NVQ 3 ELECTRICAL

Your Complete Guide To The NVQ Level 3

NVQ 2356

Also known as the ‘mature candidate assessment’, this qualification is for experienced workers with 5 years in the industry and all relevant technical qualifications.

NVQ 2357

This qualification is designed for new entrants and those with less than 5 years experience, but have already achieved the 2365 Levels 2 & 3.

NVQ 5357

This qualification is designed for learners wishing to gain an apprenticeship within the Electrotechnical industry.

City and Guilds NVQ Level 3 Electrical Qualification

There are three different routes to your NVQ 3 Electrical qualification, depending on your experience and time served as an electrician.

These qualifications are designed to provide either new entrants, those seeking progression in their career, or more experienced ‘mature candidates’ in the industry, with the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to carry out job roles and responsibilities associated with the installation and maintenance of Electrotechnical systems.

Level 3 is the level that the Electrotechnical industry recognises learners as having achieved the knowledge, experience, and competence required to carry out the role.

Once you gain your qualification you are then able to apply for your ECS Gold Card and JIB Grading, which is the main reason for most people beginning on this path.

This site takes you through everything you need to know and do to gain your NVQ Level 3 Electrical.

What Is The NVQ Level 3 Electrical?

  1. The NVQ Level 3 Electrical is a qualification that is recognised as the benchmark in knowledge, experience, and competency for practicing electricians the UK.
  2. Even though the NVQ is delivered by approved training providers, it is not a Training Course as such. It is a comprehensive Assessment of the candidate’s theoretical knowledge and practical skills in your chosen ‘Occupation’.
  3. The candidate works through a set framework of ‘Units‘ and ‘Performance Objectives‘ to demonstrate their knowledge and competence in all areas.
  4. Working through each Unit you compile an ‘Evidence Portfolio‘ with written responses, photographic evidence, direct observations, and other assessment methods, to demonstrate that you understand and work to expected ‘Knowledge Requirements‘.
  5. As a working electrician you compile your Evidence Portfolio from the jobs you carry out as part of your everyday work. As long as you get a variety of the right type of work your Evidence Portfolio should pretty much develop itself.
  6. When you first approach a training provider about undertaking your NVQ Level 3 they will carry out an initial assessment to identify which route is best for you.
  7. Upon starting your qualification you will be allocated a dedicated assessor who is there to offer on-going support, mentoring and assessments throughout the process. Depending on the training provider they may even be able to help in the assembly of your Evidence Portfolio from the evidence you provide.
  8. Once your Evidence Portfolio is complete you can then book your AM2 PRACTICAL ASSESSMENT at any one of 40+ independent approved assessment centres across the UK.
  9. Successful completion of the AM2 – plus attainment of the latest 18th EDITION IET WIRING REGULATIONS – makes you eligible to apply for the ECS GOLD CARD in your chosen pathway.

The ECS Gold Card

The reason most people set out on the path to attaining their NVQ Level 3 Electrical is in order to meet the criteria to become an ‘ECS Registered Electrician’ – and become eligible to apply for their JIB Gold Card.*

Attainment of the NVQ 3 qualification proves an electrician has successfully demonstrated a range of knowledge and practical skills to nationally recognised industry standards.

Being a JIB ECS Gold Card holder increases your status and credibility in the industry and in doing so opens up many more opportunities for work. As I’m sure you’re already aware.

* The latest edition of the Wiring Regulations BS7671:2018 is also required to apply for the ECS Card.

The AM2 Practical Assessment

At the end of your course, when you have submitted all the required evidence, the final step in gaining your NVQ Level 3 qualification is to complete your AM2.

This is a practical assessment with 5 sections (including a short online component) and in which you’re required to perform a set of common occupational tasks and procedures that a fully qualified electrician might face when working in commercial or industrial premises, as well as dwellings.

During the assessment, candidates undertake a series of timed tasks in specially equipped booths containing typical electrical installation wiring systems. The exercises include installation, inspection and testing and fault-finding.

The AM2 Practical Assessment

At the end of your course, when you have submitted all the required evidence, the final step in gaining your NVQ Level 3 qualification is to complete your AM2.

This is a practical assessment with 5 sections (including a short online component) and in which you’re required to perform a set of common occupational tasks and procedures that a fully qualified electrician might face when working in commercial or industrial premises, as well as dwellings.

During the assessment, candidates undertake a series of timed tasks in specially equipped booths containing typical electrical installation wiring systems. The exercises include installation, inspection and testing and fault-finding.

Old School or Online

The conventional way to gain the NVQ 3 Electrical qualification is with the candidate creating their Evidence Portfolio by completing written job descriptions, assembling all the documentation in a portfolio folder and then an assessor coming out to visit you on site.

