Gas Safe Register is now able to carry out remote technical assessments to cover some of the technical questioning of engineers that would normally be asked on a site visit inspection. This is a temporary measure and has been agreed with HSE.
From mid-April, the assessments replace site visit inspections and enable inspectors to use MS Teams or Skype. Inspectors will focus on areas of high risk as well as probationary gas engineers.
Gas engineers who are required to undertake a remote assessment will go through a series of technical questions testing their underpinning knowledge. These are split into categories aligned with their qualifications and cover all categories of the qualification that the engineer holds.
Typically, the questions are the kind that inspectors ask engineers when they carry out a site visit. The questions take around 90 mins and engineers will be told if they have passed or failed at the end of the session.
Depending upon the category of engineer, a pass will result in a visual inspection follow-up as soon as business as usual returns. A fail will result in gas engineers either needing to retake the relevant assessment or, potentially, a suspension of their registration.
Gas Safe Register will contact those engineers required to undertake a remote technical assessment in the usual way, five to seven days in advance, to give them time to prepare. The Register will make two attempts to confirm the assessment date, after which the normal sanctions process applies.
Gas Services director Bob Kerr says: “Remote technical assessments enable us to stay in contact with businesses and engineers through this unprecedented situation and use technology to help us do this. All engineers who go through a remote technical assessment will have a visual inspection planned as soon as we return to business as usual.”
Gas Safe Register has paused all routine Inspection Events for the time being.