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NVQ Level 2 (called an SVQ 2 in Scotland) is the qualification every plumber ultimately needs. Because it is assessed in the workplace and not in the classroom, it proves your competence and is based on your practical skills.

In order to gain this qualification, you will first need to achieve the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing, as some fundamental practical skills and a basic prior knowledge of plumbing systems are required. Completing the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing demonstrates that you have learned and retained the core skills required to become a plumber (you will receive a certificate as proof of this).

You will then need to go out into the workplace, where you will be assessed on various jobs that meet the specific criteria needed to gain your NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing.

So there are two qualifications you'll need to become a plumber...

 

Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing

  • Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing Studies (City & Guilds 6035-02)

Level 2 will equip you with the relevant plumbing and heating knowledge and skills. Once you've got this qualification under your belt, you can carry out plumbing tasks - but you may have to be supervised depending on the task.

 

NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing

There are two choices for your NVQ:

  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating
  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Installing and Maintaining Domestic Heating Systems

Both of these options comprise mandatory units, including:

  • Understand and carry out safe working practices in building services engineering
  • Understand and apply domestic hot water system installation and maintenance
  • Understand and apply domestic above-ground drainage system installation and maintenance techniques
  • Install and maintain domestic heating systems

 

Are City & Guilds plumbing qualifications the best ones to have?

1878: City of London Corporation and 16 livery companies - the trade guilds - established The City and Guilds of London Institute to develop a national system of technical education. They were granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1900.

City & Guilds plumbing qualifications have always been the traditional route for plumbers to become qualified, and to this day, they are still recognised internationally. NVQ qualifications were introduced after this, so the qualifications that plumbers attain nowadays are NVQs - which can be provided by awarding organisations other than City & Guilds (such as EAL, who offer plumbing courses at the same level).

Browse Plumbing Courses

These courses come under the title of BSE (Business Services Engineering) and therefore include an understanding and application of:

  • Safe working practices
  • Communicating with others
  • Environmental protection measures
  • Scientific principles
  • Site preparation and pipework fabrication techniques
  • Cold and hot domestic water system installation and maintenance techniques
  • Central heating system installation and maintenance techniques

The assessments for NVQ Level 2 form part of the programme, along with practical and theory exams. These take place in a training centre as part of the plumbing course.

You will also have to submit a portfolio of work and pass performance assessments in your workplace to demonstrate your skills.

Call 0800 345 7492 and talk to us today to find out more about our plumbing courses.

Recommended Course: Professional Plumbing Course

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

Fending off competition from over 400 other plumbers nationwide, Martin Warnes has been crowned 2019’s UK Plumber of the Year.

The Essex plumber was able to outlast four other finalists to take home the crown after wowing the judging panel with his impressive qualifications and organic growth of his business.

 

plumber of the year

 

All Hail the King

Entering the trade in 2007 as a local apprentice, Martin made the jump to become a self-employed plumber back in 2009.

Capping off his tenth year as a solo tradesman in style, the Essex man can now add the title of Plumber of the Year to his growing list of accomplishments.

Following the win, a shocked Martin remarked:

“I still can’t believe I’ve actually won. I love what I do and to be recognised for it by such a fantastic competition really is the icing on the cake.”

The win sees Martin take home the prestigious title, as well as the £15k prize pot and some pretty lofty bragging rights for the next 12 months.

 

A Royal Flush

Now in its fifth year, the Plumber of the Year competition has been recognising industry excellence across the nation since 2015.

The competition itself takes place over the course of sixth months, involving a public vote, shortlisting and, for the five finalists, a 30-minute interview, where their skills, attitude and business acumen are put to the test.

The victory puts Martin in exclusive company, joining previous winners Josh Colbert, Shaun Scott, Drew Styles and Steve Bartin.

 

Untapped Potential

Of course, the journey to the Plumber of the Year crown all began with a single step for Martin Warnes. You too could begin your journey by entering the trade today.

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, why not explore the variety of plumbing courses at Access Training?

We have a whole host of courses available for all skill levels, designed to help you become the very best plumber you can be, whether you’re experienced or not.

Check the list of courses below and see what’s on offer at Access Training:

 

Essential Plumbing Course

Professional Plumbing Course

Premier Plumbing Course

Bathroom Fitting Course

Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems

WRAS - Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

NVQ Level 2 Certification – For Experienced Site Plumbers

 

For more information on the variety of courses available at Access Training, why not give us a call today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online using the button below.

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30-year-old Carly Gayle from Crewe recently made headlines after being dubbed 'The UK's Sexiest Plumber'. Her story (which was picked up by The Sun, the Daily Star and the Daily Mail, among others) highlighted the plight faced by women trying to make it in the male-dominated world of plumbing.

Female Plumbers

"Where's the man?"

Carly, a fifteen-year veteran of the plumbing trade, is often asked "where's the man?" when she arrives on-site for a job. Sadly, it's a line that lots of tradeswomen are familiar with, and it goes to show that many members of the public still hold very stereotypical views about what a plumber looks like.

