Since 2005, plumbing & heating engineers have been subjected to numerous and unnecessary competency accreditations.

For example, most recently a new competency has been introduced for gas registered engineers. The CPA1 accreditation requires that an already fully competent and Gas Safe registered engineer must take a course, at his own expense and time, on how to use a flue gas analyser. This involves putting a probe in the flue/exhaust of a gas appliance, and reading the results from the analyser meter. A fully qualified gas engineer does not need to be shown how to use a meter. This is an insult to our intelligence, and is completely unnecessary. The cost of the course is footed by the engineer, as always!

To mention just a few, there are courses and competencies for mains pressure hot water cylinders (2 more days training and expense), OFTEC, for engineers wishing to install oil fired appliances (3 days training). All of which, should be "notified" after installation, each notification carrying it's own cost to the engineer that is payable to the relevant governing body.

The annual cost of remaining registered with each governing body is also another overhead. All of these accreditations are not for life, and have to be renewed every 5 years by retaking courses.

I am not disputing the importance of the core gas safety courses – these are a must to ensure basic safety with gas work, and to try to eliminate the cowboys. However, we are now being crippled by these additional financial burdens, that have no bearing on safety, but are there purely to make money. Many of us are one man operations, and I know of several who have already left the trade because of it.

 

Why is this idea important?

It will eventually lead to a shortage of skilled plumbing and heating engineers as they are being strangled by unnecessary regulations and cost, and are leaving the trade.

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