43 HPM 0413

HPM April 2013

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com TRAINING/TECHNICAL Catering for a new business venture Mark Krull, director of Logic4training, explains the training routes available for gas installers who are looking to move into the commercial catering sector... Covering restaurants, mobile food vans, fast food outlets and kitchens in factories, commercial catering is a broad and varied sector, providing business opportunities for gas installers with the right skills. With many industries suffering under the strain of recession, the UK catering sector, specifically within hotels, outperformed the wider economy in 2012 and is forecast to do the same this year. In part due to the Olympics, other reasons for this growth include a general increase in foreign visitors and a tendency for cash-strapped Brits to holiday at home. In addition to the hotel sector, fast food outlets also do well in times of crisis, with this low cost treat favoured over expensive restaurants. Another factor which could mean more work for trained commercial catering installers is talks of a clampdown on the huge amount of illegal work by unqualified installers, and badly maintained gas equipment. The gas industry is urging environmental health officials to be more vigilant when it comes to checking catering appliances and ensuring that establishments have the appropriate gas safety certificates. GAS LEAKS DETECTED An example of this happened in 2012 when environmental health officers inspected curry houses in Woking; 32 premises were inspected, 14 of which alongside a Gas Safe registered engineer. The findings were not encouraging; three restaurants were closed immediately due to detection of gas leaks with others housing unsafe appliances and appliances in need of repair - a number of enforcement notices were also served. This is an isolated scenario, but one that, in Logic4training’s opinion, should be repeated nationwide. If these more stringent checks are enforced, Gas Safe registered engineers will be called upon to bring badly maintained equipment up to scratch. The biggest difference between commercial catering and other types of gas work is the extensive range of cooking appliances – it’s not just ‘cookers’, it’s pressure ovens, tandoori ovens, pizza ovens, rotisseries – this list goes on. While their controls might be similar, they all look completely different and the intensive commercial kitchen environment means this equipment is tested to its limits. Ventilation is a very important part of a commercial catering gas engineer’s role. Multiple appliances all going simultaneously produce high-levels of heat, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide; consequently, an interlock system must WWW.HPMMAG.COM also be installed to prevent the appliance’s operation without suitable ventilation. The interlock system is an often ignored or bypassed area as powerful extraction systems consume a fair amount of electricity causing cash-conscious owners to switch them off – a potentially perilous move. Once installed, it is imperative that end-users are educated in the proper use of their gas appliances, to prevent incidences with workers and customers. Unsafe commercial catering equipment has the capacity to cause harm to many people. COMMERCIAL CATERING TRAINING With so many specific and unique appliances, commercial catering has its own ACS modules. There are common elements between commercial heating and catering, namely pipework. Changeover options are available for both domestic heating engineers and commercial installers, and catering modules can be taken for each group of catering appliances. A new entrants’ route, Approved Prior Learning (APL), is also available for candidates who may not currently be Gas Safe registered but have transferable skills. For installers coming to the end of their NVQ (or equivalent) and looking to become Gas Safe registered specifically in commercial catering the core qualification covers the following areas: • Gas safety legislation • Gas emergency actions and procedures • Characteristics of combustion • Ventilation • Installation of pipework and fittings • Soundness testing between appliance isolation valve and appliance operating taps for 42 APRIL 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY pipework volume up to 0.15m3 • Checking and/or setting meter regulators • Identification of unsafe situations and the use of emergency isolation controls and valves • Checking and setting appliance burner pressures • The operation and checking of appliance gas safety devices and controls • Re-establish existing gas supply and relight appliances. Following completion of core, or as part of a domestic to commercial changeover package, you need to choose the areas of commercial catering you wish to train in. It is unlikely that you will work on all of the appliances, so it’s wise to select the equipment group/s that best suit your business (or plans for your business). These are split into five areas, with mobile catering as a separate unit, focusing specifically on LPG. UNDERSTANDING THE CODES • CCCN1: Commercial catering core • COCD1: Changeover from domestic to commercial catering core • COCATA1: Commercial catering appliances (changeover from domestic) • COMCAT1: Boilers burners, open/solid top ranges, hot plates and bain marie • COMCAT2: Deep fat and pressure fryers, griddles and grille • COMCAT3: Pressure type water boiler • COMCAT4: Fish and chip ranges • COMCAT5: Catering forced draught burners • CMC1: Commercial mobile catering. NEW ENTRANTS If you do not hold a recognised qualification but have relevant experience, such as working alongside a Gas Safe registered engineer, then you may be eligible for a new entrant or APL programme. This covers in-depth training on all aspects of core commercial gas safety and is recognised by ACS as a managed learning programme for those wishing to become Gas Safe registered. The commercial catering APL route requires candidates to demonstrate experience and knowledge in the sector or a related industry. In addition to classroom training, APL candidates are required to put together a portfolio of their work alongside a registered engineer. For domestic or existing commercial installers looking for new challenges, catering could present a great opportunity, which in some areas is actually thriving because of the state of the economy. enquiry number 132 If more stringent checks of commercial kitchens are enforced there will be more work for Gas Safe registered engineers in the future


HPM April 2013
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