We chat to Gary Macnamara of the Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) to get his thoughts on the new solar geyser installer qualification
As of April 2014, the new age (A21 apprenticeship) qualification and assessment (trade test) for solar hot water installers came into effect. This means all plumbers who are not qualified and want to carry out solar installations will need to be qualified through the new learning path, in addition to being registered through the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB).
As of 2014, all plumbers doing solar hot water installations must issue a COC.
WHAT IS THE NEW AGE (A21) APPRENTICESHIP QUALIFICATION?
Plumber Occupation Certificate for Qualified Plumber (NQF4) is a three year qualification consisting of the following:
* NOTE: Entry requirements = Grade 11 (above 50% for maths & science) or NQF3 equivalent to N2 knowledge areas of engineering Maths, Science and building drawings.
Knowledge and practical modules + 1 year workplace + Trade Test = 3 years
As of 2014, all plumbers doing solar hot water installations, under the new Section 9 of SANS 10106: 2014, must issue of a certificate of compliance (COC). It is a requirement, the same as an electrician must issue an electrical COC for the electrical installation.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
Before an individual can issue a COC for solar hot water installations, they need to be a qualified plumber and been trained and assessed in the occupation of a solar hot water installer. There are various routes to gain this occupation qualification, depending on your current status.
The purpose of such a specific qualification will be to prepare learners and plumbers to install solar hot water systems successfully and in accordance to the National Building Regulations (NBR). Obtaining the occupation solar certificate qualification will also improve the employability of individuals and level of salary.
This qualification resides as one of several new plumbing qualifications with varies learning paths to gain access to the solar hot water installer occupation.
The main benefits of this qualification for learners are that learners have an opportunity to be recognised as a qualified solar water heater installer with well-structured, relevant and current competencies and will be able to have access to entrepreneurial opportunities within the plumbing sector.
As a qualified solar hot water installer, you will be able to:
Under the new legislations, the practice of performing solar installations without being properly qualified, not using compliant materials and not issuing PIRB COCs is now illegal in terms of the National Building Regulations, Water Services Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Water and Sanitation By-laws, and the Consumer Protection Act. A solar water heating system is not SANS 10106 compliant if a certificate has not been issued. COCs will also be required for insurance cover of the installation.
IOPSA looks at trench regulations to prevent fatal accidents and save lives
On 12 February 2015, a 22 year old man died in Pinetown after sand at the side of a trench caved in on him. This incident has raised questions regarding the safety of construction and the regulation standards in South Africa.
The 22 year old man’s identity has not been revealed. It is believed he was working in the trench for a contractor at a private business premises in Manchester Road, Pinetown.
According to Doug Michell, health and safety manager for the Master Builders’ Association (MBA) north region, the current safety regulation standards for working in trenches include a process of procedures. The process should begin by appointing a competent person in writing to supervise the work. A competent person, in the context of the construction regulations, means having the required knowledge, training and experience, in respect of the work performed. In the case of plumbers where work includes excavations, it may not be the main task but is part of the work which requires special skills to be able to identify the potential dangers with regard to the excavation.
While working in a trench there are some pointers:
For the industry to prevent such incidents from happening is very challenging. However, incidents like this can be reduced by educating employers and employees, as well as through continuous developmental training courses provided by specialists for identification of excavation controls. In addition to education and training, every site should have a geo-technical report which would identify soil conditions. If these soil conditions can be communicated effectively, they could provide an early warning to contractors when performing their risk assessment.
Michell emphasised possible reasons for such incidents. These include the fact that safety is often neglected because the contractors have not ‘included the costs’ for safety measures. Sloping, benching or shoring excavations take time, effort and material which obviously results in additional costs. A lack of understanding of soil conditions result in the attitude that ‘there is no warning before and excavations cave in’. However, this is not true when; you plan before you dig, find out any information from the health and safety specifications or geo-technical report; ensure that a ‘competent’ person supervises work related to excavations; and provide training for contractors to identify signs of a possible collapse.
For plumbing companies: if the company is not responsible for the actual digging of the excavation and take access to it to install their materials, then the responsible person must be satisfied that the excavation is safe. If not, they should ensure that the excavation is made safe before they take access to complete their work.
For information regarding the latest construction building regulation standards contact employer associations who have specialists or access to specialists. These specialists will have access to either government committees or sites on government committees, which can keep members up to date with legislation changes. Alternatively, employers and employees can visit the Department of Labour’s web page for the latest legislation.
As a plumber, it is important to ensure you have completed the necessary training and trades tests in order to practise lawfully. In addition, it is the plumber’s responsibility to register with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB). Being a registered plumber with PIRB gives plumbers access to continuous skills development and to updated regulatory standards.
