Why no plastic card – the big question answered!

20 March 2015

Some in the industry have called for a SparkSafe plastic card, suggesting that this would provide a sense of value for money, and improve the perceived worth of the licence to the holder.

During the development process of the licence to practice concept, the view was taken that a control system that included a plastic card would confuse the client and undermine the online solution. The fact is that few employers or client organisations look for a plastic card to evidence electrical competency.  The rationale behind the unique online solution was to design a system that would achieve the following-

Connect online, the identity of the electrical worker, by licence type to specific projects via their employer and subsequently via the main contractor to the client.

From February 2014, electrical sub contract work on certain projects will be awarded based partly upon the quality and standard of the contractor’s direct and indirect workforce. To achieve and maintain the appropriate level of scrutiny by plastic card is deemed to be unrealistic.

The online solution provides the client and the contracted parties including the worker with 24/7 access to a system that facilitates visibility, transferability, and simplicity.  Furthermore, the SparkSafe system informs the client and imposes compliance upon the supply chain to employ licenced electrical installation workers.

Six reasons why there is no SparkSafe plastic card

  1. Card fraud is on the increase. Reproducing plastic trade cards is relatively easy. To protect your interests we decided to make it more difficult by keeping it in a secure on-line domain.
  2. When was the last time you were asked to produce a trade card? The requirement to produce a card on demand has greatly diminished. Who’s asking for it?
  3. The system provides you and your customers with 24/7 access to an online version of a card. This way you can let many of your customers know who you are and what you are qualified to do in advance of carrying out work.
  4. Plastic cards wear out, become lost or mislaid.  No replacement cost.
  5. The system has been designed to support a customer focussed service that electronically connects the client, main contractor, electrical contractor and the worker. By doing so, the identity and value of the worker is brought to the fore and positively highlighted.
  6. Plastic cards cost money to produce, update and manage. The on-line system helps reduce costs that would otherwise be passed on to the industry.