A gas engineer in St Columb will be sentenced after carrying out dozens of jobs in people’s homes without the relevant qualifications.
Darren Masters had apparently serviced and installed boilers, as well as fitting gas hobs and gas fires, leaving numerous homes in danger.
Rogue Trader Full of Hot Air
The 33-year-old pleaded guilty to 11 charges of breaching safety regulations, carrying out the work without being on the Gas Safety Register.
Despite not being a registered gas engineer, Mr Masters falsely claimed to be a fully-fledged member of the Gas Safety Register in order to secure work.
After pleading guilty at the Truro Magistrates’ Court on December 16th, the case was adjourned to the seriousness of the crime and sent to the Truro Crown Court for sentencing in the New Year.
Dangers of Poorly Fitted Gas Fixtures
Gas fittings and fixtures that have been improperly installed carry with them a wide variety of potentially life-threatening hazards.
A faulty installation can release poisonous carbon monoxide which can be fatal, as a result. Meanwhile, a gas leak can also lead to significant fire hazards and even cause an explosion.
The incident once again highlights how vital appropriate training really is when it comes to gas safety. By-passing such qualifications can have serious consequences on both the fitter and the customer, with potentially devastating results all-round.
If you are thinking of exploring a career as a gas engineer, Access Training UK can help you do it right. We have a variety of gas courses available to ensure you enter the trade fully capable of carrying out gas work safely, efficiently and correctly.
Check out our relevant courses below to find out what we can offer you in terms of gas training options:
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.
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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!
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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!
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
If you're a budding gas engineer, you'll need ensure that you undergo an ACS assessment to obtain the qualifications you require to join the Gas Safe Register; an obligation for all UK installers. This ACS certification demonstrates a level of competence necessary to become Gas Safe registered. Qualified installers will also have to renew their qualifications periodically in order to remain on the register, and to ensure that they are following the latest regulations.
Here at Access Training we provide a number of courses that include an ACS certification, allowing Gas Engineers to practice their trade safely and responsibly. This accreditation can be completed as a stand-alone qualification or as part of our full gas training packages, simply select your required assessment format from the range of options below:
Separate ACS Certifications:
This assessment package is able to offer you a choice of the following:
- Initial CCN1 only
- Initial CCN1 + 1 appliance
- Initial CCN1 + 2-4 appliances
If you're an experienced installer looking to renew your qualifications, we will be able to offer you a range of reassessment packages from the following:
- CCN 1/CPA 1: Core gas safety - Up to 5 days
- CCN 1+4: Core sas safety + 4 appliances (inc CPA1) - Up to 5 days
- CENWAT 1: Central heating boilers - Maximum 1 day
- CKR 1: Domestic cookers - Maximum 1 day
- HTR 1: Gas fires and wall heaters - Maximum 1 day
- MET 1: Meters - Maximum 1 day
Full Gas Training Packages:
This bespoke course allows you to gain the skills and knowledge required to become a professional gas engineer, providing you with opportunities to train in areas including ventilation, appliances, safety legislation, and more! It also includes a guaranteed work placement opportunity, providing you with first-hand experience of the industry and a competitive advantage upon entering the industry.
This advanced course provides candidates with a thorough knowledge of gas work and theory, while also including electrical wiring and circuit training for the installation of power for gas boilers, along with other similar tasks. As part of this course, you will gain recognized qualifications in both gas and electrical work, allowing you to complete a wider range of operations on completion of the course.
This course is ideal for beginners who wish to qualify as a professional plumber and heating engineer in a single course, providing candidates with all the essential qualifications required to enter the trade. Offering a combination of plumbing, gas and electrical accreditations, this programme is ideal for those hoping to seek a wide variety of work.
If you have any further questions about completing the ACS certification with us, or if you would like to find out more about our trade professional courses, please feel free to get in touch.
You can also keep up-to-date with the latest trade news by following us on Twitter
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every year the Gas Safe Register holds a 'Gas Safety Week' to promote proper safety when it comes to gas installations and appliances and what signs to look for if you suspect a gas leak. Last year 2700 different industries (ourselves included!) pledged their support and got involved distributing leaflets, holding promotions or simply spreading the word about gas safety in any way that they could. However this year (taking place the 15th-21st September), they're calling on your to share your stories about being a Gas Safe Hero.
