to be one of the UK’s first training companies to achieve the IET Centres of Excellence.”

Courses delivered nationwide

The Group consistently deliver a huge range of electrical courses and a wide variety of specialist skills that won’t be found anywhere else in the UK. Courses can be delivered at our state-of-the-art facilities nationwide, or onsite almost anywhere in the UK and can vary in duration and intensity from one day courses to extended periods up to sixteen weeks. Courses offered include C&G 2382-18 18th Edition, C&G 2391 Inspection & Testing, C&G 2365 Diploma Level 2 & 3, C&G 2377 PAT Testing, C&G 2396 Electrical Design, C&G 2919 EV Car Charging Point Installers courses, Emergency Lighting, Fire Alarms Training, BPEC Solar PV and many more.

We are here to help

When it comes to electrical training we understand that no two businesses are the same and therefore will have different training requirements. Our dedicated training supervisors are on hand to work with and identify the needs of our customers and programmes offered can be completely bespoke, or an amalgamation of existing qualifications to provide the right mix of certification to meet our customer's needs.

If you would like to speak to a training supervisor please contact 0800 856 4448, or for more information please visit Trade Skills Business.

 

Categories: bespoke electrical training, training centres, trade skills business

Send me over the edge!

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 7th August 2018

charity abseil

This September our very own Liliane Branca, Tutor at Trade Skills 4U Gatwick facility, will be ‘stepping over the edge’ in a charity abseil to raise funds for Chestnut Tree House, the children’s hospice for Sussex and South East Hampshire, helping life-limited children and their families.

Liliane said “I am taking part in the Arundel Castle Abseil on Saturday 29th September for Chestnut Tree House when I'll be abseiling 180 feet down the Bake House Tower in the grounds of Arundel Castle, and as far as I know I'm not afraid of heights...”

“This is my first charity fundraising event and I’m hoping to raise enough funds to help pay towards the care costs of the Chestnut Tree House’s care services, who offer incredible support to those that need it most.

“I have chosen to support this worthy charity due to my own personal experience when I sadly lost my Godson Matthew due to heart problems at the very young age of 22 months. I am therefore, very much aware of the impact a child with a life-limiting illness can have on family members and also close family friends.

“The Chestnut Tree House is such a worthy charity that helps support the families of children affected, not only during their illness but also for the years following.”

Care services at Chestnut Tree House

Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice cares for around 300 children all of whom are unlikely to reach adulthood. The Community Nursing Team visit families at home, taking children out to explore their local community or simply giving tired families and carers the chance to take a well-earned break.

Children and families can also visit Chestnut Tree House’s beautiful hospice near Arundel where kids can be astronauts for the day in the multi-sensory room, or discover creepy crawlies on a woodland walk where parents can just be parents and not carers, and where siblings have people to talk to who understand.

Then, when the time comes, Chestnut Tree helps children and families say goodbye in whatever way feels right for them, either at home or in the hospice itself. They offer ongoing bereavement support for the whole family.

Whilst the hospice itself is near Arundel, Chestnut Tree has had a physical presence in Eastbourne for many years, initially working from a Co-Hub in the town centre before taking on their own offices and finally moving to Pacific House in February 2016. The office provides a base for the East Sussex care team and for a small fundraising team who focus solely on raising funds and awareness in East Sussex.

It costs over £3.9 million every year to provide Chestnut Tree House’s specialist care services and less than 6% of that comes from central Government. All care is offered to families free of charge, so the charity relies heavily on the support of the local community.

Everyone at Trade Skills 4U wishes Liliane well in her daredevil abseil, and we look forward to sharing some great action shots with you after the event!.

If you would like to find out more about what they charity is about, or to sponsor Liliane please visit her JustGiving page. 

Categories: charity, abseil, arundel castle

Four things to consider when replacing a consumer unit

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 1st August 2018

replacing a consumer unit

There are a number of reasons why property owners change their consumer unit. Perhaps one of the MCBs has blown and replacements are no longer available. Maybe they have taken possession of an old property and the consumer unit is not compliant with current regulations (soon to be the 18th Edition). Or maybe they are undertaking a rewire, refurbishment or larger renovation project.

