York College

Industry Insights

Plumbers and heating and ventilating engineers

Up to £32,000

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Cleaners and domestics

Up to £16,000

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Housekeepers and related occupations

Up to £30,000

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Course Length

48 month course.

Role Profile

Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technicians plan, select, install, service, commission and maintain all aspects of plumbing and heating systems. Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technicians can find themselves working inside or outside a property. Customer service skills and being tidy and respectful are important qualities as they can often find themselves working in customers’ homes as well as on building sites. As a competent Plumbing and Heating Technician, the installation of plumbing and heating systems includes accurate measuring, marking, cutting, bending and jointing metallic and non-metallic pipework. Appliances and equipment can include gas, oil and solid fuel boilers as well as pumps, heat emitters, bathroom furniture or controls as part of a cold water, hot water, and central heating or above ground drainage and rainwater systems. It is important for a Plumbing and Heating Technician to be able to work independently or as a team and use their knowledge and skills to ensure that both the system and appliances are appropriately selected and correctly installed, often without any supervision, and done so in a safe, efficient and economical manner to minimise waste.

Typical Job roles

Generic job titles recognised across the industry:

  • Plumber
  • Domestic Heating Engineer
  • Domestic Heating Installer
  • Plumbing and Domestic Heating Installer
  • Plumbing and Domestic Heating Engineer

Entry Requirements

Candidates will have Grade 4/C or higher in Maths and English and must be employed in a relevant role for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Students with international qualifications will need to have them converted, for which there will be a cost, through the national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills (NARIC) website. This is required to confirm they are comparable to UK qualifications at the start of the programme in readiness for gateway and the end point assessment.


Plumbing & Domestic Heating Technician Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard which will include NVQ Level 3 in Plumbing & Heating.

Method of Delivery

Plumbing & Domestic Heating Technician apprentices attend College on a weekly day release and work for their employer the rest of the time. They will work towards the Level 3 NVQ in Plumbing & Heating which they must achieve before they can go forward to the End Point Assessment.

End Point Assessment

The End Point Assessment will comprise of 5 parts:

Multiple choice test

50 questions to be answered within a maximum of 90 minutes

Design project

This will take place over taking 7 hours and building plans are provided to the apprentice with a job specification, manufacturer’s information and data, British Standards and regulations. The apprentice is asked to complete a heating, hot water and cold water design capable of meeting the job specification.

Practical installation test

Apprentices complete the fabrication of a pipework frame, utilising different materials and pipework components with various jointing techniques. The assessment marking criteria will include overall performance and soundness, quality of manufacture and tolerances of ±2mm. This assessment should be completed within 6 hours.

Practical Application test

The apprentice will inspect a pre-installed unvented cylinder, functioning with electrical components and controls. The assessor will make alterations to the system to create faults on various components within the system.

The apprentice is then given 2 hours to identify the faults and repair then re-commission the system. Finally, the apprentice will complete a service on the unvented system, according to manufacturer’s instructions, this will be undertaken within one hour.

Professional discussion

During the end point assessment (EPA) period which is the last 3 months of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will produce a log book which will record the apprentice’s achievements as they progress through the EPA period and should be supplemented with employer testimonies, performance appraisals and timely endorsements of competence from line managers. This will form the basis of the professional discussion with the end point assessor and will last 30 minutes.

Career Progression

By the end of this apprenticeship the candidate will have satisfied the requirements for registration as EngTech by the Engineering Council through The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) and or The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

On completion of the health and safety assessment, as determined, by the assessment plan the candidate will have satisfied the requirements to obtain a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Card through the Joint Industry Board for Plumbing and Mechanical Engineering Services (JIB-PMES) at the appropriate grade.

Apprentices will progress to a wide range of employment opportunities in the workplace. Self-employment or starting a business may also be an option.


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