An unregistered gas engineer has found himself in serious trouble after fitting a gas boiler without the relevant safety authorisation to do so. 

gas news, gas training courses

 

Boiling Point

Self-employed electrician, Robert Parker, from Burnley had carried out gas work throughout the spring and summer of 2017; however, it was his work on a boiler in October that brought his alarming practice to the attention of authorities.

Following a gas boiler installation at a home in Rossendale, the occupiers noticed installation defects which became a cause for concern. Gas Safe inspectors investigated the issue and not only found the work to be below current standards but also deemed the boiler to be “immediately dangerous”.

 

Gas Safe Register

The Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are qualified to legally work on gas appliances. Anyone employed to work on gas appliances in domestic premises is required by law to be on the Gas Safe Register.

Unfortunately for Mr Parker, his name was not on the list of officially authorised engineers cleared to work with gas. As a result of such a dangerous oversight, the Burnley man paid a hefty price for his gross negligence.

 

Breaching Regulations

The case ultimately made its way to Manchester magistrates court, where the court heard the details of the incident. Mr Parker went on to plead guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

As a result of the hearing, the electrician was given a 26-week suspended prison sentence, 150 hours community service and levied with a charge of just under £2300.

 

Gas Training Courses at Access Training UK

The case of Mr Parker not only highlights the importance of being fully competent on the job but also reinforces the importance of safety when dealing with gas. Ignorance in this field could lead to devastating consequences that could very well prove fatal.

At Access Training UK, we offer a number of gas courses that are specifically designed to provide you with the educationary tools and necessary know-how needed to complete gas work effectively, efficiently and, most importantly, safely.

Check out our relevant courses below to find out what we can offer you in terms of gas training options:

Essential Gas Course

Ideal for beginners, the Essential Gas Course is a great introduction to the fundamentals of safe, efficient gas work.

Professional Gas Course

With no prior experience required, this course is perfect for those looking to make a career as a gas engineer.

Premier Gas Course 

Combining the basics of electrical work with comprehensive gas training, this bespoke programme covers everything you need to know about gas/electrical work.

ACS Initial Assessment

Completing the ACS assessment will provide you with a CCN1 qualification and allow you to join the Gas Safe Register.

ACS Reassessment

ACS certificates require periodical renewal to retain Gas Safe status. Get your reassessment here at Access Training UK.

LPG – Liquid Petroleum Gas Training

Our intensive course is designed to help experienced natural gas workers make the transition to working with LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas).

 

For more information on the gas training courses available at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

Get in Touch

If you didn't already know the consequences of working as a gas engineer without being on the Gas Safe register, here is another stark reminder. 

Liverpool Magistrates recently fined a man, Kevin Shephard, for working on gas fittings and issuing Landlord Gas Safety Certificates, despite no longer being Gas Safe registered. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation which showed that Mr Shephard was registered with the Gas Safe register over several periods between November 2013 and June 2016, but his registration lapsed in June 2016, along with his gas competence qualifications. 

Mr Shephard continued to carry out gas work and maintenance without renewing his registration or qualifications, so was, therefore, carrying out gas work illegally. Mr Shephard pled guilty to breaching several gas safety regulations, was fined £2000 and had to pay legal costs of £2000 also. 

HSE inspector Jane Carrol said: 

"Kevin Shephard carried out gas work which he knew he wasn't properly registered to do. All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met and to prevent injury and loss of life."

How Do I Get Gas Safe Registered?

Joining the Gas Safe Register will ensure you avoid illegal gas work penalties. To get on the gas safe register, you need to pass an ACS assessment - an assessment that can only be completed if you learn the necessary skills, theory, and procedures. 

If you'd like to become a fully-qualified gas plumber, Access Training Academies can help! We offer a selection of different gas courses that will teach you all the necessary skills to pass your ACS assessments, click below to view and enquire today! 

Browse Our Gas Courses >

 

To work continuously as a gas engineer you will need to complete reassessments to stay on the Gas Safe Register. We can help you with your reassessments too!

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.


To become a professional gas engineer you will need to receive the right training to meet the gas safe registration criteria.  You will not be able to trade as a professional gas engineer until you have gained all the appropriate ACS qualifications. Gaining these qualifications will ensure that you can meet the industry requirements and install and maintain gas appliances to an industry recognised, and safe manner.

