Not to Current Standards – a reminder from Gas Safe Register

What is it, what isn’t it, and should you record it? Gas Safe Register’s Technical Team provides clarification.

Major changes to the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP) came into effect in July 2016. The single message of Danger Do Not Use helps your customers understand when appliances must not be used.

GIUSP is now owned by IGEM, under the title G/11 – Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure. However, there is still confusion regarding the removal of Not to Current Standards (NCS) from the procedure.

We’re aware that some gas engineers believe that it has been banned or abolished as a classification; that people should no longer use the words; or that what was NCS is now At Risk (AR), etc.

A number of changes were made in Edition 7 of the GIUSP (now called IGEM G/11). The most notable and misunderstood of these is the removal of the NCS classification from the guidance.

NCS situations were removed to reflect the fact that an NCS is, by its very nature, NOT unsafe – and therefore has no place in an Unsafe Situations Procedure. The installation may not be correct, or not in accordance with the standards, but it is not unsafe. If your risk assessment is that the appliance is unsafe, it wouldn’t be classified as NCS anyway.

Many engineers will have encountered the scenario where, upon entering a house, the consumer says they know ‘the installation is not to current standards’ before you have even had a chance to look at it. This demonstrates that the NCS was diluting the safety message to the public. This is because, in the same situation, you might find a genuine AR or ID unsafe situation, but the consumer is already so blasé about the raft of information had been given previously that they do not fully appreciate the severity of what you are now advising them.

Removing NCS from the procedure does not prevent an engineer from informing their customer that the installation requirements have now changed, but the appliance is safe. If you wish to continue advising your customers that the appliance installation requirements are now different, then this should not be recorded on any warning notices or safety-related paperwork/documentation. This will ensure that the key safety messages are not detracted from. It is your choice whether you elect to do this, based on the situation at hand and any benefits it may bring.

In conclusion, NCS has not been banned/abolished/forbidden; it has simply been removed from the Unsafe Situations Procedure.

Installations that were previously assessed to be NCS are still NCS now – just because the term is no longer featured in the GIUSP does not mean the level of danger/risk has increased. To be told otherwise is a myth.

The other misconception because of the removal of NCS from the GIUSP is that it is ‘OK’ to install something that is not in accordance with the current standards. This is incorrect.  Regardless of the removal of the NCS criteria, it does not mean that an installation can be completed that does not comply with standards in place, or the appliance manufacturer’s installation instructions or (where referred to by the appliance instructions), the relevant gas industry standard.  Where this is found to be the case, then Gas Safe Register will continue to defect the installation in line with our current procedures.

Some engineers may have received an inspection from Gas Safe Register in which it has been noted that the phrase ‘Not to Current Standards’ is used on inspection reports when encountering defects that do not fall within the AR or ID category. Gas Safe Register continues to use the defect category NCS to highlight defects on installations that do not comply with the current standards so that Gas Safe can ensure that these defects are properly addressed by the business to which they are attributable – you cannot install something that is not to the current standards.

• You can download GIUSP free by logging into your online account at or from IGEM

In summary

The Not to Current Standards (NCS) category was removed from GIUSP because, by definition, these situations are not unsafe. As a registered business, you may still record NCS situations, but this no longer forms part of the official Unsafe Situations Procedure.

Note: NCS installations are NOT At Risk.

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