What you need to know if you’re looking for a CORGI registered gas engineer?

Being a CORGI registered gas engineer was historically a sign of competence and reliability. It would often be the first thing a consumer would ask a tradesperson about. But CORGI, officially The Council for Registered Gas Installers, is no longer the official register for gas engineers. It hasn’t been for over a decade.

CORGI was replaced as the UK’s official register of engineers by The Gas Safe Register in 2009. But new research* shows that a significant proportion of consumers still see CORGI as a Government-backed guarantee of safety.

Our study found that 58% of Britons (65% of people who have a gas appliance in their home) still believe CORGI is an official register and say that CORGI registration is one of the most important things they look for in a gas engineer.

According to a nationally representative poll of 2,000 UK adults conducted by Aspect, consumers perceive CORGI registration as being a strong predictor of competence and safety and it’s the second biggest influence on their choice of gas engineer.

Biggest influencers when choosing a gas engineer

 

The tradesperson is Gas Safe registered 64%
The tradesperson is CORGI registered 58%
The tradesperson/gas engineer or the company they work for came highly recommended by people I trust 42%
The tradesperson/gas engineer has lots of relevant experience fixing my problem 37%
The tradesperson/gas engineer or the company they work for has positive online reviews 32%
The tradesperson/gas engineer is accredited by the manufacturer of my appliance 28%

 

The poll, conducted ahead of 2019’s Gas Safety Week, revealed that while two thirds (63%) of people are also aware of the Gas Safe Register, CORGI’s legacy has yet to pass and consumers are still treating CORGI registration as an essential factor in choosing a gas engineer.

In fact, perceptions of CORGI are still so positive that significant numbers of people continue to search for “CORGI registered gas engineer” on Google. In some cases, there have been times when searches for “CORGI registered gas engineer” outnumbered searches for “Gas Safe registered gas engineer”.

The poll also revealed a significant age disparity in perceptions of CORGI. Over-35s are almost twice as likely (40% more likely) as under-35s to view CORGI registration as a predictor of competence and safety.

Google search traffic for “CORGI registered gas engineer” vs “gas safe registered gas engineer” since 2004

screengrab of Google search traffic for gas safe and corgi registered engineers

Expert opinion

Although CORGI still technically exists as a voluntary register, the original website www.trustcorgi.com is no longer online and has been archived. Meanwhile, the register of approved gas engineers accessed via its new website ‘Corgi Services’ appears to be offline (as of 12/09/2019).

Nick Bizley, director of operations at Aspect, believes the confusion is bad for Gas Safe registered gas engineers and potentially dangerous for consumers. “CORGI hasn’t been the official register of gas engineers for ten years now, but our engineers are often asked by customers if they are CORGI registered. And we still receive high volumes of search traffic to our website from people searching for ‘CORGI registered gas engineers’. This tells us that people still believe CORGI is the official watchdog for gas engineers, which obviously isn’t the case.

“It’s a problem for engineers as well as customers. Our engineers take the time to explain that they aren’t CORGI registered, but are Gas Safe registered, but many report that this still causes alarm among customers, especially older ones. And because of this, customers are faced with confusion over who they should trust.

“While CORGI still exists as a voluntary register and commercial services provider, it is not clear how consumers are able to check whether a gas engineer is CORGI registered or not, or how many gas engineers are currently on the register.

“Manufacturers could help consumers here, by including clear advice on their appliances and the associated user-manuals, that only Gas Safe Registered gas engineers are legally allowed to work on them.”

Gas safety fact-sheet

If you’re in any way unsure about selecting a gas engineer, our simple guide should help.

What is the Gas Safe Register?
The Gas Safe Register exists to protect consumers from unsafe work being carried out on gas appliances and to promote awareness of gas safety, especially as it relates to carbon monoxide poisoning.

It’s illegal for anyone who is not on the Gas Safe Register to work on a gas appliance. It is also against the law for a registered gas engineer to carry out gas work for which they are not specifically qualified. The gas engineer’s competencies are listed on the back of their Gas Safe Register ID card.

The Gas Safe Register is operated by a division of Capita PLC, the global outsourcing company.

How can I check if an engineer is Gas Safe registered?
Customers can check if a gas engineer is qualified by noting down their number and checking it against the registrations on the Gas Safe Register website. Customers can also check a business by name to see if it appears in the Register. It’s also possible to search for registered engineers in your area by entering your postcode.

How do gas engineers become Gas Safe registered?
Gas engineers need to have relevant ACS, NVQ or SVQ qualifications. They also must also renew their registration annually and update their qualifications every five years.

What happened to CORGI?
The Council for Registered Gas Installers (CORGI) still exists, but it is now a voluntary register. It was the sole register for gas engineers until 2009 in Great Britain and the Isle of Mann and 2010 in Northern Ireland and Guernsey. It was replaced by the Gas Safe Register as the official gas registration body. The role of official gas registration body is appointed by the relevant health and safety body for each area, typically the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Can a CORGI registered gas engineer work on my appliances?
In theory yes, provided they are also on the Gas Safe Register. According to the Corgi Services website, their members are required to be Gas Safe Registered. A gas engineer that is only registered with CORGI and not on the Gas Safe Register is not legally allowed to work on any domestic gas appliance. If a gas engineer can only show you a CORGI registration card and isn’t able to show that they’re also Gas Safe registered, consult the Gas Safe register website to double-check or contact the Health & Safety Executive for further information.

About the study

*OnePoll surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults on behalf of Aspect, between 10/09/2019 – 12/08/2019. OnePoll are members of the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research and employ members of the Marketing Research Society.