PUCSL to establish licensing framework for electricians

In 2012, there were 180 deaths from electrocution, most of them owing to poor safety and quality of wiring, revealed the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) yesterday as it held its public consultation on establishing a licensing framework for electricians in the country at the BMICH.

The licensing system is expected to come into effect on October 1.

There are close to 21,000 electricians in the country with a majority not being qualified to operate as electricians. The new licensing system developed by the PUCSL together with the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL), the Tertiary Vocational Education Commission (TVEC), Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka (VTA), the Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA), the Ceylon Electricity Bard (CEB) and the Lanka Electricity Company (PVT) Ltd, will certify electricians based on an assessment of their skills and whether they have the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) certificate for the job.

Electricians qualified with NVQ 3 and above can obtain a permanent license from CIDA, after proving their knowledge at an evaluation facilitated by the evaluation panel, stated PUCSL whilst others will be given a temporary license for three years to allow them to get the certificate.

“Those who are not professionally qualified but have hands on experience, will be given the opportunity to prove their competency and to qualify for NVQ levels through a process facilitated by CIDA”.

Permanent licenses will allow electricians to design, wire and test the installation of domestic wiring (30amps Signal phase) and issue a certificate to get the electrical connection needed by CEB and LECO. These electricians will also be allowed to wire, test and install three phase 30amps and 60 amps installations, subject to the design by a chartered engineer.

The new system proposed by PUCSL it will also be mandatory in future to produce the certification of an electrician with the permanent license, stating that the installation was designed, wired and tested in order to receive a domestic electrical connection (up to 30A, single phase).

Professionals, government institutions, electricians and interested parties making their submissions at the consultations welcomed the move to certify electricians and to make it a professionally recognised field of employment. More importantly this would help ensure the safety standards of electrical installations in the country.

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