While Carly did go on to mention that she has used that dismissive comment as fuel to help her succeed, her story does bring to light the hardships faced by female plumbers in the UK and the uphill battle they often endure.

 

Get Girls Plumbing

Another familiar element of this story is the fact that Carly was one of only two women on a plumbing course of 200. In fact, according to industry experts WaterSafe, less than 1% of all UK plumbers are female.

As a result of this stat, WaterSafe launched their 'Get Girls Plumbing' campaign back in 2014, aiming to promote the trade to female school leavers and women looking for a career change.

While the campaign has barely moved the needle in terms of overall figures, there's undoubtedly a market for female plumbers in the UK. In fact, WaterSafe also reported that 31% of women would prefer a female plumber to carry out work in their homes.

All-female companies have begun to spring up in a variety of male-dominated industries, from moving companies to taxi services. In fact, for many of these businesses, it's become a unique and lucrative selling point.

Gender equality is a hot topic in 21st-century Britain, and there's never been a better time for women to dive into the world of plumbing.

 

Our Plumbing Courses

Regardless of gender, plumbing is a great skill to have and an even better career to jump into. Careers in plumbing are well-paid, challenging and always in demand.

Luckily, here at Access Training UK, we have a wide variety of plumbing courses that offer both men and women the chance to learn a trade, switch careers, and change their lives for the better.

 

Essential Plumbing Course

Learn the basics needed to become a domestic plumber (no experience required).

 

Professional Plumbing Course

A comprehensive course to help you become a fully-qualified plumber (no experience required).

 

Premier Plumbing Course

Combined course allowing you to earn plumbing and gas qualifications simultaneously (no experience required).

 

Bathroom Fitting Course

This course will equip you with all the skills and knowledge needed to install bathrooms (no experience required).

 

Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems

If you're already a plumber or heating engineer, this course will teach you how to install and maintain unvented hot water storage systems

 

WRAS - Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

Completion of this course enables you to apply for 'approved contractor' status with your local water authority - a prerequisite for many employers.

 

NVQ Level 2 Certification – For Experienced Site Plumbers

This fast-track NVQ programme is designed for experienced plumbers looking to gain the NVQ Level 2 Diploma quickly and with minimal fuss.

 

Whether you're male or female, why not consider training to become a plumber with the help of Access Training UK? Our courses offer qualifications for a range of skill levels, allowing you to achieve your career aspirations within a relatively short time frame.

View Our Plumbing Courses >>

how long is a plumbing course

If you go via the 'traditional' routes, it can take years to learn a new trade like plumbing and get the qualifications you need to start work. It used to be the case that the only way to become a professional plumber was to study in college, which typically takes two years, then take on an apprenticeship for an additional two to five years. This was to ensure that each plumber had the necessary skills and experience to work confidently and competently.

Here at Access Training, we aim to get you qualified in a much shorter timeframe. Of course, we also want our plumbing students to be confident and competent, so the exact length of our plumbing courses depends on the capabilities of the student in question.

Our plumbing courses

We offer three different plumbing course packages for new learners - regardless of what level you're aiming to achieve, we have the right course to get you where you need to be.

We also allow students to train around their current commitments, and some choose to do the training part-time. This ultimately takes longer but means students can continue working whilst they train and still end up as a skilled, fully-qualified plumber. The flexibility of our courses allows people to complete the course at their own speed.

Each student will need to build up a successful portfolio to demonstrate their competence at plumbing. If you have previous experience then this will inevitably be a quicker process, but complete beginners are welcome to Access Training too. We aim to get everyone to the same level, no matter how long it takes.

Our advisors are always happy to give advice, so if you have any further questions about our plumbing courses or how long it will take to become a plumber, please get in touch with us today!

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Plumber becoming qualified

A question we get asked a lot here at Access Training is “what qualifications do I need to be a Plumber?” We hope to address and answer this question for many of you in today’s blog post.

To become a qualified plumber you will need to gain an industry-recognised qualification, this could be a City & Guilds award or an NVQ at level 2 or higher. The level is dependent on the experience you have. If you have no previous experience, we provide an NVQ Level 2 Certification – For New Plumbers Course, perfect for making a start on your plumbing qualifications. While it is still possible to get paid work without completing your NVQ Level 2 certification, you may be limited with the jobs that you are able to perform, and you will not be able to make nearly as much money as more qualified plumbers.

The qualifications that you will need will depend on which environment you would like to work in, either domestic or commercial. If you would like to embark on a career as a domestic plumber, you may be interested in our Essential Plumbing course. Our Essential Plumbing course covers all the key areas of plumbing, including how to run pipework, fitting radiators and bathrooms, installing external guttering, waste pipe and installing hot/cold water storage tanks. We also cover other areas, such as;

  • Health and safety
  • Electrical principles
  • Scientific principles
  • Domestic hot water systems
  • Sanitation
  • Central heating
  • Drainage and more!  

