Our response to Covid-19
Discover the initiatives taken by Elia to keep lights on during the epidemic

Training courses for work leaders

Work leaders are responsible for the safety of their team members and any subcontractors.

What exactly is a work leader?

The work leader is the person who receives the work permits and the safety documents. As such, he or she must be capable of cross-checking safety measures.
The work leader acts as Elia’s contact person for the performance of the work within the contractor’s organisation, and is responsible for ensuring that the work is carried out safely, as described in the work permit. Work leaders are responsible for the safety of their team members and any subcontractors.

That is why work leaders receive more extensive training than operators. Once they have completed their training, they receive ‘work leader’ certificates. Work leaders must speak and understand French or Dutch, depending on the language used in the region where the work is taking place.

Eight types

The training programme for work leaders varies according to the participants’ profile. We offer courses for eight types of work leaders, based on the type of work directed by the work leader. The information below provides an overview of which certificates are required for which types of work.

1 Electrical work in substations

  • Certificate covering all high-voltage and low-voltage installation work in Elia’s high-voltage substations, plus all associated activities.

    • Installing high-voltage equipment;
    • Wiring low-voltage cabinets;
    • Installing (or removing) lattices;
    • Painting lattices.

2 Electrical work in substations and cable work

  • Certificate covering all work falling under the ‘Electrical work in substations’ (Type 1) certificate, plus all work relating to medium- and high-voltage cables.


    • Laying connections;
    • Digging trenches for pulling cables;
    • Installing high-voltage equipment;
    • Wiring low-voltage cabinets;

3 Civil engineering work

  • Certificate covering all civil engineering work in Elia substations and the excavation of trenches for laying cables. Work in low-voltage electrical facilities is allowed provided that the work relates directly and exclusively to the buildings.


    • Installing and connecting an air extraction system in a cellar;
    • Laying foundations;
    • Drilling with machines.

4 Line work

  • Certificate covering all work on high-voltage overhead lines, including painting.


    • Erecting lines;
    • Repairing the pylon structure;
    • Replacing insulators;
    • Painting pylons;
    • Installing intrinsic safety systems.

5 Painting

  • Certificate covering all painting work in high-voltage substations or in the vicinity of overhead lines.


    • Painting the top or body of a pylon;
    • Painting in a high-voltage substation.

6 Line work under the safety boundary plates

  • Certificate covering all work on high-voltage overhead lines or pylons carrying high-voltage overhead lines, but only under the safety boundary plates.


    • Painting the pylon body;
    • Installing intrinsic safety systems in the pylon body;
    • Replacing a corner profile in the pylon body;
    • Pruning near high-voltage lines.

7 Light work in substations with an access and/or work permit

  • Certificate covering all light work in substations that does not require the disconnection of a grid component. ‘Light’ work is work that can be carried out with little risk of interacting with electrical facilities, due to both the nature of the work and the compact size of the equipment or machines used to perform it.


    • Cleaning substation buildings;
    • Checking electrical facilities;
    • Gardening at ground level;
    • Painting lattices without cutting the power supply;
    • Working on the sanitary facilities or lighting system in a substation building;
    • Manual drilling.

8 Offshore work

  • This certificate is required for all offshore activities.

How to obtain certification as a work leader

1 Submit a BA4/BA5 declaration of competence or codification document

  • By issuing a BA4/BA5 declaration of competence, the employer confirms that the employee has the necessary qualifications to work in or near an electrical facility.

    Elia can only award a certificate if we have received a copy of this declaration, which the employer should have anyway. You must send us this declaration when you apply to register.
    If you would like more information about the declaration of competence, check the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue website.

2 Apply to register

  • You can register via a form

    Click here to register in French or in Dutch. Please note that registration for the course is not final until you have received confirmation from the Safety Support Department.

3 Acquire basic knowledge

  • Anyone seeking certification as a work leader must have a basic knowledge of the risks present in Elia facilities and the prevention measures used to address them.

    Depending on the work leader’s profile, this may require knowledge of the risks and prevention measures associated with work in high-voltage substations (GSIS), work on or near cables (GSIC), work on high-voltage power lines (GSIL) or work offshore (GSIO). There is also a special e-learning module for each profile.
    The basic information required for each profile can be found in the ‘Course material’ section.

4 Attend a one-day training session at Elia

  • Anyone beginning a four-year certification cycle must first follow a one-day training session at Elia.

    Subjects covered

    The session focuses on electrical risks, the specific role of the work leader, the safety documents, and operational dialogue. 

    Two tests
    You must pass two tests in the course of the one-day training session:
    • a test of basic knowledge;
    • a test relating to the one-day training session at Elia.

5 Reception of the certificate & validity

  • Three-week waiting period

    Certificate validity

    In principle, your certificate will be valid for two years (unless your BA4/BA5 declaration of competence expires before that). After two years (T+2), you will need to pass the basic knowledge test again to renew your certificate for two years and reach the end of the certification cycle (T+4).

    A new cycle (T0) will then begin: you will have to attend another one-day training session and pass the associated tests. It is up to the certified person or his/her line manager to take the necessary steps to renew the certificate in good time and ensure that the certified person always has a valid declaration of competence. 


    • T0: One-day training session at Elia (Schaerbeek) + tests > €250 per person.
    • T+2: Mid-cycle test at Elia > free.

Training and test

Registration requests for work leaders

Course material

Please be aware that we use cookies on our website. By continuing to use this website, or by clicking "I accept", you indicate that you have read and agree with our cookie policy. More information about cookiescan be found here.