A man from Staffordshire has been sentenced to prison time after he performed gas work in someone's home with no experience or qualifications to do so. The man, named Colin Christoper Batchelor, conducted this gas work in September 2016. He:

  • Removed an old boiler
  • Installed a new boiler 
  • Installed a gas meter
  • Connected pipework

All while being completely unregistered to do so!

When Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated this incident, they found that Mr Batchelor had performed gas work while claiming to his client that he was part of the Gas Safe register, when in fact, he was not. He was not competent to carry out the gas work that he did, and the result of his shoddy workmanship was a home left unsafe. Mr Batchelor failed to carry out any tests or examinations to verify that the installation was safe and gas-tight once his work was finished.

Mr Batchelor pleaded guilty to five separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment for each offence. That means, that Mr Bachelor's thoughtless actions have cost him over three years of his life!

After the hearing, HSE inspector, Dr Riley Roberts, said:

"The Gas Safe Register Exist to protect the public from people such as Colin Christopher Batchelor, who are prepared to work illegally, falsify records and carry out potentially dangerous gas work. Performing gas work without being competent to do so can be highly dangerous and lead to loss of life."

Don't risk being prosecuted like Mr Batchelor. Do a gas course with Access Training Academies and we will give you the skills and practical knowledge you need to become Gas Safe registered.

Browse Our Gas Courses Now >

 

 

Judge's gavel

It's widely known that gas engineers in the UK are legally required to join the Gas Safe Register before working on gas appliances. But do you know what the punishment is for carrying out gas work when you're not Gas Safe registered?

A Mr Stevens of Milton Keynes recently found out. The director of Master Plumbing Contractors Limited recently appeared before Aylesbury Crown Court, where he was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

This sentence was handed down because Mr Stevens was working illegally when he installed a gas boiler (later found to have defects) at a property in Milton Keynes. The court heard that Mr Stevens had...

  • Professed to be Gas Safe registered
  • Worn a T-shirt bearing the Gas Safe logo
  • Displayed the Gas Safe logo on his company van

...but an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that, despite all appearances, Mr Stevens actually was not on the Gas Safe Register at the time the work was carried out.

Following the outcome of this hearing, HSE inspector Andrew McGill issued a statement warning "rogue gas fitters" that gas work is "difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous", and that it should only be undertaken by "trained and competent engineers who are registered with Gas Safe".

How do you get on the Gas Safe Register?

In order to join the Gas Safe Register and avoid the penalties for illegal gas work, you will first need to pass your ACS assessment - and you won't be able to do that until you've learned the essential skills, theory and safety procedures that every professional gas engineer must know.

If you're thinking of joining the trade and making a living from gas work, we offer a selection of comprehensive gas courses here at Access Training Academies. You'll learn in a fully-equipped training centre under the supervision of an experienced gas engineer, and we'll help you to progress smoothly and quickly from learning the basics to preparing for your ACS assessment. We can also help with the reassessments that you'll have to complete every few years in order to stay on the Gas Safe Register.

Our Gas Courses >   Speak to a Course Advisor >

READ MORE: How to Become Gas Safe Registered

Gas courses

Gas engineers are among the most in-demand tradespeople of all, and if you're willing to put in the work necessary to get certified and join the Gas Safe Register, you'll be able to do all sorts of jobs that less-qualified workers are unable to tackle.

With that in mind, it's easy to see why gas courses are such a popular choice amongst people who are looking to change careers. But is a gas course the right choice for you? And are gas training programmes really worth the price tag?

Benefits of training to be a gas engineer

  1. Take advantage of the skills shortage. The UK is currently experiencing a shortage of skilled tradespeople, and our forthcoming departure from the European Union is expected to exacerbate the situation still further. However, this is actually very good news for you if you're considering quitting your current job and learning a trade instead - as a newly-qualified gas engineer, you should have no shortage of lucrative jobs to take on.

  2. Work on a wide range of appliances. Gas engineers don't just fix boilers. Once you're on the Gas Safe Register, you'll potentially be called upon to fix everything from ovens to hobs to fireplaces. If you're also qualified as a plumber (gas and plumbing qualifications often go hand-in-hand), you can also add sinks, showers, toilets and bathtubs to that list. This should mean that your days are both busy and enjoyably varied.

  3. Make lots of money! According to totaljobs.com, the average salary for a gas engineer in the UK is in excess of £32,000. That's a very appealing pay packet indeed, especially when the work itself is so rewarding and enjoyable.

