In 2013 ESI Africa published a story, written by Nick du Plessis, MD of P&T Technology, on obtaining a wireman’s licence. This story has been re-worked to include some new information and a link to the regulatory, practical and theoretical requirements needed for the various levels of certification.

Click here to download the APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION AS REGISTERED PERSON

Click here to download the APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL AS APPROVED INSPECTION AUTHORITY FOR ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS

Click here to download the APPLICATION FOR DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE ISSUED IN TERMS OF THE ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION REGULATIONS, 2009

Electrical industry workers and contractors must be adequately trained to ensure that electrical installations are produced safely. Workers must obtain a license and meet certain requirements before any electrical work is carried out.

“An electrician with a license, known as the Registered Person, has applied to the department of labour (DoL) and has demonstrated his knowledge, skills and ability to conduct verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of the electrical installations for which they have been registered. The Registered Person is permitted to issue a Certificate of Compliance (CoC), which proves that the electrical installation is compliant,” says du Plessis.

The Electrical Contractors Board has advised that registration as an Electrical Contractor to be equipped with a Wireman Licence must be done through the Department of Labour. Once the electrician has received his wireman licence, it has to be activated with the Department of Labour for a one year/three year period. Once the licence is activated, the electrician would be given a Registration Number by the Department. This registration number would allow a Contractor to purchase Certificates of Compliance. This document must be submitted as proof when purchasing electrical certificates.

There are three categories of registered people who are permitted to issue a CoC.

Category one:  Electrical tester for single phase

This is an electrician who has been registered as an electrical tester for single phase in terms of regulation 11 (2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of electrical installations supplied by a single-phase electricity supply at the point of control, excluding specialised electrical installations.

Category two:  Installation electrician

This involves a registered person who is an electrician who has been registered as an installation electrician in terms of regulation 11 (2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of any electrical installation, excluding specialised electrical installations.

Category three: Master installation electrician

The third category of registered person who is an electrician registered as a master installation electrician in terms of regulation 11 (2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of any electrical installation.

Du Plessis says that for each of the registration types, there are three options – practical knowledge, theoretical knowledge and knowledge of statutory requirements – and each contains criteria or conditions that the applicant has to fulfil before applying for registration.

One criteria for a person applying for registration as an installation electrician is that he/she must have a trade qualification as either

  • an electrician;
  • an electrician (engineering);
  • an electrician (construction);
  • a millwright (electro-mechanical);
  • a lift mechanic;
  • or the Electric: Chemical Electrical NQF level 4 qualification issued by the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA).

Du Plessis stresses that the individual will not be accepted if he/she has any other trade.

The next step

The next step is to submit documentary proof of successful completed unit standards on inspection, testing and certification of three phase industrial/commercial installations as prescribed by the ESETA.

These unit standards mean that an assessor, registered with the ESETA, must assess applicants to establish that they have the ability to interpret the codes of practice in various electrical installations. The applicants would also have to use test instruments and inspection reports to show the assessor that they know how to use the test instruments and interpret the readings. The applicants would also have to correctly evaluate a CoC against an electrical installation.

Once the assessor has found the applicant to be competent, the details are sent to the ESETA, who will then issue the applicant with a letter for the DoL.

“The minimum theoretical qualifications needed by a person applying for registration as an installation electrician is an N3 certificate issued by the department of education, with minimum pass of 40% in each of the following subjects: mathematics, engineering science, and electrical trade theory or electro-technology. Also acceptable is a Grade 12 certificate with a minimum pass of 40% in mathematics, science, and technical – electrical or an equivalent subject that may include an N3 subject.”

Finally, the applicant will have to submit proof of knowledge of the legislation and relevant health and safety standards applicable to electrical installations by having passed the subject, Installation Rules, as administered by the department of education through an FET campus or college.

There are two examinations for this subject and the applicant must have a minimum of 50% for each paper. Although both papers do not have to be written at the same time, the second paper must be passed within 12 months of passing the first. However, if the applicant obtained more than 75% of 100 marks in any one of the examinations, he or she will be permanently exempted from rewriting that examination.

