016 HPM 0415

HPM April 2015

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com GASSAFECOLUMN Gas Safe ID cards – it’s time to renew Russell Kramer, chief executive for Gas Safe Register, reminds registered engineers why it’s important for them to renew their registration and how the organisation uses it to ensure the public is gas safe... Between March and April every year, the vast majority of 70,000 registered engineers will renew their registrations for the coming year. As you know, by law all gas engineers must be Gas Safe registered in order to work with gas appliances. By showing customers your Gas Safe ID card and explaining to them that it means you are competent to do their gas work, you are demonstrating to them that you can carry out the required gas work safely and legally. Not only is it a comfort to your customers, but being registered also means that you can enjoy a variety of benefits offered by Gas Safe Register. This includes access to a technical helpline manned by gas specialists with a minimum of ten years’ experience each. You can speak to one of these experts during office hours and they will provide support for whatever job you’re currently working on. As a registered engineer you also have access to ‘on demand learning’ modules that we host on our website - www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk - which focus on flues and voids. These have been designed to help refresh and reinforce knowledge. Every time you finish a module, you can complete a quiz to test your knowledge. In addition, we’ve recently launched our Workspace app that helps you manage your working day and keep on top of customer details, appointments and previous gas work you’ve done. OBLIGATION TO THE PUBLIC Ultimately, however, registration is required as part of Gas Safe Register’s obligation to ensure that the public is safe when engineers carry out gas work. It is Gas Safe Register’s duty to ensure that registered engineers are competent to work on gas and that any gas work has been done to the requirements set by Gas Safety Regulations, the appliance manufacturer’s instructions, the British Standards, The Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure and our own internal operational procedures. Whether you are working on gas fires, boilers or cookers, it’s important that you have the necessary qualifications for these areas of work. Once you pass the correct competence assessments as defined and set by the industry, the Register will receive confirmation from the relevant certification bodies and will add you to the Register. This works in the same way as your driver’s licence assessment, once you pass both parts of the assessment, your local test centre will send the relevant certification to the DVLA who Registration is required as part of Gas Safe Register’s obligation to ensure that the public is safe when engineers carry out gas work will then issue you with a driver’s licence. It’s important to note that Gas Safe Register is not responsible for the development and setting of competence for registered gas engineers. Gas Safe Register keeps track of registered engineers working competently by carrying out inspections. We inspect any gas work, from new installations, servicing, maintenance work and landlord gas safety checks. Our team of inspectors are not trying to catch you out or find faults. Inspections are purely done with the public’s safety in mind. We remain completely impartial. Since taking over the registration scheme in April 2009, the Register has carried out over 200,000 inspections of work completed by registered engineers. Gas Safe Register relies on its rigorous risk profile - similar to a credit rating - to determine higher threats which, therefore, require an inspection. If an inspection proves that competency is not being applied, we will work with the business to ensure that they get to the desired quality level. We do not, however, repeatedly inspect engineers’ work if they continually prove themselves to work safely and apply their competence. For those engineers, we leave them to get on with their work. Those who have recently qualified and joined the Register, or who are still in the probation period, will initially have their work inspected more regularly. Inspections can also be requested by members of the public who have had work done by a registered engineer. If your work is nominated by one of your customers, we will ensure that you are invited to attend the inspection with us. It’s important for engineers to remember that being Gas Safe registered doesn’t mean you can automatically work across all gas appliances, in the same way as holding a driver’s licence doesn’t mean you can drive all vehicles. Every Gas Safe registered engineer has an ID card, which shows who you are and the type of work you are qualified to carry out. You must be qualified for the work you are doing and working out of your areas of scope is not seen as a case of not adhering to gas safety competency. Working out of competency is illegal - you are not qualified or registered to do the gas job and are, therefore, breaking the law. As a result, you can be removed from the register and potentially face prosecution. Renewing your registration is your responsibility, and it is a legal requirement. The easiest and cheapest way to renew your registration is to go online, which will mean all future communications from Gas Safe Register will be sent to you electronically, with the information available instantly wherever you are. We advise all registered businesses to make a little time ahead of their registration renewal to ensure that your qualifications and competencies don’t run out during the renewal period. Additionally, we advise checking your personal details are up-to-date, such as your email address, phone number and home address. Renewal is vital for you to keep working legally, so make sure you renew in time. 16 APRIL 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY


HPM April 2015
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