Key information

  1. Reference: ST0662
  2. Date updated: 02/02/2024
  3. Level: 4
  4. Route: Engineering and manufacturing
  5. Regulated occupation: No
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Details of the occupational standard

Information Symbol

Higher Technical Qualification

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are designed to be delivered within a course of education. Some Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours may be more safely and reliably delivered in workplace settings, so may not be fully covered by the HTQ. Some qualifications will deliver additional content or added depth and breadth through, for example, use of specialist learning environments, work placements or innovative teaching methods. Check with the qualification provider if you require further information on coverage.

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in cross sector (e.g. Automotive, Food and Drink, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceutical, Construction), companies involved in manufacturing (discrete or process), logistics or utilities environments.  These employers may be directly involved in these activities or as a provider of services (e.g. systems integration, field service, technical consultancy) to these companies.

The broad purpose of the occupation is twofold.

Where the role is based inside a manufacturing (discrete or process), logistics or utilities environments, a fully competent Automation and Control Engineering Technician will be able to install, maintain, fault find and optimise hardware and software for automation systems. 

Where the role is based in a service provider, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or approved solutions provider in large or SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) companies, the Automation and Control Engineering Technician will be the interface between the vendor and it’s customer and will be able to competently provide high quality, engineering services such as installation, commissioning, fault finding (the activity of testing an installation prior to handover) and support. 

For both iterations of this role, this would involve the above duties across a range of hardware such as on Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Human Machine Interfaces (HMI), robots and Industrial Networks (e.g. PROFIBUS, DeviceNet, PROFINET, ModBus).  Use of physical tools, software tools and instruments (e.g. multi-meter), are fundamental to carrying out tasks associated with building (e.g. control panels), installing (e.g. site cabling) and maintaining of automation systems.

This occupation will give employers the ability to maintain successful operational capability.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation will be part of a multi-disciplinary team for example as a member or leader of a project team, maintenance team, service team that will work alongside other stakeholders for example design, production or coordination that interfaces with internal and external customers alike.  Monitoring of the operation of these systems can be carried out either within in-situ control rooms or offices, or remotely via web based or GPRS based mobile communications.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the ordering, coordination of services, working to established operating procedures for resources such as equipment and software to ensure functionality of automation systems are maintained.  In a large company, they would generally report to an engineering manager whereas they may have greater responsibility and autonomy in an SME. Individuals in service provision would certainly find themselves working in a more autonomous situation.  In either situation they would be responsible for their own actions and to protect those around them with respect to health, safety and the environment.

Typical job titles include:

Automation and controls engineering technician

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Setup of a wide range of hardware and software found on industrial networks and control systems including, but not limited to PLC's, Robots, Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, variable speed drives, soft-starters, energy monitoring equipment, instrumentation, safety systems and servo drives.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 2 Program a wide range of hardware using a range of software tools on control systems including, but not limited to PLC's, Robots, Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, variable speed drives, soft-starters, energy monitoring equipment, instrumentation, safety systems and servo drives.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 3 Commission a wide range of hardware and/or software found in industrial networks and control systems including, but not limited to PLC's, Robots, Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, variable speed drives, soft-starters, energy monitoring equipment, instrumentation, safety systems and servo drives.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 4 Service a wide range of hardware found on today’s industrial networks and control systems including, but not limited to PLC's, Robots, Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, variable speed drives, soft-starters, energy monitoring equipment, instrumentation, safety systems and servo drives.

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 5 Maintain a wide range of hardware and software found on today’s industrial networks and control systems including, but not limited to PLC's, Robots, Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, variable speed drives, soft-starters, energy monitoring equipment, instrumentation, safety systems and servo drives.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 6 Develop or modify automation and control system programs using a variety of different programing tools, languages and techniques.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 7 Test and validate automation and control systems to ensure that they are safe, functional and satisfy the requirements of a system specification, complying with national and/or international standards.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 8 Support and maintain the integration of electrical/electronic safety devices within an automation & control system.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 9 Install, support and maintain devices linked to and across Industrial Networking infrastructures including configuration and programming duties to ensure that the flow of data across these devices is maintained.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 10 Provide effective fault escalation support to first line service personnel that lead to successful return to operation of automation and control systems.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 11 Supervise, manage, or oversee activities such as installation of automation and control equipment and industrial networks.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K9 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 12 Upkeep and maintenance of own knowledge of by actively engaging in a program of CPD for example to keep abreast of changes to legislation, standards (e.g. quality), state of technology.

K6 K7 K9 K12 K13

S2 S3

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10 B11

Duty 13 Apply relevant safety legislation, and any extra company requirements when working with industrial networking, automation and control systems.

