Industry councils and initiatives

Working in collaboration


The Institute strives to improve standards for the sake of the public, and represent the industry on matters of national importance, via a range industry councils and initiatives for the built environment. From apprenticeships, to building safety, your Institute will provide a voice for those in the industry.

The following gives a snapshot of some of the CIPHE’s wider work.

Plumbing and heating industry


The current Trailblazer Apprenticeships have been in development since 2014, when the CIPHE and SummitSkills led a research project, funded by the Gatsby Foundation, on Apprenticeships and Professional Recognition in the plumbing and heating industry. It explored how the apprenticeship system for the plumbing and heating sector was working. The results lead to the Government sanctioning the development of the Trailblazer Apprenticeship.

Developing Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician trailblazer apprenticeship

The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) has lead on the development of the new Trailblazer qualification supported by the CIPHE and in collaboration with a number of other bodies such as NAPT, employers, stakeholders and three awarding organisations - BPEC, City & Guilds and EAL.

The CIPHE continues to support the APHC and is encouraging an urgent review of the Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician trailblazer to make sure that it is meeting the needs of industry employers.

Low Carbon Technical Working Group

The CIPHE has been leading on a future of heat decarbonisation education project whilst supporting and engaging with government on its future heat policies. The group is unique as it is technology agnostic with a complete mix of technology expertise from heat pumps and boilers to low temperature heat emitters, such as underfloor heating.

The group has been engaging with industry and installers to create the corecompetences required for a Low Temperature Heating and Hot Water Systems in Dwellings course. The overall aim is to produce a course that will help to educate and increase the number of low carbon heating engineers in the UK.

The CIPHE Low Carbon Technical Working Group is chaired by Paul Harmer, Lead Technical Consultant and includes representatives from:

  • British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers' Association (BEAMA)
  • Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE)
  • Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA)
  • Heat Pump Association (HPA)
  • Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC)
  • LCL Awards
  • Baxi
  • Daikin
  • Grundfos
  • Mitsubishi
  • NIBE
  • Polypipe
  • Vaillant
  • Viessmann
  • Worcester Bosch.

National Misconnections Strategy Group

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), estimates that somewhere between 150,000 and 500,000 properties have plumbing misconnections, although tests have shown that in some areas this number could be as high as 1-in-5 properties.

The CIPHE is part of the National Misconnections Strategy Group, which runs the ConnectRight campaign. It’s a partnership of organisations, working together to reduce water pollution from drains and sewers by:

  • Raising awareness and understanding of misconnections, sewers and drains and the environmental problems that they cause
  • Helping property owners and professionals to check drainage connections and take action
  • Ensuring new drainage is connected right
  • Helping to develop and support effective practice, policy and regulation
  • Sharing information and evidence about the problem and supporting research and development of long-term solutions.

Partners include Anglian Water, the Consumer Council for Water, Defra, Welsh Water, the Environment Agency, LABC, Natural Resources Wales, Northumbrian Water, Scottish Water, Severn Trent Water, Southern Water, South West Water, Thames Water, United Utilities, Water UK, Wessex Water, Yorkshire Water, DAERA and Northern Ireland Water.

Find out more about ConnectRight.


The CIPHE is one of the founding members of WaterSafe - the free online directory and national accreditation body for competent and qualified plumbers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

WaterSafe aims to:

Help cut confusion for customers - enabling them to find the best-qualified plumbers who meet the highest standards in the business.

Help installers show they are approved by one of the seven Approved Contractors’ Schemes within the UK which include those run by:

  • Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE)
  • Water Industry Approved Plumbers’ Scheme (WIAPS)
  • Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC)
  • Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF)
  • Anglian Water’s APLUS
  • Severn Trent Water’s Watermark
  • Thames Water’s TAPS.

Members enrolled in the CIPHE’s Approved Contractor Person Scheme (ACP) can join WaterSafe for free. Find out more about becoming a CIPHE ACP.

Find out more about WaterSafe.

The Construction Industry Council (CIC)

The CIPHE is one of 34 'Members' of the Construction Industry Council. The CIC is the representative forum for professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations in the construction industry.

The CIC and CIPHE have collaborated on a number of issues over the years. Most recent initiatives include:

  • Producing guidance on mitigating the risk of building water systems.
  • Contributing the plumbing and heating industry’s view on the ‘Key issues for the recovery’ document, which was put forward to Government via the Construction Leadership Council, on the issues affecting everyone in construction during the coronavirus crisis.
  • Contributing towards the Hackitt Review via both the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE).

Find out more about our work with the CIC.

The National Engineering Policy Centre

The National Engineering Policy Centre connects policy makers with critical engineering expertise to inform and respond to policy issues of national importance, giving policymakers a route to advice from across the whole profession, and the profession a unified voice on shared challenges.

The Centre is an ambitious partnership, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, between 43 different UK engineering organisations, including the CIPHE, representing 450,000 engineers.

Find out more about our work with Royal Academy of Engineering and The National Engineering Policy Centre.



World Plumbing Council (WPC)

The World Plumbing Council is an international organisation that aims to achieve the best possible plumbing for the world through growth and development of the world’s plumbing industries. The CIPHE is a member organisation of the WPC, helping to represent members’ views at an international level.

The CIPHE and WPC collaborate on a number of initiatives including:

  • World Plumbing Day
  • World Plumbing Conference
  • WPC Scholarship

Find out more about our work with World Plumbing Council.

CIPHE working groups

The CIPHE’s Technical Programme is managed by the Technical Strategy Group and a series of Technical Working Groups.

View CIPHE working groups

About the CIPHE

Find out more about the work, structure, history, aims and objectives of your Institute.

About the CIPHE

Construction & engineering orgs

The CIPHE is affiliated with a number of organisations such as Engineering Council UK, WaterSafe, Construction Industry Council and more...

View organisations