Of course, it does cost money (usually several thousand pounds, also this can vary) to train as a gas engineer, but as we think you'll agree, the pros above are well worth that initial expense.

Gas courses from Access Training

If you're ready to begin your new career path, you'll be pleased to learn that we offer a comprehensive range of gas engineer training courses here at Access Training Academies. Our training packages are affordable and great value for money; furthermore, we offer flexible payment plans and finance options across all of our courses.

Click the links below to find out more about each training course: 

No matter what trade you'd like to learn, please contact Access Training today to find out how we can help you to achieve your career ambitions!

how long to become a gas engineer

The UK's plumbing and heating industry have been struggling with a serious skills shortage for some time now. Plumbers and gas engineers are in exceedingly high demand; many have found themselves forced to turn down jobs because there's simply no room in their tightly-packed schedules.

So the country needs more gas engineers, and it needs them now. The problem is that nobody becomes a qualified engineer overnight - completing college courses takes several years, and the same goes for apprenticeships. However, our fast track courses allow you to become qualified in a matter of months

There are plenty of opportunities for Gas Safe engineers in Britain right now, but it takes a long time to properly prepare a person for those jobs via these 'traditional' training routes. Becoming a gas engineer this way can a minimum of six months! 

Is there a faster way to become a gas engineer?

Fortunately for budding gas engineers and British homeowners alike, apprenticeships are no longer the only way to become a qualified heating engineer. Over the last few years, intensive gas training courses have soared in popularity throughout the UK, with an increasing number of career changers opting for the fast-track route and attaining Gas Safe status in a matter of a few months.

Some programmes even allow students the flexibility to learn part-time so as to accommodate other commitments - great news for would-be tradespeople who need to stay in work and/or support a family during the training period.

Become a gas engineer through an intensive training course

As an example, let's look at the Professional Gas Engineer Course that we offer here at Access Training. This is a flexible course that's open to everyone - no prior gas or plumbing experience is required to enrol.

This intensive course is specifically designed to give you gas engineer qualifications and ready for work within the shortest possible timeframe. All the basics are covered (including gas safety legislation and standards), and the hands-on training programme ensures that students are able to do everything that's expected of a gas engineer, e.g. pipework, tightness tests, and repairing a variety of gas appliances.

The course culminates in the ACS gas assessment, which tests students on everything they've learned. Those who pass this assessment receive the ACS Certificate, which enables them to join the Gas Safe Register and conduct gas work legally.

We also offer a Premier Gas Engineer Course, which includes two electrical qualifications. Completion of this course allows you to conduct electrical as well as gas work, opening up a wider range of jobs to you.

 Browse Our Gas Engineer Courses >

 

For more information on how to become a gas engineer, our fast-track gas safe courses, the gas engineer qualifications that you'll receive or how long it will take to complete our course and become a gas safe engineer, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Access Training team today.

Gas safe training

If you're looking into becoming a professional gas engineer, you may well have heard the term Gas Safe training. In order to work as a gas engineer in the UK, you must be on the Gas Safe Register, and this requires specific training / qualifications. You can think of the Gas Safe Register as an official list of every certified gas engineer who is legally allowed to work on gas appliances in the UK.

Previously known as CORGI, the Gas Safe Register is a nationwide scheme that was created to protect the public from unsafe gas work. To get onto the Gas Safe Register, you must provide evidence of your competence and training by presenting the relevant qualifications, which can be one of the following:

  • A Nationally Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) qualification
  • A Scottish/National Vocational Qualification (S/NVQ), such as the 6012 City & Guilds range
  • Qualification Credit Framework (QCF) certification

The training required to become Gas Safe registered is where Access Training Gas Courses can be of use. Whether you are starting as an absolute beginner or would just like to refresh your skills, our courses are designed to get you ready to work as a professional gas engineer. Our Professional Gas Course, for instance, allows you to gain your ACS certificate and join the Gas Safe Register (no experience required to enrol on this course).

Completing a Gas Safe training programme and joining the Register is the only way to be able to work legally in the UK as a gas engineer. Without this, you will not only be working illegally, you may also be putting yourself and the public in danger. Our courses allow you to train safely in state-of-the-art facilities.

Click here to learn more about our gas courses, or contact us today to find out how to enrol.

On Tuesday 2nd February, the mayor of London announced The London Boiler Cash back scheme, as part of his commitment to help reduce London’s carbon emissions by 60 per cent in 2025. This is the first major boiler scrappage scheme in England since the launch of the campaign in 2010.