Du Plessis finally emphasises that having a wireman’s licence (registration) means that the electrician carries a great deal of responsibility and should he/she issue a Certificate of Compliance but have not done what is expected by law, the department of labour will prosecute the electrician.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Is it necessary for a “wireman’s licence” as issued by the department of labour to be renewed from time to time?
According to the Electric Contracting Board, the answer to this is no - however “the registered person should stay abreast of all the changes to sans10142-1, the electrical industry is forever changing and therefore the registered people need to stay on top of these changes.”

If i have a wireman’s licence and i’m not registered with the ecb, can i issue CoC’s?
No, as per regulation 6(1) and the definition “installation work” of the electrical installation regulations

***

Original story

9 October 2013 - Electricians often request information on how to obtain a wireman’s license as well as information on the unit standards involved in the process. Supplier of electrical training and development competencies to industries P&T Technology MD Nick Du Plessis explains the difference between an unlicensed electrician and an electrician with a wireman’s license.

“An electrician with a license, known as the Registered Person, has applied to the department of labour (DoL) and has demonstrated his knowledge, skills and ability to conduct verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of the electrical installations for which they have been registered. The Registered Person is permitted to issue a Certificate of Compliance (CoC), which proves that the electrical installation is compliant.”pt-technology-facility-injohannesburg

There are three categories of registered people who are permitted to issue a CoC.

Category one

An electrical tester for single phase, this being an electrician who has been registered as an electrical tester for single phase in terms of regulation 11 (2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of electrical installations supplied by a single-phase electricity supply at the point of control, excluding specialised electrical installations.

Category two

This involves a registered person who is the installation electrician, this being an electrician who has been registered as an installation electrician in terms of regulation 11 (2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of any electrical installation, excluding specialised electrical installations.

Category three

The third category of registered person is a master installation electrician, who is an electrician registered as a master installation electrician in terms of regulation 11 (2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of any electrical installation.

Du Plessis says that for each of the registration types, there are three options – practical knowledge, theoretical knowledge and knowledge of statutory requirements – and each contains criteria or conditions that the applicant has to fulfil before applying for registration.

“One criteria for a person applying for registration as an installation electrician is that he/she must have a trade qualification as either an electrician; an electrician (engineering); an electrician (construction); a millwright (electro-mechanical); a lift mechanic; or the Electric : Chemical Electrical NQF level 4 qualification issued by the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA).” He stresses that the individual would not be accepted if he/she were to have any other trade.

The next step

The next step is to submit documentary proof of successful completed unit standards on inspection, testing and certification of three phase industrial/commercial installations as prescribed by the ESETA.

These unit standards mean that an assessor, registered with the ESETA, must assess applicants to establish that they have the ability to interpret the codes of practice in various electrical installations. The applicants would also have to use test instruments and inspection reports to show the assessor that they know how to use the test instruments and interpret the readings. The applicants would also have to correctly evaluate a CoC against an electrical installation.

Once the assessor has found the applicant to be competent, the details are sent to the ESETA, who will then issue the applicant with a letter for the DoL.

“The minimum theoretical qualifications needed by a person applying for registration as an installation electrician is an N3 certificate issued by the department of education, with minimum pass of 40% in each of the following subjects: mathematics, engineering science, and electrical trade theory or electro-technology. Also acceptable is a Grade 12 certificate with a minimum pass of 40% in mathematics, science, and technical – electrical or an equivalent subject that may include an N3 subject.”

Finally, the applicant will have to submit proof of knowledge of the legislation and relevant health and safety standards applicable to electrical installations by having passed the subject, Installation Rules, as administered by the department of education through an FET campus or college.

There are two examinations for this subject and the applicant must have a minimum of 50% for each paper. Although both papers do not have to be written at the same time, the second paper must be passed within 12 months of passing the first. However, if the applicant obtained more than 75% of 100 marks in any one of the examinations, he or she will be permanently exempted from rewriting that examination.

Du Plessis finally emphasises that having a wireman’s license (Registration) means that the electrician carries a great deal of responsibility and should he/she issue a Certificate of Compliance but have not done what is expected by law, the department of labour will prosecute the electrician.

