CIPHE UPDATE: What lies ahead

CIPHE UPDATE: What lies ahead

The coming decade looks set to be a time of significant change for those in the plumbing and heating industry. As Tim Sainty, Membership Director at the CIPHE, explains, providing members with a digital platform equipped for the future is just one example of the support the Institute will offer.

2020 will see the culmination of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering’s (CIPHE) digital programme, establishing a 21st century fit-for-purpose resource for members and stakeholders within the industry. It will also offer a portal for consumers seeking professional advice and services, creating a platform indicative of the Institute’s ethos and principles.

However, there are several ongoing issues requiring the CIPHE’s focus. Across core goals such as supporting members, safeguarding the public, and creating a more skilled workforce, there are a number of topics that will take centre stage in 2020.

Future of heat
The future of heat is a subject that will demand ongoing attention for the next few years. Decarbonisation of heat will affect everyone in the industry, especially those tasked with delivering heat into people’s homes. Given the transformational effect that this will have on the UK, it is important that we take a cautious approach and consider the full range of options. The CIPHE’s Lead Technical Consultant, Paul Harmer, has been prominent in this debate throughout 2019, and this is likely to continue as the Institute participates in this crucial discussion.

Skills gap
The training of new and existing members of the plumbing and heating industry is something that has always been at the forefront of our work. Providing easily accessible Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and offering support to anyone wishing to undertake it has been a cause close to the Institute’s heart, because it ensures members can provide a better service to their customers, and provides a better level of protection for the public.

As evolving technology changes the skills required to be a plumbing and heating engineer, ongoing learning will be more important than ever. Assisting members in improving their professional capabilities is something that the CIPHE will continue to do.

Experienced worker recognition
Whilst the CIPHE has never shied away from its view that education and apprenticeships are the strongest platforms for success in the plumbing and heating industry, we remain conscious that there are a significant number of competent, talented and successful members of the trade without the advantage of this background.

It is important that a lack of formal qualifications doesn’t cause skilled individuals to suffer or lose out on work that they are more than capable of, so the CIPHE is devoting attention to delivering a route for the recognition of these proficient and experienced workers.

Consumer education
The Institute has frequently spoken about the dangers that legionella and scalding pose to the most vulnerable in our society, but there is more to do to educate the consumer.

The CIPHE will develop independent guidance for members of the industry, to help communicate the need for adequate protection against risks of serious health concerns in plumbing and heating systems not properly installed and maintained. Raising awareness of the importance of keeping systems clean and safe will ultimately improve standards across the industry.

Liaising with government
Communication is a massive element of the Institute’s role. The CIPHE is speaking with the Government about providing an industry response to consultations that directly affect the livelihoods and careers of CIPHE members. By fostering greater collaboration, it is the aim of the Institute to improve standards, safety and comfort for everyone in society.

Get involved
If you want to assist the CIPHE in promoting the safety, health and welfare of the public through its increasing membership, visit

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