Qualifications

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by ShiftZZ, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    What are the qualifications required to be a Motorhome engineer etc.

    I remember Jim was going to contact someone to find out...

    I for one am confused, "The Approved Workshop Scheme is a joint enterprise between the National Caravan Council, The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravan Club. It is the benchmark for motorhome and touring caravan servicing."

    What training have they gone through, it all sound good, but in reality what is it?

    I know Tofo was a fully trained Gas engineer, you dont get that from spending an afternoon in a classroom. PapaJohn is a fully trained electrical engineer, again, that's not something you get from a 1/2 day course in Hull.
    Chris is a fully qualified solicitor, you do get that from spending large amount of time and money in pubs..:rolleyes:

    Seriously, we the punters are placing our lives in the hands of someone who may not really be qualified to change a bulb, but as always we trust them. I for one would like to know how well trained and qualified they are or are the 'qualifications' just pieces of usless junk they have bee given by some manufacturer for attending a course.

    I wish i knew the answer, the moral is, anyone can and has set themselves up as a Motorhome Engineer, they may be very good and well meaning amateurs, they may we fully trained and professional, or they may well be a disaster waiting to happen, either destroy your van or worse still KILL YOU...

    I suspect its time to change..
     
  2. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    Just checked...
    The CITO 2 day electrical maintenance, test and inspection

    The service technician will cover all relevant aspects of electrical safety, test and inspection; including the following:

    • electrical safety legislation and regulations;
    • protection from electric shock, fire and burns, and the maintenance of safe systems of work;
    • determine circuit protection and understand what to earth and what to bond;
    • inspecting and testing the electrical system of a touring caravan or motorhome;
    • the use of electrical testing equipment; and
    • completing appropriate documentation.
    The course is a combination of classroom based learning and practical work assessment. By the end of the 2 day course, the service technician will be able to demonstrate that he/she can work safely and competently with electrical equipment and systems as appropriate to their work. The course will provide persons with the necessary skills to inspect and test electrical systems, and to issue a condition report. Upon successful completion of the course the service technician will receive a City & Guilds certificate in the Electrical Maintenance of Touring Caravans and Motorhomes.

    The course is suitable for both first time learners and technicians familiar with electrical work. Technicians with previous electrical qualifications should still consider taking this course as the programme is specific to touring caravans and motorhomes, and should be seen as complementary to other previous electrical qualifications. This qualification is a lifetime award and allows the technician to demonstrate that he/she has the necessary skills to work with electrical equipment. However, legislation governing electrical work is continually evolving; it is, therefore, recommended that the technician update his/her qualification on a regular basis (at least every 5 years) in order to keep up to date and to demonstrate awareness and understanding of the regulations as they develop.

    There is progression from this programme to our 2 day LV/ELV Systems and Equipment course. Further information is available on our website or alternatively please do not hesitate to call us.




    Approved Code of Practices (ACoPs) for gas competency

    What does the course cover?
    The service technician will cover all relevant aspects of gas safety, legislation, testing and procedures for their routine work, including the following areas:

    • Gas safety legislation and regulations
    • Characteristics of LPG and combustion
    • Flueing and ventilation requirements
    • Supply and operating pressures
    • Pipe work installation and sizing
    • Inspection, checking and testing of appliances and the soundness of the gas system
    • Gas emergency actions and procedures
    This course should be seen as the minimum standard for anyone working on gas appliances within the caravan industry where Gas Safe registration is not required. This ACoPs qualification is required for membership of the Approved Workshop Scheme.

    Upon successfully completing the training and assessment, the learner will receive a certificate and ID card. The certification lasts for 5 years, after which time the technician must renew their qualification. A technician is not covered by an expired certificate.



    Now that's what you can learn in about 8 days, all of it...

    Tofo 30 years plus training....
    PapaJohn, I bet he is still learning and has been fully trained..
    Chris, still on the Chicken Vindaloo and Cobra Beer, training ongoing....
     
