By becoming approved, your business will benefit from free publicity online and you can gain extra 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 help keep up to date. Plus, signing up to WaterSafe after becoming a member of an Approved Contractors’ Scheme will enable your business to use WaterSafe branding to reassure your customers, demonstrate your professional status and competency.
To be a member of WaterSafe and therefore ‘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 £2m of public liability insurance and employers’ liability cover – where appropriate – of £5m in place.
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.
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.
Each WaterSafe Approved Business must:
Sign up to the WaterSafe Customer Commitments
Follow the WaterSafe scheme conditions and scheme rules
Follow the terms and conditions of your approved contractor scheme
Let us know if one of your employees leave your company
The document demonstrating compliance explains how Approved Businesses can meet the requirements of the scheme.
Firstly, a plumbing business or sole trader needs to join one of the seven Approved Contractors’ Schemes in the UK. The six Approved Contractors’ Schemes are:
The Water Industry Approved Plumbers’ Scheme (WIAPS)
Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC)
Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) Approved Contractor Persons
Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) Water Regulations Approved Contractors’ Schemes
Anglian Water’s A Plus
Severn Trent’s WaterMark
Membership costs of these Approved Contractors’ Schemes vary depending on the level of membership and the additional services, which may be offered. Some Approved Contractors’ Schemes don’t charge for joining.
Once you join an Approved Contractors’ Scheme you can opt to sign up for free WaterSafe accreditation as an added bonus.
Follow this link to check the areas in which each Approved Contractor Scheme operates.
If a customer complains about your work, the complaint will be passed on to your Approved Contractors’ Scheme to investigate. If the Approved Contractors’ 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 code of conduct of its Approved Contractors’ Scheme, this may lead to a suspension or removal from the WaterSafe register.
You should notify your approved contractor scheme operator, so that they can remove them from the website search.
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.
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 GasSafe Register.
No. The Gas Safe Register relates to the installation of gas heating systems, appliances and other gas work only
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.