Strong demand for new OFTEC heat pump training courses

New courses are central to OFTEC’s technology inclusive vision for the future of heating

OFTEC used the InstallerSHOW in June to launch its new heat pump training and assessments in the UK and set out a technology inclusive vision for decarbonising the off-grid sector.

The new training courses mean OFTEC technicians can equip themselves with the skills they need to install a wide range of non-gas technologies, from heat pumps to renewable liquid fuels and lead the way in the transition to low carbon heating.

The move is a key element in the trade association’s vision for a technology inclusive approach to decarbonisation, which recognises the diverse nature of the UK’s building stock and the need for multiple heating solutions to achieve net zero.

Working in collaboration with industry experts, the new heat pump training course and assessment package has been developed by a selected working group alongside MCS, including Grant UK, Panasonic, Vaillant, Nationwide Training, Cert-Ain Certification and ERS Certification, as representatives of seven UK-based accredited certification bodies.

The air source heat pump installation, commissioning, and servicing, and system design courses are already available. A further course covering ground source heat pump installation, commissioning and servicing will be available soon.

The courses incorporate theoretical and practical assessment across different heat pump products to give technicians the flexibility to install the technology. It will be delivered through OFTEC’s existing network of training providers and most heating technicians should already hold the necessary skills and experience to meet the course pre-requisites.

Already, 9 training centres are offering the air source heat pump course, with many more expecting to join by the end of the year.

Having successfully completed the courses, technicians can apply for MCS certification to install heat pumps through government schemes such as the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) or Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) and they will also be able to self-certify their own installations as being compliant with Building Regulations.

David Knipe, training manager at OFTEC, commented: “This is an exciting development for OFTEC and a natural progression as we continue to diversify the training that we provide so that heating technicians can futureproof their business. We fully support the UK’s commitment to drive down emissions and heat pumps have an important role to play.

“At the same time, we recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and we can’t rely on a single technology. Alongside heat pumps, renewable liquid fuels and solid biomass both have an important role to play, depending on the requirements of the building in question.

“Hybrid systems may become more mainstream in the future and a technician holding both OFTEC’s liquid fuel and heat pump registrations will have a distinct advantage in obtaining additional work.

“If we want decarbonisation to succeed, we must be pragmatic and adopt a technology neutral approach to give consumers a fair choice in how they go green. OFTEC technicians can lead the way in supporting homes and businesses as they make this transition.”