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Accreditations and Schemes

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C

CHR7S

Hi guys,

I'm looking to become part of a worthwhile scheme/accreditation and am wondering if anyone has knowledge on the most credible ones. I am currently looking into the APHC scheme and watersafe but are there any others that may be worthwhile joining?

I've looked into WIAPS but currently they won't recognise my qualification which is NVQ level 2&3 heating and ventilation which even the chap in the office there says is stupid but out of his control.

Any help would be much appreciated

Chris
Hydrotech Plumbing and Heating
 

Killy Bing

Plumber
Gas Engineer
.... most people know nothing about these schemes
all they know is gas safe and oftec.

benefits are limited due to that, i haven't heard of people winning jobs on being a member of WIAPS, APHC or CIPHIE.

it seems more about blowing your own ego than looking credible.

are you trying to win more work ?
 
C

CHR7S

Yea I appreciate that and agree.

Not looking for business from it, just wanting to be affiliated to a scheme from a professionalism point of view. Just like sign writing on my van, I've had maybe 2 jobs on the back of it but did it more to look professional than to gain work from it.
 
M

Mike Jackson

I'm a member of Gas Safe, WIAPS, Watersafe, CIPHE and Checkatrade. I've had one job from being on the WIAPS scheme, a couple through CIPHE, several from the gas safe register website and loads from Checkatrade.
 
C

CHR7S

Thanks guys,

Can't see my previous reply here but incase it didn't post I'll briefly repeat.

I'm not doing it to gain work, just to add an accreditation to my company to look more professional. So my question was more directed towards asking your opinions on which organisations were deemed the best to join, gas safe aside.

Thanks
 
K

kirkgas

A lot of customers have no interest on what's on the side of your van, and to be honest I don't even recognise some of the ones you have listed and I'm in the trade, customers want a good job done cheap, that ain't gonna change and whoever you are a member of won't make any difference to them
 
L

littlefish

Depends if your trying to win domestic or commercial business. Commercial companies like contractors to have CHAS, an ISO 14001 always goes down well, or BSE&S (HVAC) and obviously gas safe, the more the better as long as they are relevant to your business.
 

gasmanrob

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Chiphe is the longest running I believe but APHC is very similar if not affiliated in some way.

I'll stand back on water safe and see if that stands the test of time. If you want to come across more professional then get yourself a waste carriers license and a health and safety policy in place then look into construction line or safe contractor scheme
 

gasmanrob

Plumber
Gas Engineer
There are lots of people willing to take your money and allow you to use some letters on the van.

like me I'll let you use my initials on the van that's RJP. In return for £600 a year I will even send out some over shoes from time to time
 
I

iiplumbing

Hi Chr7s

I understand what you mean. Its all part of the overall impression that you want to project, correct?

I'm there with you. As far as my business is concerned I have never ever ever been asked to prove, that is to produce my relevant certificates other than when I am applying to join ppls schemes!

I went Ciphe because of it's status within the industry and because it's now chartered, just the word chartered conjures up an image in your customers mind, credibility on the back of a card.

Also, I have Buy with confidence (Derby city Council trading standards run) accreditation (but never had a job from it, that costs £100/yr) but that got me automatic entry to Which local trader scheme (for free - but no enquiries from it) and the Trusted Trader scheme (run by the Derby County council trading standards)

I post on this forum, other plumbers forums and with all the back links and relevant liked google pages my website is on page 1 of plumber derby and I get LOADS of work from that. I also get a fair amount of work from Trusted Trader scheme.

So directly, I get nothing from my affiliations (I am also water regs and G3 accredited), but indirectly I get all my work from it!!!

Hmmmm now what is water safe all about, is it free?

Russ
 
I

iiplumbing

Just for the record (and before you burn me, btw have you got the correct GSR accreditation to burn me in a safe and environmentally friendly way?) what is an Apostate?

Russ
 

chris watkins

Esteemed
Plumber
Hi Chr7s

I understand what you mean. Its all part of the overall impression that you want to project, correct?

I'm there with you. As far as my business is concerned I have never ever ever been asked to prove, that is to produce my relevant certificates other than when I am applying to join ppls schemes!

I went Ciphe because of it's status within the industry and because it's now chartered, just the word chartered conjures up an image in your customers mind, credibility on the back of a card.

Also, I have Buy with confidence (Derby city Council trading standards run) accreditation (but never had a job from it, that costs £100/yr) but that got me automatic entry to Which local trader scheme (for free - but no enquiries from it) and the Trusted Trader scheme (run by the Derby County council trading standards)

I post on this forum, other plumbers forums and with all the back links and relevant liked google pages my website is on page 1 of plumber derby and I get LOADS of work from that. I also get a fair amount of work from Trusted Trader scheme.