If you are planning on wither changing your career or start your career as a professional gas engineer Access Training offer gas assessment packages that are specifically designed to get you through your ACS assessments, so you can get gas safety registered quickly.

To enrol on our ACS Initial Assessment you will first need to have the CPA1 qualification. Contact us for more information about the CPA1 qualification.

Once you are on the gas safety register you will need to renew your ACS qualifications every 5 years to stay on the register. With this in mind, we offer a range of re-assessment courses covering:

  • Core gas safety
  • Core gas safety + 4 appliances
  • Central heating boilers
  • Domestic cookers
  • Gas fires and wall heaters
  • Gas meters
When you get gas safety registered, or if you have been on the gas safe register for a number of years, it doesn't have to be then end of your training – we also offer a variety of courses for experienced tradespeople aimed at helping you to expand your skill set and develop you and your scope as a tradesperson.

Click here for more information on our range of Gas Engineering courses or to enquire about ACS Assessments, give us a call on 0800 345 7492

Charlie Mullins, head of arguably Britain's biggest plumbing firm - Plimco Plumbers, has taken a stand to highlight a serious loophole in current gas regulations. 

While it is common knowledge that gas engineers need to become Gas Safe registered once qualified in order to legally install and maintain gas appliances, the same does not apply when it comes to the purchasing of boilers and other gas-related equipment. Although some builders' merchants will check their customers registration before letting them buy such things, an increase in internet-based suppliers is making this something harder and harder to police.

Because of this, rogue engineers can find it far easier to trick customers into believing that they are Gas Safe registered. Not only them, but also unqualified indviduals such as homeowners who may not know the rules and believe they could have a go at it themselves. Should a mistake be made by either of these parties, the results can be fatal and potentially cost people their lives.

Therefor Mr Mullins believes that the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) needs to clamp down on this huge flaw in the system, extending its regulation of the gas market to the purchase of equipment - something that can only be done by altering the law.

The Plimco Plumbers CEO considers it "ludicrous" that buying boilers/gas equipment is as simple as walking into a shop or clicking your mouse. He added that gas "in the wrong hands is a lethal weapon and used incorrectly people will end up dead".

He went on to talk about how once a "cowboy gas fitter or over enthusiastic amatuer" is in possession of these things, the law is powerless to save lives despite it being illegal for them to install it. Certainly prosecutions can follow should that person be found out, but in most of these cases prosecutions only happen after a life-taking tragedy has already happened.

Charlie suggests:"The truth of the matter is there’s only one opportunity to protect people from this dangerous legal anomaly and that’s to make it illegal to buy gas equipment without a Gas Safe ticket. We have built ourselves a pretty decent safety system to protect people from monoxide poisoning, so why do we insist on retaining a great big hole in the net? The law needs to be changed because this is something that will save lives."

What are your thoughts on the matter? Certainly the thought of non-qualified people being able to go into their local branch of B&Q and purchase gas equipment should be alarming to all the Gas Safe registered installers out there, after all the training you have gone through to get where you are today. To become a fully qualified gas engineer, candidates need to go through a rigorous training course - at the end of which they will be able to build up their gas portfolio and pass the required ACS assessments. Only then will you be able to join the Gas Safe register and be legally permitted to work on gas installations and appliances.

To find out more about what it takes to become a Gas Safe engineer and Access Training's range of intensive gas courses, give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

Those that have completed their gas training and gone on to become a fully qualified gas engineer can now save even more money thanks to CORGI's VAT Saver.

According to their website CORGI VAT Saver works on an extremely complicated algorithm that allows you to calculate your VAT taking into account the 'energy saving' element of the job being subject to the lower VAT rate. All you need to do is enter the details and they handle the rest. 

Now, to bring the scheme in line with new legislation they are offering even more savings - an additional £142 for every boiler you install. What you choose to do with this is entirely up to you - you can keep it yourself or alternatively pass it on to your customer to ensure even more business in the future.

Corgi VAT Saver registration is absolutely free and can be used by any Gas Safe registered engineer (you will need your ID number when signing up). All you need to use it then is access to the internet, so it'll be available to you at home, in the office, out on a job and anywhere else you may need it. You can register online or call them at 0800 612 8490.

