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Installer’s survey highlights public ignorance of Gas Safe

Only one in ten members of the public are aware of Gas Safe Register, the new installer registration scheme and gas safety watchdog, according to a survey carried out by Northern Gas Heating.

Gas Safe Register is due to launch on April 1 and the Wolverhampton based installer carried out a telephone survey of 162 customers to ascertain awareness levels of the new scheme.

The survey found 92 per cent of the customers surveyed had not heard of Gas Safe Register and were aware of the changeover due to happen from April 1.

“We’re startled by this finding,” said Northern Gas Heating’s Jim Lynch.

“By not checking if gas installers are registered with Gas Safe, people could be putting the health and safety of their family at serious risk.”

Gas Safe Register’s chief executive, Peter Eldridge replied: “It’s been a delicate balancing act to get the change to Gas Safe Register out to the public at the right time.

'We couldn’t do a big publicity push too early, people still need to use CORGI gas installers until the end of March and we can’t jeopardise this.

'That said we have been doing a lot of groundwork over the past few months talking to local authorities, housing associations and landlords to help them tell their tenants the change is coming. We’ve also been making sure more vulnerable groups are reached early through organisations such as Citizens Advice and Age Concern.”


GAS SAFE REGISTER - FAQS

 1. Rationale and approach to the scheme

Why do we need a new gas registration scheme?
The HSE reviewed the current scheme. The CORGI statutory registration scheme has been operating for 17 years. During that time, the number of gas related fatalities has fallen significantly. Although stakeholders involved in the review overwhelmingly supported the continuation of a gas installer registration scheme, they identified areas where improvements could bring potentially significant benefits to both gas consumers and gas engineers. It was agreed that a fixed term contract would encourage investment by the scheme provider and provide greater certainty. This is a great opportunity to build on the successes of the existing scheme and at the same time introduce innovation to further develop the existing arrangements and add value to gas consumer safety.

How did HSE reach a decision to appoint Capita?
Since July 2008, following an announcement in the Official Journal of the European Union, the HSE has been involved in a major procurement exercise to select a provider to operate the gas registration scheme. This has been a fair and open competition. The evaluation of bids was undertaken by an independently chaired HSE Tender Evaluation Board and has involved detailed examination and clarification of proposals together with negotiation to achieve the best outcome for the new gas scheme. Capita was recommended as preferred bidder because it scored more highly in this process. In September 2008 Capita was awarded the contract for a fixed term of 10 years.

Were stakeholders involved in the decisions on the procurement exercise?
Stakeholders were very much involved in advising on the changes needed and in the early stages of developing the specification for the gas registration scheme which formed part of the invitation to tender documentation. As this has been a competitive procurement exercise, it would not have been appropriate to continue with the same level of stakeholder engagement that occurred during the review. However, certain selected stakeholders, subject to confidentiality agreements, have provided advice to HSE on aspects of the bids, as part of the evaluation process.

Will gas installers remain CORGI registered?
No. CORGI registration in Great Britain and the Isle of Man ends on 31 March 2009. From April 1 2009, your registration must be with Gas Safe Register to allow you to carry on working legally

How will Gas Safe Register be monitored?
Performance delivery is subject to detailed contractual arrangements, improved governance, and close oversight from HSE. The contract includes a range of key performance indicators (KPIs) against which HSE will monitor service delivery. In the event of Gas Safe Register failing to meet KPIs, there are financial implications and HSE can impose a range of measures designed to ensure that any shortcomings are resolved. If there is a serious service failure, ultimately, HSE retains the right to terminate the contract.

2. Gas Safe Register and you

What benefits does Gas Safe Register bring to gas engineers?
• Registration fees set at affordable levels and an aim to reduce them in real terms during the lifetime of the agreement
• Reducing indirect costs to engineers by simplifying the current competence and registration requirements
• Providing incentives to encourage engineers to register
• Introducing new procedures for handling unregistered engineers

What will happen to my registration with CORGI?
The CORGI gas registration scheme in GB and the Isle of Man ends on 31 March 2009. To continue working legally from 1 April, you need to be registered with Gas Safe Register.

What should I tell customers about the changes?
The simple message is – the CORGI gas register ends on 31 March so from 1 April, ask for a Gas Safe Register engineer instead of CORGI.
We will be running a national publicity campaign to make sure the public know about the changes.

Can I keep my old registration number?
Yes. We will transfer your CORGI registration number across to Gas Safe Register.

