Membership FAQs

These frequently asked questions for plumbers include how to join WaterSafe, the benefits of becoming an approved business, and conditions of membership.

Joining WaterSafe

Why should I register my business as WaterSafe approved?

By becoming approved, your business will benefit from free publicity and online promotion and you will gain credibility under the WaterSafe banner – a national brand backed by water suppliers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which customers can trust.

Approved plumbing businesses also have access to Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws information to keep you up to date with changes in the industry. Your business will also be able to use the WaterSafe branding to reassure your customers and demonstrate your professional status and competency.

How does my business become approved?

To become a member of WaterSafe and WaterSafe approved a plumbing business or sole trader must join one of the seven existing Approved Contractor Schemes and operate within the UK.

To join an Approved Contractor Scheme, each WaterSafe approved business must have £2 million of public liability insurance and, where appropriate, £5 million of employers’ liability cover.

WaterSafe also requires each approved member business to employ suitably qualified and competent individuals. These individuals then become WaterSafe recognised. To be suitably qualified, plumbers employed by a business are required to successfully complete an NVQ Level 2 in Mechanical Engineer Services (plumbing) (6089) as a minimum and have a Water Fittings Regulations qualification. Find out more with our  full list of accepted qualifications.

Each business must have at least one qualified individual who is recognised by WaterSafe for every five employees undertaking water supply installation work. WaterSafe approved businesses commit to send only qualified and WaterSafe recognised individuals to respond to WaterSafe-generated work.

WaterSafe approved businesses must also adhere to their Approved Contractor Scheme/ WaterSafe code of conduct and customer commitments.

What are the conditions for WaterSafe membership?

Each WaterSafe Approved business must:

What does it cost to become a WaterSafe approved business?

Firstly, a plumbing business or sole trader needs to join one of the seven Approved Contractors’ Schemes in the UK. These are:

The membership costs of these schemes vary, depending on the level of membership and additional services which may be offered. Some schemes don’t charge for joining.

Once you have joined an Approved Contractors’ Scheme you can opt to sign up for free WaterSafe accreditation as an added bonus.

Which geographic areas do each of the Approved Contractors' Schemes operate in?

Follow this link to  check the areas in which each Approved Contractors' Scheme operates.

Customer Complaints

What happens if a customer complains about my work? 

If a customer complains about your work, the complaint will be passed on to your Approved Contractors’ Scheme to investigate. If the scheme finds that your work does not comply with the Water Fittings Regulations or Byelaws, your company will be asked to rectify the work.

Where a company or individual breaches the requirements of WaterSafe or its' scheme, this may lead to a suspension or removal from the WaterSafe register.

Changing Companies

What if an employee who is approved by WaterSafe leaves my company?

You should notify your Approved Contractor Scheme operator, so they can remove them from links to your company.

As a recognised plumber, what happens if I move company?

If you are a WaterSafe recognised plumber and your employer has changed, you need to notify your Approved Contractors’ Scheme to avoid your details being removed from the WaterSafe website. You have to be part of a business with appropriate insurance, so your new company would have to apply to an Approved Contractors’ Scheme or add you to their existing membership.

Gas Safe

If I become WaterSafe approved, do I still need to be registered with Gas Safe?

Yes. Gas Safe registration is essential if you work on gas installations or appliances and any plumber working with gas is legally obliged to be listed on the Gas Safe Register.

Does the Gas Safe register cover Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws?

No. The Gas Safe Register only relates to the installation of gas heating systems, appliances and other gas work.

Why do I need to be a member of WaterSafe if I'm already Gas Safe registered?

Membership of WaterSafe demonstrates competency in water supply plumbing while Gas Safe is only for gas work. WaterSafe is one of the best ways to show competency in plumbing and knowledge of the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws.

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