Professionals operating in the specialist ground gas sector have been given a boost after a bespoke qualification – developed specifically for the sector – has been registered for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).
The ‘Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Verification of Ground Gas Protection Systems’, administered by the Property Care Association (PCA) for the last two years, has been registered for a Gold Skilled Card – with the occupation title of Ground Gas Protection Validator.
According to the PCA, the registration represents a significant step forward in recognising the value, skills and professionalism of the industry.
Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA (pictured), said: “This is a first for the sector. Up to this point, ground gas verifiers would only be able to gain a CSCS card through a qualification unrelated to their role and, as a result, it would not have indicated their actual qualification or specific skill.
“The importance of this card must not be underestimated. It gives the owner of this qualification the ability to go onto sites with proof that correctly identifies them as a ground gas verifier.
“Independent testing and verification of Ground Gas installations is an important and valuable role, where a high-quality install is imperative.”
The ‘Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Verification of Ground Gas Protection Systems’ is aimed at experienced specialists who wish to become third-party verifiers of gas proof membrane installation.
It is designed for experienced practitioners, who are active in planning, implementing, and reporting verification processes, or, occupationally experienced in gas membrane installation and workplace supervision in the ground gas sector.
Last year, the PCA developed a specialist section of membership, the Ground Gas Protection Group, to support industry specialists within the sector with a range of services – and signpost specifiers to experts in the field who meet the Association’s stringent membership criteria.
Services being delivered for the industry include technical guidance, training and the sharing of best practice, as well as work on an industry generated Code of Practice to complement existing standards.
Steve Hodgson added: “We are seeing ground gas protection come increasingly under the radar. Contributing factors include changes in legislation driven by the Environment Agency, as well as a greater demand for the development of land which might be potentially contaminated and needs a level of protection from gases generated in the ground, including radon, methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and VOCs.
“The group’s aim is to create a resource where professionals and homeowners can find qualified, skilled and experienced experts who specialise in ground gas protection.
“We are also developing the resources to inform a wider audience of the need to understand and manage the challenges associated with harmful ground gases.
“Membership criteria has been published and a number of ground gas verification and installation companies as well as product suppliers, have already joined the group.
“As a result, there is now a means of finding vetted and approved experts, which can be accessed by anyone looking for a ground gas specialist to help with any project.”
The PCA, which this year celebrates its 90th anniversary, has a synergy with the ground gas sector, with membrane technology utilised by its specialist waterproofing membership and damp proofing specialists.
Rising flood tables, which can displace ground gases, are also understood as a result of PCA members’ work in flood recovery and remediation.
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