Russell Kramer, chief executive of the Gas Safe Register, explained that for 2014 the register's aim is to highlight the work registered engineers have done and how they've gone "above and beyond". This could be anything from simply holding neighbourhood events to raise awareness to fixing dodgy gas work or even evacuating a home in the event of a leak.
Engineers are able to share their stories by visiting GasSafeRegister.co.uk/hero, which will then go on to appear on the Gas Safety week website as well as potentially be shared with the media. In addition to this, the Register is also looking for Heroes to talk to the media about their experiences and help spread the word of Gas Safety. Those interested in nominating themselves as a spokesperson can also do so at the aforementioned link.
Mr Kramer concludes with these words;
"Gas Safety Week is about bringing gas safety to the forefront of people's minds. So this year, I'm urging the nation's engineers to join in – tell us your story, nominate yourself to be a spokesperson or pledge your support. It's only through the whole industry uniting that we can hope to reach the 23 million UK gas consumers - encouraging them to always use registered engineers, to get appliances checked regularly and to sign up to the free annual gas safety check reminder service at www.staygassafe.co.uk"
Are you on your way to becoming a Gas Safe Hero? Any budding engineer knows that in order to become a professional gas engineer, one must first pass their ACS assessments and sign on to the register - a legal requirement of ANYONE working on gas installations and appliances. But before any of this can happen, you first need a high quality gas training course and a proper work placement to put together a portfolio of your work. And where can you get all of these things? Here at Access Training of course!
At our state-of-the-art training centre, you'll learn all the theory and practical skills you need from our experienced team of tutors before moving out on a guaranteed work placement. Following completion of your portfolio you'll be able to come back and sit your ACS assessment, bringing you to the level of a fully qualified gas engineer. To find out more about the course give us a call on 0800 345 7492.
So you've done your gas training course, passed your ACS assessments, joined the Gas Safe Register and are now starting life as a self-employed gas engineer. Are you prepared for the day-to-day tasks of managing your own business that weren't covered in the course? Well, the Register is here to help make life a little easier for you. To mark its fifth year as the UK's official gas registration body, it has launched a brand new app for iPhone and Android devices.
Titled the "Gas Engineer Workspace", this app is designed to help self-employed engineers and small businesses manage their everyday workload. The tasks it can perform include;
- Managing day-to-day jobs with an easy to use calendar that shows when and where jobs are.
- Logging customer contact details, including addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
- Setting reminds for scheduled work to help manage time.
- The ability to contact customers directly from the app, along with being able to send them a reminder for any upcoming jobs.
While on the surface this might not sound like a lot, it certainly straightens out the mangerial side of running your own business and seems to be something many gas engineers have been after for a while. The Gas Safe Register's chief executive Russel Kramer has also stated that more functions are planned to be added to the app over the next few months, including a range of calculation tools for pipe sizing and venting calculation.
The app is now available for free on both the App store and Google Play, and can be found by searching "gas engineer workspace". Once the app is downloaded, users will be invited to login with their Gas Safe Register user ID/license card and password.
The Gas Safe Register, the UK's gas safety authority which all gas installers are legally required to join upon completion of their ACS assesments, is urging members of the public to get the safety of their gas appliances checked after their latest research revealed that 9 out of 10 Britons could not identify gas appliances that were deadly or potentially life-threatening.
1,200 consumers were shown 10 images of gas appliances, eight of which were dangerous and only two of which were completely safe to use. The results were particularly startling, with nearly everyone (95% to be precise) thinking at least one of the deadly appliances were safe. 6% of them even thought that all eight of them were safe! Only one person of the entire 1,200 was able to correctly identify all 10 - and that is definitely cause for concern.
Six of these eight dangerous gas appliances could have resulted in a gas leak, fire, explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning, but were thankfully from homes checked before anyone got hurt. The other two appliances shown, however, were ones that had only been discovered after the damage had been done - one tragically killing the homeowner and the other hospitalising a family. In the case of the appliance that resulted in a fatality, half of respondents thought it looked safe when shown the photograph.
Stakeholder manager for Gas Safe Sarah Hill had this to say about the findings:
"Our research backs up what we, as the UK gas authority, already know - people cannot spot a deadly gas appliance as often there are no obvious signs. That’s why it’s vital to get your gas appliances safety checked regularly by a registered engineer, who has the skills and the know-how to spot the dangers. Sadly, we also know that the consequences if you don’t can be serious, especially when CO is involved as you can’t see it, taste it or smell it."
