As Capita Gas Compliance Services (CGCS) appears to have pulled the plug on its new UKAS accredited gas safety certification scheme, Craig Brierley gives his thoughts on what that means for the industry.
Read it in full here:
So 3 weeks ago we (GasManGod, PB Plumber, Tony Dumble and myself) were made aware of Capita releasing the new CGCS scheme upon our beloved industry. It was full of controversy, lacked transparency and neither Gas Safe Register nor Capita Plc would answer any questions. We took a stand, we raised over 400 GSRs email addresses in a few tweets and posts on Facebook. You all supported us, we rallied against this with you, we fought in other directions through different measures and in our own time. 4 GSRs spoke with the voices of over 400 GSRs. We united the industry together! All of us actually united an industry unlike any way our industry has seen in nearly a decade.
So our perception? Our reason why?
1: They thought they could do as they pleased in our industry without considering those of us who ARE the industry. It’s the GSRs not them.
2: Capita capitulated. Did they finally realise the writing was on the wall? We still don’t know the truth behind the gas safe number. Did they decide the confusion that two Gas Safe Schemes will cause the industry and how the public will perceive either scheme? What was the cost of all this? I bet it a few quid.
So considering Capita Plc effectively contravened Section 8d of Gas Safe Rules and by not facing the questions, they’ve actually opened themselves wide open for more questions. How did they receive a Gas Safe Registration? Who were these competent persons within CGCS? Surely they were employed by Capita to run the CGCS Scheme that had already accredited two companies.
Were they made redundant this morning? Was it possible that perhaps Gas Safe Inspectors were moonlighting and working for Gas Safe Register and CGCS? These two organisations/companies promoted a scheme of Gas Safe Safer (yeah ok my backside and I won’t name names here) but the two companies accredited to this preposterous scheme, what did they invest to be on the scheme before it was even launched? Why did the Gas Safe Registration for CGCS one day hold more qualifications than the next? Who made the mistake of ticking all the boxes that day? Was it a genuine mistake or was it the publication by those on social media which suddenly prompted the removal of nearly half the qualifications they originally boasted?
Now the worst performing FTSE stocks in 2016 belonged to Capita Plc. Come on really? What is going on? You run the collection service for the BBC TV licensing. Mr Andy Parker you are the Chief Executive of Capita (we know we emailed you, hundreds of us did) you stated you collect £3.7 billion in licensing fees. What do you take away from that? You run Gas Safe, what do you take away from the £14 million raised each year just in our damn yearly subscription costs? That’s without our boiler notification costs. Come on, you run many, many companies through Capita yet you clearly cannot trade with honesty. Oddly like we are supposed to as Professional Gas Safe Installers. Worst performing stock in 2016 and you launch a scheme in 2017 on our industry without consulting those who make the industry? No point talking to the big companies? We, the frontline, the 65,000+ small businesses of gas safe registered installers actually should have a say. We make this industry, not you, not them, but us!
We used this famous image, jiggled it to represent us the industry the GSRs fighting. I’d say most will know the original picture! Oddly at 10:30am on 23rd February 1945, 6 US Marines raised that flag on Iwo Jima, it didn’t represent a win to any war. It represented a battle had been fought and won. A hard battle many casualties. It was a point to look to, a reference to say ‘we won this battle, we will win this war’.
Now we, GasManGod, Myself, Tony Dumble and PB Plumber with the aid of a computer whizz, made this our profile pictures because we’re raising the Gas Safe Flag.
At 10:30am on 23rd February 2017, Capita Plc bulk-sent their email to all those who had emailed in response to the CGCS schemes launch. The Gas Safe number GONE. The scheme pulled, no website anymore. Erased as if it had never happened. That is one hell of a coincidence. Two images so powerful in differing ways. Yet on the exact same day 72 years apart, these images both won a landmark battle. No we installers have not won a war, no we’ve had no casualties, but damn it we won a battle. Now Capita may come back, we need to remain, we voices need to step up, we have taken the war to the industry quangos. Those in power who refuse to accept our right to have a voice in the industry we run, well we fought with grit and we acted United. It’s no coincidence, it’s a sign to carry on, to push because we are getting there. Just like in 1945 they too were succeeding, as we are now also.
So myself, PB Plumber, GasManGod and Tony Dumble are looking now how to step-up, how you can contact us and we can take our fight with the support of you all and finally start making the recognised and needed changes to our industry. Gas Safe is not good enough, we want a better Gas Safe Scheme. Education is lacking. It’s appalling ,10 years ago the decline came, now we will have a generation of engineers, plumbers, fitters, whatever you wish to be called, who are possibly not given all they need in their apprenticeship. We four GSRs will push for all GSRs to unite, we will find a way. We will unite us all and no it’s not a union, I’m not Arthur Scargill, I’m Craig AlphaTec_. Some like me, some don’t but I’m here for all of us and you know full well I’ll say what needs saying. GasManGod no different, do not tell him what he can and can’t do. PB Plumber the nicest guy on Twitter, a 3rd generation plumber, he’s your face, he’s our face. Tony Dumble aka Dumbledore, well that surname speaks for itself, needs no more said.
So we thank you for the support given, we promise this war on the liberties we have thrown at us is far from over. We need you to continue supporting us and we will fight to change this industry. Our success is because we are United as one. There can be no single nor 3rd party here, this is us all. United we stand. Want change? Want a better and safer industry? Talk to us, let’s take this all the way.
Thank you all