Association aims for recognition as professional body

March 1st, 2018, Published in Articles: Vector

The Earthing and Lightning Protection Association (ELPA) is implementing all programmes necessary to become South Africa’s recognised national professional body for earthing and lightning protection.

The association’s national director, Trevor Manas, says ELPA assists with providing industry accreditation; certification; benchmarks for quality of design and installation, as well as information and education on lightning safety.

He says two sets of certification exams for lightning protection installers were set in 2017. This was followed in January this year by the introduction of accreditation for electricians who perform surge protection installations. This covers the selection, co-ordination and installation of surge protection devices (SPDs) to power supply systems. The association’s accreditation for designers was launched at the same time.

Other certification exams will follow in the first quarter of 2018, and will be linked to the launch of the ELPA Certificate of Compliance (CoC) programme in late 2017.

The CoC programme is aimed at ELPA-accredited designers, installers and inspectors of LPSs and entails maintaining a register of designers and installers, as well as the inspectorate whose members check the work done by the installers. To this end, another round of lightning protection installation certification exams took place in January, marking the third set of exams since August last year.

ELPA is introducing online assessments this year in a bid to nationalise its courses. This process will start with installation accreditation (a 90-minute exam), followed by interviews with the examiners while still on-site. Candidates also have an online examination option.

The association will also introduce an online-based CPD programme and is currently exploring the use of webinars as a platform for this venture.

ELPA is supported by various institutions such as Wits University, the Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa (ECA) and the Department of Labour.

Contact Claudelle Pillay, ELPA, Tel 010 534-6186,