Approved Contractor Person (ACP) Scheme



The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 – now known universally as the Water Regulations – introduced the concept of ‘Approved Contractors Persons’. What this means in practice is that a plumber who can prove, via an assessment, a knowledge of the Water Regulations, can join an Approved Contractor Person (ACP) scheme. The principal benefit for members of such schemes is that they can self-certify plumbing supply work (domestic, commercial and industrial), that would otherwise have to wait for water company approval before work could commence.

ACP scheme history

The first embodiment of the ACP concept was the Water Industry Approved Plumber Scheme (WIAPS), set up by some of the water supply companies in England and Wales.

On 17 August 2000, the former Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions (DETR) approved the then Institute of Plumbing as an organisation that can identify members deemed competent as Approved Contractor Persons (ACP) under Regulation 1, (2) (b) of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999. These Regulations apply in England and Wales, but approval also applies under the Water Byelaws in Scotland and the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009.

The CIPHE's ACP scheme

The main provisions of the Institute scheme are:

  • The scheme is voluntary.
  • Membership is currently free.
  • Membership is open to all Institute members on the Register of Plumbers and who are practising as plumbers.
  • The scheme covers England and Wales and is recognised under the Scottish Water Byelaws 2000 and Water and The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009.
  • Membership of the scheme is conditional on the applicant having passed a recognised assessment on knowledge of the Water Fittings Regulations (Scotland Byelaws).
  • Scheme members must hold public/products liability insurance with a minimum indemnity of £2 million.
  • Members of the scheme must undertake a minimum of five hours Water Regulations related Professional Development each year.
  • Scheme members will be issued with an identity card bearing their photograph.
  • Management of the scheme involves observers from the DEFRA and consumer interests.
  • Provision will be made for exchange of information between members and the scheme’s management committee.
  • The scheme represents government recognition of Institute Registered Plumbers.
  • The scheme will raise standards of plumbing while also raising public confidence in plumbers.
Woman drinking

The CIPHE's ACP scheme and WaterSafe

CIPHE ACPs can also join the National WaterSafe Scheme for free. It's easy to join, with installers simply filling in and returning a form, with the required documents enclosed. Approved Contractor Persons can find out more on our WaterSafe page.

How to become an Approved Contractor Person

You can fill in our online ACP / WaterSafe form or download the ACP Application Form and return it to the Institute at:

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE),
64 Station Lane,
Essex RM12 6NB

For more information on Water Regulations ACP recognition, please contact the membership department:

Phone 01708 463116

ACP/WaterSafe application form

Interested in becoming an Approved Contractor Person? Membership is currently free. Apply online by clicking the button below, or download an application form.

Apply online

Water Regulations Guide

CIPHE members can purchase the Water Regulations Guide for £20.00, non members for £25.00. Order your copy now.

Purchase guide


Want to find out more about joining the WaterSafe scheme? CIPHE ACP members can currently join for free.

Find out more