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How does one become oftec registered? Is it like gas safe whereby you have to complete a portfolio and find someone willing to show you the ropes yadda yadda or do you just sit the courses (of which there a few) and then you can go out and start servicing etc alone, I know there are annual inspections if you want to part of the cps, I'm just a little confused as to the rules around getting that far. TIA
 

gingalig

Gas Engineer
You would need to able to qualify for the course, either through an NVQ in plumbing or have a gas safe registration / ACS, then you take the course which is a lot of theory and regulation requirements as well as practical assessments and exams, once passed you are qualified, you register with Oftec for a probationary period and they will assess and audit you within 3 months, If you do the course I would seriously consider the Riello burner course and boiler manufacturers courses afterwards to reinforce/improve your knowledge.
 
Thanks for the reply, that shed some light on it for me, I'm currently building my portfolio for my nvq in plumbing, ive only started knocking courses out in the last year as I want everything to be legitimate. I live in a rural village with tons of other villages around me with no gas main so this would be another string to my bow as such and hopefully a worthwhile investment because I understand it's not cheap. I have read that i will need to be doing install work for the audits, is this correct?
 

gingalig

Gas Engineer
Thanks for the reply, that shed some light on it for me, I'm currently building my portfolio for my nvq in plumbing, ive only started knocking courses out in the last year as I want everything to be legitimate. I live in a rural village with tons of other villages around me with no gas main so this would be another string to my bow as such and hopefully a worthwhile investment because I understand it's not cheap. I have read that i will need to be doing install work for the audits, is this correct?
You will have to show examples of your work whether that be installs or servicing, the assessor will run you through tank and pipework installation / regulation and or install service procedure, If you know your stuff especially the recomendation and warning procedures they are fairly human. Its quite a jump, if you have no experience to be installing and servicing, you would also need the tools, annalyser etc before you could start. Oftec also require public liability of £2 million plus and are very keen on correct paperwork procedure. It may be worth your while looking for some work experience with an Oftec engineer or local firm to get a decent understanding of whats involved before you invest in going it alone.
 
I have experience with installs but I just don't have any experience with Oil installs. Tools etc not an issue, I've been plumbing a while but started a bit late hence not doing my nvq until now, gotta make time for college etc which later on in life is a bit difficult as I'm sure you're aware. Maybe I'll look into shadowing somebody who does do oil to get a bit more understanding. Thanks for the help gingalig :)
 

gingalig

Gas Engineer
After asking about this is the response I get mainly, I wonder why? Maybe people just don't get their oil boilers serviced until it breaks down.
I live in the sticks and get a fair bit of oil related work, servicing, installs and breakdowns, I'm oftec and gas safe with lpg and G3 as I wanted to cover all bases, my customers like the reassurance of a professional qualification with the ability to benchmark and self certify. A reasonable amount of work is generated through the Oftec website, with ongoing word of mouth and Oil boilers being what they are should be made to run as efficiently and cleanly as they can be.
 
Well I can only hope i have the same success as you have and get some work, I mean I know you don't actually need to be oftec registered to say work on an oil boiler (which I find kind of crazy) but I like to do things properly and officially. :)
 

Best

Esteemed
Plumber
No entry criteria for oftec qualification here.
I know loads of people did the basic course who have no background in plumbing or boilers.
I pity the customers of most of them.
In fact a friend of mine did the full course without much problem and he had no real knowledge of oil boilers. Still hasn’t much.
Sorry to appear so negative.
 
Don't apologise if it's the truth, well I have a plumbing background and know a thing or 2 about the basic workings of a boiler so I would hope that I stand a better chance than them but I can only study hard an take as much in as possible, oh and pray for the phone to ring :D
 

Best

Esteemed
Plumber
Don't apologise if it's the truth, well I have a plumbing background and know a thing or 2 about the basic workings of a boiler so I would hope that I stand a better chance than them but I can only study hard an take as much in as possible, oh and pray for the phone to ring :D
Plenty of oil boilers here in NI, especially in the countryside areas, although natural gas is becoming popular.
Get yourself some of the oftec books, even slightly out of date books.
 
No entry criteria for oftec qualification here.
I know loads of people did the basic course who have no background in plumbing or boilers.
I pity the customers of most of them.
In fact a friend of mine did the full course without much problem and he had no real knowledge of oil boilers. Still hasn’t much.
Sorry to appear so negative.
You are quite right in your writings.... I had a surprising experience that underlines the fact (yet again) that there is no alternative for an apprenticeship and then plenty of experience to be able to know what an engineer is doing without loads of problems for themselves the operative and of course the customer.

