Meeting national standards for Scotland's electricians

SELECT is the trade association for the electrical contracting industry in Scotland. Founded in 1900 as The Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland, it was the first trade association in the world to serve the electrical industry. Today, it is Scotland’s largest construction trade association and one of the oldest to represent the ‘modern’ trades.

Using the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s (SQA) Customised Awards service, organisations can design their own qualifications. SQA Customised Awards are unique qualifications developed in partnership with, and owned by, the partner organisation to meet their business needs, and demonstrate quality and industry compliance.

SELECT has been an SQA approved centre since 1999, delivering a variety of qualifications for Scotland’s electricians, with a commitment to providing high quality training for the industry.

SELECT provides support to around 1,260 member companies and works closely with the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) who run the only industry-approved training scheme for electrical apprenticeships in Scotland. Apprentice electricians work to achieve their Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Electrical Installation at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 7, jointly awarded by SQA and the Scottish Joint Industry Body (SJIB).

SELECT designed customised awards to offer training in BS 7671

Completing the SVQ and the apprenticeship is just the start. To stay up to date with changes in technology and regulations, electricians need to update skills and training throughout their careers. To meet this need, SELECT has designed a variety of SQA Customised Awards.

SELECT offers four Customised Awards to provide important training on BS 7671 – the UK national standard for electrical installation and the safety of electrical wiring in domestic, industrial and other buildings:

An online course on BS 7671 is a compulsory element in two of the BS 7671 awards but is available to candidates on any of BS 7671 courses. The online format provides flexibility for learners.

SELECT also offer another two Customised Awards for the following:

Training for these courses is delivered by tutors from SELECT at venues across Scotland.

The value of SQA Customised Awards

Fiona Harper, Director of Employment & Skills at SELECT, believes SQA Customised Awards are of significant value.

She said: “Working with SQA in the design of the Customised Awards has been invaluable. During development, we took the opportunity to redesign our training material and delivery methods to ensure that each of the courses meets the needs of the industry.

“We also developed additional assessment materials to ensure that our learners not only enjoy the experience of classroom training but, through a blend of online assessment, home study and project work, are able to prove that they have a clear understanding of the course content.

“At the delivery stage we strive to ensure high quality and consistency. Annual visits by an SQA external verifier highlight best practice and help us to guarantee we stay on the right track to achieve training excellence. These visits not only drive consistency for learners but have also resulted in us continuously reviewing and improving our administrative processes and quality assurance systems to ensure they are robust and relevant.”

Partnership between SQA and SELECT

This partnership between SQA and SELECT has proven extremely positive for the electrical industry in Scotland.

Fiona said: “We very much value the relationship with SQA and the Customised Awards process. These qualifications are a real mark of quality, and have a currency that both learners and employers relate to.

“From a learner perspective, it provides them with an SQA and SELECT joint certificate, enabling them to demonstrate the quality of the training to employers. The numbers of candidates going through the Customised Awards is continuously growing and are a testament to how much the industry values them.

“From an employer perspective, they recognise both brands and can be confident that their employees have been trained to a high standard and will have a good knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.”

Theresa McGowan, Regional Manager at SQA, is delighted with the difference SQA and SELECT are making to the electrical industry in Scotland.

She said: “As Scotland’s National Awarding Body, we support qualifications and skills in key sectors nationwide. I’ve worked with SELECT for a number of years and I am delighted to see that their commitment to providing high quality skills and training for electricians is going from strength to strength.

“SQA Customised Awards give our customers the flexibility to design their own qualifications, to a high quality, specific to their needs. Our dedicated Business Development and Customised Awards teams can support a variety of private, public and third sector organisations to meet their training needs.”