October 2013 sees the official launch of WaterSafe, the UK's first all-industry national plumbing assurance scheme set to re-focus standards within the UK plumbing sector.

WaterSafe provides a dedicated online search facility and assurance scheme designed to give recognition to competent plumbers, as well as protect consumers seeking water supply plumbing work and contribute to the safety of drinking water supplies for homes and businesses.

The scheme brings together the seven existing Approved Contractors’ Schemes operating in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and is also supported by all of the water companies and key plumbing bodies in the UK.

Recognised plumbers employed by an approved business on the WaterSafe register will need to have successfully completed at least an NVQ Level 2 in Mechanical Engineering Services (plumbing) (6089) and hold a water industry recognised Water Fittings Regulations qualification to ensure they are competent and hold the relevant knowledge.

Kevin Wellman, chief executive officer for the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE) and board member for WaterSafe says: “Following months of planning and investment, we are hugely excited to launch WaterSafe.

“Until now, the plumbing industry has not had the presence of a scheme that encompasses all of the Approved Contractors’ Schemes in the UK. As such, it has been very difficult for consumers to make an informed choice when sourcing a credible plumber, struggling to distinguish from the plethora of trade associations, accreditation bodies and trust marks.

“WaterSafe has been designed to negate this confusion. By bringing together these existing schemes under one unique umbrella organisation, WaterSafe offers assurance of a professional, accredited plumber every time. In this way, our aim is to not only promote good plumbing practice and compliance with the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws, but also clamp down on the inherent issue of rogue plumbers. WaterSafe will give competent and approved plumbing businesses the recognition they deserve.”