Home Features EDA’s product knowledge training modules – a royal success

EDA’s product knowledge training modules – a royal success

Since its launch in 2018, the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA)’s programme of product knowledge training modules has gone from strength to strength, and in August 2022 picked up a prestigious Princess Royal Training Award. Tracy Hewett, the EDA’s Head of Training and Education, explains how the modules started life and some important milestones achieved on the way.

Professional training and development is one of the key pillars of the EDA’s support for member businesses, and it has never been more important. We are all aware of the UK skills shortage and that every sector in the economy is competing to entice talented individuals to join them. It is a real advantage for the electrotechnical sector to have access to a bespoke training programme, and such a positive message to share when you are interviewing people and with your teams.

Businesses along the supply chain need to speak the same language and understand the increasingly hi-tech products. Well trained team members are motivated, confident, self-reliant and worth their weight in gold to any business. They better understand customer needs, can work more independently, and be on the lookout for cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

The EDA is fortunate in that when we decided to embark on creating the programme of product knowledge training modules we had access, through our diverse membership, to an unparalleled breadth and depth of the latest product expertise. Developing 12 modules was a two-year collaborative process between manufacturers, wholesalers and independent lead authors each an expert in their field.

Product experts from wholesalers and manufacturers pooled their knowledge and volunteered their time to join Working Groups to help shape and steer the training content. The Product Knowledge Modules launched for the first time in 2018, and in 2020/21 went through an audit and revision process to reflect the latest technical and legislative changes.

Achieving City & Guilds Accreditation was a must-have as it provides businesses with the peace of mind of a quality assured programme. The accreditation is renewed every year after inspection of our programme processes, the learner support provided, and the standardisation of marking between our Assessors and Quality Assurer. We run a tight ship, with no areas to improve having ever been identified at our review meetings.

Everyone who achieves a Pass, Credit or Distinction in their module assessment receives a City & Guilds’ certificate for their professional portfolio, plus a further certificate from The CPD Certification Service. CPD, or Continuing Professional Development, is increasingly used in businesses to enable employees to proactively develop their professional capabilities through certified and self-guided learning.

The modules are mix-and-match, and businesses choose the order and combination of study based on the profile of products they sell:

  1. Introduction to the Principles of Electricity
  2. Lighting Introduction
  3. Lighting Systems and Controls
  4. Cables and Cable Management
  5. Wiring Devices and Controls
  6. Distribution, Switchgear and Protection
  7. Fire, Safety and Security Systems
  8. Heating and Ventilation
  9. Renewables
  10. IT and Data Infrastructure
  11. Industrial Controls
  12. Customer Services

By June 2021 we achieved some significant milestones: the 2000th module was studied by Brett Hughes at Electrium Sales Ltd. By summer 2022 around 2,000 people had studied over 3,000 modules between them, and with each module taking around 40 hours to complete that’s 120,000 hours of professional development which this sector has benefitted from. The latest news that the EDA is one of 47 businesses to win a Princess Royal Training Award 2022 is just the icing on the cake.

What does the future hold for the product knowledge modules? Never an organisation to rest on their laurels the EDA have embarked on an exciting project to create a Learner Management System and electronic learning materials. Watch this space!

For further details on the training modules, click here

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