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CORGI and Capita in two-horse race for gas installer registration

The competition to find the next provider of the gas installer registration scheme has become a two-horse race between incumbent CORGI and managed services giant Capita.

 

The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) and Lloyd’s Register have both dramatically declined to officially tender for the scheme, despite being short-listed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

 

NAPIT released a press release outlining its position, while a Lloyds Register spokesman told H&V News that it had taken a “corporate decision” not to submit a tender to run the gas installer registration scheme.

 

Reacting to the news, Bob Towse, head of technical and safety at the HVCA, expressed his surprise. “It is also something of a disappointment. With NAPIT and Lloyds Register pulling out, it means we now have a two-horse race between CORGI and Capita.

 

“We’ll be interested to see what decision the HSE makes. The sooner it decides, the sooner industry will be informed and can adjust its plans.”

 

In its press statement, NAPIT expressed disappointment with the direction of the new scheme, in particular on the issue of multiple scheme operators, which NAPIT has long championed.

 

It referred to its 2006 bid to run a gas installer registration scheme alongside CORGI, and claimed it would have offered the kind of choice available to installers in other sectors such as electrical.

 

In announcing NAPIT’s decision to withdraw from the race, its chief executive John Andrews said: “We have carried out a thorough and careful review of the invitation to tender and we do not believe that we would be able to shape the future scheme as we would wish.”

 

The pro multiple scheme stance espoused by NAPIT is popular among installers, with many feeling choice would force down prices and make scheme providers more attentive to the needs of registrants.

 

Billy Wilgar, proprietor of AC Wilgar said: “I agree with NAPIT’s model, but I find it odd that NAPIT favours this - you would think it would be better for any scheme provider to have the field to itself.

 

“But for installers it is better to have choice. We don’t have this in gas at the moment. If you look at other disciplines such as electrical and plumbing they have choice and better prices. With CORGI it is x or x.”

 

Mr Wilgar added: “I’m disappointed to see the tender down to two bidders. Being a cynic, it doesn’t sit well with me - it means less competition, less input, and fewer ideas.”

 

For commercial reasons, the HSE declined to comment on the bidders involved, however it defended the decision to restrict the scheme to one provider.

 

A spokesperson said: “The decision followed thorough and open debate by stakeholders during HSE’s 2006 review of the domestic gas safety regime.

 

“Those bidders who were short-listed to take part in the tender did so to become the single provider. They were not invited to bid to take part in a multiple provider scheme.