City & Guilds and EAL logos

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.

essential plumbing tools

Every trade has its own set of specialist tools and equipment that's used to complete some very specific jobs. You can guarantee that an electrician's toolbox is going to look different to a plumbers toolbox, but what is all that specialist equipment and what does it do?

Well whether you're just curious or you're keen to start your plumbing training ahead of schedule, we'll talk you through the essential plumbing tools here.

 

Wrenches

wrenches

Plumbers would really struggle to do their job without the humble wrench, and you'll find wrenches of all shapes and sizes in a plumber's toolkit.

The wrenches you see above are often called pipe wrenches because they're able to wrap around and grip tightly onto pipes of varying lengths and sizes. Plumbers usually reserve these heavy-duty wrenches for pipes made of metal as they would potentially cause damage to more fragile pipework.

Other common wrench types include basin wrenches (with a long handle for reaching behind sinks), faucet valve-seat wrenches (for old stubborn seals) and allen wrenches (for securing or loosening a range of plumbing fastenings).

 

Pliers

pliers

Pliers are a common feature of a lot of toolkits, but they can be particularly useful for plumbers because they're so versatile and can be adjusted to any size! Perfect if you need a good grip on a particular pipe while you unscrew a seized fastening or attach a new fitting. 

Rib-joint pliers are also great for getting a grip on small nuts, bolts and pipes because of their small yet strong jaws. Plumbers have to be careful when using pliers not to maw the pipe or fitting they're working on!

 

Plunger

plunger

The humble plunger - probably one of the first things that springs to mind when you think of a plumbers toolbox, right? There are very few other professions that are required to use a plunger, so this is really a piece of equipment that's iconic of the plumbing trade! If you've ever used one yourself, you know what they're for!

Applied over a sink or drain hole, plungers can suck up and help you remove any debris that's causing a blockage. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and there's bound to be at least one in every plumber's toolbox.

 

Hose Cutter

When plumbers are fitting bathrooms or kitchens they're required to use metres and metres of piping. Often, piping comes on large reels like the ones you see above, so of course, plumbers need a pipe cutter to hand!

Having a sharp pair of hose cutters to hand is paramount if plumbers want to ensure a leak-free clean edge. Pipe cutters can also be used to cut perfect shapes into copper hosing when necessary. 

 

 Soldering Tools

soldering

Often plumbers will need to join copper pipes to fix your sink or fit your new bathroom. With that in mind, it's possible that you'll see a portable soldering kit in and amongst the plumbing toolbox.

This could include a range of things such as a soldering torch, a fire-resistant cloth, solder, flux, and a striker. Having this equipment handy and being able to use it safely can be incredibly beneficial, particularly if you run your own plumbing business and are required to travel frequently for work.

So, this gives you an insight into the kinds of tools that plumbers use! To become a real expert on all things plumbing, why not consider signing up for one of our plumbing training courses?

Become a Plumber >

British builders’ merchant, Travis Perkins, has put plans to sell their plumbing and heating business on hold, citing the uncertainty of Brexit as a deciding factor.

The move comes amid a strategic run of cost-cutting by the firm and a conscious move simplify their overall portfolio.

However, the impending precariousness of the economic climate in the UK has evidently caused the FTSE 250 company to alter their game plan in favour of a more prudent approach.

 

plumbing news, business sale

 

Still on Course

Despite halting their plans to sell the plumbing and heating arm of the business, Travis Perkins is said to remain on course to achieve their cost reductions for 2019.

A statement from Travis Perkins confirmed that the upshot of these reductions would allow the company to “reduce complexity, lower the above-branch cost base and speed up decision making, and improve service levels for customers”.

 

Award-Winning Businesses

Travis Perkins had originally announced the sale plans in December 2018 with a likely deal announced by their board in July. However, it appears those plans have since fallen through and the plumbing and heating business appears set to remain under the Travis Perkins umbrella indefinitely.

The division includes the likes of FPC wholesale, PTS Plumbing Trade Supplies and plumbing merchant City Plumbing Supplies, the latter of which was awarded the title of “Heating & Plumbing Merchant of the Year” at the Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence 2018.

 

Learn a Trade with Access Training UK

With the current political outlook for the UK described by Travis Perkins as posing “unprecedented level of uncertainty”, the move to future-proof careers has never been more timely.

Luckily, for those in the plumbing and heating trade, theirs is a vital service necessary for daily life and, as a result is one profession that is unlikely to be affected too severely.

What’s more, a shortage of skilled workers in this area has actually made it a very lucrative career path in recent years and one that is unlikely to be too seriously affected by a political shift.

At Access Training UK, we offer a variety of plumbing and heating courses for anyone looking to make the jump into this trade.

