CIPHE chief executive Blane Judd said householders should always ask for proof of qualifications before allowing a plumbing or heating installer into their home.
This follows reports from SummitSkills, the sector skills council for building services engineering, that there has been an upsurge in plumbing courses which are not recognised by
the CIPHE, employers or other industry bodies.
These courses are often highly priced and target newly unemployed men and women.
Mr Judd: “It is a sad fact that unscrupulous training providers are taking advantage of the economic downturn to rip-off the unemployed.
“There’s no fast-track route to become a competent plumbing or heating engineer. It takes a number of years to gain the knowledge and experience to tackle plumbing and heating systems, which are becoming more complex.
“There is a concern that as new regulations and technologies are introduced the unqualified installer may leave the home owner facing fines for non compliance with the regulations or worst still dangerous systems.
“It is important that new entrants into the sector are not conned into attending theory only courses or programmes that suggest that they can develop competence in a simulated environment in a short timescale.
“We fully expect to see a significant rise in the number of bogus plumbers plying their trade to unsuspecting members of the public and urge homeowners to be extra vigilant. Always ask to see proof of qualifications or a current CIPHE membership card or you could be putting your home or even your life at risk.”