----

Before you can take advantage of such a great offer, you'll need to be a member of the Gas Safe Register - something you won't achieve without the proper training. Here at Access Training you can gain the skills to become a fully-qualified gas engineer in our state-of-the-art centre. Work alongside like-minded students and experienced teaching staff to kickstart the next stage in your working life. To find out more call our team on 0800 345 7492.

An important part of Gas Safety Week is making sure people know exactly what to do in the event of a gas leak.

Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. This highly poisonous gas can't be seen, smelled or tasted, but can kill quickly and without warning. Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness and then eventually collapsing and even loss of consciousness. As an invisible gas, carbon monoxide can be extremely difficult to detect. However there are ways that you can determine whether an appliance (such as fires, heating boilers, water heaters or cookers) are dangerous. These include:

  • The pilot light continually blowing out
  • An orange or yellow flame rather than a blue one
  • A discoloured scorched area on an appliance
  • A musty smell or signs of soot
  • More condensation than normal on windows

If you see any of these things, whatever you do DO NOT try to attempt any sort of repair work yourself - you could only end up making it worse. Instead what you should do is call the free emergency gas number on 0800 111 999 and follow their instructions. As soon as you suspect a leak, don't start any flames or operate electrical switches. Make sure to put out any fires, open doors and windows to air out the rooms, keep people away from the area and turn the gas off at the control valve. 

Once you've made the call, a trained operator will log a number of details onto a computer. The kind of questions they'll ask you are:

 

  • Your name and phone number
  • The address and postcode of the suspected gas emergency 
  • How many people are at the property 
  • Where the smell is most noticeable 
  • How long the smell has been noticeable
  • Are any neighbours affected 
  • Any special circumstances or access information
Following that you'll be asked a number of questions to determine the severity of the situation. This information will be recorded and sent off to an engineer to take action if its required.

 

 

One of the ways the Gas Safe Register has decided to mark Gas Safety Week by launching the very first nationwide interactive gas map, which can be viewed at www.staygassafe.co.uk.

This map reveals just how many unsafe gas appliances have been found across the UK, how many gas-related accidents or emergencies have occurred and even how many unregistered gas fitters have been caught preying upon the public. It's the first time this level of information has been recorded and compared across postcodes, and the results aren't looking good for the capital of Wales.

Cardiff ranked second only to Birmingham as the area with the highest number of unsafe homes, at a total of 31.1%. The full top 10 (if you can call it "top" that is) of unsafe places in the UK can be viewed below:

1. Birmingham (34.2%)

2. Cardiff (31.1%)

3. Edinburgh (30.9%)

4. Norwich and Ipswich (27.9%)

5. Coventry (27.8%)

6. Manchester (27.5%)

7. Bedford (27.3%)

8. Glasgow (25.2%)

9. Milton Keynes (24.2%)

10. Bradford (23.3%)

While there may not be a whole lot in it between the places, these numbers are still significantly higher than they should be. So where did the research find is the safest places? Brighton took the prize with just 5% (1 in 20) homes found to be dangerous, followed closely by Liverpool (6%), Southampton (6%), Northampton (7%) and Hull (8%). 

The data inspected just under 100,000 homes in Great Britain in the last three years, and found that one in six homes, the equivalent of 4.28 million households, had an unsafe gas appliance. Appliances in one in 25 homes were immediately dangerous and if left unchecked were at risk of causing a gas fire, explosion, leak or carbon monoxide poisoning.

One in three gas customers in Great Britain (around 7.69 million households) also admitted that they’ve never had their gas appliances checked or maintained, despite eight in 10 people (82%) recognising that it needs to be done to protect them from gas dangers. Gas Safe Register’s inspections further found that gas fires are the most dangerous gas appliances in homes. One in three gas fires checked by the Register were unsafe, compared to one in 11 boilers and one in 13 cookers. Just like boilers, gas fires and gas cookers need to be checked and maintained regularly to remain safe.

The public is also being caught out by cowboy unregistered gas fitters, pretending to be legal engineers. One in 10 people admit they took it on trust that their gas engineer is legally registered and never checked if they were. Nearly 3,000 illegal gas jobs have been investigated by Gas Safe Register since 2010, of which nearly two in three (61%) left victims’ homes unsafe and one in five were so dangerous that the Register had to turn off the gas appliance immediately.

