Mar 05, Colombo: Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator, is to establish an accepted professional status for electricians in the country through accrediting their qualifications and experience.
The proposed mechanism was developed by PUCSL in collaboration with the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL), Tertiary, Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA), Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company (PVT) Limited (LECO).
Explaining the reasons behind the initiative taken, Director General of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, Damitha Kumarasinghe said, 106 electrocutions were in the year 2017 and 55 percent of the electrocutions have occurred due to the issues of wiring, maintenance and non-standards.
"With the system is in place, the professional status of the electricians will be uplifted as well as the safety & quality of the electrical installation will be assured," he said.
PUCSL launched a public consultation on accrediting and licensing of electricians with a view of receiving the public, expertise and other stakeholder comments on the proposed mechanism. The comments will be accommodated to improve the proposed system.
Sri Lanka has about 21,000 electricians and data shows that only a few of them are qualified in National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). Most of the wiring and maintenance of the households and other premises are carried out by electricians who have no recognized qualifications but have experience through practice.
With the introduction of the mechanism, all the electricians will be issued a temporary license to continue their work and that license will only be valid for three (03) years.
For those who are qualified with National Vocational Qualification 3 (NVQ 3) and above can obtain a permanent license from CIDA within a day, after proving their knowledge at the evaluation facilitated by the Evaluation Panel.
For those who are not professionally qualified, but have hands-on experience, are given the opportunity to prove the competency and to qualify for NVQ levels through a process facilitated by CIDA, so that they can apply for the permanent license.
With the permanent license, electricians can design, wire, test, the installation of domestic wiring (30 amps Signal phase) and issue a certificate to get the electrical connection which is accepted by CEB and LECO.
According to the proposed mechanism, it is a must to produce the certification of an electrician with the permanent license, which state that the installation was designed, wired and tested to receive the electrical connection to a domestic (up to 30A, single phase).
Electricians with permanent licenses can also carry-out the wiring, testing and installation of the three phase 30 amps & 60 amps installation, subject to the design by a chartered engineer.
The proposed mechanism will also provide a career ladder for the electricians, according to their professional level and expertise, starting from apprentice, junior electrician, senior electrician, master electrician and utility electrician.
The Utility electricians are recognized to install and maintain the distribution lines of 1000 Volt to 33000 Volt.
"With the mechanism in place, it is aimed to standardize the practice of the electricians to match with international standards and will encourage people who want to enter into this industry by transforming their social stigma to a social status." Kumarasinghe said.
PUCSL invites stakeholders views, suggestions, recommendations, concerns and comments related to the following areas;
1. Categories/ classes of License to be issued and corresponding pre-requisite Qualifications.
2. Eligibility Requirements for Licenses and the Responsibilities held.
3. Suggestions on Structure of the Licensing Issuance Framework and Implementation.
4. Accountabilities held by key stakeholders & consortium.
5. Socio-Economic Impacts of the Licensing Issuance Framework Establishment.
The proposed mechanism in detail is now available at www.pucsl.gov.lk for reference. Those who are interested can submit their written comments/submissions to the Commission by post/fax or e-mail (email@example.com) and online via www.pucsl.gov.lk on or before 21st March 2018.
Further, PUCSL plans to hold an oral submission on the same. The venue and the date of the meeting will be communicated to the interested parties at an early date.