Whichever is applicable there are four key things the electrical contractor should consider.

1. Your client is not a qualified electrician

The single most important thing for the electrical contractor to remember is that regardless of how much research they’ve done or how intelligent they are, your client is not a professional electrician, has never before replaced a consumer unit and is unlikely to be aware of all the issues.

The electrical contractor should always encourage the customer to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), which should be carried out before replacing the consumer unit. This is to establish that the latest regulations are met and will ensure that the contractor isn’t left with faults to clear that were not included in the original contract.

The EICR test results will then help with the design and selection of protective devices for the new consumer unit.

Educating your client regarding the level of protection that is required under BS7671 will help you design a solution which matches their requirements, budget and expectations and need not be any more onerous than briefly explaining the following:

a. In general the UK Wiring Regulations require that all circuits are protected against both:

Overload – the fault which can result in fire in cables and damage to appliances.

Residual Current (or Earth Leakage) – the fault which causes electric shock, which can result in injury or death.

b. The Circuit Protection Devices: RCD, MCB and RCBO. What they are and what they do:

RCD – Residual Current Device

Protects a bank of circuits from residual current or earth leakage.

MCB – Mini Circuit Breaker - Protects an individual circuit against overload and fault currents

RCBO – Residual Circuit Breaker with Overload - Protects an individual circuit from both residual current and overload. It combines the aspects of both RCD and MCB and is therefore more expensive than an MCB.

2. Future proof …like there’s no tomorrow!!

There’s not a single building project in history during which the client did not, at some point, change their mind or the specification. As the project progresses they may change the gas hob to an electric one, decide that they want to put an electric shower in the guest room or decide they want to install a security system.

The electrical contractor must remember this is entirely reasonable and prepare for rather than react to it. Giving yourself plenty of wiggle room at the outset will avoid hassle and wasted effort later in the project when the inevitable happens. Explain at the start of the project that the consumer unit will serve the property for some considerable time and should be able to comfortably handle any changes and additions to circuit layout in coming years.

If during the design the contractor defines 10 ways is required then at the very least fit a 12 way consumer unit. If a 12 ways is required then go for 15, if 16 go for 20 etc.

3. High priority circuits and circuit separation

In order to properly specify a circuit protection solution which fits with the client’s expectations it is vital to ascertain which circuits require special consideration in respect of RCD’s.

Separation of high priority circuits is important because it removes any chance of that circuit being knocked out by an earth leakage fault on any other. This occurs in a standard RCD/MCB configuration when the RCD cuts the power to all MCBs it is protecting upon detection of a residual current fault on one. ..and of course, this problem is exacerbated when a greater number circuits fall under the protection of one RCD.

Common high priority circuits include smoke alarms and security systems but every client will have a different attitude to what constitutes ‘high priority’: the freezer in one home for example, may just be host to some out of date fish fingers, while another household’s freezer contains expensive cuts of venison! Home offices containing PCs, tropical fish tanks, stairwell lighting, swimming pool pumps and heating systems are all examples of high priority circuits.

4. Which type of consumer unit?

A number of factors determine which consumer unit you will ultimately fit, including the number of circuits, types of circuit and client’s budget. The three main models are:

i. Fully Loaded Consumer Unit

Fully loaded consumer unit

This is a popular solution due to its low cost and comprises a dual RCD board supplied complete with MCBs. They are suitable for smaller properties with less complex circuits and are available in a number of ‘ways’, depending on the manufacturer:

Hager: 6 way (VML733H), 10 way (VML755), 12 way (VML766), 16 way (VML716)

MK:  10 way (K7666SMET), 15 way (K7668SMET)

Wylex: 10 way (NHRSS10SSLHI), 15 way (NHRS15SSLHI)

Contactum: 10 way (DDS10166MS-PO1), 12 way (DDS12188MS-P010), 16 way  (DDS16166MS-PO1)

The main drawback with fully loaded consumer units is that they usually offer limited configuration flexibility and circuit separation. Indeed, some of the boards above are entirely fixed with no provision for high-priority circuits, such as the Hager VML755 which offers 5 fixed MCB ways on each RCD and does not allow for the fitting of RCBOs.

