What is an accreditation?

Accreditations are authorizations granted to a qualified person to carry out a specific task or activity, such as for electrical, mechanical or hydraulic work. They allow the company's employees to know how to operate safely on or near the installations.
Accreditations are issued by the employer, and under his responsibility, if he considers that the person has the skills and knowledge required to carry out this task safely and efficiently.
For certain accreditations such as electrical accreditation, it is necessary to follow training, be evaluated regularly and have the associated medical certificate to be qualified.
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Accreditation is not directly linked to hierarchical position or professional classification. It is materialized by a document established by the employer which is signed by both the employer and the authority.
Its issuance does not, however, relieve the employer of liability.
Likewise, accreditation does not authorize, in itself, a holder to carry out on his own initiative operations for which he is authorized and must be designated by his employer to carry out these operations
Assignment to a workstation may constitute an implicit designation.

The employer who welcomes a temporary worker must check that the latter has followed preparatory training for accreditation in line with the planned operations. It is he who authorizes it and not the temporary employment company.
The employer, before assigning his employee to his workstation, must ensure his medical fitness with the occupational doctor to be able to authorize him.
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The accreditation title is a strictly personal document and cannot be given to third parties. The holder must be able to present their accreditation document in the event of an inspection. In the event of loss, he must report it immediately to his employer. Accreditation alone does not authorize its holder to carry out on their own the operations for which they are authorized. He must, in addition, be designated by his line manager for the execution of these operations.

The requirements linked to the issuance of accreditations are at least specified by decree, but can be left to the initiative of the employer who, ultimately, is responsible for his staff.
Indeed, accreditations are often required for jobs or activities that present a risk for the health and safety of workers or for the protection of the environment.
They can also be an essential means of guaranteeing quality and compliance in professional activities.
Accreditations, sometimes perceived as constraints, therefore aim to have positive repercussions on workers, employers, customers and the community in general.
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What does the NFC 18-510 standard say for electrical accreditation?

Electrical accreditation is recognition of a person's ability to safely carry out an electrical or non-electrical task, on or near an electrical installation.
This can be, for example, access to premises or electrical boxes, the execution, monitoring or direction of electrical work such as lockouts, taking measurements, electrical checks, etc.
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The electrical accreditation of workers is based on the provisions of the labor code and on the technical rules of the French standard NFC 18-510 which is entitled: "Operations on electrical works and installations and in an electrical environment - Prevention of electrical risk.

The NFC 18-510 standard specifies that electrical accreditation can only be issued to people previously trained in electrical risks. This preparatory training for electrical accreditation aims to enable the learner to acquire professional skills in the sole field of electrical risk prevention.
The standard specifies the conditions of this training which includes a theoretical part and a practical part, as well as an evaluation of knowledge and know-how.
Its duration is 1.5 days for non-electricians and 3 days for electricians. The NFC 18-510 standard recommends recycling every 3 years, which is 1 day and 1.5 days respectively.
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At the end of the training, the trainee will receive, from the trainer, a certificate in which the success or otherwise of the trainee in the final evaluation will be mentioned, in order to formulate an opinion for the employer to help him to define the content of the accreditation title according to the work to be carried out.
To carry out Live Work (TST) or nearby, the worker must have received specific training from an approved organization. Among the numerous training organizations in this market for electrical accreditations and TST, we particularly recommend the company SIFOEE - Training: Production, Transport and Distribution of electricity (sifoee.com), whose trainers are former experienced trainers of EDF, ENEDIS and RTE.

Training is not enough. The capacity and knowledge of an authorized person must be regularly assessed by the employer before issuing the accreditation title, normally every year.

The accreditation classification is detailed in standard NF C18-510 for electrical works and installations. Each type of accreditation corresponds to a symbol including letters, numbers and, if necessary, an attribute. The accreditations that are most commonly found are made up of the following characters:

- For the 1st character:
B: Low voltage, H: High voltage

- For the 2nd character:
0 : Non-electrical operation for executor or site manager
1 : Performing electrical operation
2 : Responsible for electrical work
C : Lockout Tagout
R : General BT Intervention
S : Basic BT Intervention
- For the 3rd character:
T : Work under voltage
V : Work in the vicinity
N : Cleaning under voltage tension

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At the same time as the accreditation, the employer gives each worker a prescription booklet established on the basis of the relevant requirements of the NF C18-510 standard, supplemented, if necessary, by specific safety instructions (IS) at work to be carried out.
The MemoFormat Trainee Manual - Electrical Certification N 18-510/A1 booklet, which can serve as a prescription booklet, can be an interesting solution.

For those who want to learn more, we recommend the INRS website, a player in the prevention system in France: Electrical risks. Electrical accreditation - Risks - INRS

What is mechanical accreditation?

We speak of mechanical risks when a moving element can come into contact with the human body. This context applies, essentially, to industrial equipment or machines but also to tools, fluids or projections of materials.

To have the skills and knowledge required to carry out mechanical work safely and efficiently, mechanical accreditation remains necessary, even if on this point the regulations are not as clear as for electrical accreditations.

The requirements linked to mechanical accreditation are not taken from standard NF C18-510, but rather from the prescription books, also called Recueil de Prescription au Personnel (RPP), from companies like EDF linked to production and distribution electricity, by repeating article 3 of UTE 18-510.
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The classification of mechanical accreditations is modeled on that of electrical accreditations:
  • M0 : non-mechanic performer working near mechanical operations
  • M1 : performing mechanical work
  • M2 : mechanical work managers
  • MR : responsible for mechanical repairs
  • MC : mechanical logout tagout officers
  • ME : responsible for machine testing

Why accreditation management software?

Accreditation management software saves a lot of time and improves security. The accreditation processes are thus much more robust. With regard to third parties and internally, the implementation of a digitalization project to manage accreditations shows the company's desire to put security at the heart of the company.

The advantages of accreditation software are numerous: elimination of paper, easier management of validation workflows with electronic signatures, downloading of accreditation titles from a smartphone, secure archiving, easier monitoring of staff, implementation of dashboards, monitoring of enabling training, setting up alerts for renewal of clearances or recycling of training.
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The real advantage that software can offer for the management of accreditations remains that of being able to carry out evaluations for all personnel each year in a systematic and robust manner, as required by the NF C18-510 standard before accreditation.
The software thus offers an assessment based on a series of specific multiple choice questions corresponding to the required levels of qualification
Not only does the result of the assessment allow us to know whether the person has the skills to be authorized, but also allows for self-training and increased skills.
Even if we all know how to drive, passing the code again wouldn't necessarily be easy.
Experience also shows that evaluating yourself online can be fun and stimulating to obtain the best possible score.

Our choice is for the Leaneo software which makes it easy to manage accreditations and carry out evaluations. More than 1000 multiple choice questions are available, spread over the different levels of electrical and mechanical accreditation of the NF C18-510 or UTE 18-510 standard, with questions specifically dedicated to industrial and thermal production environments, hydraulic production, transport and distribution of electricity.
For other more specific accreditations, an editor allows you to create the multiple choice questions on which the staff will be evaluated.

The strengths of the Leaneo software are its simple interface, personnel monitoring and management, customization of validation workflows and visual security management. It is a great choice that will save you time and safety.
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