  3. Greenway

    Greenway Funster

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  4. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Engineer shifty is a very loose term, everyone who can operate a spanner or wire a house is classified as an engineer. NVQ is the most over rated qualification possible. An engineer is a status that should only be held by a professional institute member of good degree standard.
    Someone who services a caravan in my mind is not an engineer. This is the reason that engineers in this country have such low standing in the listings. Proper engineers should be on par with doctors solicitors and the like, not a caravan service person or a part P sparky.
     
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  5. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    "Proper engineers should be on par with doctors solicitors and the like"

    A bit harsh there Herr Buttons.

    By the way..."Guten Morgen", any more European genes Non English that we should be aware of ? (Welsh Nation takes a deep breath)
     
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  6. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Is it any different to any car repair garage? You hope they have trained people, our garage has various certificates hanging on the walls, which is reassuring but you also get one-man outfits where I suspect the guy is more or less self-taught.

    This approved workshop scheme sounds like a step in the right direction. The inference is that before it you had no way of telling if a company had any sort of demonstrated expertise.

    The downside of making it a requirement for more stringent qualifications is the cost to the customer will go up.

    However, I would try and go on personal recommendations if trying to find a motorhome engineer.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    I did my apprenticeship and got qualifications from that = higher nationals or something --never had to show them for any job :) so not a lot of use :DOur first job out of apprenticeship the foreman said you two are awfully young are you sure you know what your doing ?Get in that house there and do the second fix and I will look at it-if OK the jobs yours :DIt's been the same ever since -you have the basic skills get a new job and learn quick or get sacked --only ever been sacked once and that was for chinning the foreman - well did not exactly get sacked as the man I was subbing to simply moved me onto another job :D
    I think I would rather go on recommendations any day than someone with useless qualification,you can either do the job or not (y)
    GAS =easy to check and rectify-see and smell :)
    Water= easy to check and rectify-see and mop up :D
    electrickery ???? get my mate Paul :D although I am sure I could and do know basics, it hurts when you get a shock -=no see no touch :D
    terry
     
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Posted a while back
    http://motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/trust-me-im-an-engineer.57391/


    Same question asked here..

    I posted .. one week a double glazing salesman .. the next a 'motorhome engineer' :RollEyes:

    http://motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/habitation-checks.44516/#post-533273


    the answer is still the same.. an engineer is someone who has gained a professional qualification, the minimum used to be ONC
    I think you can now get them with the
    tops off four Corn Flakes packets.. or a HNC with the Rice Krispies pack tops.

     
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  9. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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    nearest course is over 101 miles away from me outside nottingham.

    as there appears to be only one centre running this course its obviously not very popular
     
  10. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    No one can do everything.. nor should they claim to be qualified in all disciplines..

    If you want LPG work done.. use a Gas Fitter with an LPG ticket.. not just Gas Safe..

    If You need elec 12v work done.. use an auto electrician

    If you need 230v work done.. use a qualified electrician, preferably with the latest IEE Regs ticket.

    If you need body work done.. use a body shop,

    If you need your fridge, water heater fixed.. go to a main dealer.

    If you need a hab check and can't do yourself.. go to someone who has been recommended..
     
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  11. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    DBK, tried that, that's how I got into the mess, the person who suggested the 'engineer' is also now not happy...

    I will now only use people who I know and trust...
    Venture Caravans
    Terry.(y)
    JCMH and Eddie Van Bits both have very good reputations and I suspect have the financial clout to back things up if they went wrong.. When I was in Spain and my boiler leaked, I spoke to Eddie and he gave me sound advice, I would go to Eddie but at the moment its just too far... I have also spoken to Peter at JCMH and again, I have no doubt at all that his staff are fully trained and they have the equipment and the knowledge how to do a good job. The MH industry can rest on the reputation of the work/dealers. The good ones are few and far between.

    I may have some banter with Biggles and No Bits, but at the end of the day its their business and they carry the can.

    DBK, yes the cost may go up, but what price do you pit on your life?
     
  12. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Nicht Herr Shifty my grandfather is traceable back for hundreds of years listed as a Thames Waterman which by the way required a seven seven year apprenticeship before qualifying. My own father also followed his tradition.
     
  13. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I employ qualified people, I personally have no formal qualifications, yet, since doing this job since 1988 many companies refer to me for opinion and product evaluation.

