Capita to Replace CORGI in Gas Plumbers Scheme
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced that as of 1st April 2009, Capita would run the new registration scheme for gas installers in the UK.
Capita has won the bidding (competing with Corgi) based on their approaches to introducing innovation to the scheme, promoting gas safety and a new brand delivering efficient and continuous improvement.
Around 21 million homes in the UK use domestic (pipes and LPG) gas. The authorities have invested heavily in reducing deaths from gas poisoning which is reflected in a downward trajectory over the last 8 years.
The HSE has taken a stern approach during the 2006 review of the domestic gas safety regime, pointing towards a need for change. It felt there were strong arguments to support criticism of the existing gas installers registration scheme which has evolved over time and is managed by Corgi. Despite an improving result, it was felt there is room to do more to raise public awareness of gas and carbon monoxide poisoning risks. The main purpose of such review was to offer higher value to the consumer and to the gas installers.
The HSE has launched a procurement campaign to find a provider to run an innovative new scheme for a term of five years. The HSE team used input from external legal and procurement expert advice to establish a robust process to create a fair and open competition.
The campaign has generated interest from commercial parties from the outset, narrowing later to two strong contenders: Corgi, the incumbent and Capita, the professional and support services “Top 100” company.
The New Scheme
Although the new scheme is designed to prevent the provider from taking undue commercial advantage of its position, it will offer a modern sustainable structure which will foster better competition in the future. The scheme will realign a suite of changes and improve consumer gas safety while simplifying the regime and securing best value for money for plumbers and gas installers. Using publicly available Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) aimed at continuous improvement in services for gas consumers and gas installers, the scheme will promote gas safety managing stakeholder relations and delivering support to HSE.
The KPIs are underpinned by a range of services with service standards and innovative measures to modernise the scheme. As these KPIs are still being finalised, more information will be published nearer the launch date of the scheme. If the provider fails to deliver against the KPIs they will be penalised and will be required to pay part of their profits towards compensating gas installers that received poor service or towards improving the scheme.
Deaths from Gas and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
As part of its role the HSE collects and publishes information regarding incidents involving gas (piped of LPG). The latest statistics show that in 2006-07 the number of incidents was the lowest on record and the data show a clear downward trajectory.
Early indication for 2007-08 shows that the number of incidents will be higher than for 2006-07, but is likely to remain under the 20 mark, which would still support the downwards trend.
This page has been written with contributions from qualified plumbers from Surrey and plumbing and heating engineers from Enfield. Several of the company's experienced plumbers from Buckinghamshire have worked on similar issues as well as some of our experienced heating engineers from Chiswick and our Fulham plumbers.
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