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Posted By Topic: competency course for ongoing registration license

Hendrix1
Jan 24 2020 13:35

Hi like most older electricians i dont do much heavy electrical work but still do some electrical work. The current competency courses requires self supply of certain test equipment, some electricians dont need or have the full range required as they need ongoing calibration which can expire and not gets used so how does one keep there license without these for the update course ??
   

TimoW
Jan 24 2020 14:32

Out of my small sample size of 4 refresher courses i've always brought along my test equipment but have never been asked to use it. The person taking the course has always demonstrated the practical requirements of the course. Even if it is required im sure most sparks would be happy to lend theirs or just pair up with someone at the course.
   

Hendrix1
Jan 24 2020 14:42

Thanks TimoW, what trainer do you use ?? Cheers
   

OctaneOutlaw
Jan 24 2020 17:11

I'm pretty sure they only require you to bring gear for completing the compulsory tests required for compliance with ESRs and Wiring Rules

If you don't have such gear how can you test for compliance when you do any work?

It's a required part of our job to have appropriate test equipment to complete the mandatory tests required by such documents referenced above
   

DougP
Jan 24 2020 20:10

As above. You need the correct equipment to do the mandatory tests.

It's not always necessary to have a current calibration certificate, and some of the calibration tests/checks, are able to be carried out easily yourself.
   

SymonS
Jan 24 2020 22:09

A multimeter and a megger is all thats actually required, which you should already have, and anybody that says otherwise either hasnt read the rules, and studied the tables, or doesnt know how to test.

If you read the current rules you'll find theres absolutely no need to buy overpriced multifunction testers such a those pedaled by the likes of Fluke and Avo.

It may take a little longer, but All the current manadatory test can be preformed with your current equipment, and some simple calculations.
   

DougP
Jan 24 2020 22:55

SymonS - and a loop impedance tester?

   

ppaw1965
Jan 25 2020 14:42

As an apprentice we were shown that do an impedance test with a meter and 1000 W load. But that was last century
   

ppaw1965
Jan 25 2020 14:46

Or perhaps that was PSCC. I did say it was last Century 🤣
   

SymonS
Jan 25 2020 21:35

DougP. AS/NZS3000:2007 8.3.9.3 Note the use of words May and Should. Not Shall and Must !!

There are other perfectly acceptable methods of determining loop impedance without the need for purchasing overpriced equipment.
   

DougP
Jan 25 2020 22:02

SymonS
8.3.9.1 is the "shall" clause.
   

DougP
Jan 25 2020 22:12

As for the "overpriced equipment", I've found that the loop impedance tester is one of the most useful pieces of faultfinding equipment available to anyone doing residential or small commercial/industrial work.

Having the ability to measure the loop impedance accurate to 0.01 ohms or better, and the PFC of a live circuit, with a piece of equipment that costs little more than one week's wages, was completely unheard of 20-30 years ago.
   

SymonS
Jan 25 2020 23:31

DougP. Perhaps you could enlighten us on just exactly where in 8.3.9.1 that it specifies what equipment "shall" be used?

And please dont just use the reference 'in accordance with 8.3.9.3' which uses 'should' and 'may'.
   

DougP
Jan 26 2020 00:21

SymonS, I'm sure you're experienced enough to know how to read the book by now. 8.3.9.1 tells you when the test shall be done.
When the supply is available, it must be by verification of the earth loop impedance, not just by measuring the resistance of the circuit conductors.

How you want to measure that earth loop impedance is up to you at present. As you have pointed out, 8.3.9.3(b) only tells you what you should do. If you want to do something else, I guess that's up to you.

Maybe you should take a look at 3000:2018 8.3.9.2.2 which will remove all doubt in the future.

Any particular reason you don't want to purchase an EFLI meter?

Also while we're on the subject of testing, I'd be interested to know what instrument you use to do earth continuity testing?

   

AlecK
Jan 26 2020 09:30

An interesting discussion, but getting well away from the original topic.

The EWRB's prescribed content for the course includes:
"Provide a practical (hands on) exercise that all participants can independently demonstrate and have their competency assessed in testing an installation so it is electrically safe to connect to a supply".
So any course that doesn't include this is not doing what's required. Though as TimoW suggests, using borrowed gear could get you through.
   

SymonS
Jan 26 2020 23:04

DougP. 45 years in the game gives me all the experience i need, and as you've pointed out, i am Very conversant with the rules and standards, which also includes what the powers that be would Like us to do as apposed that what the rules tell us we actually Have to do.

