Strategic projects - update

The Board introduced its two strategic projects in the last issue of Electron.

These are:

  • Registration Criteria – getting your registration: This project is looking at the process for electrical workers to become registered.
  • Ongoing Competency – keeping your licence: This project is looking at how electrical workers stay up to date with technological advances and maintain their competency once they are registered.

A high-level overview of the approach for the two projects is below. A brief update on each project and activity to date follows.

Registration Criteria – getting your registration

The Board had become concerned about the quality of these examinations and their variable pass rates. It was agreed last year with MBIE to undertake a review of the examinations. The Registration Criteria project team is taking a collaborative approach to the review. They’ve been getting out and talking to those in the industry affected by the registration requirements to both understand the way things are now and to co-design any improvements.

The scope of the review has since expanded to consider the whole of the Board’s registration criteria. The project team has been tasked with considering what the Board will require in order to be assured that a person is safe and competent to be a registered electrical worker and how this can be assessed. A critical aspect of this, given the current shortage of electrical workers, is to ensure that everyone who is competent and safe can achieve registration while ensuring standards are not dropped.

Over the first half of the year, in order to understand how the system currently works, the team spoke with a wide range of stakeholders. It also spent time researching other jurisdictions and occupations, both in New Zealand and around the world.

The next phase of work, to generate ideas in collaboration with stakeholders, has now been completed and a report has been provided to the Board. Based upon that, they will consider what options they would like to progress further. Given the close links between this and the Keeping Your Licence project, the project teams will be working together to make sure that any solutions developed complement one another.

At the same time, so we can provide certainty for those involved with training next year, an interim solution for examinations is being put in place. A procurement process to find an assessment supplier for the 2018 examination round has recently closed. In connection with this, the teaching guidelines are being updated to ensure they better reflect the core competencies.

Ongoing Competency Project – keeping your licence

The Board also sets the minimum requirements for competence programmes that electrical workers go through to get and maintain their practicing license. In order to ensure that the process of registration and licensing is clear and consistent across all processes, the Board is looking to assess how electrical workers stay up to date with changes to the industry and how they maintain their competency once they are registered.

The Ongoing Competency Project – keeping your licence began in July 2017 and will provide recommendations about changes to the Board in June 2018.

The project team presented their findings from the ‘understand’ phase of the project to the Board in October 2017. These findings were to help understand a diverse range of experiences and insights about the current scheme. The findings highlighted that electrical workers are generally happy with the process and how it’s working. However, there are some opportunities for improvement:

  1. Setting expectations for what the ‘competency’ courses will provide
  2. Considering the different ways electrical workers could access professional development training
  3. Checking how people perform in real-life as well as at courses
  4. Making courses more relevant to practice

The project team is now looking at possible solutions. Idea generation sessions have been helped by electrical worker industry representatives across the country and staff who are involved in the relicensing process. The team will look to hold testing sessions across the country with electrical worker industry representatives and other key stakeholders in February 2018, to test and seek feedback on proposals.