    In 1997 I was invited to write the Code of Practice for Leisure Vehicles by Rosemary Younger, Director of the VSIB (Vehicle Security Installation Board)

    I have many time been consulted by MIRRC (Motor Industry Repair & Research Centre) AKA Thatcham and sat on the consultation body, at Thatcham HQ regarding the demise of the VSIB and the formation and structure of the Thatcham Recognised Installers Scheme (TRI)

    Many moons ago during a conversation between Van Bitz and a well known National supplier's technical department, I overheard Dave, our Workshop manager politely point out that that hands in the pictures of the "recommended installation guide" were in fact his and mine, so "yes" we had read the instructions lol

    No one is too old to learn, but there has been nothing "new" invented that would require mine or my team to "retrain" so we are happy to attend the odd manufactures training course, but frankly most of those are a jolly, with much eating, drinking and quad biking taking place, rather than in depth training.

    Trackstar took 20 of us to Palma Majorca in 2003 and spent (allegedly) £60K on us in five days, which was great but how that qualified as a "business trip" is beyond me. And Pioneer, Nick has just reminded me did a "product training" trip, where they flew him to Vegas to attend "SEMA" In Vegas, So no jolly there lol

    As for the current raft of qualifications, who polices the manufacturers? have we seen a massive hike in customer satisfaction in recent years? as the answer to that is no, so we assume that the problem lies there as well.

    There was a Company called Transleisure that were awful. They went bust in different guises but in essence their customer service was appalling and their installation work swung from great to atrocious. Customers that complained would often just be sworn at. However, they took great pride and made a huge deal about the fact that they had been granted BS5750 (it may have been the newer ISO9000)

    Yet, certification does not make a statement of competence about the business it's self, purely that what the business does is traceable and it does consistently. IE: You can be crap at looking after your customers, but so long as you have "traceability of components" and your paperwork trail is consistent, you can boast about your business being awarded ISO9000 certification. It beggars belief.

    There are still huge problems in the car industry but things are better. One of my closest friends, worked for a major Asian car manufacturer at a very senior level. They had a "clean room" manufacturing plant that was bespoke and cost millions, yet, they still were getting manufacturing problems. After lot of issues, Mike (my friend) was flown out to inspect the whole plant. Cut a long story short, they we're scrupulous about the staff, equipment and materials that went in through the "front" of the manufacturing plant, even to the point of air locks etc, but finished cars were just being driven out to the lot of massive open doors at the "end" of the line, allowing all sorts of dust contamination into the whole "clean" factory"

    So, there are issues in the, by comparison "massive" car industry, an industry that must be worth Billions and billions, when you take into account second hand sales, parts, service repairs in addition to all of the new cars sold, so in comparison to the motorhome industry what chance is there of a regulated, Policed professional organisation?

    Also what would you Police? Ultimately go to a campsite and look at a tent! You'll see a gas bottle, with a "Y" piece allowing a gas hob and a BBQ to be used, and extension lead, powering a fridge and, perhaps a battery charger for lights and a sound system/TV

    Now think what exactly is a motorhome? it is a metal tent (albeit an expensive one ;-) You can describe the electrics as much as you wish, but ultimately we are plugging some electrical items into an extension lead! Your hook up lead is simply an extension lead. So what would we regulate there?

    Your gas system, is number of items running off of a portable gas canister. Regulate that and next, you'll need a certificate to change a gas bottle over.

    The fresh water system? same again, your pumping water around, from a tank that you have filed earlier .

    What is the solution? I personally don't know, do we need more regulation for the sake of it? no, would it make us safer? No I don't think so. The reason that I don't think so is that having attended these types of courses over the years they're self conflicting.

    If the "trainers" (remember, those that can "do" Those that "can't" teach! (Not my words, so don't shoot the messenger) fail too many on a course, the employers (those that pay for the course, ergo the trainers salaries) won't support the course, it whither and dies. So it is a conflict of interest, in that If I pay some one to train my staff and then fail them, I can only believe that the quality of the training is poor. So there is undue pressure to pass a high percentage, if not all of the attendee's

    I know in academia, this isn't the case, but in private/professional vocational training schemes there is a direct correlation, between finance and success.