Why has the gas registration scheme brand changed?
The CORGI brand is owned by the CORGI Group, not gas engineers or HSE. The new gas safety brand ‘Gas Safe Register’ is owned by HSE on behalf of gas engineers and it will be available to whoever runs the registration scheme if a new provider is appointed in the future. The new brand focuses exclusively on gas safety. Before and during the competition, HSE did discuss with CORGI various possible options for purchasing or licensing the CORGI brand for the competition.  HSE concluded that it would not be possible to do so in a way which would not disadvantage competitors and which would not lead to future problems with ongoing, associated commercial activities.

How will the new registration scheme and brand be publicised?
A high profile publicity campaign is launching ahead of the register changeover on 1 April to tell the public that the CORGI gas register in GB will be replaced with Gas Safe Register. We are advertising in trade press, national media and we’re speaking at events across the country in the run up to the register launching.

Will I be able to get technical help from Gas Safe Register?
Yes. We will provide a technical helpline from 1 April 2009 and will also provide technical bulletins. We are also launching a new technical magazine called Registered Gas Engineer. This magazine will be available by 1 April.

Will ACS, NVQ and SNVQ qualifications still be valid?
Providing that qualifications are current and recognised as valid under the CORGI scheme, they will be recognised as valid under the Gas Safe Register. For engineers with current and valid qualifications, there will be no requirement to retrain or re-sit examinations. The HSE requires us to undertake a review of the qualification and competency regime in 2009 but there are no changes to your qualifications requirements for now.

My qualifications are due for renewal before April, what should I do?
You should continue to renew qualifications as normal. These will be valid under the Gas Safe Register. If your qualifications expire before April and have not been renewed you will be unable to renew your operative registration. Please make sure you renew your qualifications early to avoid delay to your re-registration.

How do you propose to handle the problem of “cowboys” and illegal gas engineers?
Gas Safe Register will encourage illegal gas engineers to register. Our enforcement team will track down individuals working illegally, and we will work with HSE in gathering evidence to take action where necessary.

Will there be any changes to landlords gas safety certificates/CP12s?
The CP12 certificate will still be valid. You can still use a certificate after 1 April even if it says CORGI on it or carries a CORGI logo. There is no requirement for new paperwork. Landlord’s gas safety certificates and pads are available from various suppliers and engineers can continue to use these pads. Suppliers who verify they only sell to registered engineers may provide certificates displaying the Gas Safe Register logo.

What will happen to the CORGI Gas Work Notification Scheme (GWN)?
We will provide a facility for registered engineers to report gas work that is notifiable under the Building Regulations.
Whilst the Gas Safe Register Rules of Registration do not state that you must report all gas installations to us, the Building Regulations England and Wales requirement to report certain types of work hasn't changed. Our reporting system will provide you with a quick and cost effective method of completing your duty to report work without the need to contact the Local Authority.
You should report the installation of any new or replacement flued gas appliances and non-flued fixed appliances that provides heating or hot water that have a net rated heat input of 100 Kilowatts or less and installed in a building with no more than 3 storeys excluding any basement. You should also report installation of heating or hot water service system connected to a heat-producing gas appliance and any associated controls.
When you report your gas work to us, we will send a certificate to the homeowner or to another reasonable person on request.

What publications will Gas Safe Register be producing?
The only publication we will be producing is the Unsafe Situations booklet. We will not be producing, designing or selling any other manuals but we will provide links to 3rd party suppliers at a later date.

3. Renewing registration

How much will it cost to register?
The fees for renewals are:
Cost Gas Safe Register CORGI Difference
Renewal  via web £153 + VAT = £175.95 £175 + VAT = £205.63 £29.68
Renewal not via web £175 + VAT = £201.25 £175 + VAT = £205.63 £4.38
Additional Operative £52 + VAT = £59.80 £53 + VAT = £62.28 £2.48

You have sent me a letter with the wrong trading title?
The information we receive about your business is from the CORGI database. Please call us on 0800 408 5577 and we will look into this for you.

Can I change my trading title?
We are unable to change any trading titles before 1 April. You must complete this process with CORGI, who will inform us of the change.

Why is there an online discount?
Registering online reduces the time and resources it takes to process your application, and because it’s faster and cheaper we pass the saving on to you. The online service is fully secure and the more people use it the more it will help to drive down costs.

How does probationary registration work?
We will accept ACS qualifications from a recognised awarding body as evidence of competence. We will however require you to keep records of the work you do, and will perform regular inspections on your work during your probationary period.  Once you have demonstrated your competence, your probationary period will finish.

I’ve registered online, but can I get information by post not email?
Please call us on 0800 408 5577 and we will update our database.