Our Essential Plumbing course covers the all of the basics of plumbing and will provide you will all the key skills necessary to work for recognised water companies, set up your own plumbing company or work as a plumber in other countries.

If, after completion of this course you would like to expand your skillset as a plumber, enrolling onto the City & Guilds 6189-57 Level 2 NVQ Diploma in plumbing and heating will provide you with an advanced level of knowledge. This practical assessment will set you apart as a fully qualified plumber and will test your ability to install bathrooms and repair, maintain heating and water systems.

To become a successful professional plumber you will need to become an “approved contractor” by your local water authority. This certification will allow you to take on contracts from your local housing associations, local authorities, health care trust and building contractors. Most employers will also require you to have this qualification. Our specially developed WRAS – Water Regulations Advisory Scheme course will equip you with all the knowledge you will need to gain an “approved” status. 

If you are really wanting to stand out from the crowd we also offer some advanced courses, such as the Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems course which will equip you with the skills you need to install and maintain unvented hot water systems, while familiarising you with the G3 Building Regulations and how to follow then when working with a Hot Water Storage System.

You may even wish to enrol onto our City and Guilds Bathroom Fitting Course which will equip you with all the knowledge you need to design and install bathrooms. Throughout this course, you will learn how to produce plastic and copper pipework, how to fit bathroom interiors and how to select the resources to complete each job.

On top of these qualifications, many of our students go on to study for their ACS Gas certificate which allows you to progress and become a gas safe registered allowing you to work on domestic gas appliances. 

Here at Access Training, your success is important to us, which is why we have also developed 3 courses that will guide you to become a fully qualified plumber in the shortest time possible. If you are interested in any or all of the courses mentioned in this blog post, click below to view all of the plumbing courses we offer. Alternatively, you can contact us to speak to one of our course advisors for more information.

Browse our Plumbing Courses >

On Thursday the 1st March 2012, Cardiff City Stadium will be hosting an exciting free seminar that will introduce lots of businesses and tradespeople to the Government’s ‘Green Deal’ initiative. This initiative is set to bring a whole host of ecological, environmental and cost benefits to a wide range of tradespeople, including those who have qualified on plumber courses, electrician courses and many more vocational courses.

The Green Deal is likely to bring many fantastic schemes and opportunities to businesses and tradespeople who are prepared to ‘Go Green’.  The overall aim of the initiative is to improve energy efficiency and boost savings. From plumber courses to electrician courses, all manner of vocational courses now teach their students to install energy and water saving equipment and how to ensure all work done is performed in an environmentally friendly way. The Green Deal aims to take advantage of these skills which are out there in the workplace in order to save people money and improve the UK’s carbon footprint.

The seminar, which begins at 9am on Thursday and will last for around 3 and a half hours, aims to introduce businesses and tradespeople to the opportunities out there which the Green Deal will open up. Attending will allow those who have taken plumber courses and electrician courses to discover the new directions in which their industries are heading. Attendees will also learn about the possibilities which are likely to open up under the Green Deal initiative as well as the advice, training, support and information out there waiting to be taken advantage of.

The speakers will include spokespeople from companies already involved in the Green sector in a wide range of capacities. If you are looking to discover where your trade fits into a Green future, this is the perfect learning opportunity.

In the meantime, if you are looking for plumber courses or electrical courses which will equip you for the future of your chosen industry, Access Training offer City & Guilds accredited plumber and electrical courses which are both flexible and forward thinking. Call 0800 345 7492 today to speak to one of our friendly advisers.

The recent, tragic death of two-year-old Kristiana Logina after she was scalded by a too-hot shower has prompted calls across the plumbing industry to ensure plumber courses teach students to properly recommend and fit TMVs (Thermostatic Mixing Valves). Many people believe that refresher plumber courses should be given to ensure those who enrolled on plumber courses many years ago have up-to-date knowledge to help them regulate bath and shower temperatures using current equipment.

According to statistics, more than 50 UK citizens have been killed by scalding in the past 5 years. Sadly, the victims of these terrible events tend to be the most vulnerable: the young, the elderly and the disabled. Figures show that, in the same time frame, 800 others have been severely injured and scarred by scalding.

These numbers make upsetting reading, especially since these accidents are all too avoidable in this day and age. Anyone who has recently taken plumber courses ought to know how to regulate water temperature using TMVs and all plumber courses should now be advising the installation of TMVs to all clients in line with the new Bathroom Academy guidelines. Anyone embarking on plumber courses will now be made aware that 2010 Building Regulations Approved Document G requires the installation of a TMV in all new bath installations.

Unfortunately these recent rules do not require TMV installations for showers and many industry experts believe that this needs to change and become law too.

If you want to learn more about TMV installation, or want to refresh your plumbing skillset, Access Training offer thorough plumber courses which make sure their students have all the up-to-date-industry knowledge to ensure the safety of their future clients.

According to Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association: “There is no excuse” for such tragic and avoidable accidents to occur. So ensure you have all the necessary plumber courses under your belt to work safely and to the best of your abilities.