ii. Main Switch Consumer Unit

Main switch consumer unit

This is considered by some as the best circuit protection solution available as it offers total circuit separation but there is a cost implication. It is supplied with just the main switch and allows for every circuit to be RCBO protected. Whilst the consumer unit itself is not particularly expensive the installation of RCBOs makes this a premium solution. Such units are available in all sizes from 5 way up to 40 way. Hager and Wylex have a particularly good offering in the larger units over 20 ways.

iii. High Integrity Consumer Unit

High intensity consumer unit

This solution is becoming increasingly popular as it combines the best aspects of a dual RCD unit and main switch consumer unit. Built with three neutral bars, and supplied with 2 RCDs, the HI consumer unit allows for both 2 banks of MCBs and a further bank of RCBOs for high-priority circuits.

This means that standard circuits such as lighting and ring finals are given commensurate residual current protection, whilst high priority circuits are afforded total circuit separation. HI Units were introduced by Wylex about ten years ago and originally were only available in larger duplex arrangements of over 20 ways. Nowadays however, all the major manufacturers offer HI solutions with models as small as 10 ways, offering both the homeowner and professional electrician excellent flexibility over circuit design at affordable prices.

We hope this article helps with your decision making when replacing a consumer unit and we would like to thank Gil-Lec Electrical Wholesalers for supplying the content for this article. 

Categories: wiring regulations, consumer unit, electrical installation condition report, eicr

Case Study - David Murby

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 31st July 2018

Electrician Case Study

Name: David Murby

Company: Prospect Electrics

Course: Bronze Package, C&G 2377, C&G 2391

What did you do before you trained to be an electrician?

I left school and went to university to do a degree in physics. After graduating I started working for the then TSB Group as a programmer. I spent 25 years working with software for various companies in banking, warehousing and then for many years in motor insurance. I progressed up the career ladder from programmer to manager to IT Director, finally ending up as the Managing Director of a division of a FTSE 100 company. As I gained ‘promotions’ I moved further and further away from the activities I enjoyed, so I decided to go self employed as a contractor and interim manager. After completing one long contract, I was trying to figure out what to do next as I was getting a little frustrated working on long term projects that I managed but didn’t produce anything directly myself.

I have a very close friend from school, Norman, who after many years working for a bank became an electrician about 10 years ago, so I was inspired by his change of career. I was fortunate that I had a little money in the bank so was able to take some time to train and then invest in the business to set myself up.  After the initial training with Trade Skills 4U I was able to spend some time with Norman to learn many of the real-world practical skills that it’s almost impossible to learn in a classroom.

Which courses have you taken with Trade Skills 4U and why?

I took the Silver Domestic installer package initially as my aim was, and still is, to focus on the domestic installation business.

After about 6 months I took the 2391-52 Inspection and Testing course as I felt this would greatly improve my testing and inspection knowledge as well as allow me to carry out EICRs, which has been really useful to my business.

What was your training experience like with Trade Skills 4U?

I thought the set-up in Gatwick was excellent. The facilities are very good and very professional. The instructors are really knowledgeable and approachable and the support team that back them up are very helpful. When I was looking to do the 2391-52 I looked briefly at other facilities nearer to me in Reading but very quickly made the decision that it was worth the travelling to go back to Trade Skills 4U.

Tell us about your electrical business and how these course have helped you?

My business is just me and it has built up well over the 18 months since I started. I’m fortunate that I have been able to build up the projects I’ve done over time from simple light fitting changes and socket installations, right through to outdoor garden lighting projects and a three-story extension full wiring first and second fit.

The courses I’ve done have given me all the theoretical knowledge I’ve needed to do all of this, although I do find myself regularly going back to the books of course. Building up the practical knowledge carefully, making sure I don’t take on anything I was unsure about my capability for and having my old school friend Norman around as a sounding board, has enabled me to do the practical stuff that the courses equipped me for.

What are your plans for your business?