K3 K4 K6 K7 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

Duty 14 Carry out effective risk assessments when undertaking engineering activities on automation systems.

K3 K4 K6 K7 K9 K11 K12 K13

S1 S2 S3 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B11

KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Engineering maths - mathematical principles and theories that underpin engineering. Back to Duty

K2: Engineering principles - the underlying principles of electrical and electronic circuits and devices. Back to Duty

K3: Functional solutions - Create functional solutions; identifying and justifying a solution to a given engineering need. Back to Duty

K4: Safety procedures - relevant safety procedures required to operate on automation equipment in an industrial environment. Back to Duty

K5: Single and three phase circuits - single phase and three phase supplies on AC and DC motor and control circuits. Back to Duty

K6: Automation knowledge - Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Variable Speed Drives (VSD), Human Machine Interface (HMI) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), robotics hardware and software tools to carry out configuration, programming and fault finding duties. Back to Duty

K7: Instrumentation knowledge - instrumentation used to measure flow, temperature, pressure etc and the means by which they transmit measurement data. Back to Duty

K8: Use of software tools - Justification in the utilisation of software tools would be for but not limited to the changing of hardware configurations, firmware updates, software modifications and commissioning. Back to Duty

K9: Industrial networking knowledge - the application, installation and operational characteristics of industrial communication networks at Supervisory (e.g. Ethernet), Cell (e.g. PROFINET and PROFIBUS) and Field (e.g. AS-Interface) levels. Back to Duty

K10: Use of diagnostic tools - diagnostic tools and equipment including web-based diagnostics incorporated into network devices and other software tools (e.g. PROFITrace). Back to Duty

K11: Understand technical documents - Ability to follow electrical system circuit diagrams, understand the operation of the various components that make up an automation system. Back to Duty

K12: Safety legislation and responsibilities - electrical safety system legislation and directives. Back to Duty

K13: Quality systems - quality assurance principles to ensure operation, consistency and quantification of enhancement of manufacturing and process applications. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Safety Effective - The ability to work safely in an industrial environment and where required, produce risk assessment and method statement documentation. Be able to apply the principles of functional machinery or process safety including SIL (Safety Integrated Level) and PL (Performance Level) terminology. Back to Duty

S2: Engineering documentation - Production and interpretation of a range of technical documentation (device manuals, operating procedures, schematics, fault reports etc), and working with company documentation systems. Back to Duty

S3: Project engineering capabilities - Support of installation, commissioning, shut-down, start-up and maintenance, service, or support of a wide range of systems and devices. Back to Duty

S4: Diagnostic capabilities - Fault finding, diagnosis, rectification and reporting of automation control systems and controls applications via the utilisation of formal problem solving methods and diagnostic tools or software. Back to Duty

S5: Instrumentation configuration and calibration - Set-up, calibrate and commission a wide variety of field level instrumentation that interfaces to automation and control systems Back to Duty

S6: Industrial Networks configuration and support - configure, assist commissioning and continued support of industrial network solutions at all hierarchical levels of control system integration using the requisite tools and or software. Back to Duty

S7: HMI and SCADA configuration and programming - Make changes to existing systems or implement new configurations. Back to Duty

S8: PLC or Robot configuration and programming - Implement complex PLC or Robot program content and configurations to affect changes to increase availability and or efficiency of automation controlled machinery and the ability to configure PLC and or Robot hardware and program a wide variety of PLC’s and or Robot’s. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Zero Harm - Always prioritise on Health and Safety best practice. Back to Duty

B2: Resilience - Sound and established ability to work effectively both in a team and alone. Back to Duty

B3: Personal excellence - Interact professionally with clients and stakeholders. Back to Duty

B4: Communicative - High quality communication skills. Back to Duty

B5: Ethical - Strong professional and business ethics. Back to Duty

B6: Commitment - A focus on quality in all the tasks assigned. Back to Duty

B7: Continual development - Willingness to learn new processes, methods and technologies. Back to Duty

B8: Responsibility - Strong commitment and accountability and ability to apply independent judgement. Back to Duty

B9: Personal Values - Respect and tolerance of others. Back to Duty

B10: Ambassadorial - To be a role model of engineering practice and to promote engineering in order to sustain a pipeline of future talent. Back to Duty

B11: Reflection - Evaluate outcomes of own performance across all duties. Back to Duty

Higher National Certificate in Automation and Control Engineering for England

Qualification type: HTQ

Qualification level: 4

Applicant: Pearson

Awarding body: Pearson

Approval date: 02/03/2023

Occupational pathway: Not applicable

Placement: No

Aligned occupational standards

ST0662 Automation and controls engineering technician


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