We resume our consumer pieces with good wishes to you and your families for 2020.
It is no secret that economically each of us is under huge pressure. Our government is stymied as how to handle our woes and rubbish continues to reach our shores and stores courtesy of Department of Trade & Industry. Couple that with an alarming increase in people claiming to do plumbing and plumbers whose work is not to build a business but just to live on a day to day basis by offering cut throat prices.
It is just not sustainable and the consumer is the one that gets caught up in the cheap and nasty product and installation cycle.
OK, new Year’s resolutions are a crock but commit to one thing this year, buy good, approved and long lasting product and use qualified plumbers, some of whom are members of the Institute of Plumbing and some registered with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board. It will cost more but by doing it this way you protect your family, you buy well and long lasting product and services and gain a trouble free life.
So how come if things are so tight can you afford to pay more. Simple, start from now – save some cash for the unexpected, the emergency fund. We know that blocked drains and burst pipes do not give notice they are going block or burst and if unprepared financially that is where the trouble starts. Remember we spoke of risk management sometime last year. This is now another form of risk management – manage the unexpected and you can then know you are getting a job done properly.
Price just cannot be king anymore only QUALITY!
1. Have Numbers of Emergency Plumbers on speed dial
Firstly, find numbers of three local, IOPSA registered plumbers that are offering call outs over Christmas. This exercise doesn’t pre-empt an emergency, but simply helps you be prepared should you find yourself in a crappy situation (pun intended).
2. Supply a bin in the bathroom
Make sure all toilets have a bin so that guests can dispose of sanitary items. If you don’t offer a bin, guess where your guests will place their items? Prevent a blockage by providing a bin so guests can dispose of unwanted items discreetly.
3. Use your sink strainer when rinsing plates
If you have an old sink, sink strainers can be purchased from a homeware store. Alternatively, place your colander over the sink waste and it will catch the food that you rinse off your plates. Place these scraps into the bin.
4. Don’t pour fats down the sink
Don’t pour fats or oils down your sink as they have the potential to clog your pipes. Place the trays in a place where the oils and fats can solidify and then scrape them into the bin.
5. Check your storm water drain
Check outside that your storm water drain is not covered up by leaves or kids toys. An open storm water drain will allow the water to drain from our property easily, rather than flooding your property
6. Locate where to turn the water off to your house
Get knowledgeable about where to turn your water off to your house. In the event of unexpected leak, turn off the water at the meter and contact an IOPSA Registered plumber.
8. Buy a plunger
Keep a plunger on hand for simple blockages. A plunger is best for all circumstances.
Keep the toilets well stocked with toilet rolls, a toilet brush, toilet spray, toilet cleaner and a diffuser to camouflage any smells.
With that said, we hope you all have the most amazing Christmas Day with your family and friends. If the unexpected happens, just go with the flow and remember you will most likely laugh about it next Christmas.
Find an IOPSA Registered plumber on www.iopsa.org.za
The Institute of Plumbing SA (IOPSA) has excitedly announced a new benefit for their members!
IOPSA has come to an agreement with Rademeyer Attorneys where they have agreed to offer all IOPSA members their first legal consultation (up to one hour) absolutley FREE! All that IOPSA members need to do in order to take advantage of this amazing offer is to make contact with Rademeyer Attorneys directly and book their appointment.
You can contact them on 011 886 3001 or email@example.com
If you are unsure of what legal services they offer, feel free to have a look at their website www.rademeyer.co.za
The Master Plumber Designation is intended to provide a career progression pathway for professionals within the plumbing industry. The curriculum is targeted primarily at plumbing business owners or plumbers with business responsibility in their organisation. The intention of the Master Plumber designation is to recognise people who are experts in their field, upskill them in areas they may not have had an opportunity to have formal training on previously, and develop them as leaders and role models for the industry. Master candidates are technically excellent already, and this is their opportunity to round out their technical knowledge with additional key skills to help them succeed in all areas of business. As part of this designation, we aim to build a culture of learning and development within the industry, both by providing this opportunity for Masters to continue to upskill themselves, and by equipping them with training and mentoring skills so that they can continue to develop others.
