Raising the standards in Victoria for electricians.

An Insight Into Construction Wiring

Since 1997, about 6,000 students have undertaken the Construction Wiring course. That's more than 6,000 people who have refreshed their knowledge and skills around the AS/NZS 3000 Wiring Rules obligations and Victorian Acts, regulations and legal responsibilities.

The Construction Wiring course is focused on the safe design, construction and testing of the temporary electrical installations on all building sites, and the three-day course incorporates both mandatory testing and construction wiring while 50 per cent of the delivery is practice based.

Mandatory testing outlines the six safety tests electricians are obligated to undertake in the workplace. The course provides practice on simulated switchboards that mimic electrical installations and faults. Electricians also hear from a guest speaker from Energy Safe Victoria, who provides an insight into the various prosecutions and consequences of breaching the Electricity Safety Act and regulations.

There are two main documents addressed within the course. The first is the electrical Australian Standard 3012:2010 – Electrical Installations for Construction and Demolition Sites, which outlines the minimum requirements to adhere to. The other is developed by WorkSafe as an Industry Standard, "Electrical Installations on Construction Sites". Both of these pieces of documentation are required to be used in conjunction with the Wiring Rules AS/NZS 3000.

Tony Robins, who delivers the course, says, "A Class Electricians will have the opportunity to use their skills and knowledge to identify faults and breaches of legislation. Licence holders will walk out of this course knowing their legal responsibilities and duties when signing Certificates of Electrical Safety. We highlight this during a site inspection, which takes place on day two at a number of different building sites, located nearby in North Melbourne."

The latest changes are always brought to the surface during the course. At the moment, there are amendments that electricians need to be aware of to perform their work. "Australian Standard 3012 was amended in the last 12 months and AS/NZS 3010 (Generators) is up for draft and is due to change soon," says Tony.

With the constant changes, it is recommended that electricians undertake the Construction Wiring Refresher every three years.

Tony emphasises that student participation in the course is key. "Interactive technology is used to share experiences within the group, and this is where many electricians learn." Peer-to-peer learning is one method Tony uses to engage students. He also uses adult learning principles, which involves the students raising their own experiences from their workplaces. Tony responds to these practical examples shared to create meaningful and relevant content. "Adult students like to make a link with what they are learning and a work situation." The new ETU Futuretech learning facilities are second-to-none, greatly assisting in delivering the information in a clear and concise manner.

Assistant Branch Secretary Wes Hayes says the course has been around since the late 1990s, and the union was at the forefront of delivery with the previous EEIT and now Futuretech.

"There are many ETU members around today that were involved in the first training of this type of course that has now continued into the new state-of-the-art training facility."

"These type of courses are not only needed now as they were in the 1990s, but the union has identified and is expanding into other training industry programs in the next 12 months."

"Both EEIT and this course identified an industry training gap, and the union will always be developing these new types of courses into the future."

Why should electricians undertake this course? With the volatile construction marketplace, it's important that electricians upgrade their skills and knowledge to get the next job. Lessons learned in the course can be applied on the job to ensure safety and compliance.

The Construction Wiring course is endorsed by Energy Safe Victoria, highly recommended by WorkSafe, accepted by electrical employers throughout the industry, and can be delivered anywhere in Victoria.

If your Construction Wiring ticket has expired past the three-year date, please contact Futuretech for an upgrade.

You can view the full article via the ETU Journal (Summer 2016).

Contact Futuretech on 03 9564 4700 or www.futuretech.edu.au for more information.

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