Northern Ireland and Guernsey have joined the Gas Safe Register.

Northern Ireland and Guernsey have joined the Gas Safe Register from 1 April, exactly one year after the new regime took over from CORGI.

Gas Safe is now the official operator of the gas safety register in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Guernsey and, by law, anyone undertaking gas work in these areas must be registered.

Now one year into Capita’s 10-year contract with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Gas Safe said that it was pleased with how the transition had gone.

“We’re more focused on gas, which people like,” said chief executive Paul Johnston, who joined Gas Safe in January. “People adopted it quite quickly, and we’ve started to win hearts and minds.”

Customer services director Simon Ayers agreed, pointing out that the number of registered gas engineers has risen over the past year. 

“There were 54,000 businesses on the register on 1 April 2009, and now there are 63,000,” said Johnston. “That’s 127,000 individual engineer registrations.”

Responding to questions about gas safety inspections, Ayers pointed out that Gas Safe now had 86 field-based inspectors – more than under the previous regime – with each inspector carrying out more inspections per day than before.

Director of stakeholder relations, Jeff Learman, said Gas Safe welcomed feedback from its members. “Why shouldn’t we give people the chance to be critical?” he said. “We want to know what people think, and we want to be accessible.”

In response to feedback Gas Safe has made alterations to the membership card, introducing a hologram for increased security, and embossed lettering to help partially-sighted consumers.

Ayers said this had added to the cost of manufacturing the card, but that these costs had not been passed on to the registrants.

These changes had been made to encourage people to show their Gas Safe card which, Learman said, was key in the fight against illegal gas engineers. “If every person in the country asked for the card it would make a massive difference,” he said, “especially if installers show the card before they’re asked. The way to impact unregistered installers is to affect their ability to trade without the card – it’s a carrot and stick approach.”