Sri Lanka to issue licences for electricians

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator, successfully held a public consultation yesterday (22 March 2018) at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), on the proposed framework for licensing electricians.The proposed mechanism plans to establish an accepted professional status for electricians in the country by accrediting their qualifications and experience.

Over 600 stakeholders representing the general public, electricians, institutions, government organizations participated in the consultation, while over 50 stakeholders presented their views on the proposed mechanism. All the comments and the proposals by the presenters will be reviewed by an expert committee of PUCSL and will be accommodated to implement the proposed licensing framework.    

Speaking at the Consultation, Director General of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, Damitha Kumarasinghe said that, the responses of the PUCSL to the stakeholder proposals will be communicated on the 23rd of April 2018 and the finalized licensing framework will be recommended to the government on 14th May 2018.“We plan to implement the new mechanism from 1st of October 2018.” He added.

The proposed mechanism was developed by PUCSL in collaboration with the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL), the Tertiary Vocational Education Commission (TVEC), the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka (VTA), the Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA), the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Lanka Electricity Company (PVT) Limited (LECO).

About the Proposed Mechanism

It is estimated that there are more than 21000 electricians working in the country and only a few of them are qualified in National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). Most of the wiring and maintenance of the households and other premises are carried out by electricians who have no recognized qualifications but have experience through practice.With the introduction of the mechanism, all the electricians will be issued a temporary license, valid only for three (03) years to continue their work.For those who are qualified with National Vocational Qualification 3 (NVQ 3) and above is eligible to obtain a permanent license from CIDA, after proving their knowledge at an evaluation facilitated by the Evaluation Panel.

For those who are not professionally qualified, but have hands-on experience, are given the opportunity to prove the competency and to qualify for NVQ levels through a process facilitated by CIDA, so that they can apply for the permanent license.With the permanent license, electricians can design, wire, test, the installation of domestic wiring (30 amps Signal phase) and issue a certificate to get the electrical connection which is accepted by CEB and LECO.

According to the proposed mechanism, it is a must to produce the certification of an electrician with the permanent license, which states that the installation was designed, wired and tested, to receive the electrical connection to a domestic (up to 30A, single phase).Electricians with permanent licenses can also carry-out the wiring, testing and installation of the three phase 30 amps & 60 amps installation, subject to the design by a chartered engineer.The proposed mechanism will also provide a career ladder for the electricians, according to their professional level and expertise, starting from apprentice, junior electrician, senior electrician, master electrician and utility electrician.The Utility electricians are recognized to install and maintain the distribution lines of 1000 Volt to 33000 Volt.