So directly, I get nothing from my affiliations (I am also water regs and G3 accredited), but indirectly I get all my work from it!!!

Hmmmm now what is water safe all about, is it free?

Russ
Hard to believe in this day & age but yes Russ it is free, you need to have water reg's cert & 2 mill insurance.
 

jtsplumbing

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Mate don't waste your money, most of them Joe public as no idea who they are, most are just starting to understand who gas safe are ! they will take your money every year, send you the odd glossy mag, and a pretty sticker for your van, but Mr average will see all these things on your van and think you will be to expensive, The only one that counts is GS
 

chris watkins

Esteemed
Plumber
Mate don't waste your money, most of them Joe public as no idea who they are, most are just starting to understand who gas safe are ! they will take your money every year, send you the odd glossy mag, and a pretty sticker for your van, but Mr average will see all these things on your van and think you will be to expensive, The only one that counts is GS
Well on that bases you better not put up the GS logo in case they think you charge top dollar for your gas work !!
Surely a bit of education of the public would not go a miss, WaterSafe doesn't cost you anything to join & you never know if we plug it enough it might become known that only members can self cert their work & that it will comfort to the Water Regulations.
Isn't it worth a bit of effort from us rather than just poo pooing (no pun intended) it out of hand.
 
I

iiplumbing

Ah good old FREE watersafe........

And just to think I paid me £210 dollars to the local college to sit the water regs training day and ahem "exam"

I'm sure someone said was it free, oh yes that was me, I just forgot about the £210 dollar regs course.

So imagine my surprise when I tried to join watersafe! I couldn't!!!!! wth I thought why not, ah yes its because I live in the Severn Trent area and they have their own scheme.

It's not called Water safe but, wait for it..... Water Mark.

So there you have the national scheme saying and telling one and all about Water Safe, when the whole of the STW area it is called Water Mark

Now that's what I call fooled up thinking, talk about confusing the customers.

So to my mind, whilst Chris is right about telling everyone about it but when some regions have different "schemes" whats the point?

Russ
 

jtsplumbing

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Well on that bases you better not put up the GS logo in case they think you charge top dollar for your gas work !!
Surely a bit of education of the public would not go a miss, WaterSafe doesn't cost you anything to join & you never know if we plug it enough it might become known that only members can self cert their work & that it will comfort to the Water Regulations.
Isn't it worth a bit of effort from us rather than just poo pooing (no pun intended) it out of hand.
I think that I disagree with you some what, I've been doing this job for to long now, and all you seem to get is no end of schemes starting up with flash logos saying you need to be a member for whatever reason, but the main one is to get money out of people for something that isn't necessary, Water-safe free (but for how long) . How meny of these schemes is enough ? Does belonging to them make you a better Plumber ?
 
I

iiplumbing

Does belonging to them make you a better Plumber ?
Totally agree with JTS on this point.

In fact, most times it is how you make the customer feel that wins the day.

If you speak the right speak then you will be trusted, and, as long as you charge a reasonable rate most ppl will be ok with that, however the cowboys will be one shot merchants, the quality plumber will have customers for life (unless he is too busy!)

Being in any scheme makes not you a good plumber, being a good plumber makes you a good plumber.
 
T

tamz

Does belonging to them make you a better Plumber ?
No just as belonging to gas safe doesn't guarantee they actually know what they are doing either. Britain is behind many so called 3rd world countries in regulation of plumbing.
 

jtsplumbing

Plumber
Gas Engineer
But where do you draw the line on the industry being regulated, it will never happen , DIY sheds and other outlets claim its restrictive practice, will we have to pay out to countless Accreditation body's , for buying plumbing fittings , another for waste fittings, have to pay out for a course in chemical engineering because we use flux & inhibitor's ! how do you think this industry got on B4 we had to join all these schemes ?
 
R

Ray Stafford

But where do you draw the line on the industry being regulated

The other thing I would worry about is that it wouldn't just be plumbing. Once you start down that route, everyone makes a special case why their area of expertise should be regulated (meaning other people should be kept out, so that I can charge more).

And the reason that it happens in third world countries so much is so that the licencing authorities can collect plenty of bribes.

I reckon that we get the balance about right. We regulate doctors and lawyers, and a handful of other professions - including gas-fitters. We should probably add oil to that list, but much more important than extending the list, is PROPERLY ENFORCING the regs that we already have.
 

SimonG

Plumber
The other thing I would worry about is that it wouldn't just be plumbing. Once you start down that route, everyone makes a special case why their area of expertise should be regulated (meaning other people should be kept out, so that I can charge more).