As per purchasing an ELFI impedance meter, i didnt say that i didnt have one, only that theres nothing in the rules that specifically states that we Must have one, and since 3000:2018 isnt mandated yet, it has absolutely no bearing or relevance on the current discussion.

And Yes, theyre overpriced !!
   

AlecK
Jan 27 2020 09:12

SymonS is correct that the wording of 8.3.9.3 in currently-cited edition of wiring Rules uses what appears to be non-mandatory language.
However I think he's not giving enough thought to how the words fit into the wider context of Section 8.

WRT to test method (a)using an ohmmeter; the wording "may" is permissive; so yes it allows this method for the conditions stated - ie no supply available. But it's not necessarily valid to extend from that, and conclude that the same test "may" be used in any other conditions. In fact, every time "may" is used, it caries within it the counter-case of "may not" - which is not a permissive phrase, but a mandatory one. In any Standard, use of "may" is always about permission, and not simply about possibility. On the other hand, this clause doesn't say "may only" ; so the wording does provide some latitude; the question is how much.

Note 1 to 8.3.1 observes that any alternative methods to those describes are conditional on the alternative method giving "equally valid results". True a Note can't directly impose a requirement; but they can certainly provide information as to intent.
Further; Note 1 to 8.3.3 says that EFLI testing "may require that supply is available"; which clearly suggests that under some circumstances the required test needs an available supply; the ONLY logical interpretation from this guidance is that if the given method requires supply, then using a method given only for a no-supply state won't meet the requirement of 8.3.3 (e).

In 8.3.9.3; for the condition "supply available", the (only) given method is (b). Clearly the intent is that an EFLI meteris to be used. Sure 8.3.1 permits alternatives (which explains the "should"); but I suggest substituting a method that's clearly intended only for "no supply" conditions; and that can't possibly give "equally valid results" as the given method; is not within the intent - or even within the letter - of the rule.

We must each make a decision for ourselves; so this is intended not as "SymonS's wrong & DougP's right"; but to encourage everyone to read the Section as a whole rather than just one tiny bit at a time.
Ultimately the final arbiter would be EWRB; so we should all make such decisions bearing in mind how the Board are likely to interpret the rules. History shows that the Board tends to arrive at some surprising interpretations; and I couldn't be certain what call they'd make on this particular issue based on the wording alone. But I'm fairly sure they would take note of the fact that the 2018 edition has deliberately firmed this up.
   

Andrew
Jan 27 2020 12:54

One man's "firmed up" is another man's "introduced a new requirement" though so the board could still go either way on this.
The easiest (and safest) way to avoid this question is to fit an RCD if you have to work on a circuit that would otherwise possibly require an EFLI test.
I've never strictly needed my EFLI tester for any work I've done or any competency/refresher courses I've attended.
   

AlecK
Jan 27 2020 14:35

which brings us back to the OP; and raises another side-issue.
True the EFLI test is only required for circuits supplying socket outlet(s); and only for those without RCD protection (these aspects also clarified in 2018 edition). So yes, installing an RCD will mean no EFLI test is required.

And I suppose it's possible for someone to never have installed a socket that didn't have RCD protection, and so never have needed to undertake an EFLI test. It suggests a very limited range of experience, but it's possible.

But the refresher requirements are about more than what we may have had to do up to now; they're about our competence to undertake all aspects of our work. So never having needed to do an EFLI test using the "live" method isn't relevant; it's whether we are competent to do such testing whenever it may be required / useful that is required to be assessed. And I struggle to see how anyone can be assessed as competent unless they both have access to the necessary instruments, and can show that they know how to use them correctly.

Repeat (as posted above): the EWRB course requirements are for "a hands-on, practical exercise" so that "all participants can have their competence assessed". Difficult to see how the course content can be compliant -unless the instruments have been used by each participant. And if the course wasn't compliant, any assessment of "competent" based in it could well be invalid.

I won't get into other uses of an EFLI meter, as the EWRB course requirements concentrate on testing new work for compliance; and appear to ignore other sorts of testing.

As to the semantics of '"firmed up" versus "new requirement"; worth noting that in 2018 edition, those changes regarded (by the EL001 Committee)as actual changes to requirements are marked with a red asterisk in the margin. Those regarded as being clarification of existing requirements have no such mark - and this includes 8.3.9.2 (ie the equivalent to current 8.3.9.3). Which gives a clear indication of the intent of both current and revised requirements.

However I agree the board could still go either way.

   

DougP
Jan 27 2020 17:44

Or it's not uncommon for the board to take a detour via a rule interpretation by a Martian, to come to some never before heard of reason why someone's work isn't compliant