The latest news hot off the press here at Access Training is the end of the level 3 inspection and testing qualification 2391 as we know it (with the exception of a few re-sit papers!). The qualification, aimed at electrical personnel who either carry out or supervise the testing and inspection of electrical installations, has been replaced by two separate qualifications, including:

2394 – Initial verification of electrical installations

2395 – Periodic inspection and testing of electrical installations

From information we have received from the Joint industry Board (JIB), if an electrician wants to earn their JIB ‘Gold Card’, they will be required to pass BOTH qualifications!

For those of you who have attempted the old 2391 in the past, the 2394 is in essence the same qualification with the addition of an online multiple choice paper, whilst the written element has been reduced to just a one and a half hour exam.

The 2395 consists of an online multiple choice exam (a common element of both qualifications), a visual inspection task, a periodic inspection and a test on a three phase or single phase installation, which will incorporate faults the candidate will be required to identify. There will also be a separate one and a half hour written paper.

Some of the concerns being aired by the industry include the fact that the separation of this qualification may work to dilute the kudos held by inspection engineers, as well as having the effect of dummying down the subject area. Having sat the 2395 examinations, I can assure you that no such dilution will take place. The new qualification is as demanding as the old 2391, and if anything the changes have led to the examination of a wider subject area.    

Author: Mark Jenkins

When British Gas, Scottish Power and other leading energy providers in the UK announced huge new increases to their gas and electricity prices in the last week, it was another piece of bad news for a huge amount of cash-strapped Brits who are struggling with their bills. 

However, the price hikes may be good news for electricians, or those planning on enrolling on an electricians course. But why? 

People turn to an energy alternative 

The recent British Gas rises – occurring not long after the company announced a profit of £345m in the first half of 2012 – are sure to prove key in persuading a large number of people to invest in producing solar power at home. Over the past five years, it can’t have escaped your notice that growing numbers of people across Britain are placing distinctive blue solar panels on the roof of their home; choosing to generate electricity through solar power. 

It is estimated that by installing solar panels, homeowners can save hundreds of pounds every year on their energy bills – while some homes with enough panels can become entirely energy-efficient, and free from the price rises of energy giants.  

And although Government feed-in tariffs (FiTs), which pay homeowners a small fee for every kWh they produce, have been reduced in the last 12 months, homes can still be paid hundreds of pounds a year just for creating renewable solar energy. 

Great news for electricians

Of course the huge surge in popularity of solar power has lead to many jobs being created across the country for fitters, salesmen and electricians, whose in-depth knowledge and experience is vital in assembling a kit that both collects and stores valuable solar energy for people’s homes. 

It’s very true that electricians provide an ‘essential’ service to homes and businesses, and as such are less susceptible to poor economic conditions than most professions, but the continued popularity of solar panels will only mean good news for both electricians and those who are looking for a dependable, interesting new career. 

Are you interested in making the most of the solar boom? For further information on training an electricians course, contact us at Access today – where we’ve a wide range of courses to suit your specific needs. Call us today on 0800 345 7492

As is the want of Murphy’s Law, DIY and plumbing disasters always seem to happen at the worst possible times. Whether late in the evening, in the early hours of the morning or during a bank holiday, a plumbing problem will always manifest itself with particularly poor timing.  And at specialist times like this, when immediate action is frequently necessary, many professional plumbers, who have trained on a plumbing course, will charge extortionate rates. 

Sometimes however, the problem is a simple one that you can fix yourself without involving an expensive third party. Here are some particularly straightforward plumbing problem and their simple solutions:

Unclogging a drain

When you’ve just eaten Christmas dinner or a special birthday dinner and then you find the sink to be critically blocked, the thought of doing the dishes in the bathtub fills you with dread. Usually caused by lots of bits of food or grease, a drain can be unblocked using a humble plunger or by using an instrument to poke the blockage through. 

Noisy pipes

There are some homes where particularly noisy plumbing resembles a small modernist concerto. If your pipes are banging or squeaking then it probably means they have come loose from the straps or cushions that affix them to the wall, so simply place a new piece of material around the pipes. 

Hammering pipes

When pipes start to hammer, however, there’s a different solution. Hammering pipes means that the air chambers in the pipes are empty – this can be fixed by turning the water off at the mains, then opening all the faucets to drain the entire system. Afterwards, turn off the faucets and let the water back on. The chambers should refill with air and the hammering will stop.   