I'm blowing my own trumpet I know but there were a few incidents concerning the same chap who was a school teacher who then went on a course through OFTEC, gained a certificate and then launched himself on the innocent population who thought no doubt that because he possessed an OFTEC cert no less he knew what he was doing re Oil fired boilers.
He most certainly had a lot to learn because on three occasions he telephoned me to ask advice how to get an oil fired pressure jet working. One was new and off the top of my head I suggested tuning the air down to 1 and see what happened! When he asked will I help him fit a combie oil boiler I flatly refused knowing those boilers are a swine to fit and worst of all to service. I found they were terrible to access what needs to be adjusted.! I did ask him on that occasion, I thought you have an Oftec cert.... Oh yes I do and I can commission any oil boiler but he neglected to say he could not get a Potterton BOA 60 going that heated the local fuel distributors tea room! I got the thing going the week after he had been there as the dispatch forman said he been fiddling with it for hours and it's a good job somebody who knows what they are doing will stop us from bloody freezing!
What was concerning re the Oftec cert owner is the question. How does that person without any wet system Heating experience know there is water within the boiler they will fire up?
There is now heavy handed fuel delivery people who will not put fuel into a tank that has not got an Oftec cert????????
 

SimonG

Plumber
Advent Win
Few round our way all the certs, all the gear, no idea.

To be honest though once they've messed about for days on end with no result it's good to follow them in and sort things out.

There was one who could only service a boiler. He had a few he couldn't get started after a service and just walked away. Funny that he's no longer trading.

As for oftec, you will learn very little from them, apart from how to cover your own backside.
To learn on the oil side you need to spend time with somebody who knows what they are doing. I spent about 4 weeks with somebody every afternoon. That was 10 years ago and still every day is a school day.
 

Best

Esteemed
Plumber
You are quite right in your writings.. I had a surprising experience that underlines the fact (yet again) that there is no alternative for an apprenticeship and then plenty of experience to be able to know what an engineer is doing without loads of problems for themselves the operative and of course the customer.

I'm blowing my own trumpet I know but there were a few incidents concerning the same chap who was a school teacher who then went on a course through OFTEC, gained a certificate and then launched himself on the innocent population who thought no doubt that because he possessed an OFTEC cert no less he knew what he was doing re Oil fired boilers.
He most certainly had a lot to learn because on three occasions he telephoned me to ask advice how to get an oil fired pressure jet working. One was new and off the top of my head I suggested tuning the air down to 1 and see what happened! When he asked will I help him fit a combie oil boiler I flatly refused knowing those boilers are a swine to fit and worst of all to service. I found they were terrible to access what needs to be adjusted.! I did ask him on that occasion, I thought you have an Oftec cert.. Oh yes I do and I can commission any oil boiler but he neglected to say he could not get a Potterton BOA 60 going that heated the local fuel distributors tea room! I got the thing going the week after he had been there as the dispatch forman said he been fiddling with it for hours and it's a good job somebody who knows what they are doing will stop us from bloody freezing!
What was concerning re the Oftec cert owner is the question. How does that person without any wet system Heating experience know there is water within the boiler they will fire up?
There is now heavy handed fuel delivery people who will not put fuel into a tank that has not got an Oftec cert????????
Although there will be some improvements in standards due to oftec, it will depend on who is doing the work, their ability and their honestly.
I think oftec has actually enabled incompetent people (often some of which do not belong to the trade or any trade) to have these ‘qualifications’ to pose as capable engineers. In effect oftec have allowed imposters to enter the trade.
Sensible thing to prevent substandard work would be to have a check on any work and the person to lose their oftec if any seriously bad work was found or if they repeatedly did poor work or treated customers unfairly.
 
Although there will be some improvements in standards due to oftec, it will depend on who is doing the work, their ability and their honestly.
I think oftec has actually enabled incompetent people (often some of which do not belong to the trade or any trade) to have these ‘qualifications’ to pose as capable engineers. In effect oftec have allowed imposters to enter the trade.
Sensible thing to prevent substandard work would be to have a check on any work and the person to lose their oftec if any seriously bad work was found or if they repeatedly did poor work or treated customers unfairly.
It's nice to see others agree with common sense in my observations.... Most of us who have diligently kept an open mind and learnt from those who 'know' and have got through donkeys years of a multitude of installation and fault finding Heating work sometimes are a bit upset by the red tape especially if the criticism comes from those who have less experience knowledge and expertise. It has been said that it should never be allowed that those who criticise do not
possess a fraction of the expertise experience or knowledge of those who they criticise! Well said that man ( won a nobel prize and was Russian).. & probably went to jail!
I once upset the top man by saying due to him telling me I'd earnt more than him that week... If you got hold of that tool box for just a week you'd be fxxxxd... That was during the installation of 76 hospital rads + a million btu oil boiler and a 2000 gall steel tank!
Now I'm told I have to have an oftec cert for a steel tank 3mm thick with all seems welded more than 6mm thick. The same company have given a farmer I know in North Wales same treatment because his plastic tank is not bunded.
These bits of paper seem to be powerful.
 

Stigster

Esteemed
Plumber
No entry criteria for oftec qualification here.
I know loads of people did the basic course who have no background in plumbing or boilers.
I pity the customers of most of them.
In fact a friend of mine did the full course without much problem and he had no real knowledge of oil boilers. Still hasn’t much.
Sorry to appear so negative.
When I first did my OFTEC back in 2008 there was a guy on the course, doing the "full monty" who had never touched a boiler before. He was there to get everything he needed to know in one go. Already had the van signwritten and business cards and everything. Literally first time he worked on a boiler was on that course. He was a window cleaner before that.
 

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