A leading industry trade association has threatened to pull out of CORGI, the gas safety body, after accusing it of acting beyond its authority

The Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association warned last week that either it or its individual members could withdraw from the government-run scheme if it continues to expand its influence.

Robert Higgs, HVCA director, said: “We have tried to restrain CORGI, but have had very limited success so far. I would suggest that ourselves and our contractors are so disillusioned and angry at the situation that we would be prepared to withdraw.”

Fulfilment of the threat would dramatically cut the number of companies legally allowed to attach products to the UK’s gas supply.

Last autumn, CORGI tried to change its articles of association to give it a remit beyond gas safety. The move was narrowly defeated in a meeting, but the HVCA saw it as the beginning of a turf war.

Our contractors are so disillusioned and angry that we are prepared to withdraw

Robert Higgs, HVCA director

CORGI also recently required registered installers to inform the body of all installations, and to pay a small fixed charge for each.

Higgs emphasised that quitting the scheme could have strong consequences for the firms involved. He said: “It is not a decision that would be taken lightly. To install gas products, companies must be registered to CORGI so withdrawal would need to be worth the impact on profits. But something has to be done to stop the government’s cavalier attitude towards the sector.”

CORGI issued the following statement. “We are currently in dialogue with a small group of members, including the HVCA, to discuss concerns raised recently regarding some of CORGI's activities and the impact this may have on our ability to effectively satisfy our remit as the gas safety registration body. We have been keen to openly discuss these concerns and reassure all concerned that CORGI's priority remains focused on gas safety.”