What is the difference between the JIB and Electrical Licence to Practice?

Industry News: 26 October 2016

The JIB plastic card system

The JIB proposition is based upon an established plastic card system. The card is a vehicle for carrying an operative’s identity, grade, occupation and health and safety credentials.  Many new occupational JIB card types have come into existence over the period.   However, with regards to electrical installation, there are five main occupational card types. These are apprentice, helper, electrician, approved electrician and technician. Each card is linked to designated pay rates and corresponding levels of responsibility as defined in the JIB Handbook.  In the UK the JIB does not require ECS card holders to possess an accredited qualification covering the latest edition of BS7671.  From the client’s perspective, the relevancy of the JIB card lies with the following:

  • Demand for the card at the gate.  The client may oblige the electrical contractor to produce an individual card to prove evidence of electrical competency for each worker
  • The possession of the card by the person.  Lost, forgot, out of date and fake cards feature in the challenge of the system in the modern era
  • Management of card by the Main Contractor.  The plastic card system relies upon paper based management and control systems


The Online Licence to Practice system

The Electrical Licence to Practice system makes innovative use of online technology. Plastic cards are replaced by online profiles. The online profile provides the name and photographic identify of the worker, as well as the workers licence type, membership number and expiry date. In Northern Ireland, the LtP arrangements by client demand, places a firm obligation on those who apply for a QE licence to evidence the achievement of the latest edition of BS7671.  The strength of the online Licence to Practice system lies with the following:

  • Demand for the card at the gate.  An independently verified competency and photographic identity check for each worker becomes available online to key stakeholders from inception to final handover of the project
  • The possession of the card by the person.  The issues of fake, lost and forgotten cards are replaced by the online system which can be accessed 24/7. The electrical worker is provided with a unique membership number and online licence type, which is matched to their identity, qualifications and experience
  • Management of card by the Main Contractor.  The administration costs and management time associated with recording and checking the electrical contractor’s workforce composition is minimised by the online system and resources