I’m happily going to stay on my own, building a solid business with a good reputation. Word of mouth has been very helpful to me already and I think many of the skills I had before I changed career have positioned me well, complementing the electrical knowledge I’ve gained. Skills like organisation, communication and customer focus that are common to any business regardless of industry.

Are you planning on taking any other courses to add to your revenue stream?

I thought about doing the Solar installer course but that not is so much of a job for someone on their own. Also I decided that at 50 I’m a little old to be climbing around on roofs! I may well do the Electric Vehicle Installer Course but at the moment I seem to be busy enough with the core domestic work.  Clearly, I’m going to need to do the 18th Edition updates and future revisions to keep up to date.

What has your experience been like working in the industry?

I get great pleasure from the feeling of completion I get from finishing something every week, and sometimes every day. Coming from software projects that can drag on for months and sometimes years without any obvious major output milestones this is very refreshing. When you get to the end of the day, press the switch and the lights come on and the customer is very happy, it is a great feeling.

I’ve also found it interesting coming from an industry where I could be involved in multi-million-pound projects where there is very individual accountability when things go wrong. In this industry you can go and do a project that could take as little as a day and be of the order of a couple of hundred pounds and, if it is done wrong, there is real danger to the customer and true accountability for the contractor (you can go to prison in the extreme). Part of the job is educating the customer because what seems simple to them can often involve a lot more than they think and I now see why the public often undervalue the skilled trades. This is where being a member of the NICEIC has been useful to me and I see that NAPIT, ELECSA and other trade bodies are trying hard to get the public to understand the needs to have correctly trained people carry out work.

What advice would you give to someone looking to train as an electrician?

Get a good mentor – I could not have done this without my friend Norman who has been an inspiration and sounding block throughout the whole process. You need someone you can discuss things with and learn from. Also, have a good financial plan so you know what you are getting into as the set-up costs are not small if you want to do this properly.

How would you describe the facilities and training at Trade Skills 4U?

Firstly, all the instructors I dealt with were first class. They explained everything clearly and sometimes from two or three different approaches to allow for the different learning styles of different class members. They have great experience (and great patience) to draw upon.

The facilities are very good for learning. There is plenty of practical application and opportunity to get on the tools as well as the theoretical learning. The balance between the two in the Silver course I did was really good.

We would like to thank David for sharing his experiences with us and wish him well for the future.

Categories: qualifications, electrician, case study, trade

All new homes to include electric car charging points!

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 11th July 2018

In 2017 the Government announced plans to ban all new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution. Following this, the Government has just announced that in order to cut emissions further all new homes in suburban England would need to be fitted with electric vehicle charging points.

Further details of a sales ban relating to conventional diesel and petrol vehicles by the year 2040 are also expected to be set out.

Dirty vehicle charging zones

The government's overall target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by at least 80% of the 1990 levels by 2050.

In order to assist councils tackle emissions, ministers have unveiled a £255m fund, allocated to aid a charging infrastructure where there will be potential for charging zones to be introduced for the dirtiest vehicles.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced proposals that aim to make recharging electric vehicles much easier than refuelling petrol or diesel cars. The proposals will include the need to assess whether new homes and offices require charging points to be installed as standard.

Mr Grayling said that “these proposed measures would ensure that the UK would have one of the most comprehensive support packages for zero-emission vehicles in the world. The prize is not just a cleaner and healthier environment but a UK economy fit for the future and the chance to win a substantial slice of a market estimated to be worth up to £7.6 trillion by 2050".

Street lights to include charge points

Mr Grayling also proposes, where there is on-street parking new street light columns should also be fitted with charging points where appropriate, making it easier for more people to recharge their vehicles.

Demand for electric vehicle points increase

It was recently reported that in the first six months of 2018 electric vehicles made up 5.5% of the UK's new car market. This compares with 4.3% from the same period in 2017.

The increase in electric vehicles will only get higher, and with this in mind coupled with Government proposals above, this is great news for any electrician looking to add EV car charging point installation as an additional revenue stream.