While this course does cover a variety of skills (largely non-technical), it is focused more on application in the real world than on learning theory. The intention of this course is to give Masters an opportunity to consolidate and solidify the knowledge they may have learnt along the way into clear and useful frameworks that they can easily apply in their day to day.
Master Plumbers are intended to be role models, teachers and custodians of the industry, and this course ensures that they play that role effectively and in a well-rounded manner.
In order to get the Master Plumber Programme started, IOPSA and PIRB are providing a financial incentive for an initial cohort of candidates to go through a pilot programme.
The right to offer the Master Plumber Programme to this initial cohort will be awarded to the successful respondent to this RFP.
Click here to Download the RFP
Click here to Download the Curriculum
Running a plumbing business has its unique challenges. Unlike other industries that can target a specific audience or rely on seasonal upticks, you need to reach two distinct markets all year round:
1. The panicked customer with a burst pipe or other emergency who needs to find a nearby plumber ASAP
2. The routine maintenance or install customer, who takes their time to research and compare plumbing companies to find the best fit for their project
To grow your plumbing business, you need marketing strategies to address both types of customer, all while competing in a crowded market. We won’t pretend there’s a one-size-fits-all solution. The good news is, you can start small and still get great results.
What is the starting point to market my plumbing business?
Online marketing is the best place to start because it’s easy to scale; you can reach a wide audience with little cost and effort. Even if you’re just starting your plumbing business and have little to none experience with digital marketing, you can still get started without having to hire an expensive marketing agency.
So what do I do now?
1. Claim your Google Business listing
Search engines such as Google are the first place emergency call-in customers will go to find help. If you want them to find you, you need to set up your Google my Business listing. Setting up your local listing is easy—all you need is your company name, address, and contact info.
2. Create a plumbing website that converts
The second step to being found online is to beef up your online presence. A professional-looking website will increase your visibility and credibility to help you get more leads. The trick is to keep your plumbing website simple, clean and informative so emergency call-in customers can find the information they need, fast.
3. Set up a Facebook page
A professional Facebook page is another way to be found fast. Of all the social media platforms, Facebook has the most users and the most conversion-friendly features. Plus, it’s free, easy to set up and track.
4. Gather and manage online reviews
Positive online reviews are crucial to growing your plumbing business, you’re entering your customers’ home or business, after all, and often in unpleasant or stressful situations. Before they buy from you, they need to trust you. Plumbing businesses with bad reviews will ultimately work against you.
5. Use call-only ads
Put yourself in your emergency customer’s shoes. They don’t have time to research or fill out web forms—they want to speak to a real person who can help them now. If you’re ready to start advertising, try using call-only online ad campaigns. These ads show up only on people’s smartphones and offer direct click-to-call functionality. This is a simple way to target your ad spend straight at the emergency call-out customer at the exact moment they need your services.
6. Create expert plumbing content
Plumbing is a specialized industry, and most consumers don’t know much—if anything—about it. Help your market feel educated and empowered, and you’ll win their trust and their business. The IOPSA & PIRB websites have a wealth of knowledge that you could use as a starting point for this content.
7. Get more leads with work requests
Unlike emergency customers who want to talk to a plumber right away, the research-phase customer will probably want to send a brief description of their project and find out if you can help. In order to win their business, you need a system to respond quickly and professionally to these requests.
Emails aren’t a very good option because it’s easy for them to be lost in your busy inbox or sent to spam. Instead, give your customers the option to create a work request right from your website or social media page.
8. Use customer service as a marketing tool
Advertising and social media are pieces of the marketing puzzle, but excellent customer service is by far the most effective, cost-efficient, and long-term growth strategy for any plumbing business, providing impeccable customer service will help boost good reviews and testimonials which consumers trust.