The London boiler cash back scheme will provide home owners with £400 cash back when they upgrade their old, inefficient boilers, with new A-rated gas, renewable or low carbon heating boiler. Currently this scheme will be open to home owners and private residential landlords with properties within the 33 London boroughs. However, it will increase the demand for gas engineers when people decide to upgrade their boilers. This is a great opportunity for a newly qualified gas engineer to increase their work load!

For the home owners to be eligible for the scheme, their boilers must have an energy efficiency rating of 70 per cent or less, and be using gas, oil, LPG or solid fuels. The boilers must also be in full working order, and it must be the homes main boiler, not just the boiler that they use to heat water. The boilers will be replaced with boilers that have a minimum energy efficiency of 90 per cent, and should be gas, Air or ground source heat pumps, solar thermal systems or a boiler with a passive flue heat recovery device.

All of the boiler replacements must be installed by fully qualified, gas safe registered installer. With the announcement of this scheme, it means that there has never been a better time to train and become a fully qualified Gas engineer!

Currently this scheme is only exclusive to London, and only available for 6,500 home owners, however, we are confident that this scheme will prove to be a success. There is a strong possibility that other larger cities, such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester and Newcastle will follow and introduce similar schemes.

So, if you have been thinking about training to become a gas engineer – now is a very exciting time to do so! Click here to view the courses we offer here at Access Training. If you would like to talk to us about enrolment, please call us on (Freephone) 0800 345 7492 and a member of our team will be happy to help you!

Joseph Valente Tweet

You may remember that a few weeks ago we posted about the recent success of 2015 Apprentice candidate, Joseph Valente, who was rewarded with a £250k business investment from Lord Alan Sugar. It would seem that Valente, owner of plumbing business Impra-Gas, is already putting the money to good use; he recently announced via Twitter that the company is looking to recruit electricians and gas engineers in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and the Midlands.

It's fantastic to see that Lord Sugar's investment is already paying off, and that Valente is able to offer a number of candidates the opportunity to become a part of a successful, expanding business. This is also great news for qualified electricians and gas engineers, and proves how valuable and in-demand their skills are across the country. Valente, who admits that traditional education wasn't right for him, has managed to forge a pathway to success not only for himself, but also for other budding professionals in the industry, proving that highly determined tradespeople are just as worthwhile to the world of business as those in more glamorous professions.

Valente's journey from school drop-out to budding plumber and now businessman is highly inspirational, and is testament to the number of lucrative opportunities available to those who are willing to make the commitment and learn a new trade. Whether you see yourself as one of Valente's future employees or as the owner of your own business, you can be sure that the time and money you invest in completing your training as a gas engineer or electrician will prove to be invaluable in shaping your future career ambitions.

If you've been inspired by Valente's story, or if you're looking to begin your career in a particular trade and don't know where to start, we want to hear from you! We have carefully designed courses for budding plumbers, electricians and gas engineers, and we would be happy to direct you to the option most suitable for your needs and experience. Whether you're changing careers or starting from scratch, our professional, experienced staff can offer you a great insight into both the skills required and the industry itself, allowing you to step into your new career with knowledge and confidence.

If you would like to speak with one of our advisers about the range of courses on offer, get in touch with us today!
Did you catch the Apprentice final on Sunday? If so, you'll already know that the winning candidate was Joseph Valente from Peterborough; he saw off fierce competition from runner-up Vana Koutsomitis to become the programme's eleventh winner, and the fifth to receive a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.

So what was Joseph's big idea? A plumbing business! Impra-Gas offer a range of plumbing and gas services to customers across the UK, and the company will no doubt benefit massively from the £250k cash injection (not to mention all the publicity!)

While both finalists would have made worthy winners, we must admit that it was somewhat heartening to see a gas/plumbing company triumph over Vana's more futuristic business proposal (an app called DatePlay that combines online dating with mobile gaming to find your perfect match). More impressive still is the story of Joseph Valente's success - here's how he told it in an interview with BBC News yesterday:

"I was expelled from school when I was around 15 and it looked pretty grim at the time. But I always knew I was going to be very, very successful...I created an opportunity in plumbing and I went to work with a local plumber for a year. He put me through college when I was 16...I owe a lot to the plumbing industry."

We at Access Training have helped countless people to earn their gas/plumbing qualifications and join the industry. Many of our students are people who have been working in offices for years and need a change of scenery, but we also help young people who find themselves in the same situation as Mr Valente: young people who have left school and aren't sure what to do next. University isn't the only option - in fact, it often isn't an option at all - and our courses allow those seeking an alternative route to learn a new trade from scratch and turn it into a lucrative career.