I have just submitted the wrong information online, what should I do?
Please call us on 0800 408 5577 and we will update our database.

What do I do if I have a complaint about your service?
In the first instance please call us on 0800 408 5577 to discuss your concerns. If you want to make a formal complaint, you must put this in writing. You can email your letter to register@gassaferegister.co.uk or post it to Gas Safe Register, PO Box 6804, Basingstoke, RG24 4NB.

4. Using the Gas Safe Register brand

Will I have to change my vehicle stickers and stationery to Gas Safe Register?
Yes. You should aim to change your vehicle stickers, stationery and advertising to Gas Safe Register by 1 April. When you register, we will give you a marketing toolkit with templates and details of suppliers who can help you cost effectively change to the new brand.
You will get free van stickers in the first issue of Registered Gas Engineer, the new magazine for Gas Safe Register engineers. The magazine will be available by 1 April. 

What is in the marketing toolkit?
The marketing toolkit will provide guidance on how to use the brand in all of the typical situations such as on letterheads, business cards, vans and clothing. It will also provide details of suppliers of stationery and stickers that have been working with Gas Safe Register to provide cost effective printing. Electronic versions of logos and layouts will be available for download from the website through a secure login area.  You can also have the marketing toolkit on CD.

Do I have to print my registration number with the logo?
You must use your registration number with the logo on any advertising, but is optional on stationery and vehicles. All guidelines to using the logo will be included with the marketing toolkit.

Can I use the new logo in my advertising?
Yes. You can include the Gas Safe Register logo on any advertising you have planned from April onwards. As soon as you register, we will give you a marketing toolkit that will include the registered engineer logo.

I need to renew my advert in Yellow Pages/Thomson Local before April, what should I do?
Gas Safe Register is participating in the corporate advertising schemes that appear in Yellow Pages and Thomson’s Local directories. The directories will advise you that your advert will appear under the Gas Safe Register heading not CORGI, as long as you are on the new register. They will check that you are registered with us before the directory goes to print.

Will leaflets be available on gas safety?
Yes. We are producing gas safety leaflets for gas engineers and other organisations to give to customers. Contact us to give us your details and we will send leaflets to you when they are available. The Gas Safe Register website will carry a wealth of gas safety information from April.

I want to run an article in my local newspaper about Gas Safe Register, what should I do?
We will be launching a national public awareness campaign that will target regional press in early March. We are also creating press templates that you can use locally. For more information email gassafe@ridgemountpr.co.uk

How do we describe ourselves as businesses or individuals on the Gas Safe Register?
• Gas Safe registered engineer/s
• Gas Safe registered business/es

5. Suppliers

How should we describe the Gas Safe Register when we are advertising/ selling our inspection/ maintenance service packages to consumers?
Gas Safe Register is the new name for registered gas engineers and it will be the official stamp for gas safety from 1 April 2009.

How do we describe businesses or individuals on the Gas Safe Register?
• Gas Safe registered engineers
• Gas Safe registered businesses

6. Retailers and Manufacturers

Can I still supply individuals proposing to carry out DIY in their own homes with gas appliances or fittings?
Yes, providing they are competent to do the work. You may want to remind those wishing to undertake DIY of the possible risks to themselves and to others when they are carrying out gas work.

7. Landlords

What is changing?
There will be a new Gas Registration Scheme from 1 April 2009 in England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain). The new scheme, Gas Safe Register, replaces the register previously operated by CORGI. The service will be delivered by a company called Capita under an agreement with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Will the mandatory requirements for rented properties change?
No, the mandatory requirements for rental properties remain the same. The only change is that from 1 April 2009, you need to make sure you use engineers registered with Gas Safe Register.

What are the requirements?
By law, landlords must make sure:
• pipe work, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition
• that all appliances and flues that you provide for tenants use have an annual safety check
• that maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by an engineer registered with Gas Safe Register
• all gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting
• they provide a record of safety checks to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in
• they keep a copy of the safety check record for two years

Advice on landlords duties are contained in HSE's guidance to landlords and letting agents found at www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm

Do I still need to get a safety check carried out on gas appliances in my properties?
Yes, landlord duties under the Gas Safety Regulations remain the same as before. It remains a legal requirement for you to have an annual safety check on all gas appliances and flues that you provide in a rental property. From 1 April 2009 a Gas Safe registered engineer must carry out the safety check.

How do I find a Gas Safe Register engineer?
You can find a Gas Safe registered engineer from 1 April by calling 0800 408 5500 or go to www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk.