This can be quite a laborious process with the written work required and filing everything into a physical folder, which then has the potential to be misplaced or even damaged.

Also having an assessor visit you onsite can take a bit of organising and not all employers / contractors will be overly accommodating as it can mean extra work for them with safety inductions etc.

But now there’s an alternative and that is to build your Portfolio online.

Creating your NVQ Level 3 Evidence Portfolio online means not only that you don’t have to physically take it with you everywhere you go, which increases the chances of it becoming damaged or lost, but also that your assessor can access it at any time.

This allows your assessor to mentor and guide you much more easily. So much so that they may even – depending on the training provider and the package you choose – be able to build your Portfolio for you purely from photographic evidence you produce.

But perhaps the biggest breakthrough with the latest technology is in the opportunity for Remote Site Observations. It is now possible for an assessor to watch and record you through your mobile phone, thereby removing the need for physical onsite assessments!

So now the choice is yours, for Old School or Online…

Introducing XS Training

Founded in 2011, XS Training Ltd were one of the very first providers of Online Training Courses for the NVQ Level 3 Electrical qualification in the UK. They are one of only FIVE nationwide training providers recommended by the Joint Industry Board (JIB) – not all of which offer online courses.

Their bespoke courses are created on the Onefile E-portfolio platform, which is renowned as one of the best systems available for the assessment of NVQ qualifications.

Something else they offer which is much more unique, is the opportunity for live Remote Site Assessments at your place of work, via the camera on your mobile phone. This saves in the time, cost and often inconvenience of having assessors come to visit you on-site.

Frequently Asked Questions

About The NVQ Level 3

How long does it take to get my NVQ 3 Electrical Qualification

It is impossible to give an exact time for attaining your NVQ 3 Electrical because it will on a wide range of factors. These include;  which of the three possible routes you take (or are eligible to take), previous experience, current employment position, and how much time you can dedicate to the work involved. It can take as little as 3-4 months or as much as 2 years. For the 2356 Mature Candidate Assessment route, the average is probably between 6-8 months.

How much does the NVQ 3 Electrical cost?

The cost of NVQ 3 Electrical courses is not fixed and so will vary slightly between different providers. The price range is usually between £1000 – £1300 + VAT, depending on the provider and the services they offer. There is then the cost of the AM2 Practical Assessment on top of this at around £700 – £800 + VAT.

However, cost should not be your only, and certainly the leading factor, in your choice of a training provider. More important is that you have confidence that they will provide the help and support you need to work through your NVQ.

Can I pay monthly?

Many training providers will allow you to pay monthly installments, although there is often a small surcharge for monthly payments to cover administration charges.

If you work speedily through your NVQ then please bear in mind that all payments will need to have been completed before your qualification is finalised and issued.

What is the difference between the 2356 & 2357?

The NVQ 2356 is for candidates with at least 5 years experience of working with the electrical industry and having achieved the relevant technical qualifications. This is why it is referred to as the “Level 3 for Experienced Workers” and also as the “Mature Candidate Assessment”.

The NVQ 2357 is for new entrants to the industry and those with less than 5 years experience that already hold the C&G 2365 Levels 2 & 3.

Do I need to take the AM2 as well?

Yes, all candidates for the NVQ 2356 & 2357 must take their AM2 Practical Assessment to complete their qualification, irrespective of their time and previous experience in the industry.

Apprentice candidates on the NVQ 5357 must take the slightly different AM2S Practical Assessment.

You can find out about the difference between the two assessments here.

What is the NVQ Level 3 Portfolio & how do I create it?

The NVQ 3 Electrical courses are made up of a number of Units, within which there are Performance Objectives and Knowledge Requirements, for you to work through. As you do so you compile what is known as a Portfolio to demonstrate your knowledge and competence in all areas.

The different types of assessment methods which go in to complete your Portfolio could include; photographic evidence, written responses and verbal discussions between you and your assessor.

What evidence do I need to collect?

In creating your Portfolio you work through each unit providing evidence to satisfy your assessor that you are fully competent in all areas.

The form in which you are asked and allowed to submit this evidence will vary between training providers but can include the following methods.

Photographic evidence, witness testimonies, reflective accounts, direct observation, work products & in-depth probing professional discussions with your assessor.

The methods by which you are allowed to submit your evidence may well play a major role in which training provider you choose for your NVQ Level 3.

Do I get the ECS Gold Card when I pass my NVQ 3 Electrical?

You do not get your JIB ECS Gold Card automatically upon successful completion of your NVQ Level 3 Electrical qualification – including the AM2 Practical Assessment – but you are then eligible to apply for it.

