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Mastering the CIPHE’s prestigious award certificates

Today, Monday 26th February, The Glaziers’ Hall in London will play host to presentations of Master, Journeyman and Apprentice Certificates to a number of worthy tradespeople. With three new Master Plumber Certificate holders due to receive their honours, this week’s blog is dedicated to the award scheme.

As the brainchild of Geoff Marsh MBE, the original Master Plumber Certificate concept originated back in 2001, through a partnership of City & Guilds, the Worshipful Company of Plumbers and the CIPHE. It wasn’t long before the scheme was followed by similar programmes for Carpenters and Joiners. With the model framework firmly established, it was then adopted by the Construction Liveries Group (CLG) and became the pattern for further development of the Scheme. As the principles involved apply to any sector, in 2007 the CLG joined forces with the Livery Companies Skills Council (LCSC) in order to advance the concept within the wider Livery movement.

The scheme was expanded to create a clear career progression route with the introduction of Apprentice and Journeyman Certificates in 2008. Further Livery Companies adopted the scheme and today, the Master, Journeyman and Apprentice Certificate Scheme has become a movement in its own right. Programmes have now been rolled out across The Worshipful Companies of Wax Chandlers, Masons, Plumbers, Joiners & Ceilers, Plaisterers, Upholders, Glaziers, Horners, Paviors, Clockmakers, Coachmakers, Furniture Makers, Lightmongers and Constructors.

Criteria of the Master, Journeyman and Apprentice Plumber Certificates
Please note that Certificates can be held independently e.g. someone attaining the Master Plumber Certificate does not have to have already achieved the Journeyman or Apprentice Certificate.

Apprentice Plumber Certificate
This is an award for people who qualify by study, training, assessment or examination at Level 2, or equivalent, and thereby also obtain necessary work experience. Successful applicants also commit themselves to proceed to NVQ Level 3 as required by the "charge", or undertaking, that they accept on award of the Apprentice Certificate.

Journeyman Plumber Certificate
The next step from the Apprentice Certificate is to reach the Journeyman point on the career pathway. At this position the individual has achieved success at Level 3, or equivalent, and will be setting out to accumulate further experience. This will include supplementary qualifications and demonstrating an active interest in upholding professional standards. Therefore, the Journeyman's charge incorporates a pledge to continue with career development until ready to apply for the Master Certificate.

Master Plumber Certificate
The Master Plumber Certificate is awarded to those who have attained a level of excellence in their chosen profession that may rightly be described as mastery of the art, craft, science and practice of plumbing. Master Plumbers have a minimum of 10 year’s industry experience, are qualified to Level 3 or equivalent, enrolled on the Register of Plumbers, hold City and Guilds Licentiateship, are registered as either an Engineering Technician (EngTech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng) and dedicated to lifelong learning via CPD.

If you would like to find out more about applying for the Apprentice, Journeyman or Master Plumber Certificate Scheme, please contact Marie McCaffrey on, phone 01708 472791 or visit our Members Awards section.