Adult Electrician – Retraining Routes

Starting out

So, you want to be an electrician and you aren’t currently working in the trade? Perhaps you have had enough of your current job and want to gain a trade, retrain as an electrician? The information below should be of some use.

Since the introduction of the NVQ, it has always been a requirement for an electrician to hold vocational proof of competence (workplace evidence of competency). For many adults the route to becoming a fully qualified electrician(1) involved studying a technical certificate at college (currently the C&G 2365) and completing a portfolio of evidence on site. This route is still viable.

Option 1 – The C&G 2357 Route

With the 2357 structure being unitised in line with the QCF qualification list, you can study them separately and claim them as individual awards. With this is mind, you can complete the following units without having direct employment within the electrical industry:

  • 2357-601 Health and Safety legislation, practices and procedures
  • 2357-602 Environmental legislation, working practices and principles
  • 2357-603 Practices and procedures for overseeing and organising the work environment
  • 2357-604 Planning and selection for the installation of electrotechnical equipment and systems
  • 2357-605 Preparation and installation of wiring systems and electrotechnical equipment
  • 2357-606 Termination and connection of conductors, cables and cords in electrical systems
  • 2357-607 Inspection, testing, commissioning and certification
  • 2357-608 Diagnosing and correcting electrical fault
  • 2357-609 Electrical principles

Once you have completed all of the units above at a college of training provider, you can either gain employment or significant work experience to complete the following units:

  • 2357-311 Health and Safety legislation and working practices
  • 2357-312 Environmental legislation, practices and the principles of environmental technology systems
  • 2357-313 Overseeing and organising the work environment
  • 2357-315 Planning, preparing and installing Mandatory wiring systems and associated equipment
  • 2357-316 Terminating and connecting conductors, cables and flexible cords
  • 2357-317 Inspecting, testing, commissioning and certifying electrotechnical systems
  • 2357-318 Diagnosing and correcting electrical faults
  • 2357-399 Electrotechnical Occupational Competence (AM2)

Once these units are complete, you can then apply to the JIB for your initial Gold Card(2).

Option 2 – The C&G 2365 onto the C&G 2357 Route

Introduced in September 2012, the 2365 was designed to plug a gap and enable those without experience or employment within the electrical industry to complete the technical side of the qualification first.  Like its predecessor was initially, the 2365 is now partially fundable and will allow adults retraining to do so cheaper than they would do on the 2357.  The route would be:

  • C&G2365 Level 2 Diploma in Electrical Installations
  • C&G2365 Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations

Once you have the above, you can then seek gainful employment or significant work experience and complete the following:

  • Bridging course (set by the C&G)
  • C&G 2357 Units 311-318 (Performance units completed on site)
  • 2357-399 Electrotechnical Occupational Competence (AM2)

Once you have the necessary qualifications, you can claim RPL and get the full C&G2357.  With this, you can then apply to the JIB for an ECS Gold Card(2).


  1. For the purpose of this site, a fully qualified electrician is considered to hold the ECS Gold card issued by the JIB. We understand there is no legal definition of qualified as of yet, but ascribe to the notion that an electrician holding the Gold card has sufficient competence and qualifications to be classed as an electrician.
  2. Please contact the JIB direct about a grading card. They may ask for or require proof of training.


  1. Hi im a 44yr old electrician but dont have the am2 i would like to get the am2 qualification to gain gold card status with ecs please can you help thank you

    1. Hi there. At the moment, you will need an NVQ level 3, either through the C&G2357 route or the EAL route to be able to complete the AM2.

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