Is your CPA1 sorted?
With time running out for installers to complete their CPA1 training and assessment, Phil Bunce, training manager at Worcester, Bosch Group, offers a reminder of the importance of the qualification and an outline of the associated training course.
It has been well documented over recent months that by April 1st, all installers will be required to correctly operate a flue gas analyser in order to complete the installation of a gas-fired heating appliance. Whilst most installers are equipped with the certification required to install and maintain gas-fired domestic boilers or gas fires, it has been noted that not every installer is fully competent in the operation of flue gas analysers and, more importantly, what to do to remedy an appliance that is not operating within the correct parameters.
The CPA1 flue gas analyser assessment course has been introduced by the industry to ensure that installers are equipped with a complete understanding of combustion performance gas analysis, which is key to the safety of an installation. The British Standards BS 6798, BS 7967 and BS 5871 Part 1 indicate that installers must use a flue gas analyser when servicing and maintaining, particularly in the case of high efficiency heating appliances with pre-mix burners.
What originally began as a British Gas initiative some 30 years ago has now crossed over into the wider heating industry. The sector today arguably has a greater number of related issues which installers have to be mindful of when assessing safety; condensing boiler air/gas ratio valves and Benchmark checklists, to name but two, focus attention on the testing of combustion performance.
Whilst there are a number of Electronic Combustion Gas Analysers (ECGA) or flue gas analysers available to installers, it is important that any equipment used is accurate and calibrated regularly to ensure that the correct levels are achieved when an annual service is undertaken or perhaps when a part is changed that is part of the combustion process.. levels of carbon monoxide (CO), oxygen (O2) and the carbon monoxide-carbon dioxide ratio (CO/CO2) all need to be monitored to ensure the appliance is working as efficiently and as safely as possible. In short, the ECGA in not neccssarily a complicated piece of technology to use, however the solution or actions taken to bring the appliance combustion back to where it should be may well be, and this is just one of the reasons why the associated training and assessment requirement has been introduced.
Aside from being able to use the ECGA, installers must also be aware of the lifetime costs associated with what is now considered an essential piece of equipment. Calibration and service are two key considerations as the industry continues to stress the importance of using equipment which is up to date. There has been much discussion around the need for mandatory boiler servicing schedules but, by the same token, the equipment used to service a gas-fired boiler must be up to scratch and capable of delivering accurate results. With this in mind, every installer should have their ECGA regularly checked and calibrated as this will reduce downtime and ultimately ensure that customers remain satisfied with the level of service they receive.
The British Standard BS 7967 was brought to the forefront of the mandatory requirements within the heating industry to offer comprehensive guidance on how to use an analyser. Whilst the standard itself is extremely complex, it stands as the foundation upon which the training courses now on offer via manufacturers are structured. We are aware of the need to make sure installers are fully up to speed when it comes to understanding requirements they need to abide by, which is why the training courses have been developed with the best interests of the industry at heart. The industry needs a fully-qualified workforce and this is something we are keen to play our part in achieving.
To find out more about Worcester’s CPA1 training and assessment programme, click here.