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The results of a consultation on qualification criteria for low carbon heating system training courses has been unveiled by the Heat Pump Association (HPA), showing generally strong support among gas boiler and heat pump installers for the HPA’s Training Strategy. The Strategy was published alongside the consultation, laying 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 steps for how a plumbing and heating engineer can be trained to meet the new challenges in trying to achieve the UK goal of a zero carbon future, reducing administration cost, and recommending that government support a training voucher scheme for the first 5000 installers to go through the new course.
The key results from the consultation were:
• 98% of respondents were positive about the content proposed for the Heat Pump Foundations course.
• Over 66% of respondents indicated that they would be likely or very likely to attend the course.
• The course content for the Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) specific course was well-rated by 96% of respondents.
When asked about issues related to taking a course, many cited cost as a key consideration and said they favoured a voucher scheme/incentive for installers to carry out this training. Regulatory requirement was repeated as a key motivation to attend such a course if this course was mandatory to keep working, while others cited age as a reason that they would not attend.
86% 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, comments: “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.
“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.”