The construction industry is constantly evolving, now more so than ever with the introduction of cutting-edge technologies, new materials and more sustainable building practices. 

That means the rules, regulations and qualifications required of tradespeople are also often changing to ensure the industry remains a safe place throughout these transitions. 

While holding the appropriate qualifications before carrying out work is absolutely essential when it comes to protecting both colleagues and clients, it can become a stumbling block for experienced tradespeople who do possess all the relevant skills and knowledge, but for one reason or another, do not hold the official accreditation necessary for working on site. 

This is a fairly frequent occurrence, particularly when it comes to those who have been working in their industry for a long time, or didn’t get the opportunity to finish their portfolio while completing their training.

These situations are where Experienced Worker Practical Assessments (EWPA)—a fast track method of achieving an NVQ Level 2 qualification—become extremely useful. Below, we’ll run through in more detail about what these entail, and why they’re an ideal solution for experienced tradespeople without formal qualifications.

What is an EWPA course?

The Experienced Worker Practical Assessment pathway was set up by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to provide a far more streamlined route for experienced tradespeople to achieve their NVQ Level 2. 

Rather than completing a lengthy training course and portfolio covering tasks that you’re already comfortable with, your skills are verified through practical assessments to ensure they’re up to the required NVQ standard.

Throughout the session, along with intensive practical assessments, you’ll cover the typical tasks expected of a qualified tradesperson—things like planning your working day, problem solving, working safely, and meeting deadlines.

Who are EWPA courses for? 

The EWPA route is applicable for tradespeople who typically have five years' worth of general site experience. The experience doesn’t necessarily need to have been undertaken in the UK, though the practices and environments you have used and worked in must be similar and up to the same standards as UK construction sites to be eligible.

The benefits of completing an EWPA

Once your skills have been assessed, deemed up to the required standard and you’ve gained your NVQ, you’ll be eligible to apply for a CSCS card in your chosen profession, a requirement for anyone wanting to work on any UK construction site. It also opens up the possibility of higher-level training, including your NVQ Level 3.

Naturally, holding an industry-standard qualification will also significantly boost your employability as it’s often one of the first things a business will look for when hiring talent. 

At Able Skills, experienced worker courses are available across all trades, from bricklaying and plumbing, to electrical and tiling. To find out if you’re eligible for an EWPA course, or to learn a little more about the assessments we offer, pop into our training centre for a chat, give us a call on 01322 280 202 or request a brochure online.