BCIA takes training 
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The Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) in conjunction with National Electrotechnical Training (NET) has launched the Building Controls Professional Assessment (BCPA), an assessment of occupational competence for apprentices and practicing operatives in the controls industry.


The BCPA is an assessment of knowledge and competence in the installation, commissioning and testing of building controls and BEMS. It has been designed by the BCIA membership and NET on behalf of the building controls industry to form the Assessment of Occupational Competence for the BEMS NVQ Level 3 Diploma.


The BEMS NVQ Level 3 Diploma is an EAL-approved qualification developed in conjunction with the BCIA. It gives learners the skills and knowledge needed to install building energy management systems (BEMS) and equipment in buildings and structures.

The qualification has a combination of 18 mandatory knowledge and performance units that give learners an understanding of relevant legislation, procedures and principles of installing BEMS.

Steve Harrison, President of the BCIA said: “For many years there was no controls-specific training at the apprentice level and as a result the BCIA established an NVQ in Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS). We now have a number of trainees undertaking this course who are benefitting from workplace learning and experience, backed by classroom instruction.

“At the end of their BEMS NVQ the apprentices will take an Assessment of Occupational Competence (AOC) which reflects the course which the apprentices have taken but also ensures that each candidate is assessed on the most important aspects of their future job.

“The BCIA has worked hard to create an AOC which demonstrates that those who pass really do know their stuff and the introduction of the BCPA will do just that - assess knowledge, skill and professionalism.”

The BCPA is a 2.5 day assessment which covers three main areas: installation and commissioning; fault-finding; and a multiple choice test which assesses knowledge of BEMS-related areas such as legislation and energy efficiency issues.

NET is now the guardian of the BCPA test, and any future test centres must be licensed by NET, and meet their rigorous standards. Iain Macdonald, chief executive of NET said: “I am delighted to have been involved in the development and launch of the BCPA. The parallels which exist between the demands placed on controls professionals and electricians meant that the AM2 (the electrical installation industry’s assessment of occupational competence) was the ideal template for the development of the BCPA.

“Drawing on our experience with the AM2 we have come up with something that works equally well for the building controls industry and reflects both the demands placed on professionals and the expectations of employers.”

This is a first for the UK controls industry and is an important step in raising standards and professionalism in the sector. It comes at a time when two Government consultations have endorsed assessments of occupational competence and represents the UK controls industry’s commitment to raising and maintaining standards in their sector.

www.bcia.co.uk

About the Building Controls Professional Assessment

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Designed by the BCIA membership and NET on behalf of the building controls industry to form the Assessment of Occupational Competence for the BEMS NVQ Level 3 Diploma

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BCIA members worked on a voluntary basis to put the assessment together

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Equipment for the new test bays has been donated by several member companies, including Western Automation, Trend, Siemens Building Technologies, and Belimo.

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Clarkson Evans is operating the first BCPA assessment centre licensed by NET at its Gloucester headquarters.

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The BCIA is working with Clarkson Evans because of their expertise in training, and in delivering the AM2 assessment for the electrical installation industry.

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The BCPA is an assessment of knowledge and competence in the installation, commissioning and testing of building controls and BEMS, and is based on competencies developed during the BEMS NVQ Diploma.

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It is a 2.5 day assessment which covers three main areas: installation and commissioning; fault-finding; and a multiple choice test which assesses knowledge of BEMS-related areas such as legislation and energy efficiency issues.

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NET is now the guardian of the BCPA test, and any future test centres must be licensed by NET, and meet their rigorous standards.

The BEMS NVQ Level 3 Diploma is an EAL-approved qualification developed in conjunction with the BCIA. It gives learners the skills and knowledge needed to install building energy management systems (BEMS) and equipment in buildings and structures.

The qualification has a combination of 18 mandatory knowledege and performance units that give learners an understanding of relevant legislation, procedures and principles of installing BEMS. The BCPA is the final mandatory unit of the qualification. (See www.eal.org.uk for full details).

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