The work of rogue traders is disruptive and dangerous, warns CIPHE’s president

Alex Wildish, CIPHE's new president

Alex Wildish, the new president of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), has pledged to spotlight the impact of rogue trading in a bid to raise awareness and drive quality across the industry.

Alex is a consultant forensic engineer at Engineering Forensics and was elected as CIPHE’s president in June 2023, following a longstanding involvement with the membership body.

Alex said: “Professionalism, training and competency are some of the core values that underpin the CIPHE’s work, and all of these align with my own perspective on plumbing and heating works.

“Throughout my career I have very rarely seen defective products, which means most failures are a result of poor workmanship and incompetence. This poses a serious public safety issue so must be addressed.

“Rogue traders not only rob the public of their confidence, but their work is disruptive and extremely dangerous. This critical issue isn’t something that can be swept under the carpet. 

“I’m keen to use my position to develop clear resources which illustrate the real-world threats and impacts of rogue trading to increase awareness in the industry and inspire necessary change.”

According to CIPHE’s True Value of a Professional campaign, the average cost of work needed to remedy deficient installations or maintenance is almost £2,000. Aside from the financial implications, Alex also wants to highlight the safety risks of poor-quality plumbing and heating work.

Alex added: “When it comes to educating people on the damage caused by incompetency, finding examples to illustrate the severity is important. I recently saw biocontamination in a £2bn development that was caused by a rogue trader and led to a huge fire outbreak.

“I’ve also witnessed defective bathroom work which cost £18m to fix. When you consider what rogue trading looks like in numbers, it’s pretty shocking.”

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