Legionella Scheme

The Plumbing and Heating Contractors' Alliance, which comprises the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) and the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF), has launched a national Legionella Scheme to ensure compliance with the Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice.

The scheme has been developed to ensure that property owners can meet their legal obligations by using a reputable plumbing company which understands the risks associated with legionella and can implement a risk assessment and carry out remedial action where necessary.

The Health and Safety Executive recently revised its Approved Code of Practice for the control of legionella bacteria, generally referred to as L8. The Code applies to all hot and cold water systems within every property that has a commercial or public use. The updated Code is significant for plumbers as it specifies that a risk assessment for legionella should be carried out by a competent person. Anyone involved in the design or installation of water treatment measures or maintaining water systems must be properly trained to an appropriate standard.

This scheme allows property owners and management companies to meet their obligations by enabling them to quickly and confidently identify qualified plumbing professionals.

The scheme covers the inspection and/or undertaking of remedial work in connection with hot and cold water systems in residential accommodation as defined in the Health and Safety Executive Approved Code of Practice; Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (L8).

Business criteria

Businesses which wish to join the scheme will be required amongst other things to:

  • Employ at least one operative who has met the scheme criteria (see below)
  • Hold professional indemnity insurance of at least £250,000 for the scope of work contained in the ACoP (if they propose to carry out risk assessments)
  • Hold public liability insurance to a value of at least £2million and, where appropriate, employers’ liability insurance
  • Be a member of the WaterSafe scheme
  • Undertake to abide by the scheme code of conduct.

Operative criteria

Operatives must hold:

  • A Plumber, Advanced or Technician Plumber or Heating Engineer or Heating Technician JIB Registration card or such other JIB Registration card as specified
  • A qualification in Water Byelaws/Regulations 
  • A current BPEC Disinfection and Risk Assessment of Domestic Hot Water Storage Systems qualification or equivalent/ and or a current BPEC Risk Assessment of Water Systems qualification or equivalent.

Application process and costs

Application forms for the Legionella Risk Assessment and Disinfection Scheme (Approved Business and Approved Operative) can be downloaded below.

Approved Businesses will pay an annual fee of £100 (plus VAT) if they are a SNIPEF member (£350 plus VAT if a non-member) and Approved Operatives will pay an annual fee of £50 (plus VAT).

Training grants available

SNIPEF currently provides grants to member firms whose operatives complete the BPEC Disinfection and Risk Assessment of Domestic Hot Water Storage Systems (or equivalent) and/or the BPEC Risk Assessment of Water Systems qualification (or equivalent). A grant of £50 is available for each course up to a maximum of £100 per operative. The claim form can be downloaded below.

For more information or assistance, call our Membership Services team on 0131 556 0600.


Download Approved Business application form

Download Approved Operative application form

Download Legionella Scheme Grant claim form

Download a list of training centres offering the Legionella courses in Scotland

Download a list of training centres offering the Legionella courses in Northern Ireland

Download a copy of a fact Sheet on Legionella Risk Assessment & Disinfection Scheme

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