Friday, 23 December 2011

Do We Have Too Many Government Led Installer Schemes in the Plumbing & Heating Industry?

That question excluding the many up and down effects of the current economic recession is probably the most hotly debated subject by most plumbing & heating contracting businesses serving customers in the residential marketplace.
Across the last decade we’ve seen the ongoing introduction of Government led competence schemes which all have the best of intentions in –
  • Aiming to ensure that customers are provided with a level of protection when employing the services of a contractor, and
  • Aiming to ensure that the work carried out in customer properties is compliant with the different aspects of legislation.
So with all those good intentions what’s the problem?
Simply put there’s no joined up thinking across all the schemes which in a significant number of cases are attempting to address the same or very similar areas of work. The outcome is –
  • A significant cost burden to legitimate multi-disciplined plumbing & heating contractors in the industry which is ultimately borne by their customers.
  • A financial burden placed on smaller businesses who in turn are being driven towards narrowing their range of business services. A development that is not in the best interests of the customer who look to appoint cost effective quality multi-disciplined contractors that can be relied on to undertake the full range of plumbing and heating activities in their homes.
  • A reluctance by many plumbing and heating contractors to engage with Government led installer schemes.
So what’s the solution?
The only real way forward is to completely simplify the confused and fragmented existing arrangements by moving to one single industry led competence scheme that could deliver on the aims set by the different Government Departments providing much greater clarity, reducing the cost burden to contractors and their customers and providing opportunities for higher participation levels by small and medium sized businesses.
Want to know more, then read our outline proposal paper by clicking here.