Keeping one step ahead of new legislation….

New rules, introduced by the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG), are expected to shake up the way that all competent persons’ schemes operate.

The need to offer a workmanship warranty

As the specialist scheme for the oil heating industry, OFTEC has already started to implement some of the new procedures for its 10,000 registrants, including the introduction of a workmanship warranty for registered businesses operating in England and Wales.

Commenting on the changes, OFTEC director general, Jeremy Hawksley, said: “New government legislation will soon mean that all competent persons must offer a workmanship warranty to their customers. With economic times uncertain, the warranty gives householders the reassurance that their work is covered if the installer stops trading by reason of administration, receivership, bankruptcy or retirement.”

Keeping up to date with inspection, documentation and training

Much of the other criteria laid down by DCLG is already in place at OFTEC, such as inspecting new registrants within three months, and checking that they have appropriate test instruments and reporting procedures. OFTEC inspectors must also check that registrants hold sufficient levels of insurance, have copies of the correct technical and legislative reference documents, and can demonstrate continuous professional development. The easiest way to demonstrate such compliance is to hold the OFTEC technical books and to keep them up to date by downloading relevant updates published on the website.

Appointing additional inspectors

Regional inspectors are the face of OFTEC, meeting registered technicians on a daily basis. All of our current team have themselves worked in the oil heating industry and appreciate what it is like to run an oil heating business. To meet the increasing demand, OFTEC is expanding its team, with the appointment of inspectors in the south of England, north-west England, Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and Scotland.