(Pic Credits: media.ngage)

109 COMMENTS

    • i would like to apply for wireman’s license,i am enginner technician end have a certicate of competente as Electrician how to start to do thate,where is the minister labor in cape town

    • I obtained National Diploma Electrical Engineering from a technikon in 1996 (S1-S4) and working for a government dept. I have been doing routine electrical maintenace and projects in schools, clinics, hospitals, residetial houses. I don,t have trade test certificate. Step by step how do I go to obtain wireman’s licennce and other related cerificates for acreditation

  1. I have been in the a qualified electricain for the last 25 years and have worked extensively in the municipal enviroment and am at present teaching Medium voltage authorised persons for the last 7 years and i would like to know how to go about getting recognition for prior learning (RPL) for a wiremans licence. Any info as to how to go about it.I an also an accredited assessor and Moderator eseta accredited.

  2. Hi I want to know if I qualify for studying wiresman license I have

    electrical engineering n4 and n5 with following subjects
    mathematics
    fault finding and protective devices
    industrial electronics
    electro technics

    • Foreign qualifications:
      You need to have all your theoretical foreign qualifications evaluated by the South Africa Qualification Authority (SAQA) and the practical qualifications verified by ESETA accredited providers.
      The following documents must accompany the prescribed application form:
       Proof of practical proficiency (trade document);
       Proof of theoretical proficiency (academic records);
       Proof of legal knowledge proficiency (examination results);
       Proof of unit standard achievements;
       Copy of Identification document or passport;
       Two ID photos (25 mm x 30 mm) colour or black & white;
       Un-cancelled revenue stamps to the value of R75.
      Note: All copies to be certified

    • i need to do that wiremans licence, i am foreigner and i did trade test in my country and qualified class 1. qualified national certificate, can i qualify for wiremans licence and how can i obtain it. my certificates are stl being evaluated at saqa. please help me if anyone can help. wer can i find eseta close to me. i live in germiston. my no. is 0629701026 and my email is colmak24@gmail.com please if anyone can assist me i wl be glad

      • Hi. Yu need to write Installation Rules Paper 1 and 2 then do Practical Assessments for the Unit Standards. Then you can submit that to the Dept. of Labour with your Application. They also need a valid Work permit. I just got mine. 0714015156

  3. I have been a qualified electrician for the last 25 years and have worked extensively in the mining and construction environment and am at present running a small business. I would like to know how to go about getting a wire mans license. Any info as to how to go about it would be appreciated.

    • You need to write installation rules paper 1 and paper 2 once you have passed the test you can register as an installation electrician in any departments of labour after you have receive your card you can register as a contractor then you can issue electrical certificate. All info you can also get it from ECB adress is 1070 schoeman street pretoria

  4. I am a Olifantsfontein qualified Red Seal electrician; passed SABS Installation Rules at Germiston College; got a 2014 letter from Dept Labour confirming that I am Registered as an Installation Electrician with my IE nr. Registered my Electrical business as (Pty) Ltd; got VAT nr. But I lost my wiremans license photo ID. ECA won’t let me register as Contractor to buy CoC’s! Do I really need to go all the way to Pretoria Dept Labour to get a new copy of my license if I have Dept Labour letter of my IE Registration status???
    Please HELP!!!

  5. I have been in the a qualified electricain for the last 19 years and have worked extensively in the Cape Town / Ndabeni municipal environment for 12 years. I have my own company since 2006 and have used the service of a qualified wireman’s lisence holder to sign off all my projects to date. I have N3 and and would like to know how to go about getting recognition for prior learning (RPL) / prior experience for a wiremans licence. Any info as to how to go about obtaining my wiremans..

  6. Please assist me I am a Qualified Electrician for more than 20 Years with Medium Voltage H.T and would want to do the wireman license course currently I work for a mining group and one of my legal duties is to test all Installations can someone please help me to do this course I am in KZN area.

