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Water Regs UK is urging qualified RPZ (Reduced Pressure Zone) Valve Testers to join an approved scheme.
A review by Water Regs UK of the testers who undertook its free conversion training when the new RPZ AIM (Approved Installation Method) was introduced in 2020, reveals that of the 370 testers who completed the training, fewer than a third have applied for approved scheme membership since.
Paul Millard, Technical Manager at Water Regs UK, says the trend is industry wide. He comments:
“The availability of suitably qualified RPZ Testers is essential for those responsible for RPZ valve maintenance. RPZ valves are a backflow prevention device which protects consumers and their water supply from contamination.”
“There is a shortage of approved RPZ testers across the UK. Reports from all approved schemes indicate that only around half of eligible testers have joined schemes”
When the new AIM was introduced in 2020, Water Regs UK offered free training to listed RPZ Testers, to help them become familiar with the changes and to ensure they can be recognised by water companies.
One of the benefits of being an approved RPZ Tester is that it demonstrates to your customers and water companies that you successfully completed tester training, have suitably calibrated equipment and are employed by a business with suitable insurance. Water Regs UK is encouraging testers to join approved schemes.
Meanwhile, there are still a number of RPZ Testers who did not complete the free conversion training before it ended in January 2021.
Installers who did not complete the conversion by 7th January 2021, lost their status and no longer hold the necessary qualifications to test RPZ valves and have to sit a full training course to regain approval.
Access to these full courses has now increased with the news that two new qualifications have gained recognition by RPZ Valve Tester sector approval schemes. These qualifications are recognised as meeting the minimum requirements of competency required for entry into these approval schemes, subject to the schemes entry criteria.
Courses are now being delivered by Develop Training Ltd and by Hydro-X Training.
Paul Millard continues: “While there is a drive to ensure approved RPZ testers take advantage of membership through the four sector schemes, there is still work to be done to ensure more RPZ Testers are approved. These two new qualifications will help more contractors achieve that goal.”
More information on how to become an approved RPZ Testers is available from the four schemes, APLUS (Anglian Water), WaterMark (Severn Trent and Hafren Dyfrdwy), WIAPS and if you are in Scotland or Northern Ireland, SNIPEF.
Links to the schemes can be found at www.waterregsuk.co.uk/installers/rpz-testers/