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Thread: Time served sparks amazed at complicated Regs exam!

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    Talking Time served sparks amazed at complicated Regs exam!

    Hey guys.
    Thanx for a brilliant forum.
    Have been browsing after a google search directed me here for info on past papers for the installation rules exam.
    Wow!
    I cannot believe how much info you have to remember in order to pass this exam nowadays. When i qualified in 2000, i travelled overseas to the UK and began working there as a sparky, and have written and passed my Regs exams there, which are open book and multiple choice, and only consist of 1x 3h exam paper. It is structured in such a way that if you do not know where to reference the answers, you will not complete it in time, but is by far easier than here!
    I do not condone an easy exam, as these regs are obviously in place to facilitate a safe working practice as an electrician. This is very good. But i do think that it is ridiculous that you cannot take your books into the exam with you in order to reference the answers and to aid you with all the tables in working out the calculations.
    In an everyday working environment you use these regs, but you will no doubt always have your books around as reference material. This is what they are used for. I think it crazy to ask someone to know off the top of their head everything that these books include. This is not humanly possible.
    I am unfortunately not close enough to a college that offers courses in order to attend, so i am having to study off of past papers alone. I have been going through papers for 3 weeks now, and have another 3 weeks til i write my exam. Good luck i think!
    Haha. Lets see how much i can continue to cram over the next 3 weeks!
    Anyways, my name's Simon, thanx for the forum, and sorry for the rant.
    Peace everyone

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    Silver Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Welcome to TFSA

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    Welcome to TFSA, Simon

    And fair coment I think - so much so I've moved your post to the Electrical Contracting Industry forum.

    Let's see what other electricians think about this.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    I tend to agree with Simon. I've been in the industry for 30 years and wrote the installation rules papers. Must say, I only started reading the documents 2 weeks before the exams. Past the 1st one, but failed the 2nd one by 2%. Went back and wrote the 2nd paper again. That was 2 years ago, and still do not know if I have passed or not. Never bothered to find out. Maybe a mistake from my side, but I also can not see the logic behind the process and application in the field, although the content of the syllabus is applicable and well thought out.

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    Agree totally. The syllabus is excellent. The process in going from a "qualified" sparky (ie. passed trade test) to a "registered person" is unbelievably difficult and very expensive indeed. I fear for the future of the electrical industry in SA. It is certainly not set up in a way as to encourage up-and-coming electricians. And with all of these bodies springing up all over the place claiming to be the main body in charge of the Electrical Industry, and all the confusion as to who is in control and setting the relevant standards, etc, the industry is in a bit of a mess at the moment. This country needs a strong platform to start with and then build upon that. I thought when i left to go to the UK 12 years ago, that we had that platform in place. Unfortunately, from what i can see, there are too many people trying to milk the industry for all its worth and getting rich in the process.
    Maybe i am completely out of line here, and granted i have not been back in SA long enough to possibly comment, but i have done a lot of research in the last 6 months, and what i have found has not filled me with much confidence...

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    Oh, this exam. I really don't understand. I literally had to memorise 300 pages of regs and 6 other little books worth of stuff of which, in nearly 20 years, I have only come accross about 5% of what they were asking about. There are some insanely irrelevant stuff in that exam. Things I had never even seen. 138 people took the exam the day I took it and only 2 passed. I scrapped through with 50% on one of the papers. The regs book is a reference book. When in doubt, you refer to it. The crazy process for me as an English sparks getting my wiremans licences sorted over here was a joke, a complete F&^%()g joke. I have JIB grading of Site technician in the UK(the highest you can go) and have been working for 17 years in England and have worked in Australia and New Zealand. Yet you come here and they want you charge you R12000 for trade test preparation so you can go bend conduit in a little cubicle! I had just come from working on a 40,000,000 project. If you try and just register yourself for a trade test you have to wait a YEAR!! It was quicker to go back to the UK and redo my appy stuff there. As for the unit standards for testing, B*&^&^IT. The people who they passed where I went to do it were no way competent testers, I had to hit one guy with a broom because he was about to stick his hand in a bus bar chamber. The system here is nuts. You still have peopel with licences signing of any old shit without even looking at it no matter testing it. Its at the point where I don't do COc on domestics unless I have wired teh whole place myself. It ain't worth the hassel and you'll always be signing of someone elses shit and beside they are not going to pay you a fair price to test it when someone else will just sign it off for R600. I got a text from some one the other day called Ian saying will do COC's fro R600. How can you even give a price befor you have even seen the size of the place and number fo circuits. Hi Ian - might put your number on here. Name and shame. 0721550---. Yes you Ian. Stop signing off shit.
    Feel better after that rant.....

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    Hey skatingsparks,
    The process here is unfortunately well messed up.
    I have heard and read SO many horror stories about the electrical industry here in SA. And this is from the guys trying to get properly qualified! Havent even touched on the customers complaints yet!
    That guy Ian sending you a text selling himself for R600 a CoC is an absolute joke! As you say, you cannot possibly do that test as per the prescribed syllabus here and hope to finish it in a half day even unless it is a very small install. And that in itself is gonna cost you more than R600!
    Where did you go for your 3ph Inspect & Test? I am battling to find somewhere close to the Garden Route where i am living.
    I will certainly need to attend the course as even the sparks that i know who have been testing for 20 years would not pass this assessment now!
    I fear for the future of the SA electrical industry...

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    Hi
    I did the Unit standards with these guys. I went with them because they just said "this is what we do, this is what you need, this is how much is costs and this is when you can do it". If you can test you'll pass this easily, it really isn't rocket science. The people who passed who wouldn't trust in my house doing testing passed all the parts of the course they needed to so.... they get a bit of paper.

    http://www.wcaeia.co.za/

    The guy running the place was great, just one of those get things done kind of people. I got messed around so much here in joburg i was happy to fly to cape town to just get it done. Takes 2 days. Simple.

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    2 days?! Wow, i thought it was a week long course?
    What are you still required to do after you have done your course with them? I have very little testing experience, as i have not needed it where i have been working. So, most of it will be fairly new to me.
    I was told by the college in PE that i can enroll with them for an assessment of my 3ph inspect & test, and then its just a matter of sending off paperwork to get things verified and then registering...
    Obviously i would need to do the course in Cape Town first, as i would stand no chance of passing my assessment without prior instruction.
    Cheers

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