IOPSA launched a new consumer website that helps connect plumbers to consumers.
The Institute of Plumbers South Africa (IOPSA) has launched a new website which the Institute hopes will benefit the industry. The website is dedicated to creating awareness, educating the consumer and promoting Institute members.
This website is where you can view your company details, which IOPSA markets to consumers and property owners.
Consumers can search by service required, type of plumber and by city. Visitors to the website can also view members’ locations using Google Maps. Each member’s services are tagged and optimised for Google searches.
To check out the new website, go to www.iopsa.org.za.
The Free State branch of the Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) invites you to their annual golf day, to be held on 10 September 2015 at Schoeman Park, Bloemfontein.
Complete your entry form today, so that you can take part in what will prove to be a day of fun, sun and excellent golfing!
For more information contact Tokkie Fraser on 051 430 2994.
The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) is the only institute in South Africa that provides a voice for plumbers. Below is a breakdown of all the benefits members will gain when they join IOPSA.
1. Plumber training: The association is a Quality Council on Trades and Occupations (QCTO) Assessment Quality Partner for solar geyser and heat pump training, and can assist with trade testing and training provider accreditation. It is also a Continual Professional Development (CPD) activity co-ordinator and development of industry training as a whole.
2. Technical support: Includes member technical advice and standards guidance.
3. Consumer recourse: Promote consumer confidence, member code of conduct and consumer recourse.
4. Business guidance: Development an empowerment through business acumen and business tools.
5. Promotion of members: Advertising and promotion of members including the value of IOPSA members bring to the industry, marketing both nationally and regionally.
1. Industry training and uplifting of standards;
1. Industry training and uplifting of standards;
2. Plumbing industry projects;
3. Plumbing industry special interest groups;
4. Advocating of quality products;
5. Quality brand and registered installers;
6. Insurance panel recognised;
7. National marketing and promotions;
8. Networking and events opportunities;
9. Industry representation at South Africa Bureau of Standards (SABS), insurers, local and national government, South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and global representation Joint Acceptance Scheme for Water Services Installation Components (JASWIC); and
10. Association and collaboration with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB).
1. Member’s online directory;
1. Member’s online directory;
2. Vehicle decals;
3. Municipality engagement;
4. Plumber meetings and networking event opportunities;
5. Skills development and training;
6. Technical and business support; and
7. Regional consumer recourse.
IOPSA pricing guide concept
IOPSA president, Lea Smith, encouraged industry members to be the managers of their own destinies. He said the future of the plumbing industry was in the hands of the plumbers and they must work together to ensure that future is bright. He said the institute has begun a journey to change the industry for the plumbers’ benefit. “What IOPSA has done for the industry, and in turn you, is enormous.”
Smith told those in attendance that exciting prospects loom on the horizon for IOPSA and the industry as a whole, and he urged South Africa’s plumbers to work together to help IOPSA uplift the industry.
The event also served as IOPSA’s annual awards evening, and three awards were given to those who have provided the industry and the institute with outstanding service.
The ‘Service to the Institute and Plumbing Industry’ award was presented to Martin Coetzee, for giving his time and dedication to the industry. Steven Brown was awarded with the ‘Service to the Institute’ award, for his dedicated service to IOPSA over the years. Plumbing Africa’s editor, Rory Macnamara, was presented with the ‘Contribution to the Plumbing Industry’ award. This award is given to an individual who is not an IOPSA member but who has contributed to plumbing industry as a whole. David Malematsa and Mbali Mabena from 0860Plumber won the award for ‘Best Dressed’.
Entertainment was provided by the Shakes Production, a glittering cover band that had everyone on their feet.
IOPSA CPD calendar launching October 2014
Types of Catagories
Category 1: Developmental Activities:
Development CPD Activities are activities that are related to a structured educational and developmental meetings, seminars and training programs. All development activities must be approved and accredited by the PIRB before a CPD credit(s) may be allocated to the relevant activities and be awarded to the relevant registered person.
Category 2: Work-based Activities:
Work-based CPD Activities are activities that are related to any work-based related plumbingactivities. These activities may include but not be limited to, learner mentorship programs and issuing of plumbing certificates of compliance. All work-based activities must be approved and accredited by the PIRB before a CPD credit(s) may be allocated to the relevant activities and be awarded to the relevant registered person.
Category 3: Individual Activities:
As the name implies individual CPD Activities are activities that are related to activities under takenby the each relevant individual. These activities may include but not be limited to serving on a voluntary association related to the plumbing and or building industry, writing a technical article and or part-time lecturing/training. All individuals activities must be approved and accredited by the PIRB before a CPD credit(s) may be allocated to the relevant activities and be awarded to the relevant registered person.
25 Credits over a 12 month cycle
VIEW Category one Activities
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