Joseph Valente's plumbing business was reportedly turning over £370,000 per year even before he appeared on The Apprentice. Figures like that aren't uncommon in the plumbing industry; this country is still pretty short on qualified tradespeople, and this skills gap often allows our students to make far more as plumbers and gas engineers than they ever would have made working at desks. If the Apprentice final has inspired you to learn a trade and start your own business, then please get in touch with Access Training today!

Click here to view our plumbing courses

*

Click here to view our gas training packages


Here at Access Training, we offer a variety of gas training courses that will equip you with all the skills necessary to become a qualified gas engineer. This could allow you to begin an entirely new career in 2016, providing you with a steady income and stable career for years to come. 

If you're already a registered gas worker, the new year is a perfect time to update your existing qualifications in order to ensure that you are working safely and with the most up-to-date knowledge. From ACS reassessments to LPG training, we offer a range of options for gas workers who are looking to expand or refresh their skills.

If you're unsure about which of our gas training courses would suit you, this brief guide should help you to make an informed decision:

Best For Beginners

If you're a total beginner looking to learn more about gas work with a view to becoming a fully-qualified gas engineer in the future, then our Essential Gas Course is a great place to start. That said, if you're looking for a more advanced qualification, you may be more interested in our Professional Gas Course (which will equip you with everything you'll need to turn professional) or our Premier Gas Course (which includes two electrical qualifications, allowing you to work on a wider range of installations). All three of these training programmes are open to everyone, from absolute beginners to more experienced candidates who wish to brush up their skills and gain some industry-recognised qualifications.

Courses for Qualified Gas Engineers

To ensure that you are working safely, we offer ACS assessments and re-assessments for professional gas engineers, allowing you to join and remain a member of the Gas Safe Register. For engineers looking to transition from natural gas to liquid petroleum, we offer an LPG Training course which covers working with metres, installing pipework, and identifying unsafe situations.

To enquire about starting one of our accredited gas training courses in 2016, contact us today!
Joining the Gas Safe Register is a rite of passage for all trainee gas engineers, but more importantly, it's a legal requirement for anyone who wishes to carry out gas installations in the UK. Unregistered individuals who work on gas appliances are breaking the law and may be prosecuted.

Court Gavel

One cautionary example is that of Michael Birch from St Austell in Cornwall. Earlier this week, Mr Birch was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Gas Safety Regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

What did he do wrong?

Back in 2013, Michael Birch (who is not a Gas Safe-registered engineer) installed a gas boiler in a property in St Austell. The boiler - specifically the flue - was not installed correctly, which the homeowner noticed and reported to the Gas Safe Register. It eventually transpired that, after Mr Birch had finished installing the boiler, he had asked a registered gas engineer named Peter Hopper to 'sign off' on his work, which Mr Hopper did in spite of the unsafe state of the installation.

(Incidentally, Peter Hopper was also sentenced this week - he was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £5,000 for illegally commissioning the work.)

All of this serves as a stern reminder of how important it is to join the Gas Safe Register before commencing any gas installations of your own. Unregistered personnel risk prosecution and hefty fines, but worse still, they risk compromising people's safety. Had the homeowner in this cautionary tale failed to notice the problems with their boiler, the story's ending could have been far grimmer than a mere fine.

How do I join the Gas Safe Register?

In order to join the Gas Safe Register and legally carry out gas installation work, you will first need to complete an ACS assessment. This is included as a component of Access Training's Premier Gas Course, which is open to candidates of all levels, including absolute beginners. More experienced individuals can undergo the assessment on its own.

Click here to browse Access Training's full range of gas training courses, or contact us to discuss the options we offer.

Now that we've entered August it's fair to say that the summer holidays have properly started, and school children aren't going to have to even think about school for another month. But what about those 18 year olds who are just coming out of sixth form/college? It's not so easy for them as they won't be going back in September - it's time for them to think about the next step in their lives.

For many university will be the most obvious route, engaging in another 3+ years of education with a qualification and a heap of debt at the end of it. And what job is that qualification likely to get you? With most graduates struggling to get jobs relevant to their degrees, they are now beginning to fill lower-level positions that would usually be taken by those who haven't gone to uni and want to work their way up into a career via experience. So where does that leave them? As you can guess, its a pretty big problem and calls into question just how useful some degrees are in landing you your 'dream' job.

