The BPEC Gas Foundation gas safety training course has been designed to provide a route into the gas industry for individuals who do not currently hold the pre-requisite qualifications necessary to undertake assessments under the Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) for Individual Gas Fitting Operatives.
You will need to be 19 years old or above and will be required to pass a BPEC aptitude test before being accepted onto the course. You will also need to secure some real work with a GAS SAFE registered engineer as a recommended minimum of three days per week.
No formal entry qualifications or experience are required but a plumbing background would be beneficial.
This course consists of on-the-job training/experience and off-the-job training in all the skills and knowledge required by a gas engineer. It is essential that practical experience can be obtained from the workplace.
Your time at College will be split 50% on practical work - learning pipework skills, installing, servicing and fault finding on a variety of gas appliances -and 50% on theory, learning about gas systems and appliances.
A portfolio of work is required to be put together, with jobs completed on-site, to cover the full range of assessment criteria.
There are multiple choice question papers and in-College practical assessments. You will also need to complete a portfolio of evidence of your on-site work.
You need safety boots and overalls. A small gas tool kit is required for working in the workshop and on-site.
Candidates who successfully complete the BPEC Gas Foundation course will then be eligible to undertake the relevant ACS qualifications.
This is not included in the costs
Self-employed plumber Ryan Pearch is hoping to kick-start the careers of Derby College apprentices just like himself a decade ago. College Peak Award winner Ryan took Level 2 Plumbing as a full-time course and Level 3 part-time as an apprentice.
But his job did not offer training in gas work, which meant he found himself dropping behind his fulltime Level 3 counterparts. It was through a combination of Ryan’s personal commitment and the support of his lecturers – “brilliant, every one of them’’ – that he passed all of his modules.
He is now hoping to expand his business Pearch Plumbing & Heating to “employ people like me."
Ryan has been self-employed for a year after gaining further qualifications and experience in the industry. He said: “We’re really, really, busy. I do boilers, floor heating, bathrooms, kitchens…everything to do with plumbing in the house.
The plan is to get bigger and to take people on – and hopefully employ people like me, who are looking for a job as an apprenticeship.”
Level 3 is all about gas and that meant the other students were doing it day in and day out – but I wasn’t because my job didn’t operate in that area.
I asked for extra work to do at home and the college was helpful with that. Phil Stone was the lecturer and he was really good. In fact, the lecturers were brilliant, every one of them.
The courses were excellent for me and it was nice to receive the recognition of a Derby College Peak Award.”