Tim Sainty, Membership Director at the CIPHE, reflects on a busy year and looks ahead to an intriguing 2020.
The plumbing and heating industry is in a constant state of change, with new legislation and technology always on the horizon, and 2019 has been no different. Part of the CIPHE’s role is to be an important voice in the industry, to draw attention to pressing issues such as scalding, Legionnaire’s disease and fuel poverty, to ensure they remain high on the public’s and Government’s agenda.
The CIPHE also has a commitment to its members, supporting them in the work they do and promoting the importance of professionalism across the sector. This year has been successful on many fronts, but there is always more that can be done.
One of the biggest aspects of the Institute’s work is to safeguard the most vulnerable in our society. The CIPHE has been instrumental in stimulating discussions on a number of issues that affect the sector – notably Legionnaires’ disease and scalding. The latter’s impact on individuals who suffer the pain and lifelong effects of being scalded in wholly preventable incidents, is an especially distressing problem that plumbing and heating professionals must face up to.
The Institute has also been involved in discussions and research surrounding the future of heat, facilitating a round table for installers to speak with BEIS on their experiences and expectations. Energy is a massive issue for the sector as a whole, and it is important to keep those that will feel the effects of change the most front of mind, namely the consumer and the installer.
To enhance the voice that it has in plumbing and heating, the CIPHE has revamped its own magazine, complete with a new website.
For all its work in trying to improve the plumbing and heating sector, the CIPHE is nothing without its members. As of September 2019, it has recruited over 500 new members, two thirds of which are qualified members of the industry, with the rest embarking on careers in plumbing and heating. This mix of ambition and experience is exciting, and it is expected that the overall number of new members for the year will be close to 1,000.
Supporting its members is something that the CIPHE takes very seriously, with messaging promoting the virtues of being a member reaching more households than ever before. This is linked with the ‘Proud to be a Professional’ campaign that has resonated so clearly with the industry, highlighting the value that training and licence to practice can bring to engineers and their customers.
2019 also saw Tracey Richardson’s tenure as President of the CIPHE come to an end, for which we all extend our enormous gratitude. Her tireless work in promoting apprenticeships and training was just a small part of her tremendous success.
Tracey’s successor, Christopher Northey, brings us nicely onto the subject of the year ahead. Alongside Vice-President Mel Gumbs, he will be taking the CIPHE into the New Year, with a particular focus on public health engineering.
The Institute is set to modernise in 2020, with huge investment being put into a digital transformation that will enable key messaging to be conveyed more clearly. With a number of intriguing projects expected to launch in summer next year, the CIPHE’s ability to engage in industry debate will be significantly enhanced.
If you want to assist the CIPHE in promoting the safety, health and welfare of the public, contact Tim Sainty via 01708 463102 or [email protected]