Following widespread concerns about the consistency and quality of gas training delivery in the UK and fears that the current minimum standards might not be fit for purpose, the Government set up a Parliamentary Inquiry last year to investigate whether a fundamental rethink was necessary, to improve the regulatory framework around training standards for gas engineers.
The primary focus of the inquiry was to review the current framework and make recommendations on how to improve standards and promote a level playing field for new entrants to the gas industry, undertaking training across the UK. Over the course of the review, a team of industry stakeholders and experts from organisations such as Gas Safe Register and IGEM, the energy companies, and training providers, were invited to present information to the committee on various areas relating to the training so that standards could be raised where necessary.
The inquiry looked at the mandatory minimum length of training, the balance between theory-based and practical content, the routes to becoming a gas engineer, the ‘no fail’ policy and whether the number of times an assessment can be taken should be limited, and whether there should be a degree of separation between training provider and assessor as well as the current key documents providing normative guidance.
Following the completion of the review, the Strategic Management Board (SMB) confirmed at a meeting held on 16th January 2019, that the industry had itself undertaken good work to improve standards; that the improvements were sufficient and no further recommendations for change were necessary.
A National Register of approved Training Centres will be rolled out via a Parliamentary Select brief this coming November.