Russell Kramer, chief executive for Gas Safe Register, said: "Gas safety is a life or death matter and something that shouldn’t be ignored. People are aware of the potential risks of unsafe gas work and they know what they should be doing to keep themselves safe, but as our research has found, not everyone is acting on that information. This is why we have launched the gas map. It is the first time that data on unsafe gas appliances and illegal gas work has been compared across postcodes in Great Britain. We want people to realise that gas safety is something that they should take seriously and by bringing it to their doorstep it makes it harder to ignore.

"We hope to see millions of people using the gas map during and beyond Gas Safety Week to get a better understanding of how they can protect themselves. Some areas are more at risk, but even in safer areas there is no room for complacency. You only need to enter your postcode to find out localised information about your area. You can also sign up for a free reminder service to get your appliances checked, so that you don’t forget to do this vital and life saving check every year, and search for registered engineers. Our messages this Gas Safety Week are simple – get your appliances checked every year, sign up for our reminder service and only use a Gas Safe registered engineer. It could save yours and your family’s lives."

If you're a Cardiff gas engineer, its up  to you to help lower this figure and get our city off of the table. Meanwhile, if you're a trainee gas engineer or looking to enter the gas trade, it is essential that you not only get the right qualifications, but get Gas Safe registered so that you are legally permitted to work on gas appliances and installations across the UK. An Access Training gas course will provide you with everything you need - expert tutelage, professional qualifications and the best foundation work possible for you to go on and become Gas Safe. To find out more take a look at our courses page or contact one of our team on 0800 345 7492.

With Gas Safety week coming up soon Access Training will be highlighting the importance of gas safety in our blog in the lead up to 16-22 September. However this isn't always going to be in a fun and educational way - yesterday the Heating, Ventilating & Plumbing magazine reported two separate instances of dishonest traders either fined or leaving people at risk because the tradesmen were not Gas Safe Registered.

The first article reports that a self-employed heating installer from King's Lynn was fined for illegally carrying out sub-standard gas work at two homes in Norfolk. Ryan Neale, trading as R. Neale Plumbing and Heating, installed gas appliances and pipework despite not being Gas Safe registered. He was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay a further £1,000 in costs after pleading guilty to two separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 for his work at each property – four charges in total.

Secondly, a London heating installer was also fined for illegal and unsafe gas work. Abhishev Yadav, 28, of Greenwich, installed a boiler at a property on Penywern Road, Earls Court, that was later classed as ‘at risk’ because the flue was not properly sealed or secured. He carried out the work in March 2011 on behalf of his firm Ability Heating, while falsely claiming to be Gas Safe registered. He was was fined a total of £7,500, and ordered to pay £2,500 in costs plus a £120 victim surcharge for breaching the same regulations.

In response to these stories,  Gas Safe Register chief executive Russell Kramer has issued this statement: "Every Gas Safe registered engineer has an ID card which shows who they are and the type of work they are qualified to carry out. Customers should ask to see this and check the engineer is qualified to do the job in hand. You can also check your engineer by calling us on 0800 408 5500 or by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk.

Joining the Gas Safe Register is a legal requirement of any tradesman installing, maintaining and decommissioning gas appliances and can only be achieved when they have been awarded all of the relevant gas qualifications. The register can also be used by homeowners to search for a suitable tradesman in their area, or to ensure that the one they've hired is a legitimate gas engineer. 

If you're interested in earning the qualifications to become a qualified gas engineer, Access Training offer comprehensive gas courses that will have you well on your way to success. Completing our courses successfully will give you the skills and knowledge to join the Gas Safe Register and start a new and rewarding career. To find out more give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

Gas Safe has proved time and time again to be an effective method in separating genuine gas engineers from cowboy traders, so that the general public know that when they hire a tradesman he or she is legitimate. But despite this, this sort of system is currently only available for gas engineers - so Joe Bloggs may not have the same level of certainty when hiring a plumber for wet work.

Until now that is. Or more precisely, October 8th 2013.

