As all professional and aspiring gas engineers know, the ACS qualification is an essential step in the journey to a successful career in the field. You are required to have completed your ACS training before you can be accepted onto the Gas Safe Register, and as registration with this register is a hard legal requirement for any engineer who is attempting to work in the UK, it couldn’t be more important that you understand and can complete your ACS course completely and in a timely fashion. In this article, we’ll take a look at the entry requirements which are enforced for applicants and re-applicants alike.
For initial ACS assessments, all candidates must satisfy the entry requirements as defined by the Assessment Scheme Rules. These are broken up into three Categories, and applicants will typically find that they fall neatly into one of these groups, each of which has separate requirements and represents a different career trajectory into the role of prospective gas engineer.
Category 1 Students
This category pertains to individuals who are experienced gas-fitting operatives from inside or outside the UK and are looking either for assessment and certification to extend their range of gas work, wish to renew expiring or expired certificates of gas-safety competence, or are foreign nationals who are seeking to acquire certification to meet UK gas work requirements. Candidates in the last category must be able to present evidence of their gas-fitting qualifications from the country in which they have been working, and an attached translation will be necessary when this is not presented in English.
Category 2 Students
Applicants in this category are those who already hold a nationally-recognised qualification (such as an NVQ/SVQ or City & Guilds Craft certificate) in a trade which is associated with gas work, such as plumbing. The assessment centre must be provided with evidence of the qualification, as well as a written statement confirming that the candidate has undertaken ‘on the job’ gas installation or maintenance training and has some experience of gas work which has been carried out under the direct supervision of a competent, gas-safe registered operative.
Category 3 Students
The final category is reserved for those who are regarded as new to the gas industry and, as such, lack any relevant or related qualification and/or experience. This is typically someone who is entering employment for the first time, or is in the process of changing their career direction, and an applicant in this category is not expected to provide any evidence of relevant gas work, qualification, or experience. This application is not acceptable, as the ACS is reserved for those with some experience, and advisors will offer guidance on how the applicant might best proceed. This could include attainment of an NVQ/SVQ in Gas Services, Installation, and Maintenance at Level II or III, or employment with a business registered with the Gas Safe register which can provide an auditable programme of ‘in house’ gas training.