Can you tell me about the requirements for ECS health and safety card applications and what the difference is between a ECS and a CSCS Card


It is now virtually impossible to gain access to a designated construction site without proof of your identification, your level of competency and crucially, the qualifications and the level of those qualifications that you hold.

The ECS card scheme was introduced as an affiliate CSCS card scheme  number of years ago. Its principal aim is to provide proof of professional qualifications.

ECS stands for Electrotechnical Certification Scheme - it is an affiliate CSCS card scheme and for period of time, it remained as the only identification and competence card scheme for Datacomms specialists in the UK.

However, you can now obtain a CSCS Blue skilled workers card by showing that you hold the level 2 3667 award in either copper cabling or fibre optic cabling (internal and/or external)

By having an ECS Datacomms Specialist Card will mean that  you can prove your identity, the "qualification status" and your occupational competency when working on-site and just to reiterate, this is a Gold Card and it is fully affiliated to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).


So when people say that you need a CSCS card - pleas be aware that the ECS Datacomms Specialist card is applicable to the structured cabling and the fibre optic cabling Industry. If you required a blue card then you apply for a communications installer card via the CSCS web site

What can you do to help me with either obtaining a ECS Datacomms Specialist card or the Communications Installer Blue card?

Total Comms Training has long been recognised as the leading provider of qualifications for the comms cabling installation industry. - and with the ECS card that you should apply for is known as the ECS Datacomms Specialist. If you are applying for a CSCS Blue card, then we are able to confidently provide delegates with the required full suite of modules the lead up to those awards that meet the criteria of the ECS Datacomms Specialist card or the CSCS Communications installer CSCS card.


Important information concerning ECS/CSCS card applications    

In order to work on a site that is deemed a construction site, it is a MANDATORY REQUIREMENT for ALL personnel to hold a ECS card or a CSCS Card.

Total Comms Training is accredited to deliver the full QCF portfolio of awards designed to meet the performance criteria as demanded by ECS or CSCS. Applicants may also be required to provide evidence of their industry experience and such evidence may require letters from employers in support of the application.

To visit the ECS Datacomms Specialist card Website Click Here

To visit the CSCS card Website Click Here

(please note that we are not responsible for content/information on external web sites)

In summary, delegates wishing to obtain a ECS Datacomms Specialist card MUST successfully undertake the FULL 3667-02 award - this includes the core module (101) , one of the fibre optic modules (102 or 103) or the module covering copper cabling (104). If you require the CSCS Communications Installer blue card, then the full award may still have to undertaken

For more information or clarification of what qualifications you need, please contact us on our main enquiry telephone number (UK only) 0800 170 7007


What is Structured Cabling?

Structured Cabling Systems, Structured Wiring or Network Cabling all refer to the cabling and components installed in a logical, compatible and of course, an organised way! 

Designed to be independent of the type of active equipment that essentially "plugs" into the network, structured cabling offers a truly universal way of connecting computers, printers and other active devices together.



Why Use Structured Cabling?

A structured cabling system can use the same cabling system for everything. That means that Ethernet devices, telephony including VoiP, printers, access control, video can all successfully utilise structured cabling.


A well designed and installed structured cabling system will give many years of service and as such, can be seen as an investment that will last for the long term.

As structured cabling references international standards, users are assured that Ethernet applications and hardware will essentially work, assuming the cabling has been installed correctly and tested to prove its functionally. That means that even if the cabling and components are from different manufacturers, they are all compatible with each other.



What is the difference between CAT 6 and CAT 5e cable

There is a great deal of confusion among cabling installers, cabling technicians and customers, who are faced with the choice of purchasing Cat5e or Cat6. Some of this confusion comes from a misunderstandings of how cabling performance is defined by the active equipment that will be utilising the structured cabling system. In the belief that CAT6 cabling will give them an "all gigabit" network, many companies have had upgrades on their cabling systems, based purely on the assumption that the "network will be faster" - sadly, this is not the case.

Unless every single network interface card, every component and every switch in the network is gigabit rated, then you will never have a gigabit network, because your network will always run at the speed of your slowest device.

Cat5e cabling system is capable of supporting gigabit  - it just cannot be "certified" for this use. By comparison, Cat6 is designed specifically for gigabit, and as such, is certified to operate at the requisite capacity, but do remember that all patch cords, outlets, patch panels must all be rated at Cat6.


What is the difference in performance between fibre optic cables and traditional copper cables?

Essentially, fibre optic cable is made out of a solid "rod" of extremely pure glass; this central "rod" or core is itself encapsulated within a second layer of glass called the ‘cladding’. The cladding protects the fibre and helps prevent light loss. It looks to the naked eye, like one solid piece of glass.

By sending millions of pulses of light every second, fibre optic cable is capable of transmitting far more information, for longer distances, in less time than conventional copper cabling, such as Cat5e or Cat6 or even the higher capacity Cat6a media. Furthermore fibre optic cable is totally secure, they are not affected by adjacent electrical cables,  or for that matter affected by radio interference.


Is the training you offer qualified in some way?

Yes it is! - Total Comms Training Limited is a fully approved City and Guilds Centre. In addition, we are active members of the Fibre Optics Industries Association, achieving several certifications including FIA Approved Training Provider at all levels. All of our trainers hold the A1 Assessors award.






Contact Us

Address:Total Comms Training Ltd, Centurion House, Barrows Road, Harlow, Essex, CM19 5FN

For more info call us
on freephone: 0800 170 7007
For all other enquiries, you can call us on + 44 (0)1279 42 66 00

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