Watersafe Assured - a nationally recognised plumbing assurance scheme [PAS] could be in the pipeline after water companies, plumbers’ professional bodies and trade associations agreed in principle to back it.
That would be good news for consumers, plumbers, plumbing businesses, water companies and regulators but very bad news for rogue training companies who for years have been allowed to charge extortionate rates to provide ‘training courses’ that are of little benefit to their clients or the people who then subsequently hire them. [See http://www.markwrite.co.uk/plumber.htm for more details]
The scheme is something Chris Sneath has been pushing for many years. He’s currently Master of the 400 year-old Worshipful Company of Plumbers, and he’s been chairing a working group that includes Thames, Severn, Anglian and Scottish Water, the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors and the Joint Industry Board - Plumbing and Mechanical Engineering Service on which Unite is represented.
Officials in number of government departments have been visited and in May a letter was sent to Richard Benyon MP, Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, about a possible launch date in July next year, with Benyon replying by welcoming the initiative and asking to be kept fully informed.
“It will mean that anyone employing a plumber in their house can be assured they’ve been properly trained to, at least, NVQ level 2. The water companies will make people aware of the scheme by advertising it on everyone’s quarterly bills” said Chris who before he steps down from his Master’s role will be helping to unveil a 7’ bronze statue of a plumber’s mate on the concourse of London’s Cannon Street. It’s cost £100,000, has been designed by Martin Jennings, creator of the one of poet Sir John Betjeman in St Pancras Station, and will be the focal point of the 400th birthday celebrations.