Becoming a qualified plumbing and heating engineer 

The Plumbing and Heating Skills Partnership (PHSP) has launched comprehensive advice on the correct routes to becoming a qualified plumbing and heating engineer. 

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Aimed at school leavers and career changers, the guidance maps out straightforward messages on what qualifications and training you need, tips for choosing a training provider and the warning signs that could mean the training won’t lead to qualified status.   

With some training providers offering intensive courses over a few weeks or months, the clear advice from PHSP is that it takes four years to become fully qualified for those with no prior experience. 

Funding available 

The importance of work experience is also stressed, with the need to spend time on-site with a qualified tradesperson to build skills, confidence and knowledge over a long period, alongside any classroom learning. 

When choosing a training provider, the PHSP recommends looking carefully at the small print, avoiding hard sells, checking accreditations and finding out whether any existing qualifications can be recognised. Funding may also be available in certain circumstances.  

Warning signs to look out for include packages of shorter qualifications that, when combined, do not lead to qualified status, questionable finance or loan sales techniques and particular contract wording that could have significant consequences.  

The PHSP was established by the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC), the BPEC Charity, and the Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation (SNIPEF) to lead and support the development of standards, qualifications and apprenticeships for the plumbing and domestic heating industry. 

Avoiding taking the wrong route 

“It’s vital to choose the right training course as not all will give you the skills you’ll need to become a fully qualified plumbing and heating engineer,” said Duncan Wilson, chairman of the PHSP.  

“Take the wrong route, and you may not be able to properly embed your learning and knowledge and you are potentially wasting time and money. 

“We hope our advice is useful to all those looking to enter the industry and gives them the authoritative guidance on not only what training is needed, but also what to avoid.” 

PHSP launches new training advice on becoming a qualified plumbing and heating engineer.