Marine Heating Engineer Qualifications, Optional and Mandatory Registrations
The following is meant to give an overview of our qualifications and somewhat explain their background. Some of the explanations given are simplified and do not give in-depth details of the varying types of qualifications, registration, and licenses for working with fuel-burning appliances in the UK. This is because we could probably write a whole book on the subject. The aim here is to give people a very rough overview and to have a place where we can list all our qualifications, instead of emailing these to customers individually upon request.
When it comes to qualifications, we can all agree that trades carrying out any work should be competent. It would therefore be prudent for anyone considering hiring a marine tradesman to ask for credentials that show competence for the work to be done. Some trades like painters and signwriters may simply have a portfolio that shows works completed on other boats. Some trades, such as mechanics, may also be able to show certificates of completed training courses, and/or other qualifications. In our case, this level of qualification relates to the manufacturer’s training courses, for small appliances like Webasto, Eberspacher, or Autoterm.
– Optional Registrations:
There are some optional registrations for tradesmen working with fuel-burning appliances. For fuels like wood, coal, pellets, and oil, it is sufficient to undertake OFTEC, HETAS, NAPID, Stroma, or similar training and refresh certificates from the awarding body every 5 years. The awarding body will issue a certificate of competence, but there is no requirement to register with a scheme such as OFTEC, HETAS, NAPID, Stroma, etc. It is however important that the work carried out is within the scope of the training received. I.e. a HETAS showroom and servicing certificate should not be used to claim competence in installing Stoves or Heaters, or an OFTEC vapourising oil burner certificate should not be used to claim competence in working on jet-fired appliances.
– Mandatory Registrations:
For marine heating engineers, mandatory registrations are required for LPG related work. This is governed by an act of parliament, the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations, which is controlled by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Engineers working with LPG on boats have to be Gas Safe registered. It is important that tradesmen hold the correct category of Gas Safe registration. I.e. a registration for working with LPG on caravans should not be used to carry out work on boats.
We hold the following certificates and registrations:
BSS – Boat Safety Scheme
Our Boat Safety Scheme registration is for private live-aboard and leisure craft. We are gas safe registered and can therefore carry out BSS examinations for live-aboard vessels that do not have a bubble tester fitted.
We have been Gas Safe registered since 2019 and hold LPG and Boat qualifications since 2020. Gas Safe registration certificates are updated annually. Training has to be repeated every 5 years. Gas Safe also inspects and tests businesses and engineers throughout these 5 years.
We have undertaken training provided by OFTEC and are qualified for servicing, installing, and commissioning Oil and Solid Fuel appliances. OFTEC training has to be repeated every 5 years. We have completed this recently, and are certified by the awarding body. Registering a business with OFTEC is optional and mostly benefits trades working in houses with (among other things) notifying work under building regulations. Since we only work on boats, this doesn’t apply to us. We do however still need to renew certificates every 5 years.
We hold two certificates of completed training with the RYA. One is for the Diesel Engine Course and the other is the Inland Waterway Helmsman’s Certificate. Though we do not advertise these services at the moment, we do offer them upon request. We also routinely move boats and work on parts of the engine when installing heating systems.
ALDE offer manufacturers training courses, providing Gas Safe registered engineers with the skills to service, repair, and install ALDE LPG boilers. We are approved ALDE service partners.
We have completed training with Webasto and Autoterm. We are due to attend a course with Eberspacher and have been waiting 1 year on a 2 year waiting list. Hopefully, we’ll be able to add a certificate soon, though we already offer Eberspacher services. These are very simple appliances and the training is more of a box-ticking exercise.
For anyone who is concerned about the “Russia” part of the Autoterm certificate, please consider the following: Autoterm used to be based in Russia but made a huge effort at a huge cost to leave Russia when Putin invaded Ukraine. Many of their workforce (on all levels) are Ukrainian. Autoterm now make their heaters in Latvia and have no more business in Russia.
There are some other certificates we have picked up along the way. These are mostly showing a minimum level of competency to allow us, for example, to carry out BSS Examinations.