But there are other reasons one might not want to go to university. After over a decade of timetables and school work, some people might want to put that behind them and move onto something different. Instead of more sitting at a desk and writing, there are practical options out there that will keep your working life active and varied. And of course, there is that matter of student loan/tuition fee debt that I briefly mentioned earlier...

With the demand for skilled tradespeople at an all-time high thanks to a construction boom and renewed interest in housebuilding, those looking for a direction outside of university may be perfectly suited to becoming a plumber, gas engineer, electrician, carpenter, plasterer, tiler, bricklayer or decorator. Or even a number of the above! But once again, there are a few ways to go about it.

One option is to take up a college course in your chosen trade. Not a bad option, but there are a few things to think about. These courses can take around two years to complete, which means once again resigning yourself to a strict regime of timetables. There's also the fact that colleges have to budget  their wide variety of courses, which means there's every possibility you could find yourself with facilities not quite as ideal as you might have hoped for.

The alternative? Completing an intensive training course with a private trainer, where you'll be able to earn your skills and qualifications in a matter of weeks. This probably sounds impossible to many of you, but with the right tutelage from experienced tradesmen in a state-of-the-art facility the combines the very best practical and theory training it's more than possible. And with a private trainer their ONLY focus is on the facilities and the training they provide, so you know that your chosen trade is a key subject for them.

Sound like the path you want to take? Then get in touch with Access Training Academies and book your training course today. We specialise in a wide variety of trades training courses, each manned by tutors with many years' experience in the business. All of our courses are accredited by leading awarding bodies such as City & Guilds, Logic and more, and designed to take you from a beginner level all the way to that of a trained professional. Not only that, but we keep our classes to a minimal size to allow the most one-to-one student/tutor time possible, so that you know you're getting the care and attention you paid for. Following completion of your course, you'll be ready to start your brand new career and even have the abilities to go self-employed should you so wish. Its your choice what path you choose but one thing is definitely for sure - you'll have earned yourself skills for life that are constantly in demand, and as such enjoy constant work with impressive wages.

This August, have a think about where you want your life to head next. And if you like the sound of this, give Access a call on 0800 345 7492.

How Safe Is Your House? is a new programme from the BBC that looks at all the different accidents that can befall homeowners. Not only does it feature experts uncovering home dangers that you might not know about, it also goes undercover to expose rogue tradespeople and the shoddy work they perform while pretending to be fully qualified. The second episode in the series aired last night on BBC 1, and included was something very important to us here at Access Training - proper gas engineer training and the Gas Safe Register.

It is estimated that there are currently around 7500 unqualified gas engineers working illegally in the UK, installing up a quarter of a million (250,000) appliances in our homes. All engineers should be part of the Gas Safe Register to work legally on any sort of gas appliance, and without that not only are they working illegally but you have no way of knowing how qualified these engineers really are. One simple registration may not be enough either - engineers must have separate qualifications for EACH gas appliance they work on. So if an engineer is Gas Safe Registered to work on boilers, that doesn't necessarily mean he has the qualifications to work on fires. The information as to exactly what your hired engineer is qualified in can be found on the back of their Gas Safe ID card, which you can ask to see at any time.

Operating as a gas engineer without first joining the register can not only result in fines/imprisonment, but it also endangers the lives of the homeowners who are placing their trust in you. A quick phone call is all it can take for a doubtful homeowner to double check whether their engineer is registered, and Gas Safe also provide these records online. With it so easy to be caught out, is it really worth endangering the lives of others and risking facing the law?

Andrew Barnes seemed to think so, as he was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive for not being Gas Safe Registered, fined and given a conditional discharge. Two months later, he was at it again without getting registered. How Safe is Your House went undercover to expose him, eventually confronting him when he continued to claim he was legally registered to work on gas appliances. It was only after this confrontation that he finally registered, but who knows what could have happened in the time he was practicing illegally.

The whole episode is well worth the watch, and can be found on BBC iPlayer for the next 6 days.

If you're training to become a gas engineer or considering a change of career to become a gas engineer, it is vital that you earn the correct qualifications and then become Gas Safe Registered. Here at Access Training we'll be able to help you with this, as we offer intensive gas training courses complete with a work placemebt and ACS assessment. You'll learn the basics from experienced gas engineers before moving on to completing a top quality portfolio working alongside an established engineer. Then you'll return to our centre ready to tackle the ACS assessments, fully qualifying you for Gas Safe Registration.

Having the right qualifications isn't just a matter of being the best you can, it's a legal obligation. Don't risk the lives of your customers, give us a call on 0800 345 7492 and get the correct training.