You must also have the latest edition of the Wiring Regulations BS7671:2018, pay a small fee and, as of 1st January 2019, sign up to Registered Electrician status.

What is the Bridging Unit?

The Bridging Assessment Exam is a one and half hour written exam covering 21 questions. The exam is basically filling the knowledge gap that exists between the 2365 level 2 and level 3 and the 2357 knowledge units. The candidate must take this exam under exam conditions. XS Training Ltd have a number of partners throughout the UK where the candidate can take the exam.

Do I need the Bridging Unit?

If you have completed the 2365 level 3 (or EAL equivalent) after September 2017 then you will NOT need to take the bridging assessment exam as the knowledge gap no longer exists for candidates taking the 2365 post September 2017.

How long does it take to get my NVQ 3 Electrical Qualification

It is impossible to give an exact time for attaining your NVQ 3 Electrical because it will on a wide range of factors. These include;  which of the three possible routes you take (or are eligible to take), previous experience, current employment position, and how much time you can dedicate to the work involved. It can take as little as 3-4 months or as much as 2 years. For the 2356 Mature Candidate Assessment route, the average is probably between 6-8 months.

How much does the NVQ 3 Electrical cost?

The cost of NVQ 3 Electrical courses is not fixed and so will vary slightly between different providers. The price range is usually between £1000 – £1300 + VAT, depending on the provider and the services they offer. There is then the cost of the AM2 Practical Assessment on top of this at around £700 – £800 + VAT.

However, cost should not be your only, and certainly the leading factor, in your choice of a training provider. More important is that you have confidence that they will provide the help and support you need to work through your NVQ.

Can I pay monthly?

Many training providers will allow you to pay monthly installments, although there is often a small surcharge for monthly payments to cover administration charges.

If you work speedily through your NVQ then please bear in mind that all payments will need to have been completed before your qualification is finalised and issued.

What is the difference between the 2356 & 2357?

The NVQ 2356 is for candidates with at least 5 years experience of working with the electrical industry and having achieved the relevant technical qualifications. This is why it is referred to as the “Level 3 for Experienced Workers” and also as the “Mature Candidate Assessment”.

The NVQ 2357 is for new entrants to the industry and those with less than 5 years experience that already hold the C&G 2365 Levels 2 & 3.

What is the NVQ Level 3 Portfolio & how do I create it?

The NVQ 3 Electrical courses are made up of a number of Units, within which there are Performance Objectives and Knowledge Requirements, for you to work through. As you do so you compile what is known as a Portfolio to demonstrate your knowledge and competence in all areas.

The different types of assessment methods which go in to complete your Portfolio could include; photographic evidence, written responses and verbal discussions between you and your assessor.

What evidence do I need to collect?

In creating your Portfolio you work through each unit providing evidence to satisfy your assessor that you are fully competent in all areas.

The form in which you are asked and allowed to submit this evidence will vary between training providers but can include the following methods.

Photographic evidence, witness testimonies, reflective accounts, direct observation, work products & in-depth probing professional discussions with your assessor.

The methods by which you are allowed to submit your evidence may well play a major role in which training provider you choose for your NVQ Level 3.

Do I need to take the AM2 as well?

Yes, all candidates for the NVQ 2356 & 2357 must take their AM2 Practical Assessment to complete their qualification, irrespective of their previous experience.

Apprentice candidates on the NVQ 5357 must take the slightly different AM2S Practical Assessment.

You can find out about the difference between the two assessments here.

Do I get the ECS Gold Card when I pass my NVQ 3 Electrical?

You do not get your JIB ECS Gold Card automatically upon successful completion of your NVQ Level 3 Electrical qualification – including the AM2 Practical Assessment – but you are then eligible to apply for it.

You must also have the latest edition of the Wiring Regulations BS7671:2018, pay a small fee and, as of 1st January 2019, sign up to Registered Electrician status.

What is the Bridging Unit?

The Bridging Assessment Exam is a one and half hour written exam covering 21 questions. The exam is basically filling the knowledge gap that exists between the 2365 level 2 and level 3 and the 2357 knowledge units. The candidate must take this exam under exam conditions. XS Training Ltd have a number of partners throughout the UK where the candidate can take the exam.

Do I need the Bridging Unit?

If you have completed the 2365 level 3 (or EAL equivalent) after September 2017 then you will NOT need to take the bridging assessment exam as the knowledge gap no longer exists for candidates taking the 2365 post September 2017.

Still Have Questions About Your NVQ Level 3 Electrical?

Whether it’s about your previous experience and qualifications in the industry, the difference between the NVQ 2356 & the 2357, or you’re unsure whether the on-site or online path may be best for you, then please do get in touch. We’d be happy to help if we can.

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