Sourcing a skilled and competent workforce for electrical installation and maintenance requirements will often leave clients appointing the services of a qualifcied electrician.
Idenifying a qualified electrician is achieved through identification of the required industry competence requirements and then seeking individuals that have taken a long journey to work on and achieve this skills level.
However like many things in our industry, if there is a way to make a process easier, quicker and cheaper then there will always be opportunists and then those who take advantage.
One of the high risks areas is qualifications. All qualifciations and card systems are currently vulnerable through a small network of individuals using social media as an anonymous mechanism to reach out to people and offer a way to purchase counterfit qualifications and skills card for money.
SparkyNinja runs a number of large Facebook groups and every day new accounts join these groups under a false name, seeking to then post details on how the community members can buy these qualifciations and cards.
Unlike many other online communities, SparkyNinja and it's staff seek to hold high standards online and all of these accounts are immediatley blocked from all other groups when discovered.
SparkyNinja regularly feeds information in to the JIB regarding the illegal sale of JIB cards - with the JIB gold card appearing to be the most sought illegal item online.
Part of the requirements for the JIB Gold grading includes the provision of the NVQ Level 3 and the AM2 performance assessment. The NVQ Level 3 right now is very vulnerable, for reasons I cannot go into here. However the AM2 assessment - managed by NET - has stood firm in assuring all candidates assessed perform to the required occupational competence level.
To help protect the integrity of the AM2 performance assessmentS, NET has recently launched an online certificate verification system, where if you enter the NI number and Certificate Number from the certifciate provided to the candidate by NET it will confirm if those details match the NET database.
“It’s very hard to stop these fraudulent adverts but there’s no need for anyone to get away with fake certificates or cards. The industry is working hard to address this – awarding organisations such as City & Guilds and EAL have certificate checkers, ECS cards can be checked via the ECS Check service and now with AM2, our online service allows people to check AM2 validity directly. We urge employers to make these checks when recruiting to help combat those who are trying to cheat the system.”
NET's online certificate checking service is available at https://www.netservices.org.uk/check-cert-search/