Questions

Q: What will PIRB do for me?
A: The PIRB’s mandate is to provide a mechanism to register qualified individuals to do work in the plumbing industry. The PIRB further monitor compliance to technical standards of plumbing work through professional industry plumbing auditors and thereby assisting authorized local and central government bodies with the enforcement of pluming compliance. Promote plumbing practices that protect the environment, the health and safety of consumers; and the integrity and sustainability of the water supply, wastewater, hot water heating and solar water heating systems; through the application and enforcement of South African National Standards and Codes of Practice.

Q: How do I register with the PIRB?
A: To register complete the downloadable or the online application form (www.pirb.co.za), meet the relevant requirements and return it to PIRB at registration@pirb.co.za”; Registration process takes 15 working days provided that the application is completed correctly; all documentation is submitted and the registration fees are paid. If your application is incomplete or documentation is incomplete your application process will be put on hold until such time that you have corrected the problem.

Q: How much is plumber registration?
A: Current Plumber registration costs R439.00 (incl vat)- If applying for Licensed or Qualified Plumber Category and R285.00 (incl vat) – If applying for any other Categories. (Registration fees is subject to change)

Q: What is the difference between a Licensed plumber and a Qualified plumber?
A: Person applying for registration under the Licensed Plumber Category and the Qualified plumbers Category should have passed the relevant trade test as specified in the Manpower training act section 28 or 13 and/or have obtained a plumber qualification in terms of the Skills Development Act. The problem however arises that currently many qualified plumbers do not know or understand the laws, regulations and standards that govern the installation of plumbing works and this leads to poor installations which results in health and safety issues for the consumer and the strain that poor installations put on our water and sewage systems.
In saying this how could the PIRB issue Plumbing Certificates of Compliance to qualified plumbers who do not understand the plumbing laws, regulations or standards let alone qualified plumbers who are unable to read or write. The integrity of the PIRB’s Plumbing Certificate of Compliance will be totally compromised if this was done. It was for this reason a Licensed Plumber was created. To obtain this category of registration the qualified plumber must obtain the updated copies of the SANS standards and bylaws; SANS 10252 – 1(2012), SANS 10254 (2012), SANS 10106 (2006), SANS 1307 (2012), SANS 1352 (2012), SANS 10400- P, W, R, S, T would be required to sit an open book theory assessment within 12 months after been registered on this category. Only Licensed Plumbers may purchase and issue certificates of compliance.

Q: I have lost my Qualification documents/certificate, can I still register?
A: If you have lost your certificate you may still register. Just forward a covering letter with your application form explaining the situation. It must however be noted that even though you have lost your actual certificate the PIRB will still have to verify that you have obtained the qualification.

Q: I have sent in my qualification and it is not accepted by the PIRB, why is this?
A: The PIRB does not accept or recognise any plumbing qualifications outside of the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Further, the PIRB will verify the authenticity of the qualification with the relevant authorisation body. If the qualification cannot be verified, the application will need to make the necessary arrangements make the necessary arrangements with the relevant authorisation body or training provider.

Q: Do you accept a foreign plumbing qualification?
A: A18 of SANS 10400 national regulations clearly state that “No person shall perform the trade of plumbing unless he is a trained plumber, (according to the Manpower training act section 28 or 13 or in terms of the Skills Development Act)”. If you did not train as a plumber and/or achieved your qualification in South Africa legally you cannot operate as a “qualified” plumber in South Africa. It does not mean you are not a competent plumber; it is just a matter of legalising the process within South Africa and giving you the recognition for previous learning. This process is known as RPL (recognition of prior learning).

Q: What is RPL?
A: The RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) is a process of your plumbing ability assessed against the South African plumbing qualification. Until you have your South African qualification you will not be able to register with the PIRB under the category of Licensed or Qualified Plumber, however you can register as a Learner Plumber. Contact your local accredited training provider that offers RPL.

Q: What is Solar (Qualified) Installer registration?
A: This is an accredited up-skilling component of the plumbing qualification. To obtain the PIRB registration category of a Solar (Qualified) Installer you must first have qualified as a plumber and then have obtain and passed the full SAQA (South African Qualification Authority) (www.saqa.org.za) National Unit standard: Install and maintain Solar Heating Systems (Unit Standard id no: 244499); Or The SAQA National Skills program: Install and maintain Solar Heating Systems (Id no: SP/FETC/PLU/4/E/1/10); The relevant solar courses are fully accredited in terms of the National Qualification Framework, and can only be offered by an accredited training institute who offer the training. It must be noted that currently no courses offered by a manufacturer/distributor/suppliers (i.e. product training and/or installation courses) are accredited. So before commencing on any solar course (other than relevant product training) ask the question if the course is accredited in terms of the National Qualification Framework and if the training provider is accredited to offer the course.

Q: Can my company use the PIRB LOGO?
A: PIRB registration is the registration of an individual. Therefore the registration/approval is linked to an individual and not a company. Even though your intentions are good by displaying the logo on your vehicle, by using PIRB’s company letter head and marketing elements denotes that the company is registered with PIRB, which is not the case. Similarly by displaying the logo on a vehicle you are denoting that all persons in that vehicle are register with PIRB which in all most likely is not the case. Each registered member is issued with a personal PIRB ID Card, which may be used as proof of your registration. You may however denote your PIRB registration number and category (ies).

