WaterSafe is a free online directory and national accreditation body for competent and qualified plumbers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The key behind the scheme is keeping drinking water supplies safe. Customers can often be unaware of the serious risks posed by poor plumbing installations in their properties. Likewise many do not realise they could find themselves prosecuted if their plumbing does not meet the legal requirements set out in the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations or Byelaws.
WaterSafe is an online hub and search facility, that has been developed by the water industry, the CIPHE and the two plumbing trade associations to help identify approved plumbers and plumbing companies. It 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.
The seven Approved Contractors’ Schemes
The WaterSafe Scheme was launched on October 8th 2013. WaterSafe is made up of seven Approved Contractors’ Schemes and 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
The scheme is supported by the government watchdogs for drinking water, the Drinking Water Inspectorate in England and Wales, the Drinking Water Inspecorate (Northern Ireland), and the Drinking Water Quality Regulator in Scotland.
The great news is that members of the CIPHE’s Approved Contractor Person Scheme can join WaterSafe for free.
WaterSafe scheme for consumers
WaterSafe brings benefits to both the plumbing industry and consumers. WaterSafe approved plumbers have specific training in Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws, which helps them protect the public from poor installation, or use of sub-standard plumbing products, which could contaminate household drinking water.
Approved plumbers can self-certify a number of works that would normally require advanced notification, saving time and ensuring that works can proceed to schedule, without delay.
Additionally, a ‘work completed’ certificate will be issued by WaterSafe recognised plumbers. This provides a defence for property owners who are challenged by a water supplier enforcing the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws.
Watersafe scheme for contractors
One of the major benefits of the Approved Contractor schemes and WaterSafe membership is the ability to self-certify under the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 (England and Wales), Water Bylaws 2000 (Scotland) and the Water and The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009.
For the plumber, WaterSafe offers a great opportunity for professional recognition and business promotion. The WaterSafe website lists local approved plumbers and is promoted by Water Companies to consumers looking to employ the services of contractors. Plus, WaterSafe members are able to display WaterSafe branding on their vehicles, stationery and online presence to gain extra credibility.
As a prerequisite of joining the WaterSafe scheme, you must belong to one of the seven Approved Contractor schemes. Currently CIPHE members can join the Institute's Approved Contractor Person scheme for free.
Join WaterSafe via the CIPHE Approved Contractor Person scheme
Those currently registered as an ACP (Water Regulations Approved Contractor Person) with the CIPHE are being given the opportunity to be registered onto WaterSafe free of charge (an application form is required).
For those not already registered as an ACP, membership of the scheme is also currently free. In order to be eligible for ACP status members must:
- Be on the Register of Plumbers
- Hold an accredited Water Regulations certificate
- Hold public liability insurance for £2 million.
For more information, visit our Approved Contractor Person (ACP) page
For more information on the WaterSafe Scheme visit www.watersafe.org.uk
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