UK homeowners are more likely to trust a tradesperson based on first appearances than professional credentials, according to research released today by WaterSafe.

In a bid to raise the importance of checking a plumber’s credentials, WaterSafe, the UK’s national plumbing register, has launched a new campaign, urging homeowners to TAP – Trust Approved Plumbers.

New research by WaterSafe, reveals:

  • 54% of UK homeowners would trust a tradesperson based on first appearances rather than professional credentials

  • 76% say fresh breath and an attractive smell are crucial when choosing a workman

  • For 30% of people, the choice of clothes a tradesperson wears affects how trustworthy they think they are

  • As little as 30% of Brits actually check a tradesperson’s professional credentials

Danny Davis, operations manager for the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) said: “I find it surprising that consumers would place their trust in the way a tradesperson looks, rather than find out about their qualifications and experience.

“Of course when we let someone into our home to carry out work we expect them to look professional, but it’s very important that consumers check the qualifications and experience of the individual. When it comes to plumbing and heating, a lot of damage can be caused by someone who has not had the correct training - it is estimated that rogue plumbers alone have cost the nation £2.6billion in recent years.”

To find out how you can join up to the WaterSafe register, visit