The controversial Capita Gas Compliance Services (CGCS) scheme appears to have been withdrawn after installers turned up the heat.

Well that was fast. Three weeks after its launch, the controversial and hugely unpopular CGCS certification scheme has been officially scrapped. And installers seem pretty happy about it.

To be fair, the CGCS has had a short but spectacularly rough history.

The scheme was launched in early February as a benchmark of best practice for installers. The goal of course was to give certified installers the competitive edge. Not to mention distinguish reliable installers from cowboys.

According to Matthew Hickman, managing director at Capita Gas Compliance Services, the scheme was designed to “give businesses that go ‘above and beyond’ for gas safety work the recognition they deserve among their customer base, potential new business opportunities and other organisations in the industry”.

But it didn’t take long for plumbing and heating engineers to make it clear how they felt about the new certification from Capita.

The value of being Gas Safe Registered

Many argued that the extra benchmark undermined the value of being Gas Safe Registered, a legally required certification also provided by Capita.

Some people felt that the CGCS would have a negative effect on the good guys when more effort should be put into sorting out the cowboys.

In any case, installers made their voices heard – especially on Twitter. Now, less than a month after the new certification was launched, Capita have withdrawn the CGCS,

The news was broken to installers via an email from Alan Herbert, health and safety director.

“Thank you for your feedback. It has been helpful in testing the potential development of a consultancy service for the utility market, accredited by UKAS, within Capita’s Health & Safety consultancy. At this stage we are withdrawing this service.”

Needless to say Installers across Twitter have been celebrating what is arguably a victory for the collective voice of the professionals. Here are some of the reactions, collected by PHPI:

@AlphaTec_: “All the publicity for CGCS came from a group of four (@AlphaTec_, @pbplumber, @Unequaledheatin and @GasManGod) online who have battled publicly and openly, have emailed, contacted and spoken with other organisations,  and challenged Gas Safe and Capita. Their removal of the scheme is – without being big headed – due to the cry from four to unite our industry. We sent emails from over 400 GSRs to capita and Gas Safe opposing this.”

@pbplumber: “It’s great that the thoughts of installers actually doing the job day in day out has influenced the people who try and force these unwarranted schemes on an already congested industry. It’s a victory for the common man and I’m really proud of everyone who made a stand.”

@irbheating: “I’m very pleased to hear that Capita has withdrawn the #CGSC scheme. This is a massive victory for installers all across the country, what we have done here is surely a first? We have stood together, united, and used social media to spread the message that we will not stand for it anymore and allow big corporations to run a mock. Now I hope that Gas Safe Register will take note of all the comments and criticism it has received during this and improve its scheme for the future. I don’t know if we have heard the end of #CGCS yet, but I’d like to say well done to everyone that stood up and participated. Today is a good day.”

@Unequaledheatin: “The last thing we need in this industry is an extra fee to prove our high standards – the good guys do that everyday anyway. When I posted about this on Facebook the response was incredible – 360 people willing to stand against this waste of resources in just 48 hours. Fantastic result.”

It’s not clear if Capita have any other certification shake-up plans in the works. For the moment though, it’s a win for those installers who spoke out.

Tags: plumbers,