9. Align yourself with an organization
Aligning yourself with an organization can help market your business in a multitude of ways. Showing on your platforms that you belong to an industry body helps promote professionalism and trust in your business. These organization’s will also market the use of their members over others such as the Institute of Plumbing SA who currently has over 220 customers searching for a plumber on their system EVERY DAY!
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get marketing!
Written by Kaela Wilson
National Marketing Manager - IOPSA
The new National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act 2019, recently signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, means prospective students or job seekers could face up to five years in jail for misrepresenting their qualifications. In short you can be prosecuted for saying you are a QUALIFIED Plumber if you do NOT hold a recognized SAQA Plumbing qualification.
Below are a few key points mentioned in the government gazette:
Act No. 12 of 2019: National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act, 2019
32B. (1) A person is guilty of an offence if the person—
(3) A person is guilty of an offence, if such a person falsely or fraudulently claims to be holding a qualiﬁcation or part-qualiﬁcation registered on the NQF or awarded by an education institution, skills development provider, QC or obtained from a lawfully recognised foreign institution.
(4) Any person, education institution, skills development provider, foreign institution is guilty of an offence if it falsely claims to be registered and accredited as an education institution, skills development provider or foreign institution in terms of the laws of the Republic or foreign law.
(5) If a person, education institution its directors or board, a foreign institution its agents or directors or board, or a skills development provider is convicted of any offence under this Act, the court that imposes the sentence shall consider as an aggravating factor the fact that the offence was—
(a) committed with the intent to gain ﬁnancially, or to receive any favour, beneﬁt, reward, compensation or any other advantage; or
(b) gained ﬁnancially, or received any favour, beneﬁt, reward, compensation or any other advantage.
(6)Any person convicted of an offence in terms of this Act, is liable, in the case of a contravention of sections32B(1),32B(2),32B(3)or32B(4)to a ﬁne or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding ﬁve years, or to both a ﬁne and such imprisonment.
For the official government gazette click here
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
There is more to the NQF Amendment Act than just criminalising lying on CVs
12 September 2019
There is more to the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Amendment Act, No 12 of 2019 than just criminalising qualifications fraud and lying about qualifications on CVs. Signed by the
President on 13 August 2019 and published on 19 August 2019, the NQF Amendment Act tightens the legal requirements and strengthens the hands of NQF bodies to inspire confidence in the education and training system.
For example, skills development providers now need to be registered by the Department of Higher Education and Training, which was not the case in the NQF Act of 2008. Private providers are also required to be registered. The Amendment Act also brings with it some new and revised definitions aimed at strengthening the legislation so that there is effective implementation of the NQF. For instance, it introduces the definition of authenticity concerning a national and foreign qualification and part-qualification.
On the one hand, an authentic national or South African qualification or part-qualification
a) Registered on the NQF;
b) Offered by a registered and accredited education institution or skills development
c) Lawfully obtained.
On the other hand, an authentic foreign qualification or part-qualification must be lawfully obtained from a foreign country and evaluated by SAQA.
If all education institutions and skills development providers are registered and accredited, and offer NQF-registered qualifications and part-qualifications, learners will have genuine qualifications. Education institutions and skills development providers that are not registered or accredited or offer qualifications and part-qualifications not registered on the NQF will face closure. Such institutions may also be declared unfit to apply for registration for a period not exceeding ten years. Similarly, those found guilty of qualifications fraud will be liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment.
Also, the Amendment Act makes provision for the establishment of separate registers of misrepresented and fraudulent qualifications and part-qualifications. To ensure fairness and transparency in dealing with cases of misrepresented and fraudulent qualifications and partqualifications, SAQA will follow the provisions of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act,
No 3 of 2000.
The NQF Amendment Act also gives SAQA the legal responsibility to verify all national qualifications and part-qualifications. Employers, government departments, education and training institutions (both public and private), and professional bodies must first check if their employees or members’ qualifications are registered on the NQF. If the qualifications are not registered, they can refer them to SAQA for verification. Similarly, South Africans and foreign nationals who have obtained qualifications and part-qualifications from other countries must also have their qualifications and part-qualifications verified and evaluated by SAQA.