  7. I have done all the requirements for the Wireman’s Licence and applied to the Dept of Labour. I have just received a letter rejecting my Printer’s Electrician trade test certificate saying is not required, they need an electrician certificate. what do I need to do beside doing a trade test all over again, any extra modules to be done? . What must I do

  8. I studied up to N2 electrical theory,electrial assistant course,electrical appliance course, electrical 2nd year apprentice practical course, in the apartheit South Africa, after that had to go and work for different electrical contractors for more than 25 years.I ran electrical contractor for RDP houses under Nelson Mandela Metro. Do I qualifiy for assesmemt for a single – phase tester criteria option 3 of DOL.

  9. Hi guys, my name is Piet and i have National Diploma in Electrical Engineering, Electrical Trade Test (Electrician), Installation Rule 1 & 2 and 5 years Practical experience from Pretoria Maintenance Workshop. I am currently unemployed and wish to obtain wireman’s licence ASAP. please if you can assist email me at: 48352772@mylife.unisa.ac.za

  10. In March 2015 i had to have my Millwright red seal attested (verified ) for a DIRCO application to work in Saudi Arabia. To find the dept of Labour office in PTA, JHB is impossible. They just do not exist even in PTA where at the old Dept of Labour office where the old Dept signboard is still on the office front. On the inside they could not help me with an official verification letter and stamp.
    In the end DIRCO office directed me to go to the high court and i was helped in 10 min.
    Point is that in the first paragraph you mention the DEPT of Labour handles the registration of COC. Where do you find the DOL office?

  11. I am a foreigner who wants to obtain wireman’s license prior to seeking of employment. I have a Technician diploma in electrical and electronics engineering with over 10 years of experience. Will I be allowed to obtain one?

  12. i need to do wire man licence i obtein my n4 certificate in fet college and i go further with practical and still working in that indurstry electrical contractor so what i have gain into my expierence rural electrification,post connection,minor reticulation, mv maintenance,(planned outages)LV cables and substation constrution,3 phase balancing,faulty finding, line man of LV and HV of which now i”m responsible person on outcome level 4 as authorised person i wish if mybe responded

  13. Hi guys. I have finnished my wiremans license and i send all my papers to DOL. And it is 3 months and i am stil waiting for response. Do anyone know of a tellephone numer that i can call at DOL to hear what is going on? Thanx people. Good night

  14. Hi,
    Please help me with info how to register as a Master Electrician:

    I am a Olifants-fontein qualified (Red Seal) – Millwright.
    I have a Full N5 Certificate.
    I am a registered “Installation Electrician” – Yellow Book.
    I am a”Competent Person” in terms of OSH act :((G.M.R. 2 (5) b)) – up to 10MVA
    I have worked extensively in Hospitals (Hazardous locations)

    Your feedback will be much appreciated, thanks.
    regards,
    H.P.Jacobs.

    • Hi Jacob. Could you give a feedback as to how to go about get a wiremans license. I have N6, electrical trade test, installstion rule 1 & 2. Im just missing with a unit standard achievement and i dont even know what that is and where to get it.

  15. Please someone should help me out, I am Ghanaian living in Ghana and want to apply for Wireman’s License from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, what should I do and which institution or organization should I contact?

  16. hi, I am a aircraft electrician and would like to know if it is possible to obtain a trade as a electrician leading to a wireman’s licence and eventually master electrician. if it is possible please be so kind as to give me information on how to achieve this

  17. Hie
    My name is Phineas, i need assistance with Unit Standards i already have Installation Rules paper 1 and 2. I can be contacted on 0838229693. May please assist. Am staying in Potchefstroom. But i can go wherever to get help.

  18. Hi

    I am hoping you can assist me or guide me in the right direction, my boyfriend is a qualified Red Seal electrician, but he would like to obtain his wireman’s licence, he does not have Gr 12, he only has Gr10 Post school N2 electrical.

    Is there anyway of him doing his wiremans course without doing Gr12?

    Thanks

    Janine

  19. Hello I have Trade test and N5 more than 10 years experience I have recently passed my theory paper1 and p2 installation rule can any one assist with job so i can do practical training to achieve wiremans.

  20. HI

    I have completed and passed installation rules paper 1 and 2, I am a qualified electrician (Construction).But I work for a mining group. How do I go about obtaining a wireman’s license. Do I need to register as a company or is it bounded to my name in my personal capacity. The other problem I have is most company’s require me to have a wireman’s license but working for a mining company there is not much of an opportunity to go through the CoC process. Do I need to complete a CoC with a other electrician as part of the aplication process?