Would you be able to spot an unsafe gas appliance? If you think you could just look at the pictures and spot it, have you considered a career as a gas installer? Gas can be an extremely useful source of energy when installed properly but if anything goes wrong the results can prove fatal. Installers are required to have passed their ACS assessments and join the Gas Safe Register before they are legally allowed to start work, and here at Access Training we can provide you with all the training needed to work safely with gas appliances.
To find out more about our professional gas courses, please contact us on 0800 345 7492.
The Gas Safe Register isn't just a comprehensive register of the UK's qualified gas engineers (something that is a legal requirement - not just something we recommend to our gas course trainees!), it also plays a huge part in promoting awareness gas safety and making sure people know how to detect a gas leak. And their latest efforts have paid off, as the Register is awarded a DBA Design Effectiveness Award for its 'Silent Killer' campaign.
The campaign was set in motion after one in five homes in the North West were found to have unsafe gas work, and used a mix of online, local press, outdoor advertising, events, and even a horror-movie styled advertisement. All of these steered viewers towards the 'Silent Killer' campaign website, where they could then book a gas safety check and sign up for an annual reminder. The campaign was a roaring success, with the Gas Safe Register seeing a 300% increase (equivalent tomore than 53,000 homes) in higher risk households signing up for annual checks.
The Design Effectiveness Awards 2014 gave 'Silent Killer' the gold award in the 'Design for Society' category, featuring the full case study on its effectiveness outlined by Gas Safe on their website. Gas Safe Register marketing and communications director Nick Terry commented that: "“The Silent Killer pilot was the first time Gas Safe Register had aimed to persuade people to change their behaviour, rather than simply raise awareness of the dangers of gas work. It was therefore vital that the design was engaging and would encourage people to act; by getting their gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer."
He continued to say that the campaign's success has helped shape future ones to come as more and more people sign up to protect themselves from unsafe gas work nationwide. However in a perfect world they shouldn't need protection - all gas installers would be professional and above board, fully qualified members of the Gas Safe Register. Unfortunately there are those out there who aren't so honest, and while they are always eventually caught they put lives at risk with dangerous workmanship. At Access Training Acadmies we make sure all candidates on our intensive gas training courses are given expert levels of tutelage, teaching them the very basics of gas engineering all the way up to assisting them with their gas portfolios and ACS assessments. For more information, call 0800 345 7492 to speak to one of our advisers.
But for now, congratulations to the Gas Safe Register and long may its good work continue!
New figures from the Gas Safe Register have warned that around 900,000 homes could be at risk from a gas explosion, fire or leak resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning.
The UK's official gas safety authority has been inspecting nearly 43,000 homes nationally since January last year, and found that more than one in five (22%) privately rented homes were at risk. The 900,000 figure is an estimate of when all 4.1 million privately let homes are taken into account. This figure was noticeably higher than homes privately owned or rented through a local authority/housing association, which were at 16% and 12% respectively.
As per the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords are legally required to ensure that all gas appliances and flues at safe in the properties they let. This involves arranging annual safety checks from a registered gas engineer. The legal requirement doesn't stretch to homeowners, but is also highly recommended by experts. A registered gas engineer is one who will have completed all the relevant gas training and gained the necessary qualifications, and then joined the Gas Safe Register - something which is also a legal requirement for gas engineers.
To combat this alarming figure, the Gas Safe Register is urging tenants and landlords alike to sign up to a free annual gas safety service reminder at StayGasSafe.co.uk, where users will receive an email telling them when their appliances are due for a check. In addition to these checks, landlords are also responsible for any repair work required to appliances or pipework. Should they not fulfil these obligations then they face prosecution, resulting in fines or even imprisonment in extreme cases.
Sarah Hill, Stakeholder Relations manager for Gas Safe Register, said: "Signing up for an annual gas safety reminder can help landlords stay on the right side of the law and most importantly, keep their tenants safe."
Are you an existing gas engineer in need of renewing your qualifications? Or alternatively a beginner looking to start a new career in the gas trade? Joining the Gas Safe Register is a legal requirement of all engineers, and this can only be done after earning the proper qualifications. Access Training Academies' instensive gas course will provide you with all the training you require, including a guaranteed work placement where you will be able to gather evidence of your work for the required gas portfolio. To find out more about the course and book your place, please call us on 0800 345 7492