    Also seeing the complete lack of comprehension on the faces of some that have attending courses, and listening to the questions asked, making it 100% obvious that they haven't a clue what's being discussed, I am sat here trying to think of an example where anyone has failed. Sadly I cannot think of one

    About five years ago, I was discussing with META my alarm supplier a new scheme that was being discussed for Quality Control in the industry. It was being mooted that the larger manufacturers should use their own "technical" teams to inspect and police a percentage of the marques installations. This sounds great in principle, but again a massive conflict of interest, given that Van Bitz are Meta UK's largest single customer! In practice Van Bitz are all for improving the industry, but if we didn't care, it wouldn't be our suppliers taking us to task.

    Eddie
     
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  14. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Individually, as mere punters, we are also lacking a vital qualification - the ability to assess a service supplier in advance. Generally, we can't even assess them in retrospect either, unless something has gone obviously or disastrously wrong.

    However, put us all together & pool our experiences & certain suppliers rise to the top. Anyone who follows this forum has a short list of half a dozen suppliers who they know give good service at a fair price. They also have a second short list of members who they know give good advice.

    It's the old cliche - you can't fool all of the people all of the time. FUN is getting to be a pretty good approximation to 'all of the people'.
     
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  15. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    I used to have a full had service every year, a couple of years back I droped my van off to a local service agent. They were just locking up and every body left form home, I know this because I got a lift back by them. They dont start work till 8am ( and I doubt they start on time) by 9:15 I was called to be told "all done" . The time I used the van after was a few days later, the shower wasnt working (faulty non return valve) and the charger wasnt working, I now have bought my own damp meter and learned how to use it myself and do my own hab checking
     
  16. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    My boss has numerous degree's and honours with letters after his name in various electrical and electronics fields.

    Makes no difference....he's still a tw@t.
     
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  17. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    He must have at least one good point though John doesn't he?













    He did employ you :D
     
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  18. tofo

    tofo Funster

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    Whilst I will agree about gas leaks
    Easy to detect if you have a sense of smell
    And know what you are smelling

    (. Bearing in mind natural gas is transported
    Via high pressure pipelines without smell
    Until it joins a local distribution zone )
    Where a man made smell is introduced

    LPG has a distinct smell of its own
    Similar to the smell near an oil refinery


    The problem comes when the products of combustion
    Or the fumes if you will ,are emitted
    If you have everything correct flueing ventilation
    Flame picture correct
    no problem

    If not you can get carbon monoxide emitted
    Which has no smell and is called the silent killer
    For good reason .

    I personally had to attend 2 premises where this had occurred
    Not pleasent
    deeply upsetting to be truthfull
    The one that sticks in my mind

    The gent in the house had asked a corgi engineer
    ( that was the name used in 1990) to service the boiler
    As the storey goes the engineer called and checked the boiler
    Said call back Monday to do it

    I was called out Sunday late afternoon
    To a gas escape
    On arrival police and ambulance on site
    Sgt asked me what was needed
    Only thing at that time was
    disconnect at the emergency control valve
    Cap it label it so it wasn't a danger to any one else

    Then the Sargent wanted the boiler removed for forensic checks
    I then informed her of a problem if the boiler is removed
    You have no evidence .
    It must be left in situ till HSE have completed an investigation
    I believe the engineer was imprisoned for a while

    The moving thing for me was the meter
    Was in a small cupboard next to a settee
    Upon which the lady of the house sat
    With her hand still resting on her Labradors Head
    as if she was stroking it
    I still shed a tear at the thought even now


    So in essence if your not sure of your capability
    Please find a good Plumber spark or gas man
    To do it for you

    As my qualification has been expired 3 years
    And my last exam for qualification was 8 years ago
    As far as I am concerned I will have to employ an engineer
    To change the boiler in our new house when required

    A yellow flame requires attention failure to do is
    A funeral waiting sorry

    Yellow flame is a lack of oxygen
     
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  19. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I do everything myself from hanging paper to brain surgery and I've never had reason to complain of shoddy work or price :LOL:
     
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  20. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    Well, I have a boat driver's licence, better known as a ticket.


    .........and about as much use as an old one from the movies. No longer worth the cardboard it is written on as it was not re validated in 1988!
     

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