WaterSafe has been put together to provide a search facility of all Approved plimbers working in the UK, thanks to a partnership between UK water suppliers and the seven Approved Contractors' Schemes working across the UK. It will promote compliance with the Water Supply Regulations 1999 and Scottish Water Byelaws in order to protect the public and make it even more difficult for unqualified dishonest plumbers to get work. Unlike the Gas Safe register this isn't a legal requirement, but will publically show plumbers are both fully qualified and competent in their trade. So arguably its something that's probably in your best interest to do.

WaterSafe's website isn't open just yet, however it can be found at www.watersafe.org.uk where you can find all the relevant contact details to find out more about the scheme. Keep checking back to this blog, as we're sure to be covering more of this brilliant new scheme closer to its official launch.

In the meantime - if you have any outstanding plumbing qualifications or are looking to become a professional plumber yourself, have you considered a comprehensive plumbing course from Access Training? Our courses are suitable for both newcomers and experienced plumbers alike, so give us a call on 0800 345 7492 or check out the courses section of the site to find out more.

 

Easy Safety Cert are offering registered Gas Safe engineers a free trial of their gas safety inspection software, available as an app for iOS devices such as an iPad or iPhone, with an Android version due to launch within the next six weeks.

Engineers will be able to complete, send and store gas safety inspections while on the go. They will also be access their own secure online database, which stores completed certificates along with client and job details and automatically sets 12-month inspection reminders.

The trial allows three free inspections; beyond that, engineers can purchase inspections on a pay-as-you-go basis. There are no subscription fees or extra charges for multiple users, devices, support or updates.

Bianca Dainty, director of Easy Safety Cert, said: "We’ve always had a key focus on usability and quality. The new features found in the iPad and updated iPhone apps are examples of our commitment to bringing the best technology to our customers."

The app can be found by searching "ESC GasCert" in the App store.

Full story: Daily Mail - 'Incompetent' plumber causes gas explosion

A 32-year old plumber is currently in course after he caused a gas explosion which resulted in a home being 'blown from its foundations' and leaving the couple inside with serious burns.

While converting the former kitchen of Martyn Moody and his wife Theresa's luxury home in the Lincolnshire Wolds into a dining room, plumber Daniel Hickling cut off and capped the protruding gas pipe, burying it under the floorboards. However during the work he punctured the pipe and failed to carry out a straightforward check to ensure there had been no damage to it.

Later the couple smelt gas and began searching their home. During this time Mr Moody flicked on a cigarette lighter and the flame ignited, causing a massive explosion with such force that the entire building moved an inch. Mr Moody, a retired construction and electrical tradesman spent two weeks in hospital undergoing skin grafts after suffering serious burns to his hands, arms and scalp. His wife suffered burns to her legs and feet nut was released from hospital after two days.

The home, which the couple had built for themselves in 1993, sustained so much damaged that it had to be almost completely rebuilt. It was a year before the couple were able to move back in. They were also left £100,000 out of pocket after being found to be underinsured on their contents insurance and thus had to cover some of the loss themselves.

Lincoln Crown Court were told by prosecutor James Puzey that Hickley was "incompetent to carry out this work and it was carried out incompetently. That led directly to an explosion which almost destroyed the property and caused serious injury to the householders." It was also revealed that he was not a registered Gas Safe engineer and failed to tell the couple this when he agreed to do the work. However he claims that he did not know he would be working on a gas pipe and as such never put himself forward as properly qualified.

Hickley has admitted to breaching the 1998 Gas Safety Regulations and performing work to an inappropriate standard. Recorder Helen Malcolm QC has adjourned the case to a future date when she will give her ruling on the case following these two days of evidence.

-----

Cases like this are a prime example of why having the right qualifications to do the job is vital. Simply having plumbing qualifications is not enough if you are potentially going to work with gas pipes, as not only are you breaking the law and could potentially face prosecution but you are also endangering the lives of your customers. If you train as a gas engineer, becoming Gas Safe Registered isn't just advised, it is essential proof that you are legally competent to work with gas pipes and gas appliances safely. If you are a plumber and would like to learn more about gas engineering, gaining the qualifications required to be eligable for Gas Safe registration, we at Access Training offer comprehensive gas courses to ensure you are fully trained. To find out more click the link or give us a call on 0800 345 7492.