Concerns Over Quality of Gas Engineering Courses

IGEM and GISG worried over poor training provision, leading to a fourfold increase in unsafe gas engineering works

Gas engineering image by Alexander Raths (via Shutterstock).
Raw deal: gas engineering students are being denied the basics in favour of assessments. Image by Alexander Raths (via Shutterstock).

The Gas Industry Safety Group and Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers have hit out at the state of gas engineering courses. In a survey conducted by the two professional bodies, this has been attributed to a fourfold rise in unsafe gas installation works. A rise from 1% to 5%.

Among the main concerns, expressed by students, has been a lack of competence based training. Assessments have taken the place of practical skills, much to great concern of the professional bodies. It was also stated that institutions have kept on failing students till they have passed the assessment. Again, at the expense of job competency.

On the Heating, Ventilation and Plumbing website, Chris Bielby, the Chairman of the Gas Industry Safety Group was most scathing: “The GISG is shocked and disappointed by these research findings as they highlight a fundamental flaw in the gas industry, which ultimately could affect the safety of customers.

“We are specifically concerned about the discrepancy in course durations, the certifications of very short courses, the imbalance between theory and practical course content, and differences in pass and fail criteria between some training colleges.”

The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers’ Head of Technical Services, Ian McClusky said: “As the professional body for the gas industry we are committed to ensuring that all training meets the necessary standards and that engineers are competent to carry out their role.”

For the future of gas engineering, this is not a welcome trend. Especially in our industry where one bad move can be lethal. More competency based training should be the key. Not only for safety’s sake, but also for the sake of customers.

ST Maintenance Solutions, 13 February 2017.

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