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Spread the Word

Consumers need the confidence to question their installer’s credentials and the industry must help, says Roger Webb, Director of External Affairs at the CIPHE.

When installers become members of the CIPHE they voluntarily agree to be governed by a Code of Professional Standards, which cover around six key areas the Institute deems vital for protecting the health and safety of the general public − especially the elderly and vulnerable.

These include:
• Performing their job professionally, competently and responsibly, with a duty of care to clients, their employers or employees;
• Safeguarding the public health and safety by taking all reasonable precautions not place any person or property in a dangerous situation;
• Complying with all relevant laws, regulations standards and codes;
• Broadening, improving and maintaining their skills, knowledge and personal qualities by getting involved with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) − and ultimately,
• Upholding the dignity, standing and reputation of the Institute and the plumbing mechanical engineering services industry.

As members are evaluated by the CIPHE upon joining the Institute and throughout their affiliation, the CIPHE logo is the mark of a professional, competent tradesperson consumers can trust. Yet rogue installers continue to gain access to people’s homes and in doing so, put lives in danger. It’s not just the installation that has to be spot on, plumbing and heating engineers require in-depth product knowledge and an understanding of customer requirements too − especially where vulnerable people are concerned.

The challenge we all face is how to help consumers understand the difference between a professional tradesperson and an unqualified one. It is understandable that people often don’t have the confidence to question installers about their credentials. However, doing so could mean the difference between experiencing an excellent service or a bodged job. At the most extreme, it could save their life.

In June, the Gas Safe Register launched a new campaign to highlight the amount of illegal gas work being carried out by unqualified installers in the UK − with more than one million households at risk. As part of the initiative, Gas Safe registered engineers are being encouraged to explain to customers the importance of checking the credentials of any gas engineer hired to undertake work in their home.

The CIPHE is highly supportive of this move and asks the same of its members. Word of mouth can be a powerful tool in combatting the unscrupulous practices of a minority group, so whenever the opportunity presents itself, please help get the message out there.