And the reason that it happens in third world countries so much is so that the licencing authorities can collect plenty of bribes.

I reckon that we get the balance about right. We regulate doctors and lawyers, and a handful of other professions - including gas-fitters. We should probably add oil to that list, but much more important than extending the list, is PROPERLY ENFORCING the regs that we already have.
Very good point. Best to sort out the enforcement of the current schemes before adding to it.
 
R

Ray Stafford

Very good point. Best to sort out the enforcement of the current schemes before adding to it.
It drives me mental Simon.

If I drink and drive, they don't wait for me to kill someone before I get prosecuted do they? First time I am caught, I get a hefty fine and a ban. Do it a couple of times more, and expect to be a guest at one of HMs no-star hotels.

Unregulated gas work is at least as dangerous as drink-driving, yet if there is no body, there is no enforcement.

Forum regulations on bad language prevent me from making my feelings clear!
 
I

iiplumbing

Enforcement of the regulations is carried out by?????????

The water service providers, or as we know them the water supply companies.

Now last time I looked they are money making bodies that are up to their eyeballs in making profits for the share holders and as we know it takes time and money to employ ppl to fill a regulation enforcement role and then to prosecute bad behaviour.

That is why I like the Trusted Trader scheme run by the local trading standards team.

If your not good enough, your not in the team (sorry I meant scheme)

Russ
 

SimonG

Plumber
It drives me mental Simon.

If I drink and drive, they don't wait for me to kill someone before I get prosecuted do they? First time I am caught, I get a hefty fine and a ban. Do it a couple of times more, and expect to be a guest at one of HMs no-star hotels.

Unregulated gas work is at least as dangerous as drink-driving, yet if there is no body, there is no enforcement.

Forum regulations on bad language prevent me from making my feelings clear!
I think its pretty clear Ray.
 
T

tamz

It is more regulated in many 3rd world countries as they take the quality of their water more seriously than we do as bad quality water and sanitation kills many more people throughout the world than gas explosions and carbon monoxide combined but it doesn't make such dramatic headlines in the papers. Maybe something we shouldn't take for granted. I'm very much for licencing of plumbers something along the lines of the US. BTW No shareholders to pay with our water. It is still state owned which just means they squander the profits on inefficiency :smile:
 
R

Ray Stafford

It is more regulated in many 3rd world countries as they take the quality of their water more seriously than we do
It may start that way Tamz, or that may be the official explanation, but in very many cases, the true effect is to enrich the government functionary at the expense of the wannabe businessman.

Check out this website
 
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T

tamz

Corruption and bribery is not limited to the 3rd world. It happens all the time here too maybe just in a less direct way but if you pay off the right people be it in cash, goods, holidays or hookers, you usually get your way.
 

chris watkins

Esteemed
Plumber
Corruption and bribery is not limited to the 3rd world. It happens all the time here too maybe just in a less direct way but if you pay off the right people be it in cash, goods, holidays or hookers, you usually get your way.
Just ask a politician or a banker !!!
 
M

Mrs Tara Plumbi

Do I need to add to the excellent comments here? No really.

Recognised accreditation (and licencing) is good for ALL of us.
I get the impression that half the plumbing work people pay to have done in their homes is by unqualified builders, handy men and etc...
Sometimes the customer knows this and often they don't realise.

My husband tells me he goes to look at jobs where xyz isn't working,
first the obvious question - it is new so why didn't you get the guy who installed it back to fix it?
then he looks and says - I can see this wasn't installed by a plumber and does not comply with regulations...

Problem any one can do plumbing (legally) doesn't make them a plumber...

BUT
had we have been in with the guys who quoted to do the work in the first place we would NOT have won the job the customer would have thought WE were the people trying to cheat them as WE probably would quote a price DOUBLE that of the unqualified man working from his car, paying no tax and uninsured....

I'm saying all the usual stuff.
So I guess pointing to our accreditation helps to explain why we charge more.

I like the Water Safe website as it suggests customers should be worried about employing unqualified plumbers.

For OP
I'd say CiPHE and perhaps Water safe.
APHC is different - it might suit you better- the differences are in their websites and have been discussed here before.

THen probably trading standards scheme (Which Trusted Traders is the same - only in SE).

For getting work though I guess it has to be Checkatrader - from what I hear, we are not a member and it doesn't appeal to me.
 
K

kay-jay

I think that I disagree with you some what, I've been doing this job for to long now, and all you seem to get is no end of schemes starting up with flash logos saying you need to be a member for whatever reason, but the main one is to get money out of people for something that isn't necessary, Water-safe free (but for how long) . How meny of these schemes is enough ? Does belonging to them make you a better Plumber ?
my whole business ethos is built upon this principle.....:tongue:
 
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