New skills cards for building controls sector


11 October 2023

The Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) has welcomed the introduction of a new suite of ECS cards for the building controls sector.

The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) is the sole ID and competence card scheme for electrotechnical operatives in the UK and has worked closely with the BCIA for a number of years to ensure that a range of cards exists which reflect the skills and competencies required in the building controls industry.

During the development and launch of the Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) Controls Engineer apprenticeship standard, an occupational qualification structure was developed by the building controls industry which included members of the BCIA, employers and training providers to define and align the skills needed by the industry both now and in the future.

This structure has now been in place for a number of years and has recently been reviewed and updated by industry employers and other stakeholders to ensure this is fit for purpose while maintaining the standard set for building controls engineers in the BEMS apprenticeship.

The new card types include: Building Controls Apprentice, Building Controls Associate, Building Controls Installer (Electrical), Building Controls Technician (Commissioning) and Building Controls Engineer.

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Those with experience in the industry who are not yet familiar with the new card types recently introduced are advised to take a look at the details included on the BCIA website to see which is most appropriate for their role. 

The BCIA is now working with ECS to develop an Experienced Worker Assessment which will lead to a Building Controls Engineer gold card. This will give the opportunity for experienced professionals, who did not have the opportunity to undertake a formal apprenticeship or regulated training route to meet the standards set by the industry in the occupational qualification structure.

The EWA recognises a person’s existing industry experience and takes into account the work they have been carrying out to the nationally recognised standard to provide a cost and time effective way of assessing the level of work already being undertaken by those who have experience in the building controls sector. Completion of the assessment process for the EWA will lead to an industry recognised certification that meets the requirements for an ECS Building Controls Engineer gold card application. 

The EWA is being developed by leading training provider Group Horizon. Peter Behan, Director of Group Horizon, said: “We are delighted to be working with two leading industry organisations in the BCIA and ECS to develop the Building Controls Experienced Worker Assessment. Group Horizon’s fully accredited qualifications are delivered by our specialist assessors who each bring a wealth of experience in their chosen field to ensure all our delegates are fully prepared for their professional journey.”

BCIA President Graeme Rees said: “Work has been ongoing to ensure the building controls sector is supported by a highly skilled and competent workforce. The BCIA is delighted to have worked with the ECS to introduce this new set of cards that will allow industry professionals to proudly demonstrate the competence level they have reached in this exciting and rapidly growing industry.”