South Africa needs an effective education and training system where the movement between general and further education, higher education as well as occupational qualifications and the world of work is seamless. The NQF Amendment Act aims to realise this by ensuring there is a unified implementation of the NQF by SAQA and the Quality Councils. To this end, it compels SAQA and the Quality Councils to work together to ensure that the NQF works for the people of South Africa.
The NQF Amendment Act also amplifies the role of the National Learners’ Records Database (NLRD) to include a separate register for professional designations. The NLRD will also have records of qualification and part-qualification requirements and other related information, including details of education institutions and Quality Councils that awarded the qualifications and part-qualifications. It will also contain information about registration, verification and accreditation. The critical status given to the NLRD will protect the public against the claims from legitimate providers that they are offering registered qualifications when they are not.
An education and training system that is of quality has mechanisms embedded in it that deter misrepresentation of qualifications as well as qualifications fraud. However, misrepresentation and qualifications fraud are neither the only focus nor the sole purpose of a quality education system.
Ultimately, the NQF Amendment Act aims to protect the integrity of the South African education and training system and to address some of the challenges in the system. As envisaged by the NQF, such a system contributes to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the nation at large.
While the NQF Amendment Act was signed on 13 August 2019 and published for general information on 19 August 2019, it will only come into effect on a date that will be determined by the President. SAQA is ready and looks forward to implementing the amendments in their entirety for the betterment of our education and training system.
Issued by: SAQA
Enquiries: Joe Samuels, SAQA CEO
Contact details: 012 431 5001 or 082 833 1271 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the original release here
On the 25th of August 2019 the Institute of Plumbing SA turned 30 years old! To celebrate this momentous occasion they gave away prizes in a social media competition, to enter all you had to do was like their birthday post and comment with a birthday wish.
And the winners are:
Duncan Stuart Keil - 1 Year FREE IOPSA Membership
Adrian Whitehouse - Solar course valued at R1980.00
Alpha Plumbing - 10 FREE PIRB Certificates of Compliance
Calvin Muggs - 1 year free Plumbing Africa & SA Affordable housing subscription
Carike Nel du Buson - 10 FREE PIRB Certificates of Compliance
Carl Smit - 1 year free Plumbing Africa & SA Affordable housing subscription
Collen Chikaka - 10 FREE PIRB Certificates of Compliance
David Gary Smith - 1 year free Plumbing Africa & SA Affordable housing subscription
Emsie Geldenhuys - 1 year free Plumbing Africa & SA Affordable housing subscription
Keegan Ashley Martin - 1 year free Plumbing Africa & SA Affordable housing subscription
Kgopa Phaswane - 1 year free Plumbing Africa & SA Affordable housing subscription
Mncedise Sangweni Ngwane - 1 year free Plumbing Africa & SA Affordable housing subscription
Morne Mo Landman - Heat Pump webinar course valuded at R1335.00
Ryan Kumar - 1 year free Plumbing Africa & SA Affordable housing subscription
Sibongiseni Mabhuti Ntunja - Plumblink Shower Rose and arm
Leon Swanepoel - 1 year free Plumbing Africa & SA Affordable housing subscription
Plumbsol Plumbing - Plumblink Shower rose and arm
Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to everyone for all the amazing birthday wishes we received! All winners will be contacted directly in regards to their prize.
As a homeowner you do carry risk in almost if not every part of your home. Therefore you need to minimise that risk to ensure the safety and health of your family, friends and all visiting your home.
One the potentially biggest risks is plumbing or more so plumbing not correctly done.
The World Plumbing Council (WPC) of which the Institute of Plumbing of SA (IOPSA) is a member promotes four simple principles for the plumbers and it works just as well for consumers.
