Corgi Changes to Gas Safe Register
CORGI Loses its Bite as Gas Installer Scheme moves to Capita
On 8 September 2008, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) awarded a 10-year contract to Capita Group plc to provide a new registration scheme for gas installers known as Gas Safe Register.
This will begin on 1 April 2009 and will, with immediate effect, replace the current CORGI system that is currently in place. These changes will be significant to landlords, tenants and the general public.
What are the new changes?
From April 2009, the Capita Gas Safe Register will be the only gas installer registration scheme approved by the HSE under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. All installers (including those used by landlords) wanting to undertake domestic gas work will need to be registered with the scheme to be able to lawfully carry out any work on gas fittings and appliances in a property.
Between January 2009 and April 2009, CORGI will continue to operate the registration scheme with an immediate change to the Capita format on 1 April. Until this date, gas installers should continue to comply with the full terms of their existing gas registration under CORGI.
There will be no period of 'dual-running' between both forms; any engineer who is not registered with the Capita system before April will be unable to work on gas appliances and installations until they become registered.
What is the Gas Safe Register?
The Gas Safe Register opened on 19 January 2009 for currently registered installers to enrol in advance and will hold an up-to-date register of gas installers qualified to install and repair gas fittings and appliances.
There will be processes to check the competence of registered engineers, inspect their work and deal with complaints about unsafe work. The HSE will oversee this new Register's operation as the gas safety regulator. New identity cards will be issued to all engineers following valid registration, and gas consumers will be encouraged through publicity in the media to ask to see these instead of the old CORGI documents.
What do the changes mean for landlords?
As stated previously, under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use)Regulations 1998, landlords must ensure that all gas appliances in each of their properties are in a safe and fully working order. These checks are to be undertaken at least on an annual basis.
For this work to be carried out later in the year, landlords should ensure that all current and future gas engineers are registered with Capita to meet their legal obligations. Landlords may also wish to consider making tenants and other stakeholders aware of these impending changes to facilitate the repair and maintenance of gas installations.
One of the key ways that this can be achieved is through landlords raising awareness of these changes themselves.
Although Capita intends to establish a marketing plan to raise consumer awareness of registered installers and the importance of gas registration, it may well be the case that some tenants may not be conscious of these changes. An example of this may be that entry may be refused to a Capita registered gas engineer after 1 April 2009 because they are not CORGI affiliated. Additionally, Capita will be creating a new gas safety brand, aiming to champion gas safety as a hallmark for protecting consumers from unsafe work and promoting the need for consumers to use only registered businesses and engineers.
On a more practical level, Capita also intends to offer companies a 'marketing toolkit' with the new logo, including helping with creating stationery and advertising.
They are also said to be in discussions with suppliers of van stickers to negotiate discounted rates for relevant vehicles to be altered accordingly.
What other steps can I take to deal with these changes?
Given that a landlord has considerable legal obligations concerning the safety standards of gas installations and appliances in their properties, the changes to the gas registration scheme are of the utmost importance.
All must be up to speed and compliant with the new system by April 2009.
Where can I find more information?
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View Related Handbook Page
It is vital that landlords clearly understand their responsibilities and obligations in relation to gas supply and appliances and the duties and responsibilities placed on them by the gas safety regulations.