Polypipe has announced the removal of the annual registration fee for its newly titled Registered Heating Engineer Network (RHEN) in support of small businesses.

All fees paid will also be returned in full to the existing members of the Network as a thank you for their support in previous years.

Polypipe launched the RHEN in 2016, then known as the Registered Installer Network, offering heating and plumbing specialists the chance to “identify new business opportunities in their locality”, attend accredited training courses hosted by the company, and gain access to a range of business support tools.

The company reports that it has been reviewing feedback from registered users, as well as conducting insight research with the wider plumbing and heating engineer sector, and has decided to make key changes to better serve the industry.

The first change is to remove the initial £350 registration fee, to encourage more small businesses and start-ups to consider registering and working with Polypipe. Existing members should contact their Area Heating Manager to arrange and confirm return of fees.

The criteria for joining the RHEN will continue to be merit-based, focusing on the experience, qualifications and accreditations of the individual heating engineer. There are now no extra fees required to register.

Following its research, Polypipe will also rebrand the network as the Registered Heating Engineers Network, in order to “better represent the skills of the existing members, and to attract a wider range of more experienced and qualified professionals”.

Rachel Smith, General Manager of Polypipe Underfloor Heating, said: “We hope this is welcome news for our existing members, and those who have been considering registering with Polypipe. Our partnership with heating engineers is founded on the skills, expertise and professionalism within the plumbing and heating sector and we want to support that in the best way possible.

“There is going to be a skills shortage within the sector, so it is important that companies such as Polypipe do all they can to support the small businesses and sole traders providing the highest quality service to their customers.

“At Polypipe, we recognise the important role heating engineers play for their customers and that repeat business is a key part of the job. By making the RHEN free to join, we want to open our training courses and aftercare business support to a wider demographic of professionals, helping them to achieve their business goals in 2018, by offering new services to their customers.”

Interested heating engineers and professionals can visit www.polypipeufh.com/professional/ to find out more.