We are pleased to announced that we have recently partnered with Rolec and are now offering three electric vehicle charging point courses:

New Blue: Domestic EV Car Charging Point Installers Package (22 day course) – designed for new entrants who want to carry out both domestic installations and offer a standalone domestic car charging point installation service. The package includes the Bronze Domestic Installer course together with the C&G 2919-02 domestic car charging point installation course. The new 18th Edition course is also included in this package.

C&G 2919-01 Electric Car / Vehicle Charging Point Installers Course (2 day course) – designed for fully qualified electricians and covers commercial installations and all the key skills to install, fault find and inspect and test electric vehicle charging points.

C&G 2919-02 Domestic EV Charging Point Installers Course (4 day course) – designed for Domestic Installers who wish to upgrade their knowledge and learn how to install, fault find and inspect and test domestic car charging points.

Students who successfully pass these courses will be automatically registered on Rolec’s approved installer’s scheme and will appear on their national database of installers.

To find out more about the courses we offer please click here, alternatively please call our course advisors today on 0800 8056 4448.

Categories: diesel and petrol car ban, green house gas emissions, electric vehicle, car charging, government policy

Not Going to Uni – It makes sense to get a career in a trade

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 5th July 2018

If you, or someone you know is thinking about not going to university either because you didn’t get the A Level results you had hoped for or maybe you’ve had a change of career plan, then don’t worry as there are plenty of other opportunities out there for you.

Thinking of a career in the trade with fantastic earning potential?

If you’re considering a career in the electrical trade we can help you take your first step on the electrical career ladder.

We believe that there are many reasons to choose a career in the electrical trade with benefits which include flexible working hours, being your own boss, becoming a skilled expert and getting the opportunity to work with a varied range of people. It is also widely regarded as one of the most rewarding of the trades, and offers great potential for progression.

An electricians main role is to install, test and maintain electrical wiring, appliances, equipment and fixtures in a wide range of applications in either domestic or commercial settings. Daily tasks are varied and will include assessing plans, planning the layout of wiring and fitting circuit breakers and fuse boxes.

To get you started on your new career path we offer three course options suitable for new entrants. You can train in just 18 days - 16 weeks depending on which route you choose to take:

Domestic Electrical Installer - 18 day course

C&G 2365 Level 2 - 10 week course

C&G 2365 Level 2&3 - 16 week course

If you choose to become a domestic installer a Bronze Domestic Installer course would be the perfect choice. This course is the ideal starting place for those over the age of 18 looking to work as a domestic electrical installer who has little to no electrical installation experience, or has been working in an allied trade. The course covers all the core competencies required to start up in the industry and work on electrical installation in a residential property.

However, if you want to carry out both domestic and commercial work you would need to take either our 2365 course Level 2 or Level 2& 3 packaged course, which are the most comprehensive new entrant electrician courses available.

The 2365 Level 2/3 course will allow you to work in the following sectors:

Commercial - such as Supermarkets, Offices, Warehouses, Schools, Shops, Restaurants, Hospitals

Industrial – such as research/development parks heavy manufacturing buildings, factories

Domestic –such as Houses, Flats, Bungalows, renewable, Solar PV

Agricultural – Farms

Maintenance services, local authorities

Media – electricians are required for running operations in television, radio

Sporting Venues – concert halls, theatres, Stadium events

In fact, the list is endless which makes an electrical career a very good choice in terms of variety, monetary reward and opportunity.

All of the options above are recognised by industry and are fully accredited by City & Guilds and will enable you to get skilled quickly and start earning as soon as possible.

To become fully qualified you will need to complete an NVQ and AM2 in industry, which you can do at a later stage once you have found employment.

Money talks

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) recently published a report showing the pay grades for manual jobs, and it was revealed that the average graduate earns £32,000 a year whereas the average electrician is earning £47,265. See our recent blog post for more information.

Chief Executive Brian Berry from the FMB said: “Money talks, and when it comes to annual salaries, a career in construction trumps many university graduate roles.

"Pursuing a career in construction is therefore becoming an increasingly savvy move. University students graduate with an average £50,800 of debt, according to The Institute for Fiscal Studies, while apprentices pass the finish line completely debt-free.

For more information on university changes, costs and why it makes sense to get a trade please read our previous blog post.

