National Electrotechnical Training (NET) held an AM2 examiners’ conference earlier this month, with forty AM2 centres attending to discuss the proposed new AM2 assessment, and ways in which it could be improved and implemented.

NET Business Development Manager, Stephen Plant, said:“The AM2 assessment has a strong history, and is seen by the industry as the ‘gold standard’ in certifying practical competency. To maintain industry standards, it is essential that the test is updated to reflect current working practises, materials, challenges and legislation.”

During 2007 and 2008, NET conducted an in-depth review of the AM2 assessment criteria, marking regime and available support for candidates and AM2 centres. At the two-day conference in Birmingham, NET met with examiners, colleges and training centres, along with representatives from industry bodies such as SummitSkills, to discuss the review feedback.

Following debates and discussion during the conference, NET will now incorporate this feedback into a revised AM2 assessment, which will be piloted late 2009, before the finalised updated assessment is launched in April 2010. These final pilots will be used to confirm the timings for each section as decided at the conference and also to establish the effectiveness of the supporting documentation for examiners and candidates.

Introduced in 1983, the AM2 is an integral component of NVQs and apprenticeship frameworks, and its successful completion certifies that an operative has the required competence to work as an electrician.

The revised AM2 will be more challenging; modern connection and wiring systems will be included, and there will be a greater emphasis on the interpretation of schematic wiring diagrams. Marking and data management systems will also be modernised. Alongside the revised AM2 assessment, NET is also introducing standardised test rigs, with equipment and materials sourced from selected approved suppliers. This will maintain high quality and consistency across the centre network.

Stephen Plant concluded:“The feedback from the AM2 centres is extremely valuable to NET, and by effectively incorporating feedback from centres, trade bodies and the pilots of the updated test, we will be able to ensure the AM2 assessment remains fit for purpose and relevant to the industry’s needs – now and into the future.”