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No - There is no difference.
An Approved Contractor is a type of competent person defined in the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws. These are more formally known as Approved Contractor Persons.
Including WIAPS, there are seven Approved Contractor Persons’ Schemes operating across the UK and for ease of recognition for consumers they are often referred to as Approved Plumbers. All seven UK schemes are essentially the same as they have the same entrance criteria and are recognised by all of the UK water suppliers.
The benefits of using a WIAPS Approved Plumber are that it makes any installation process more straight forward for customers. It should provide peace-of-mind in knowing that the plumbing work in their home or business premises meets the legal requirements and there will be reduced risk of contamination to their water supply.
In addition, some work carried out by the approved plumbers can be carried out without the need to notify the water supplier in advance. For most types of plumbing work, plumbers have a legal duty to notify the water supplier before they start work and this can lead to delays.
To ensure consumers are properly protected an Approved Plumber will issue a ‘work completed’ certificate for their work. This provides a defence for property owners who are challenged by water supplier’s when enforcing the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws.
If you are a plumber look at the ‘Get Approved’ section
No - The law only requires that any work carried out must comply with the requirements set out in the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws. However it is in your best interests to use properly qualified installers as there are additional benefits.
If you are doing the work yourself make sure you know the requirements, not only will the fittings have to be suitable and appropriately installed, in some cases you may also have to notify your local water supplier in advance before carrying out the work.
If something goes wrong, a WIAPS Approved Plumber will be required to put right any work which contravenes the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws. Each WIAPS Approved Plumbers’ business is also required to hold public liability insurance of at least £2m. Without this cover, plumbing businesses cannot become a member of WIAPS.
There are also complaints procedures in place with a set protocol for customer redress and dealing with disputes. This complaints process seeks to address any shortfall in technical compliance but will not cover other complaints such as about the price charged.
Anyone who wants to become a WIAPS Approved Plumber or a Sectored Installer, must be properly qualified:
If you are a plumber look at the ‘Get Approved’ section for more information. ‘Get Approved'
The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws require Approved Contractors – more commonly known as an Approved Plumber – to issue a signed certificate to the person who commissioned the work. In some cases they will also have to provide a copy to the water supplier if the work is notifiable under Regulation or Byelaw 5 notification. It must also state whether the work complies with the regulations or byelaws.
These certificates are more commonly known as ‘Work Completed’ certificates. They provide a vital protection to property owners who are challenged by water suppliers when enforcing the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws.
This is because it is a legal defence - under the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws - to prove that the work was undertaken by or under the direction of an Approved Plumber.
No – Not only does WIAPS approve plumbing installers, we also approve people for carrying out certain types of specialist work, which are referred to as Sectored Installers. Some of the areas where we have approved installers are
All of the WIAPS approved installers groups are recognised by all water suppliers in the UK.
WIAPS is one of six Approved Contractors’ schemes operating across the UK. Each of the schemes is either operated by a water company or appointed by the Secretary of State recognised in law under the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws. The current Approved Contractors’ Schemes are:
WaterSafe recognises qualified professional plumbers who are employed by a business, which is a member of one or more Approved Contractors’ Schemes. It is operated by and unites the above six existing Approved Contractors’ Schemes bringing them under one umbrella brand. Its purpose is to provide a new nationwide hub and online search facility for approved plumbing businesses.
The six existing Approved Contractors’ Schemes will continue to operate as they do now and like their members, each Scheme will benefit from the increased web presence and promotion offered by WaterSafe.
Membership is free to existing Approved Contractors’ Scheme registered businesses. If you are a plumber and want more information on joining WIAPS and WaterSafe look at the ‘Get Approved’ section.