Make Yourself Proud
The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering is encouraging plumbing and heating engineers to be ‘Proud to be a Professional’ this year. Richard Soper, its director of international development, explains the thinking behind the campaign
The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is an educational charity that is dedicated to promoting individual professionalism among installers and championing continued training, personal development, and protecting the health and safety of the public, especially the vulnerable. As well as encouraging best practice, it acts as the voice of the industry at government level, representing its members’ views and professional expertise.
At the start of this year, the institute launched the ‘Proud to be a Professional’ campaign – the result of a collaboration between the chief executive, Kevin Wellman, and his team and a group of people from the wider industry, all of whom are passionate about championing professionalism, highlighting career opportunities and celebrating the work of installers around the country.
Working with me, this team includes well-known faces from the plumbing, heating and bathroom sectors who have pledged time on a voluntary basis. Familiar names include Roger Webb, formerly chief executive of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) and now director of external affairs for the CIPHE; Paul Massey, group executive at AKW, who is chairman of the CIPHE’s industrial associates (IA) development group; Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA); and Martin Orrill, head of energy technology and innovation at British Gas Business Services.
Together we have a wealth of industry experience and contacts that we are making best use of to encourage other like-minded people to join the CIPHE and get involved. As well as looking at the importance of CIPHE membership from an industry perspective (see box), we are also highlighting the reasons consumers should employ the services of CIPHE-registered plumbing and heating engineers.
Over the months ahead we will target homeowners with messages about checking the credentials of their chosen plumbing and heating engineer. From a public benefit point of view, looking for the CIPHE logo means:
- Being safe in the knowledge that they have engaged a plumbing and heating professional who is bound by a code of professional standards
- Quickly locating a tradesperson they can trust online via the ‘Find a Plumbing and Heating Professional’ search facility
- Getting support from an organisation that helps the vulnerable and enhances safety and health in the public interest
- Reassurance that we keep members up to date through their continuing professional development (CPD)
- Accessing an independent complaints process through a registration authority
As well as targeting individual tradespeople and consumers with these messages, the CIPHE has around 180 IA supporters in the UK, too. These include some of the best-known brand names in the plumbing, heating and bathroom industries, with the training facilities of many manufacturer members occupying approved training centre status alongside other professional, educational establishments.
The institute encourages members to invest time in CPD, in order to keep up to date with the latest technologies, installation procedures and legislation.
Through its magazine – P&HE Journal – the CIPHE publishes technical articles and content and recently held the first in a series of technical webinars in conjunction with one of its IA supporters, ADEY Professional Heating Solutions. The webinar was followed by more than 550 members and non-members, with the institute now planning other technical presentations.
The CIPHE recommends members aim to achieve around 30 hours of CPD a year. As part of the ‘Proud to be a Professional’ campaign, we highlight how training to stay ahead, CPD or lifelong learning can improve professionalism in the industry, provide added reassurance for consumers, and help attract more young people into a career in plumbing and heating.
While apprenticeships were seen as an aspirational career choice years ago, for too long there has been a focus on pushing young people in the direction of university.
To help tackle this imblance, the CIPHE recently launched its own Apprentice Awards for 2016 to raise the profile of apprenticeships by recognising both the technical and “soft” skills of young people starting out in the trade. These awards seek to champion professionalism and best practice at apprentice level.
There are three categories including an award for heating work, sponsored by the HHIC; an award for plumbing, sponsored by the BMA; and an award for those apprentices who can demonstrate how they are protecting vulnerable people in society. The “vulnerability” award is sponsored by the CIPHE and will recognise how young installers can make a difference to the health and wellbeing of the public.
The closing date for entries is 30 September, and more information about how to get involved and enter this year’s awards can be found on the CIPHE’s website at www.ciphe.org.uk. The winning apprentices will be invited to attend an awards celebration at the House of Commons in London on 17 November – the same day as the IAs’ annual assembly.
The number of hours of CPD the CIPHE suggests members achieve each year
Reasons to join
When launching the ‘Proud to be a Professional’ campaign, one of the first things we turned our attention to was publishing five clear reasons for plumbing and heating professionals to become members. For individuals, joining the CIPHE means:
- You are proud to be part of a network of more than 7,500 plumbing and heating professionals and support a code of standards
- You have access to the best training, technical support and CPD in the industry
- There is an organisation behind you that is dedicated to professionalism and excellence in plumbing and heating engineering
- You have direct contact with consumers via the ‘Find a Plumbing and Heating Engineer’ online search facility
- You are recognised through your experience and qualifications as being among the best in the industry
Gas Safe Register is the official gas registration body for the UK. The main focus of the register is to improve and maintain gas safety to the highest standards.
The BEAMA heating controls group represents manufacturers of controls for domestic heating and hot-water systems
Drew Styles, 30, is a plumber from Wigan and was recently named UK Plumber of the Year 2017.