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Last edited 26 Jan 2022
Electrotechnical Assessment Specification guidance for installers
On 18 January 2022, Gary Parker, technical manager at ECA delivered an online presentation, “Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) - What installers need to know.”
The EAS is intended for use by certification and registration bodies that undertake assessment of enterprises carrying out electrical installation work in England and Wales. The EAS is published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). The 2020 EAS came into effect on 1 September 2020 with an update in October 2021.
 Key changes
During the 30-minute session, Parker discussed the changes incorporated into the October 2021 version. He stressed the consequences of not knowing what to expect from assessments and said these changes 'will have an impact on everyone who carries out electrotechnical work'.
The issue of documentation was one of the first changes discussed by Parker. This edition of the EAS requires organisations to keep all documents needed for the assessment for a period of six years. This includes specifications, certificates, complaints, health and safety information, calibration documents and so on.
He also mentioned that organisations need to have a copy of GS38 as well as other reference material associated with electrical wiring regulations. Paper or electronic versions of these documents are acceptable for assessment purposes.
One of the most important changes Parker noted was the new requirement associated with competence and adequate supervision of employed persons tasked with undertaking electrotechnical work. These requirements apply to full and part-time staff as well as subcontractors and should be documented and maintained.
Changes in insurance requirements were also discussed. In addition to having £2 million public liability insurance, contractors who undertake electrical installation condition reports (EICRs) must have at least £250,000 professional indemnity insurance.
Another change mentioned by Parker is the need to demonstrate the ability to undertake safe isolation practices. He recommended having an up to date and solid understanding of safe isolation, including a basic four step check:
Parker said, “Most people are taught about safe isolation in the first year of their apprenticeships but it’s a bit of a strange one because we all know it, yet it often gets missed. About seven people per year die from just not undertaking safe isolation, which is seven too many. We don’t need that.”
 Suitable personnel and revised qualifications
In discussing qualifications of key personnel associated with EAS, Parker explained that this typically includes the principal duty holder (PDH) and qualified supervisor (QS). He explained that the organisation should have a sufficient number of QSs for the work being carried out, although they are not required to be on site at all times. QSs are responsible for the quality and safety of the work being performed, and should a QS change, the PDH has 30 days to inform the certification body. A new QS must be in place within 120 days.
Existing QSs are required to meet 18th Edition Wiring Regulation qualifications; they can no longer simply demonstrate an understanding of it. While Parker didn’t anticipate any immediate changes to qualifications for existing QSs, he did suggest upskilling for those looking to expand their knowledge and diversify into areas such as solar panels, heat pumps, electric vehicles or other green technologies.
For those new to the position of QS, the qualifications have increased and will continue to do so over time. To meet this higher standard, new QSs (and QS applicants) will be required to meet 18th Edition Wiring Regulation and inspection and testing qualifications as well as other qualifications available through apprenticeships, periodic training and continuing professional development.
 The assessment experience
Parker made it clear that assessments will no longer be the same. He said there will be more things for the assessor to check and recommended creating a checklist.
He also suggested making sure as many elements as possible have been covered before the assessment. Parker made it clear that the competence side will be one of the key things the assessor will review, so he said it's important to have suitable documentation in place.
- 18th Edition Wiring Regulations
- Articles about electricity.
- ECA articles.
- Electrotechnical Assessment Specification.
- Electrotechnical assessment specification for use by certification and registration bodies.
- Electrical test equipment for use on low voltage electrical systems GS38
- Electrical wiring.
- IET announces release of 18th Edition Amendment 2.
- Institution of Engineering and Technology.
- Professional indemnity insurance PII.
- Public liability insurance.
- Safe isolation for low voltage.
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