Why train with us?

We are the UK’s no.1 provider of City & Guild electrical training courses with training centres nationwide. Each year more people pass with us than any other UK electrical training provider. Our success rates are possible because we focus on intense training courses, delivered in just a few weeks or months compared to Colleges where it takes years to complete. We are able to do this because we deliver the same qualification to the same guided learning hours full-time, Monday to Friday 9-4pm. This allows you to front load your training to get working as soon as possible.

If you’re not sure where to start you can check out our handy course finder tool, or simply give one of our helpful Course Advisors a call on 0800 856 448 or 01293 529777, alternatively please email info@tradeskills4u.co.uk

Categories: career change, uni, electrical trade, university

Annual National Golf Championship 2018 event for electrical industry professionals

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 5th July 2018

We are delighted to announce that Trade Skills 4U is the headline sponsor at the most highly-anticipated National Golf Championship of the year in the electrical industry.

The 4-ball tournament will take place on the 18th September 2018 at the iconic golf venue, The Belfry, host to Ryder Cup matches and steeped in golfing history.

We will be entering a team of 4 enthusiastic golfers to take part on the day to compete against other companies, all of whom aspire to win the coveted EIC National Golf Championship Trophy. The competition will take place at the Brabazon, titled one of the UK and Ireland’s top 100 courses by Golf Monthly, which is a must-play for all those serious about golf.

Carl Bennett, CEO said: “Trade Skills 4U are big supporters of the Electrical Industries Charity and are excited to be headline sponsors to support them. The National Golf Championship is a fantastic event for the electrical community to support giving us the opportunity to raise funds for those who really need it most, plus of course we get to play at the famous Belfry!”

A brighter future…

All proceeds from the event will go towards the Electrical Industries Charity who help those working within the electrical, electronics and energy community. They do this through the provision of four workplace programmes: Apprentice, Employee and Family, and Pensioner Support, and the Practical Participation Programme that give the industry access to financial grants and a comprehensive range of free and confidential services.

Thanks to the support of donors, sponsors, fundraisers and volunteers at events like these, the EIC are able to continue to support those that need help the most. Following an entertaining performance from Britain’s Got Talent’s Les Gibson on the night, the Charity team will be hosting a Grand Raffle and game of Higher or Lower to raise as much money as possible for EIC’s charitable efforts.

If you want to get involved, either by taking a team, or sponsoring the fundraising on the day, please contact Sarah.McKenzie@eictradingco.org

See more about how the Charity is giving back to the industry in 2018.

How many golfers does it take to change a light bulb? FORE!

We wish all those taking place good luck, and look forward to sharing how our team got on later in the year, with hopefully some good ‘shots’ to show you too.

We’ve been told that golf is a game in which you yell "fore" you score a six, and you write down "five", so if you’re playing a round soon - may the fours be with you!

I think that’s enough golf puns for one day!!

Finally, we would like to thank everyone involved in supporting this extremely worthy charity and hope that the day helps to raise funds to support those that need it most.

Categories: golf sponsorship, electrical industries charity, eic, belfry

Farewell 17th Edition, Hello 18th Edition

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 3rd July 2018

farewell 17th edition

As many of you will already know, on the 1st July 2018 we said goodbye to the 17th edition wiring regulations to make way for the 18th Edition. The C&G 2382-15 17th Edition course has now been replaced by the 2382-18 18th Edition course. So we thought we would take a quick look at the 17th edition and some key talking points.

IET Wiring Regulations Explained

The IET Wiring Regulations is essentially a set of guides that electrical contractors comply with, whether it be for domestic, commercial or industrial installations.

Every professional electrician and domestic installer work to the latest edition of the wiring regulations and will need this if they want to register or remain as a domestic installer with a competent person’s scheme.

Did you know that the wiring regulations were originally published by in 1882?

In fact, there have been requirements for safe electrical wiring since way back in 1876. However, it wasn’t until 1882 that the then Society of Telegraph Engineers and Electricians, who later became the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), which now forms part of the IET, published the ‘Rules and Regulations for the Prevention of Fire Risks arising from Electric Lighting’. The original document consisted of just 4 pages!