Q: Where can I find an accredited training provider?
A: a List of accredited training providers can be found on Ceta’s website: http://www.ceta.org.za/. For any further training related enquiries please contact IOPSA.

Q: What is the difference between the PIRB and IOPSA?
A: PIRB in a manner of speaking is the child of IOPSA. IOPSA membership funds paid for the establishment and development of the PIRB not only for IOPSA’s own members but unselfishly for the Plumbing Industry in South Africa. While PIRB and IOPSA have similar goals and objectives they operate on completely different mandates. The PIRB’s mandate is to provide a mechanism to register persons working or qualified to do work in the plumbing industry on various categories of the PIRB and further provides an inspection process through the Plumbing Certificate of Compliance, to enforce plumbing standards and regulations. PIRB do not host plumber evenings, they do not issue a free magazine, they do not have representation on the various bodies such as CETA, SABS, JASWIC etc., they do not have various consumer and plumber advise services and they do not have regional representation. This is partly what IOPSA does and this can further be seen in the fact that IOPSA’s yearly membership fees are considerably more than that of the PIRB. Three of the management committee members of the PIRB are full board members of IOPSA and as result of this IOPSA have a full and direct bearing of the PIRB affairs. It must further be noted that the constitution of the PIRB states that four of the nine board members shall be that of Plumbing Employers or Employee representatives while the rest is made up of Plumbing Merchants, Plumbing Manufactures, Plumbing Vocational Educators, and 2 representatives from government. The point here it is that the majority of board representation is the Plumber(s) and it is through this representation the policy and direction of the PIRB board is given and driven. Think of it like this, the electricians have an employer’s body or association called the ECA (Electrical Contractors Association) which as a company you may voluntarily join, however to legitimately work in the electrical industry you as a natural person must be registered with the ECB (Electrical Contractors Board). This is a mandatory requirement through the OSH Act. The ECA and the ECB have independent constitutions, independent boards, independent finances etc. and have been running like this for the past 20 years or so. This is how the PIRB and IOPSA are set up and run.

Q: What is a Plumbing Certificate of Compliance (COC)?
A: The Plumbing COC is issued by Licensed plumbers to certify that their plumbing work complies with all regulatory installation requirements. Through this process the Licensed plumber shall take ownership for their plumbing work and be held accountable. The COC is available in a paper format and now in an electronic format as well.

Q: Where can I purchase a COC?
A: COC‘s can be purchased directly from PIRB or selected resellers country wide. Please enquire with PIRB for any more information.

Q: Would the registered plumber issue a Plumbing COC in his personal capacity, or on behalf of the Company?
A: They would be issuing the COC in their personal capacity. Remember A18 of SANS 10400 national regulations clearly states that “No person shall perform the trade of plumbing unless he is a trained plumber”. The regulations refer to a “person” and a “trained plumber” (an individual) and not a company.

Q: What happens if I do not rectify the plumbing work after which I was sent a rectification notice?
A: You will be suspended with PIRB until such time that the plumbing work has been rectified. Once your licensed has been suspended you will not be able to buy or issue certificates of compliance. Reinstatement of your registration after suspension will be subject to the conditions and penalties decided upon by the PIRB review committee.

Q: Do I have the right to disagree with an inspection report that was carried out on my plumbing work?
A: You are entitled to disagree with any inspection report provided that your complaint is put in writing and forwarded to the PIRB’s office on the disagreement form.

Q: How do I cancel a PIRB COC, if I have lost or missed placed the COC?
A: Please be aware that you are responsible for the safe keeping of the COC. If you cannot retrieve the missing documents, an Affidavit is required form the PIRB Plumber stating the coc number (s) and the reason for cancelling the COC. Once the PIRB office has received the Affidavit, then only can the COC(s) be cancelled.

Q: Where can I purchase the Plumbing Certificates of Compliance (COC)?
A: Please note that the PIRB COC can only be purchased by a registered PIRB Licensed plumber through any of the following methods:

Over the counter from a participating PIRB Resellers – please take note that only the registered Plumber with a valid PIRB licenced card can purchase the paper COC.
Directly from the Plumbing Industry Registration Board office. Certificates will be couriered securely to the Licensed Plumber. The cost of the courier services will be for the Licensed Plumber. The Order form can be obtained from the PIRB website www.pirb.co.za or you can request for the order form to be sent to you.
Q: I do not have a Reseller in my area to purchase the Plumbing Certificates of Compliance from and I do not want to pay for the Courier fee?
A: The Plumbing Certificates of Compliance (COC) is now available in an Electronic format. To purchase the Electronic COC, you can download the order form from our website www.pirb.co.za, or request for the order form to be sent to you. The PIRB office will also request a signature form to be completed by the registered Licenced Plumber. Once your order request has been processed, you will be sent a noticed to log on to our website www.pirb.co.za to make use of the electronic COC. An step by step guide will be sent to you once the Electronic COC is available for use.