Occupational profile - plumbing and heating

Information on apprenticeships in the plumbing and heating industry, including what’s involved; skills and knowledge needed and progression routes for apprentices

Overview

There are two pathways:

  • plumbing and heating (oil-fired, solid fuel or environmental options)
  • plumbing and heating (gas-fired water and central heating appliances)

This apprenticeship is designed to give you the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge that are needed to carry out the installation and/ or maintenance of hot and cold water, central heating, drainage and weathering systems in commercial, industrial and residential buildings including all relevant:

  • technological requirements and changes
  • statutory and non-statutory regulations and requirements
  • working practices in accordance with health and safety requirements
  • inspection, testing and commissioning procedures
  • work on electrical systems associated with plumbing systems

Core skills and knowledge

On completion of the requirements in this framework you should, as a minimum, have the core skills and core knowledge required to carry out the following in a safe and competent manner:

  • apply health and safety and environmental legislation in the building services engineering sector
  • establish and maintain relationships in the building services engineering sector
  • coordinate a work site in the building services engineering sector
  • perform electrical work on mechanical building services systems
  • Install and test  plumbing and heating systems
  • service and maintain  plumbing and heating systems
  • inspect and pre-commission  plumbing and heating systems
  • commission  plumbing and heating systems
  • decommission  plumbing and heating systems
  • install sheet weathering protection

You should also be able to:

  • apply professional judgement and support 
  • challenge unsafe behaviours/activities
  • show innovation through the identification of areas for improvement and suggestion and/or development of innovative solutions
  • identify and manage risks to self and others
  • keep work area clean and tidy
  • manage own time effectively
  • think logically and accordance with the demands of the situation using clear and valid reasoning when making decisions to undertake the work instructions
  • work effectively individually and in a team
  • work in line with quality requirements
  • work productively
  • work safely and ensure the safety of others
  • work within own level of competence and know when to seek advice from others

Core behaviours

Throughout the apprenticeship process you should, as a minimum, develop and display the behaviours that show you're consistently:

  • assertive
  • confident
  • dressed appropriately
  • empathetic
  • fair
  • honest
  • proactive
  • productive
  • punctual
  • reliable
  • respectful (in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion)

Transversal skills

You will gain the following transversal skills:

Self-management

Accept responsibility for self.

Typical performance evidence will show you can at an intermediate/ advanced level:

  • take action on what has to done without having to be told
  • work unsupervised
  • react appropriately to situations
  • be open to new processes and situations

Working with others

Work collaboratively both internally and with external customers and an awareness of interdependence.

Typical performance evidence will show you can at an intermediate/ advanced level:

  • understand and provide customer service as it applies to role both internally and externally
  • empathise with others’ point of view

Citizenship/ taking part in society

Understand and be considerate of the differing needs of different individuals and groups.

Typical performance evidence will show you can at an intermediate/ advanced level:

  • engage with individuals with different backgrounds and different needs
  • show respect for the environment

Work professionalism

Behave appropriately and with a professional attitude.

Typical performance evidence will show you can at an intermediate/ advanced level:

  • work flexibly as workplace requires
  • work through difficult situations

Problem solving and decision making

Weigh up the pros and cons of new situations and identify key issues.

Typical performance evidence will show you can at an intermediate/ advanced level:

  • approach a problem from different perspectives
  • come up with unique responses to situations

Numeracy

Use data and arithmetic to support evidence or demonstrate a point.

Typical performance evidence will show you can at an intermediate/ advanced level:

  • analyse data
  • understand charts, graphs and statistical information

Digital literacy

Find, evaluate, use, share and create content using information technologies and the Internet.

Typical performance evidence will show you can at an intermediate/ advanced level:

  • format organise and manage files and data

Communication and literacy

Use verbal, non-verbal and written communication and an awareness of the interpersonal skills of effective listening, negotiating, persuasion and presentation.

Typical performance evidence will show you can at an intermediate/ advanced level:

  • engage persuasively using agreement and challenge
  • understand when to compromise

Progression

When you complete this framework, you've a number of progression options  including:

  • vocational: develop self in the role and seek promotion 
  • academic: use the qualifications gained as the basis for further study and entry to further or higher education as appropriate
  • combination of vocational and academic: study part-time while still working - this may be as part of a structured higher level apprenticeship (HLA) if this is relevant/available

More specifically, on successful completion of this apprenticeship in plumbing and heating you'll have the skills, knowledge, and qualifications to:

  • register with the SNIJIB
  • seek registration/ recognition with the appropriate fuels related body such as gas safe, OFTEC, HETAS or MCS
  • progress your career with further training into job roles as technician, designer, estimator, project manager, site/ workshop supervisor/ manager, chartered engineer, sales engineer or commercial manager

Further career guidance can be found at: SNIPEF.

It's expected that successful candidates will progress within the plumbing and heating industry in qualified positions such as employed or self-employed, supervisors, managers.

Continuous learning will be expected to maintain awareness of the regulations impacting on the industry and technological changes/ advances.

National occupational standards (NOS)

Every framework must be underpinned by national occupational standards (NOS) which will indicate the standards of performance individuals must achieve when carrying out functions in the workplace, together with specifications of the underpinning knowledge and understanding. Behaviours may be detailed within or alongside the NOS.

Core NOS

Unique registration number (URN) Title of the occupational standard

BSEBSE01

Apply health and safety and environmental legislation in the building services engineering sector

BSEBSE02

Establish and maintain relationships in the building services engineering sector

BSEBSE03

Coordinate a work site in the building services engineering sector

BSEBSE04

Perform electrical work on mechanical building services systems

BSEPH04

Install and test  plumbing and heating systems

BSEPH05

Service and maintain  plumbing and heating systems

BSEPH06

Inspect and pre-commission plumbing and heating systems

BSEPH07

Commission plumbing and heating systems

BSEPH08

Decommission plumbing and heating systems

BSEPH09

Install sheet weathering protection

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