The history of the 17th Edition

In January 2008 BS 7671:2008 17th Edition was released, followed by its first Amendment 1 in 2011. The next Amendment 2 came into effect in 2013, followed in January 2015 by the final Amendment 3.

When Amendment 3 was released it included some significant changes; one being Chapter 41, which was introduced to improve the level of protection against electrical shock. It stated that 30 mA RCDs will be required for socket outlets that are for use by ordinary persons and are intended for general use.

Another major change was Regulation 421.1.201 which required consumer units and similar switchgear assemblies in domestic premises to have a non-combustible enclosure or be enclosed in a cabinet or enclosure constructed of non-combustible material and complying with Regulation 132.12.

Regulation 521.11.201 was also a major change which required that wiring systems within escape routes require a suitable fire resistant means of support so that they are not liable to premature collapse in the event of fire.

Other changes included the electrical condition report section, new requirements for mobile and transportable electrical units and changes for the installation of luminaires and light fittings and sections relating to microgeneration and solar photovoltaic systems.

Hello 18th Edition

Whilst it’s time to say goodbye the 17th edition we can now say hello to the new 2382-18 18th Edition courses, which we will be delivering in centres nationwide from July 2018.

We appreciate that whilst changes are not always welcome in all sectors, the new regulations are a major step forward to improving the safety and protection of property as well as enhancing areas like electric vehicle charging, which will be in huge demand over the next few years.

The IET urges that all electrical professionals ensure they are familiar with the new requirements as all installations designed after the 31st December 2018 are to comply with BS 7671:2018.

We believe that scheme providers will be asking their members to hold the new edition although we do believe that existing members will be given some flexibility.

To help you get ready for the changes, we recently reviewed the 18th Edition and identified some of the key changes that you need to be aware of. To find out more please click on the link 18th Edition Wiring Regulations - Major Shift or Update?

However, at a glance below is a list of the main changes to be aware of:

Part 1 Scope, object and fundamental principles

Part 2 Definitions

Chapter 41 Protection against electric shock

Chapter 42 Protection against thermal effects

Chapter 44 Protection against voltage disturbances and electromagnetic disturbances

Chapter 46 Devices for isolation and switching - A new Chapter 46 has been introduced.

Appendices

The following main changes have been made within the appendices

Appendix 1 British Standards to which reference is made in the Regulations includes minor changes, and additions.

Appendix 3 Time/current characteristics of overcurrent protective devices and RCDs

Appendix 6 Model forms for certification and reporting

Appendix 7 (informative) Harmonized cable core colours

Appendix 8 Current-carrying capacity and voltage drop

Appendix 14 Determination of prospective fault current

Appendix 17 Energy efficiency

For more detailed information please visit the IET’s website.

City & Guilds 2382-18 3 Day 18th Edition Course

The 18th Edition course will in fact be very similar to the 17th edition to ensure that you are up-to-date with the latest industry regulations on wiring and the safe use and operation of electrical equipment and systems.

The following subjects are still included:

Scope, object and fundamental principles

Definitions

Assessment of general characteristics

Protection for safety

Selection and erection of equipment

Inspection and testing

Special installations or locations

Appendices

The expected changes are:

Protection against over voltages - Clause 443 is likely to be overhauled.

Protection against fire - Chapter 42 will be updated with extra information on arc fault detection

Electrical Embedded heating - Section 753 will be extended to include embedded electrical heating systems for surface heating, and will include de-icing and frost prevention systems.

Energy efficiency – this will be a brand new section

C&G 2382-18 1 Day 18th Edition Update Course

If you passed the 17th edition with the 3rd amendment since the 1st January 2015 you only need to take the shorter one day 18th Edition Update course. The course covers similar topics to the three day course, as listed above, however as there are fewer changes to cover it can be complete in a shorter time.

