If you’re looking to become a gas engineer, it’s absolutely vital that you have a thorough, detailed understanding of the ACS gas qualification and its central role to your profession and safety. The Nationally Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) is the best choice in certificates of professional competence in the industry, with industry-recognition and consumer confidence, and it’s a requirement in becoming a member of the Gas Safe Register. In this article, we’ll take you through all you need to know about what the ACS covers, how it works, and how you should prepare.
The ACS scheme is overseen by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), and is your ticket to a place on the Gas Safe Register. As registration with the Gas Safe Register is a legal requirement for any gas engineer looking to carry out work in the UK, Isle of Man, and Guernsey, everyone in the industry is well acquainted with the scheme and its holistic approach to gas safety training. ACS covers all of the key areas of gas work—including domestic natural gas, LPG, commercial heating, meter installation, commercial catering, commercial laundry, and emergency service provision—and, as such, provides an exhaustive, comprehensive grounding in all of the elements which are likely to arise throughout your career as a gas engineer.
Regardless of the precise kind of gas work you are looking to get into, there is a core gas safety element which must be taken before any further individual appliance assessments can be procured. This is to ensure that all gas engineers have a firm understanding of the basic precautions and safety measures which they ought to be taking into account in all work. As an example of this, we’ll look at the ACS procedures attached to domestic natural gas work. The first step would be the completion of a Core Domestic Gas Safety (CCN1) module, which is compulsory step including such vital elements as combustion performance analysis. From here, the appliance assessments relevant to your specific work can be completed. This could include Central Heating Boilers & Water Heaters (CENWAT), Cookers (CKR1), Gas Fires (HTR1), or Warm Air Heaters (DAH1).
Although specialisation in certain appliances or fields of gas engineer work is encouraged by the structure of the ACS qualification, moving between specialities is also a key component of the scheme. There are changeover assessments (such as Changeover from Domestic Natural Gas to Commercial Natural Gas – CODNCO1) available to engineers who are looking to expand their training into new areas, and these will assess candidates particularly in the areas that are not common to the original core so as to avoid crossover or unnecessary repetition. Following the completion of the changeover assessment, the candidate would then take the relevant appliance elements which relate to their specific job. Additional training or experience is sometimes necessary, and so it is strongly advised that candidates contact their local approved ACS centre before undertaking the changeover assessment.