Known as the Four Pillars of Plumbing which are;
PRACTICES: this relates to compulsory standards, regulations and accountability. Plumbing is heavily regulated for the purpose of seeing that design and installations are done to protect health, safety of consumers and the environment. The accountability of the plumber is to ensure that he/she is correctly qualified, offers added value by their registration with a professional body (giving you recourse) and installs according to standards as well as using product approved by a recognised certification body. Membership of a voluntary association like IOPSA is an added benefit to reduce risk and provide you with comfort.
PRODUCTS: must be of quality accepted by the recognised SA National Standard. Inferior and sub standard products increase your risk of disease and is hazardous to safety. Indeed, these products will cost more as more is invested in their manufacture and ongoing process of ensuring manufacturing maintains its quality. Besides a cheap product will be replaced many times more than a quality one – so buy quality first and be hassle free. Also if there are problems with quality products the manufacturer will stand by the guarantee/warranty.
“Goedkoop is Deurkoop” is good to remember.
PROTECTION: sadly even the best installation or product can fault. As stated earlier quality and recognised product and manufacturer will stand by their reputation. Equally so will a qualified plumber and you have recourse to the professional body (Plumbing Industry Registration Board) and IOPSA.
PARTICIPATION: this is the pillar that grows the plumbing industry with qualified plumbers and being part of the process of providing safe water to all – a basic human right. As a consumer you can be part of the participatory process by NOT employing unqualified people and using only qualified plumbers. Again, Goedkoop is Deurkoop, and when using an unqualified person your RISK INCREASES and you endanger the lives of all on your premises.
No amount of public liability will cover the death of people when your geyser explodes, a potential bomb, when installed incorrectly. And husbands please leave plumbing to the plumbers. It usually ends up costing more -ask me I know!
Both IOPSA and PIRB will assist when you need a plumber or word of month is also a good reference.
Question for you: how is you risk management now?
Simply put there are two kinds of plumbers – one you can rely on and you will have no need to call back to fix the job he had ‘originally fixed’ or the one who charges incredibly low prices, is not qualified as a “plumber” and will rip you off if you can get hold of them after they have messed up your plumbing job. There is a third one but is not the plumber but the husband/DIYer that thinks plumbing is easy. Once finished they must call in the qualified plumber to a - repair the mess created by the DIYer and then b - fix the plumbing problem!
Let’s get rid of the negatives first.
The unqualified plumber cares or knows nothing about your health and safety that he/she is responsible for. YES the plumber is responsible for health and safety and that of you and your family. They know nothing about the disease that is caused by incorrect plumbing, water pressure, hydraulics and the damage that boiling hot water can do to you. He just wants your money and runs to catch another consumer who also works on price only.
So if you work on price alone you are your own worst enemy.
Lets look at the positives;
You must pay a fair price for work to be done according to the plumbing regulations that are compulsory by a qualified plumber. A plumber is not an idiot who could not get a degree but a skilled craftsman with knowledge learned over three or four years under the guidance and direction of an experienced plumber. He/she therefore is entitled to ask a fair price for work done. The regulations ensure that he/she does the work according to tried and tested methods that are continually improving as materials become more sophisticated.
Such a plumber will show you his qualification by virtue of his/her membership of voluntary body like the Institute of Plumbing SA (IOPSA) and/or the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB)
These are voluntary bodies so common sense does show that plumbers and plumbing companies are prepared to put their reputations on the line. Because some qualified plumbers choose not to belong to such voluntary bodies does not make them poor but one needs to check their qualification.
MORAL: don’t skimp on the HEALTH & SAFETY of you and your family – it is not just unblocking a drain but moving away waste that can, if allowed to linger longer, will cause disease to spread. Even the installation of a ‘geyser’ or hot water storage vessel must be done correctly, failing which it could explode and cause untold damage and death.
PAY YOUR PARTNER IN HEALTH & SAFETY -THE PLUMBER – TO DO THE BEST JOB WITH THE BEST PRODUCTS.
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