Courses delivered in 8 Centres Nationwide

Due to high demand, both of these courses are available from 8 centres nationwide:

Gatwick - covering South London, Kent, Sussex and Surrey

Warrington - covering Manchester, Liverpool, Bolton and the North West

Leeds – covering the North East, Sheffield, Harrogate and York

Central London - right next to Euston Station

Coventry - covering Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton & Midlands

Hertfordshire - covering North London, Herts, Bucks and Essex

Cardiff - covering Wales and South West

Durham CCC (North East) - covering Newcastle, Sunderland and the North East

You can rest assured that the training you receive from Trade Skills 4U is delivered by experienced tutors who have worked in the industry. We are also able to boast, that our pass rate for the 2382 qualification is over 98%, which is well above the national average, and we have no reason to believe that this will change with the new qualification.

Categories: wiring regulations, 17th edition, 18th edition

Trade Skills 4U Open Four New Electrical Training Facilities to Deliver 18th Edition Courses

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 20th June 2018

Trade Skills 4U new centres

As the UK’s premier electrical training company we are excited to announce the opening of four brand new facilities based at Durham CCC, Cardiff, Hatfield and Coventry.

Since we opened in 2005 we have been successfully training electricians across the country at our centres in Gatwick, London, Warrington and more recently Leeds.

Due to high demand for new 18th Edition courses, we are pleased to announced that four new short course centres are now open and taking bookings for 18th edition courses starting in July 2018. We offer both the 3 day 18th edition and 1 day update course in all of these centres, with more centres due to open later this year, so watch this space!

Durham 18th edition

North East (Durham CCC) great for Newcastle, Sunderland and the North East

Chosen because of its great location, fantastic facilities and easy access via the A1(M), A167 and A693 Durham County Crick Ground is within easy reach of Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle, Gateshead and all over the North East.

18th Edition courses are delivered in bright spacious rooms and the Ground has the added benefit of plenty of free parking. Cricket lovers may also get lucky and catch sight of a game whilst they are there!

Cardiff 18th edition

Wales Centre (Cardiff Uni) great for Wales and South West

Based within the Cardiff University Campus near the M4 and the A48 the facility is easily commutable from Swansea, Cardiff and Newport. The campus is also easy to get to by bus from Central Cardiff and from nearby train stations. The conference centre has excellent training rooms with an impressive range of food outlets and plenty of parking on site.

Hatfield 18th edition

Hertfordshire (Herts Uni Hatfield) great for North London, Herts, Bucks and Essex

This bright, clean and spacious centre is based within the University of Hertfordshire Campus. The centre is in a great location close to the junction of the A1 (M) and A414 and is easily accessible from the home counties including Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Essex and offers plenty of onsite free parking.

Coventry 18th edition

Midlands Centre (Coventry MTC) great for Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton and Midlands

The facility is situated just North East of Coventry on the M6 and M69 junction. The centre is accessible from all around the Midlands region and the A45, M1, M6 and M42. Courses are delivered within the Manufacturing Technology Centre in bright spacious training rooms that meet Trade Skills 4U’s high standards. Free parking and food outlets are also available onsite.

At present these short course facilities only offer 18th edition courses, however watch this space as this can easily change in the future.

CEO, Carl Bennett said: “We have seen a huge demand from our customers for the new 18th Edition courses and to satisfy this demand we have added four new short course centres nationwide, with more to come later this year. The design of new electrical installations will be required to comply to the 18th Edition from January of 2019 and we assume that from that date scheme providers will be asking members to hold the 18th edition.

Carl continued: “Those interested in booking a course with us can rest assured that we only recruit experienced tutors who have previously worked on the tools and have been teaching for a number of years. We are committed to ensuring our students receive first class knowledge and advice from professional tutors who have a real passion for what they do. In fact, our pass rates reflect this and we can boast that more people pass City & Guilds electrical courses with us than with any other UK provider.”

Main Centres 18th edition

Main Centres

Our four main training centres are based in Gatwick, Warrington, Leeds and London which is situated next to Euston Station. All our sites have state-of-the-art classrooms and workshops built to the highest specifications with the latest technology. You can choose from a huge range of courses delivered at these centres including; Domestic Installer Packages, City & Guilds Diploma’s, Inspection and Testing plus much more.

For more information visit our course finder page or speak to a member of the sales team on 0800 856 4448.

Categories: training centres, 18th edition courses

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