SUCCESSFUL FIRST CERTIFICATION CYCLE FOR EARTHING AND LIGHTNING PROTECTION ASSOCIATION (ELPA)
Following its launch in June this year, the first set of certification exams for Earthing and Lighting Protection Association (ELPA) accredited installers/designers, held on 17, 18, 22 and 23 August, in Johannesburg, was booked out over all four days, with 88 course delegates.
ELPA national director, Trevor Manas says, “We are very pleased with the demand for the first ELPA certification cycle and the results of the course. The uptake has been incredible – we saw representation from all major companies and also from around the country. All ELPA-accredited installers must have passed the ELPA examination with at least an 80 percent pass mark on the written test, and must also be interviewed by the examiner. The interview determines the level of competency and degree of recognition for prior learning and experience.
“This exam covered the installation of lightning protection systems (LPSes), with the five pillars being: air termination system; down conductor system; earth termination system; lightning equipotential bonding and separation distances. Our involvement with certification and compliance will help to improve technical competency within the industry, especially among installers, designers and assessors, and this will assist in improving safety standards within the lightning protection industry.”
The next course will also target installers, due to the high demand seen previously, and will be held on 18 and 19 October in Johannesburg. A course for designers will then follow in February 2018, and a course for testers/assessors will be held in March.
Manas adds, “The individual who becomes ELPA-certified is a more valuable employee and would be considered a relatively scarce resource, especially for those who are among the first to be accredited. This certification definitely showcases upskilling of the individual, who is now enabled to sign off ELPA Lightning Protection Safety reports. This is naturally of benefit also to the companies they work for. For example, Eskom recently put out a tender and specified for ELPA installers only, so this highlights the uptake of ELPA’s certification and how well-regarded our new offering actually is.”
Manas says the modular nature of the skills training programme will equip ELPA-certified specialists in aspects of contracting, including quality control programmes, risk identification, analysis and management.
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