Why Accredited Training is Good News for the Ventilation Industry. - Greenwood

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18 July 2014

Why Accredited Training is Good News for the Ventilation Industry.

bpec 2u

By Krys Wallace, Senior Technical Adviser.

Having worked in the ventilation industry for over 8 years I have lost count of the times I have turned up to site and seen poor installs.

These have huge effect on costs as remedial work often needs doing and on the occupant who has had to live with noisy systems that aren’t doing the job they are supposed to.  Unfortunately, this also has a negative impact on the industry as well and doesn’t contribute to our objectives to strengthen and grown ventilation installers as a specialist trade.  The introduction of Ventilation Installer training through the changes to the Building Regulations in 2010 were a great starting point to start to shape ventilation as a controlled service.  Ventilation isn’t an add on, it’s a fundamental part of building services, and especially now at a time when air tightness levels are increasing.

I’ve delivered the original BPEC Domestic Ventilation Course (2010), on behalf of Greenwood Airvac for the past 3 and half years at our Head Office and travelling around with our mobile rig.  A mixture of electricians, plumbers and building service engineers have been through the open book course and practical assessment, however 4 years on and it’s now time to launch the new and more focused course.

Why?  Well – there is no doubting that the industry has move forward – we see BPEC accredited installers being requested for work across the board, especially with whole house system installs, however there is still a long way to go and a general need and desire to make the training more in depth and ensure there is real engagement and understanding. The results of the recent NHBC and BRE Heat Recovery research results back this up -  showing that 10/10 units installs had to be re-worked and one even replaced at a site in Slough.

As an industry we have worked together to develop the new course which came into effect at the end of June and I am looking forward to teaching it to installers. I am sure they will benefit from a course that is more tailored to their needs and hopefully successfully achieve a qualification that will be respected in the industry.

So, what improvements have been made?

  1. The new guide, renamed Domestic Ventilation Installer, includes practical installation advice and guidance. It also references recent BSRIA reports on air flow measurement and limitations in the use of flexible ductwork. It will remain core to BPEC’s Ventilation Installer training programme, which has been recognised by the Government as a suitable academic qualification for relevant Competent Person Schemes.
  2. The course combines theoretical training and practical exercises, as well as covering the inspection, test and commissioning of these systems and the provision of client operation and maintenance information.
  3. The theory and practical examination is no longer ‘open book’, requiring the candidates to really get to grips with understanding the information and skills required to pass.

So overall, a great step forward for the domestic ventilation industry and one that has been universally well-received.   The new accredited course sees us progressing from testing an ability to read and repeat to testing a level a real level of understanding and competence. 

If you are interested in attending one of our one-day courses, please let us know. They are held regularly at our head office in Rustington, West Sussex, and we are also able to offer a BPEC2U service, where we come to you. Click here for more details.

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