Running toilet

This is one of the most common problems that people will call a plumber out for, but it can be very simply solved, usually by replacing a faulty flapper or ball assembly. However, in some cases, you may need to clean mineral deposits from the tank itself with an effective combination of vinegar, baking soda and boiling water. 

If you find that you have a natural passion for plumbing and would like to train professionally, or are simply interested in learning the ropes, Access have a wide variety of plumbing courses available. Learn more by calling 0800 3457492 today. 

Historically, property has yielded better returns than any other investment vehicle; an added benefit is that a piece of land never goes to zero value like equities and the likes.  Then, there is the regular income in the form of rent and the perks of living in a well made home to consider. However, are these benefits enough to justify the cost of enrolling in a property development course?

When should you consider property developer training?

If you have discretionary income or enough savings to invest in property, it would be best to jump into the sector well prepared. After all, a shoddily constructed house in a remote area will not fetch you the expected returns. This is where all the homework you put into buying a piece of land will come in handy.

Because property purchases involve a significant amount of money, it would certainly be prudent to consider taking a property development course before you embark on this rewarding pursuit on a business or professional level.

What can you expect from property developer training programmes?

Although a property development course offered by a reputable establishment will set you back by at least a few thousand pounds, the knowledge and experience that it provides will be invaluable when you wade out into the world of property dealings.

These training programs are designed to offer in depth information on every aspect of property development from choosing the right location to construction minutiae like interiors, tiling, plumbing, electrical systems, structural concepts and more. All in all, by the time you complete the training programme, you will be well versed with every facet of property development  

Choosing the best property development course for you

You will need to start looking for programs with a clear idea of how you intend to use this education. For instance, you can find both commercial as well residential property developer courses in the market. 

Also consider the precise area of property development that interests you; for instance, apart from the 360 degree courses that cover all aspects of property development, you can also find specific training programs that only deal with property law, or architecture and designing  or even with market analysis and more.

Once you know your requirements, look for information on establishments that offer property development courses. The internet is by far the most exhaustive source of data on colleges and other learning centres that offer vocational education.

In London alone, there are almost 40 colleges that offer training on property development; apart from this, you can also find numerous private establishments that offer formal courses on the subject.

Finally, always choose a program that will earn you a formal certification, preferably one that is accredited under the NCFE 2 Q license.

Did you know that this week is national back week? From today until the 12th of October, National Back Week aims to highlight how important it is for trade professionals, electricians and plumbers to really look after their back and ensure they’re fighting fit and ready to give their all to their job.

Back pain is the second most common cause of long-term illness in the UK and without a healthy back it’s very hard to do anything – and even more so if you’re constantly on the move and performing highly practical tasks for your job. Whether you’re lifting, driving, stretching, climbing or painting, without a healthy back it is much harder to do your job properly.

That’s why National Back Week was launched by BackCare, the charity for healthier backs, to raise awareness of keeping your back in tip-top shape. But what steps can trades people take to ensure a healthy back?

Keep moving

Like all muscles, the tendons and sinews that make up your back get stronger the more often they’re used. So, a great way of keeping back pain at bay is by staying active. Luckily, as a tradesperson, you’re likely to be frequently on your feet, bending, lifting and using your back muscles, so they are likely to be pretty strong. If you have injured your back, remember that strengthening those muscles is the key to regaining your health, so try low-impact exercise like swimming.

Sit well

Although you’re likely to be frequently off your feet, many back problems arise as a result of poor posture while seated. So when you’re doing paperwork or relaxing at home, ensure that your back is straight and well-supported. Plus, be sure to frequently adjust your sitting position, as sticking to the same posture for a long period of time could lead to a repetitive strain injury.

Lift safely

Many back injuries occur as a result of lifting something that’s too heavy for you to cope, and it’s important to remember that no bravado and man-points can mask the agony of a bad back. So, when you’re next confronted by a package that’s too heavy to lift, ask a friend to help you with it, or transport it in pieces. By recognising your limits, your back will stay safe.

Here at Access, we provide a wide variety of plumbing, decorating and electrician courses that can suit your specific background, age and career needs. To learn more about our fun, flexible courses, explore the rest of the site or speak to one of our team on 0800 3457492.