David said: “The hardest thing to promote in business is honesty and ethics, but it’s true to say that by training smaller groups to a standard way above the standard curriculum has proven to be a winning formula and has seen Brookhouse Training rise head and shoulders above other providers in the market.”
David went on to share some shocking facts about the gas training sector in the hope to build awareness around what to look for when looking for good gas training: “The standard of some courses being offered to new entrants is quite appalling. They range from 3-week wonders to promising the earth only for the candidate to be told “sorry, you failed, you’ll have to pay for more training”. There are companies visiting the candidates at their homes and doing the sympathy sell and then signing them up to a £12000 course on 29% APR over 3 years, only for the candidate to then realise the course is distance learning. They have no hope of passing or becoming competent, and it’s not their fault.”
One of the biggest concerns for new gas entrants is how they will obtain the required work placement element of their training. “We receive calls on a weekly basis from candidates asking if we can help them find a placement, and we can’t because we didn’t train them and therefore our insurance won’t allow it. More often than not, candidates tell us they’ve enrolled with a college or training provider promising them a work placement, and have then been told they have to find their own. This we know, is an impossible task, but is an essential part of their training and development.”
In addition Brookhouse Training went on to discuss concerns regarding the 5-year Re-Assessments. “These are also prone to abuse. This tends either to be a case of “We’re the cheapest – no need to train – oh you failed – give us more money” or “we’ll teach you to pass the ACS exams”. It can be hard to convince a gas engineer of many years standing that training is an important part of re-assessment, but thankfully most understand the need to update on current legislation, practices and even changes to the certification process such as the merger of Boilers and Water Heaters.”
The Competence Review, which commenced in 2010 and was published in 2011/12, highlighted the need for there to be greater ownership of the Routes to Industry by the Certification Bodies. This has led to the CB’s becoming more stringent in their approach, and, from April this year significant changes in the way colleges and private training providers alike are audited.
David says: Currently, the CB’s External Verifier is only interested in the assessment and whether or not a provider undertakes the assessments in a fair, qualitative and structured manner which meets the ACS standards. However, Gas Safe want to know about the training which got the candidate there in the first place. From April, audits will be delving much deeper and, in what we at BTC see as being a significantly important move, only CB approved training programmes will be recognised by the industry.”
Brookhouse Training is committed to the Sector Skills Council, Energy & Utility Skills (EU Skills), policy of ensuring our industries have the skills they need now and in the future. The energy and utilities sector is fundamental to the success of the UK economy and a skilled workforce is vital in developing, maintaining and enhancing the sector.
Brookhouse Training is the UK’s number one gas, plumbing, training and assessment specialist offering practical learning from within a bespoke state-of-the-