The results have been revealed from a consultation on qualification criteria for low carbon heating system training courses. The consultation was carried by a Coalition of Heating Industry bodies with particular interests in Low Carbon Heating Systems. A Training Strategy published by the Heat Pump Association (HPA) alongside the consultation lays out how the heating industry needs to transform to enable the wider adoption of heat pumps throughout the UK building stock.
The Strategy contains five clear steps for how a plumbing and heating engineer can be trained to meet the new challenges we face in trying to achieve the UK goal of a zero carbon future, reducing administration cost, and recommending to government that they support a training voucher scheme for the first 5,000 installers to go through the new course.
The consultation survey ran throughout June and asked 21 questions centred around the proposed content for heat pump training courses. A total of 123 participants completed the survey. The majority of respondents were largely gas boiler or heat pump installers, with generally strong support given around the proposed new training route and course content outlines.
The key results from the consultation were:
Many respondents cited that cost was a key consideration, with suggestions of a voucher scheme/incentive for installers to carry out this training. Regulatory requirement to do so was repeated as a key motivation if this course was mandatory to keep working, while others cited age as a reason that they would not attend.
Eighty-six per-cent of respondents were either in agreement or of no opinion regarding the proposed length of time for the course (two days for the heat pump foundation course with one day for each technology). Some suggested that an on-site follow-up assessment at a later date will be needed to ensure quality.
Graham Wright, Chairman of the HPA, said: “The results of this consultation are an encouraging indication that the installer base is in agreement that skills need to be at the required level in order to ensure traditional methods of heating are phased out and low carbon heating systems are embraced. We would like to thank everybody who took part in the consultation, it has been very useful to see the feedback on our proposed Training Strategy.”
Wright added: “While we have seen a commitment from government towards low carbon heat in order to meet our net-zero targets, it is up to us as an industry to communicate regularly and put the right training in place that will move our industry forward.”