Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association launches scheme for agencies

The Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association (HVCA) is to run a competence scheme for labour agencies.

The association will assess agencies on competence criteria similar to those for members, and agencies who pass will become part of a new Building Services Engineering Alliance.

These agencies will be formerly recognised by the HVCA as reputable for use by members.

HVCA said a pilot scheme had been successful and a full scheme would launch in April.

President John Miller also said the HVCA was still working with the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and SELECT in Scotland to develop a single working rule agreement for the mechanical and electrical sectors.

Miller said the organisations were still discussing the framework for the agreement, but the Joint Industry Board for electrical contractors had “no locus whatsoever as far as the mechanical sector is concerned”.

He said the associations would consult with trade unions in the middle of the year.

The HVCA is also still looking to merge with the ECA. It has sent surveys to members to canvass opinion and the results will be discussed in Spring.

Miller said: “I believe that, taken together, these two initiatives – the combined working rule agreement and the labour agency arrangements – will bring us several important steps closer to achieving a ‘joined up’ approach to the management of industrial relations across building services engineering, and to the development of working practices that will deliver genuine improvements in productivity across the industry.”