When City & Guilds launched their Solar PV course as part of the C&G 2399 framework it was regarded as the leading qualification of its kind in the market. The qualification was only open to fully qualified electricians who have completed their Level 3 NVQ, however this was not the only barrier to entry. As a more in depth qualification the course was longer and more expensive than other qualification such as the BPEC equivalent. One of the main reasons for this was the stipulation that all candidates must complete a foundation module covering all renewable technology types. This meant that an electrician would also had to of learnt about solar thermal, wind, heat pumps and other technologies before focusing on the subject of solar PV.
It seemed to be a good idea that all installers should be aware of the best technology to suit a customers need but unfortunately it did not fit with the market need. Essentially installers were not the ones deciding which technology was going to be meeting the customer’s needs. They were more likely to be simply installing it or specifying it once the customer had already decided they wanted to install Solar PV.
The other stumbling block was the entry requirements for the technology specific courses meant you would need to be a fully qualified electrician or plumber to pursue either subject. This meant it was very unlikely that anyone would take the foundation unit and then follow up with both Solar PV and Solar Thermal unless they had spent a very long time doing both plumbing and electrical apprenticeships.
Once the qualification was live it became clear that for electricians, in particular, the foundation module was not really essential and shouldn’t be compulsory for those wishing to simply focus on the one technology.
So what does this mean?
Simply put it means the course now a bit cheaper, shorter and easier to attend. Trade Skills 4U offer the course as follows:
This means you can now get qualified in solar PV installation over 5 days rather than 7 and save a few hundred pounds at the same time too. The market for Solar PV particularly in the commercial, social housing and public sector areas is still very buoyant. If you are interested in finding out more simply visit: http://www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/courses/city-guilds-2399-course