Important changes to Competent Person Schemes

Now that the Green Deal soft launch is underway the industry is dominated by articles and advice pieces telling business owners what qualifications and business changes they face before taking part.
However, an area that has received little or no coverage in recent months is the changes to Competent Person Schemes (CPS). Before Competent Person Schemes were created it was a legal requirement that Plumbing and Heating work be notified to Building Control as the only route to confirm its compliance with Building Regulations. These schemes were created to speed up the process by allowing qualified engineers to self certify their own work through one of the approved scheme operators.
In 2012 the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), introduced new Competent Person Scheme requirements stating that all Competent Person Scheme operators would be required to achieve United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accreditation in order to continue to approve businesses to self certify under the scheme.
Those businesses who are already members of a Competent Persons Scheme will appreciate the initial work involved to achieve recognition. Under the new requirements the initial assessment of qualifications and insurances will still apply as will the on-site inspection to view work that has been recently completed. However, there are several new requirements that businesses will have to be measured against in order to maintain their self certification status under a Competent Persons Scheme.
Existing Competent Persons Scheme members have a transitional period during which they can begin to be measured against these new requirements. The document: Building Regulations: Competent Person Self-Certification Schemes – Conditions of Authorisation provides outline detail on many of the requirements and is available to download on the CLG website. For those who wish to continue to self certify their own work making these changes now can place your business in an excellent position not just for continuing to be part of a Competent Person Scheme but  to also join a Green Deal installer scheme at a future date.
John Thompson, APHC Ltd. Chief Executive commented: “For some businesses this may at first appear to be burdensome but many businesses will already have the necessary processes in place and it may just mean simply documenting them for consistent use across the business. APHC as the leading plumbing and heating employers trade association in England & Wales is providing free half day seminars over the course of next year to explain what procedures and processes will need to be implemented under the new requirements.
For those who require a little extra support APHC will also be running a one day course on ‘Developing a Quality Management System’ starting in the new year. It is also worth noting that many of the business requirements listed in the Conditions of Authorisation document are also requirements of the Green Deal and MCS installer schemes. I would urge all those who wish to continue to self certify their work through any Competent Person Scheme to read the new requirements carefully.”
If you would like to know more about the new CPS requirements or the support seminars please call APHC on 0121 711 5030 or visit our website: www.aphc.co.uk

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