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The FESS Experienced Worker Assessment is for people who have been working with fire, emergency or security systems typically for a minimum of five years and need to qualify to the industry Level 3 benchmark.
It’s based on the same content as the FESS Apprenticeship, so both new entrants and existing workers are being assessed and accredited to the same standard.
Please note: you’ll be required to produce evidence across the full range of work covered in the apprenticeship. Work is underway to confirm arrangements for experienced workers who specialise in specific areas of the industry e.g. installation or maintenance.
Please check the EWA is the right route for you before you apply. If you already have an ECS card, or have queries about how to gain an ECS card, please visit the ECS website or call 01322 661622.
There are three steps to the Experienced Worker Assessment which you must complete within 12 months of starting the process. These sections can be completed in any order:
Take a look at this infographic to understand more about the whole process.
Your Authorised Person will be someone who can testify that the evidence you upload is your own work. They will be asked to view your submitted work in the NETassess system and verify that it has been carried out by you and no-one else.
This could be a team leader, supervisor, colleague, manager or other suitable person (e.g. an independent auditor) who may be regarded as a suitable witness to your competency. However, they must be technically competent in the process or skills that they are providing testimony for, to at least the same level of expertise as you or higher.
As part of your application, you’ll be asked to nominate your Authorised Person when you complete the checklist. Before your application is approved, NET will contact this person and carry out checks on their credentials and suitability to verify your work.
You can share ‘Your Role as an Authorised Person’ with your nominated person so they can understand more about what’s involved.
Before you sign up, you’ll need to complete the FESS Experienced Worker Assessment Checklist (found on our Checklists page) to make sure you have all the required skills, knowledge and experience – if there are gaps, you will need to complete these before registering for the assessment.
Once you’re confident that you are ready for the assessment, you need to complete the Candidate Registration Form, upload your checklist and, if you want to be exempt from the knowledge assessment, a certificate showing your approved qualification.
NET will review your application and make all relevant checks into your nominated Authorised Person. If approved onto the assessment, you’ll be asked to make payment for the Experienced Worker Assessment before you gain access to the NETassess system.
There are three components to the assessment:
These costs include all associated technical support, quality assurance and certification.
Some NET centres may charge VAT for the safe isolation and knowledge assessment – please check with your chosen centre before confirming your booking. VAT is not applicable for the digital assessment fee paid to NET.
You must carry out and record a range of specific tasks in your workplace, then upload documents, videos and other evidence to the NETassess system. This will be independently assessed and marked by a NET Assessor. You will have to demonstrate you are competent by providing specific evidence across the following areas:
Unit 1 – Health & Safety
Unit 2 – Installing Systems and Equipment
Unit 3 – Commissioning
Unit 4 – Inspection and Servicing
The evidence must be recorded from projects you are working on throughout the 12-month lifespan of the assessment. Historical work that you carried out prior to the EWA registration date cannot be accepted.
These tasks will be verified by your Authorised Person to ensure it’s your own work, then independently assessed and marked by a NET assessor to confirm you have met the Level 3 industry standard. NET will also carry out quality assurance audits once marking is completed.
Time allowed 30 mins, plus 10 minutes reading time
To demonstrate your occupational competence and ability to work safely, you’ll need to carry out the correct sequence for safe isolation of a 230V safety service circuit.
This section will be carried out at a NET-licensed centre and fully observed by the Centre Assessor.
Safe Isolation Procedure
The knowledge assessment is a ‘closed book’ assessment, which means you will not have any reference material on the day. So it’s very important that you prepare for this exam and do not attend without looking closely at what you’ll be asked to do.
It’s a 90-minute, 60 question multiple choice assessment covering the following areas. It’s based on the same rigorous, comprehensive assessment that an apprentice undertakes, so everyone is being assessed to the same standard.
The questions cover a range of knowledge and understanding linked to current standards and regulations:
Safety critical items such as isolation of mains electricity and the identification and testing of a viable loop circuit will be questioned throughout the entire assessment process.
For the Fire Pathway, you will also be expected to demonstrate knowledge in the following areas:
You can download and use our Study Guide for the Fire Pathway to get an idea of the types of questions you’ll be asked in the online knowledge assessment. In addition to this, please ensure you’re up to date with all the areas outlined in the section above which gives more details about the knowledge assessment.
We have produced a version where the answers are not shown, if you’d like to test your knowledge on these first. The ‘with Answers’ document has the answers highlighted.