Automatic Vending Association partners with Ascot College to launch electrical training courses

The Automatic Vending Association (AVA) has teamed up with the Ascot College of Electrical Studies to offer new electrical training courses exclusively to members available across the UK.

The courses will provide vending-specific electrical training for all levels of engineers, from new starters to those with years of experience looking to refresh or further develop their skills. Successful course completion will lead to a certificate of competence.

With proven electrical competency likely to become a preferred contractual specification on tender documents, the training courses have come at an ideal time and are particularly recommended for any operators with contracts approaching their renewal dates.

Jonathan Hart, chief executive of the Automatic Vending Association says: “We constantly monitor for training gaps in our industry – in line with changes in legislation – to refresh skills and keep standards high.

“We know that electrical competency is more important than ever and is likely to become a contractual specification. By working with Ascot College, we’ve developed electrical training courses that will help those who complete it deliver best practice in the workplace. A strong level of electrical competency is more important than ever in our industry – those interested in applying should do so quickly as we’ve already had a lot of interest for this.”

Members who are keen to apply must first complete a pre-test marked by Ascot College at a charge of £15 per member. This is to assess competency in order to identify which course they are best suited to start on: either the first two-day course or the second two-day course.

The first two-day course has been developed with new starters or those with limited experience in mind. It covers basic electrical theory – including isolating and electrically testing machines safely and health and safety training working with electricity. Those that pass the first course will receive a basic ‘safety with electricity’ certification marked by Ascot College. This basic certification will allow new starters to safely and competently work with electricity whilst they continue to learn their trade.

Once the first course is completed, candidates will be asked to work with their line managers to produce a portfolio to demonstrate their learnings. The portfolio will be assessed by Ascot College and this section of assessment will cost just £50 per candidate.

To make up the portfolio, 10 tasks must be undertaken at work to re-inforce the topics learnt in the first course. Each must include a method statement and picture evidence to support work done, and be signed off by a line manager. Guidance for line managers will also be provided to ensure they can correctly assess the work carried out.

Once the first course and the portfolio is completed and approved, candidates will be eligible to join the second course. Those members deemed to hold a good level of electrical competency at the pre-test stage will join the second two day course direct as their point of entry.

The second course will task candidates with testing site power supplies to ensure safe connections are in place and will also include electrical safety testing of machines prior to connecting to them as well as training on how to monitor for, mitigate and manage risks.

The second course will also ensure candidates are able to conduct a full safety test of machines in accordance with AVA best practice and identify basic causes and remedies of any failed tests. The AVA safety test is seen as a more thorough, involved safety test compared to PAT testing, to rise to the unique challenge faced by the wide range of vending environments.

As well as ensuring industry-specific competency in this area, the certification also means engineers have evidence of their capability in the event of any accidents or technical faults that could occur whilst they are working, offering employers added protection.

Course leader Phil Watts says: “Working closely with the AVA’s technical team, we ensured the courses were specifically tailored for engineers working in the vending industry.

“Our carefully selected, fully qualified assessors come equipped with an industry background to ensure they are perfectly placed to deliver both the theoretical and the practical elements of the training. Candidates completing the courses will gain a certificate to help demonstrate their vending industry specific electrical competency.”