The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) is significantly increasing its training presence in the plumbing and heating market place. During 2007, the Association will broaden its portfolio of courses available to the industry and training centres alike.
Additionally, the Association has also been certificating high quality training centres to be "Approved Centres to run its current portfolio of seven courses. This is particularly important in light of the Associations new Competent Persons Scheme, which will be launched on 23 January, because the Scheme requires companies to have "qualified supervisors with all the relevant general and regulations-specific plumbing qualifications.
APHC is currently enlisting these high quality training centres to deliver its courses and is adding to the list regularly. Training centres simply pay £170 per course to be assessed and to receive the APHC training materials. The APHC training pack that the training centre must buy for each learner costs £28 per pack, a considerably lower sum than many similar but less well-targeted packs. This price includes annual reassessment and certification of the candidate if they meet the grade. APHC has had very positive feedback from training organisations who are keen to provide good quality courses at a realistic price in a sensible timeframe.
Worcester Bosch Group was the first to sign up. The companys Director of Marketing and Technical Support, MartynBridges, comments: "We are delighted to be working with APHC. Its always a pleasure to work with other organisations with the same commitment to raising standards. We need to bring more people into training and increase the skill level in the industry, and this kind of targeted and well-written training should help persuade engineers of its value. These courses really have been developed with the busy plumber and heating engineer in mind.
Our experienced trainers are looking forward to delivering them." APHC will have at least 15 approved centres by the end of 2007 but expects that figure to rise rapidly, especially as competent persons schemes really start to drive the need for more and better training. For the plumbing and heating engineer choosing which course to apply for, APHCs courses whether offered directly by the Association or through one of its training partners represent the very best value for money.
John Thompson, APHCs Technical Services Manager, explains: "We have been developing and running courses for years and have been refining continually. Being a trade association, we have direct day-to-day contact with plumbers all the time so we understand exactly what it is they need to know and how best they can learn. That means we dont waste time teaching them things they already know, we concentrate on the key messages and crucial information.
Our courses are therefore targeted, comprehensive, shorter and less expensive for the plumber to go on. With a network of training centres coming on board, we can now offer these courses through approved providers nationwide."