Whether you’re a total newbie with no prior knowledge or a seasoned veteran looking to sharpen your skills, we have the course for you.

To find out more about our range of gas and plumbing courses, click one of the links below for more information.

 

Gas Courses                                 Plumbing Courses

 

If you would like to know more about switching careers or upskilling with 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.

Contact Us

Returning for its fifth year, the UK Plumber of the Year competition will reach its climax next month, as a new king is crowned.

A joint venture of JT, Bristan and Wolseley UK, the competition has grown in popularity year-on-year since its launch in 2015.

This year was no different with applicants from across the UK throwing their hat into the ring with hopes of becoming Plumber of the Year.

 

plumber of the year, plumber of the year 2019

 

The Final Countdown

From an original shortlist of 10 candidates, the field has been whittled down to just five remaining finalists as a result of a public vote.

The final five include:

  • Christopher Clare – Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside
  • Paul Clark – The Wirral, Merseyside
  • Caine Curtis – Yeovil, Somerset
  • Dan Tempest – Pontefract, West Yorkshire
  • Martin Warnes – Harwich, Essex

The five nominees will now go on to the grand finale, set to take place next month.

 

A Hot Pot

This year’s Plumber of the Year prize pot consists of a variety of industry perks, including £2000 worth of items from JT, £2000 worth of vouchers to be spent at Wolseley and £1000 worth of products from Bristan.

Bristan is also throwing in their new Rapid 4in-1 Boiling Water Tap and, yes, they’re even including the kitchen sink – quite literally.

The top prize also features a variety of other perks, from Apple products courtesy of Vendigo Finance to a beer-centric getaway from Cornwall’s Proper Job beer.

 

A New King

Last year’s final was won by Steve Bartin from Taunton, who walked away with the title and his part of a prize pot totalling £10,000.

Speaking at the time, Bartin said: “It’s an honour to call myself the UK Plumber of the Year. I’ve been in the industry for 23 years and I feel like all those extra hours and dedication have paid off.”

In one month’s time, that honour will fall to a new plumbing king when one of the final five is crowned the 2019 winner.

 

Pipe Dreams

The Plumber of the Year award is a great way to recognise trade excellence and for the plumbers themselves to gain some well-deserved recognition from industry and public alike.

Many of these finalists and past winners will have started out with little to no experience at all yet, through heart, drive and determination, have made it to the top of the trade.

If you are looking to start your journey into the world of plumbing or simply looking to sharpen your skills and add a few strings to your bow, why not take a plumbing course with Access Training UK?

Our wide range of courses caters to all experience levels, with each one designed to help you learn and grow into a better plumber and skilled professional.

Who knows, in a few years’ time, you too could find yourself in the finals of the Plumber of the Year! Every journey starts with a single step, so make yours now with Access Training UK.

 

For more information on plumbing courses from Access Training UK, call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online using the link below.

Get in Touch

How to be a plumber

 

Is it possible to become a plumber while working?

Yes, it is - with part-time and intensive plumbing courses from Access Training. Our accredited training programmes allow you to learn around your current commitments, whether that means work, family, or other obligations.

Quitting your job and diving headlong into a totally new career is terrifying, and not necessarily a very smart move. If, for instance, you want to leave your desk job behind and become a professional plumber, you'll have to do quite a bit of training before you can actually start earning money. So if you hand in your notice before you've even enrolled on a training course, there'll be a significant gap in your income between the end of your old career and the start of your new one.

But what if, instead of quitting your job in order to train as a plumber, you could complete your training while still working your current job? Suddenly, figuring out how to be a plumber doesn't seem like such a daunting task or require so many sacrifices!

The 'traditional' route to becoming a qualified plumber is to undertake a college course or apprenticeship and learn over a number of years. Our courses take dramatically less time to complete, meaning that you can enrol in a course, learn your new trade, and get qualified before you take the plunge and tell your office that you're leaving for pastures new.

 

Benefits of learning while working

Here are a few reasons why it's usually better to train while continuing with your current job:

  • No loss of income between quitting and starting your new career
  • No need to let down your current commitments/obligations
  • Get qualified faster (compared to standard college courses)

 

Live online learning - train anywhere!

Access Training now offer live online training sessions that allow you to build your plumbing knowledge from the comfort of your own home - or wherever else you happen to be. As long as you can connect to the Internet, you can join our virtual classroom and learn about your new trade.

Completing the theory component of your plumbing course online means that, when you attend our training centre in person, you can focus on developing your practical plumbing skills.

If you're interested in enrolling on to an Access Training plumbing course and training while you work, please contact us now for more information.

Browse all plumbing courses >

 

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

First Name *
Surname *
Telephone Number *
E-mail address *
Ask A Question *
 
Security Character Security Character Security Character Security Character Security Character Security Character
Enter Letters (No Spaces) *