  21. HI,am mphela i did my trade test with eskom for full three years in eskom academy tranning.so am looking for a job now,any information please guys notify me.i also have machanical courses from n2 to n5,fitting and turning.

  22. Completed my T4 HNDip and been working in the industry 20+ years. Currently certified with ECSA and now want to complete wiremans yellow and red ticket – any contact person to liaise with in the Durban area? Thanks.

  23. Hi.
    I passed my trade test in 1999 under the trade electrician conducted by eskom and ailed industries training board. I am registered with the engineering council of SA as a professional engineering technician. I am holding a national N diploma in lectrical engineering (Heavy current) and I have been active on the electrical industry since then (1999). I have been operating on installations upto and including 132 KV systems.
    Do I have to do the skills training course to apply as a registered electrician?

    Regards

  24. I had 5 years experience as an assistant electrician while I was working for Helecool. It is now 8 years that I work on my own and although I may not, I serve customer. I will like to complete my studies to issud a CoC after work is done

  25. Hi i want to do my training for paper 1 and two so i can be registered installation electrician I competed my trade test as a Millwright at Olifantsfontein in 2000 still working in construction from 1995 .I want to register for a part time course because i am still working during the day time and we work from Botswana to Cape town.So if i can find a place to register on line it could help me.

  26. Hi i am a fully qualified electrician in the uk with inspection and testing and high voltage transformers up to 11kv.
    Would i need to do some sort of trade test again to work in SA or can i work staright away, i have south african nationality.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated

  27. I am an Electrical Engineer with a GCC Whilst studying Idid the same training as for an electrician at Luiperdsvlei near Krugersdorp. I did not do a trade test but went for the Goverment Ticket instead. How o I go about obtaining a wiremans licence

  28. Hi. I would like to know to be a single phase tester valid coc electrician is it really necessary to have the same N3 subjects as a 3phase installer wireman. Or can some of the subjects be N2?

  29. Can somebody tell me how I can get a new license? This was the old Yellow Document Card like License that we all got in the late 80’s. I lost mine but thankfully I had a sworn copy which I have had for years. Up until now I have always provided my last Dept of Labor registration, the one with KZN at the beginning of the number. I pay my bucks and no problem, I got my renewal. This year they want the original Wiremans Licence?? Who do I apply to for this? Can I do this on line? Can anybody help??

  30. HI

    I had Matric without maths, worked as an electrical assist in company for 5 years while undergoing level 1,2,3 and 4 at training center and qualified as an electrician in 2010, did my unit standard together with my PoE completed and got the Wseta certificate in 2014, wrote my installation rules paper 1&2 in 2015/16, and now I just passed two N3 subjects which is engineering maths and science. I’m now an electrical technical supervisor for the same company, and my question is can I apply for a wiremen’s license with what I have now even though I don’t have that industrial electronics and electrotechnical subject? Because that’s the only thing missing in the as far as the requirement categories are concerned and I’ve now registered for N4 going forward.

  31. Good Day, I have currently completed my National Diploma in Civil Engineering and I am looking to get an electrical wiremans licence. What will be the best procedure which involves the shortest time to acquire this?

  32. Hi,

    I have obtained a Beng Mechanical. I would like to become an installation electrician. So it seems that I am going to have to do my N4. The thing is that I have done 3 electrical engineering subjects namely, Electrotechics , Measure and control and Control theory. For which of these subjects will I recieve recognition and what aditional subjects will I have to do? Thanks

  33. Hi I qualified as a South African Air-force “Aircraft Electrician” qualifying on Impala Jets in 1980. This trade is not one of your mentioned recognized trades to qualify as an installation electrician. I have passed the following theoretical courses or exams: N6 ; SANS 1043 Electrical installation rules ; Electrical COC ; Master installation Rules ; PLC’s that are relevant to an electrical trade. How do I approach applying to be recognized as an installation electrician and master electrician. I am currently running a transformer manufacturing factory and would like to be recognized as a responsible installation/master electrician. Regards Colin Windt