Skip to main content


Volume 403: debated on Thursday 10 April 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) when Transco refused to comply with the HSE and statutory regulation to reassess its engineers, engaged in safety work in domestic premises, to the Approved Competency Standard qualification; [91405](2) on what basis the industry the HSE issued an exemption notice to Transco from the requirement to reassess its engineers qualifications to the approved competency standard; [91404](3) for what reasons an enforcement notice was not served upon Transco by

(a) the HSE, (b) Ofgem and (c) the Secretary of State when Transco refused to fulfill its statutory obligation to reassess its engineers qualification to the Approved Competency Standard. [91402]

I have been asked to reply.I have been informed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that there is no substance to the suggestion that Transco refused to comply with requirements to reassess its engineers. Transco chose rather to take a new route through a national vocational qualification being developed by the appropriate national training organisation, the gas and water industries national training organisation, to align with regard to gas safety requirements, with the nationally accredited certification scheme for individual gas fitting operatives (ACS)In March 1997, Transco was registered with CORGI and all its emergency service operatives were deemed to hold valid certification under the Health and Safety Commission's Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) scheme, the sole means of demonstrating safety competence then in force. As this certification was valid for five years, no action could have been taken against Transco up to March 2002.If Transco were to breach legal requirements in this area, there is a range of enforcement action available to HSE under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974, ranging from the provision of advice to the serving of an enforcement notice and, ultimately, prosecution.