How can I check whether a gas engineer has a valid ID?
You must always check the licence card of an engineer and if you are a landlord or letting agent, you must encourage your tenant to do the same. From April 1 you can use the automated ‘check an installer’ service that will allow you to confirm that the engineer is registered by calling 0800 408 5500 or going to www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk.

How can I check whether an engineer is qualified to carry out a gas safety check?
Details of the type of work that an installer is registered to undertake can be found on the Gas Safe Register website at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or by calling 0800 408 5500. All engineers registered with Gas Safe Register must carry a licence card that shows the type of work they are registered to do. We strongly advise you to check the engineer’s licence card before they begin work on your gas appliances.

Will CORGI and Gas Safe Register both run the gas registration scheme?
No. There is no dual running of the schemes. CORGI will operate the registration scheme until 31 March 2009 and Gas Safe Register will start on 1 April 2009.

What changes will there be to landlords gas safety certificates?
You must still provide your tenant with a record of safety checks completed within 28 days of the check and you must keep a copy for two years. A common method of providing a record of safety checks is using a ‘Landlord Gas Safety Record’. These are sometimes referred to as a ‘Gas Safety Certificate’ or ‘CP12’ form. It is quite acceptable to continue to use this style of certificate – even if it has a CORGI logo or the word CORGI on it. The important thing is that a full check is completed and a record is provided to the tenant within 28 days.
As a minimum, the record of a gas safety check must contain the following information:
• a description of and the location of each appliance or flue checked
• the name, registration number and signature of the individual carrying out the check
• the date on which the appliance or flue was checked
• the address of the property at which the appliance or flue is installed
• the name and address of the landlord (or his agent where appropriate)
• any defect identified and any remedial action taken
• a statement confirming that the safety check completed complies with the requirements of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

Is my safety check certificate still valid after 1 April 2009?
Yes, any record or certificate of a gas safety check is valid for 12 months, even if it says CORGI on it or carries a CORGI logo.

My registered engineer has given me a certificate that says CORGI on it but the safety check was done after 1 April 2009 – is this OK?
You can still accept a certificate after 1 April even if it says CORGI on it or carries a CORGI logo. There is no requirement for new paperwork. Gas safety certificates are available from various suppliers and landlords can continue to accept these certificates. Suppliers who verify they only sell to registered engineers may provide certificates displaying the Gas Safe Register logo.

Will it cost more to get boilers and other gas appliances checked and maintained?
It shouldn’t cost you more to get your appliances checked and maintained, the cost of registration is only a small element of the bill you pay.

What should I tell my tenants about the changes?
The CORGI gas register ends on 31 March so from 1 April only a Gas Safe registered engineer can legally carry out gas work. Landlords have obligations to check that gas appliances in rented properties are safe. Tenants need to allow the landlord’s registered engineer to carry out checks on the property. Before letting the engineer in, check their ID card to make sure they are registered with Gas Safe Register.
After the safety check tenants should expect to receive a record detailing the gas safety check within 28 days.

I’m a Letting Agent. What do these changes mean to me?
Your legal requirements remain the same. By law, you must:
• make sure that the management contract clearly specifies who is to make arrangements for maintenance and safety checks on gas equipment and for keeping associated records
• where specified by the management contract make sure gas appliances and flues are serviced at least once every 12 months or at any other time if there is a safety doubt
• make sure that maintenance and safety checks on gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants use are only carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

8. Consumers

Why is the CORGI gas registration scheme ending?
A review was undertaken in 2006 by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) which concluded that there was a strong case for modernising the gas registration scheme to bring added benefits to gas consumers and gas engineers. Particular areas for improvements included:
• A clearer focus needed on gas safety
• The need to simplify the registration and competence requirements for gas engineers without compromising safety or service standards
This is a great opportunity to build on the successes of the existing scheme and at the same time introduce innovation to further develop the existing arrangements and add value to gas consumer safety.

Will gas safety be affected during the change over from the old to new scheme?
The changeover for consumers will be seamless.  CORGI will provide the service as it always has done until 31 March 2009 when the Gas Safe Register takes over. 

Will there be extra costs for using a Gas Safe registered engineer?
There will be no extra costs for using a Gas Safe Register engineer.  There is no extra cost for engineers to register with Gas Safe Register.

What will happen regarding any existing investigations involving CORGI registered installers?

Any ongoing HSE, LA or police investigations against CORGI registered engineers will continue and be unaffected.
Any ongoing investigations of consumer complaints against CORGI registered installers in connection with the gas registration scheme will be passed to Gas Safe Register for completion.