Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from AEME is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

CEO Peter Reid
Lifetime achievement award
In 1997, Peter Reid established AEME as a training and
equipment solutions company for the cleaning sector. Fifteen
years prior he had founded Overclean but had begun to realise
that the training provision was inadequate for what he required.
Recently, he has expanded his operations by developing a
5,000-square foot training centre from which he has trained
4,000 people from all over the world. Peter tells the
more about the development of the business.
In 1984, I established Overclean, an organisation focused on cleaning the ducting
that supplied air conditioning into buildings. This was shortly followed by the
emergence of several competitor organisations, but five years later the quality of
work by some was so appalling that I began using a small office to start training
my own personnel. In 1997, I was asked to retrain 40 Swiss chimney sweeps as air
hygiene technicians after they became at risk of being made redundant as a result
of the new pollution standards in Switzerland. By this stage it had become obvious
that the equipment and training offered externally were not up to the necessary
standards, so I decided to set up AEME to provide both training and equipment.
Raising standards through training
After establishing the business, I wrote the training manuals covering indoor air
quality, kitchen extract cleaning, risk assessment and fire damper testing. Over
the next 20 years, aware of my own limitations and realising that one-day training
courses were not rigorous enough in their approach, I undertook two years of
»CEO: Peter Reid
»Founded in 1997
»Based in Devon
»Services: CITBNI fire and
smoke damper testing and
inspecting CPD, kitchen
extract cleaning courses CPD,
risk assessment courses, IAQ
ductwork cleaning courses
»No. of employees: 8
Highlighting best practice
training to hone my skills. In July
1999, I became certified under OCR to
design training and development, and
in November 2000 I was certified to
assess individuals for completion and
to evaluate their training standards.
During the following years I was a
major contributor to the HVCA, later
becoming BESA in the TR17 and TR19
guidance documents and the green
book training manual. At the time, I
was heavily criticised for training the
competition, but I felt this was unfair. I
was training the ambassadors, so that
the UK could lead the world in indoor
air quality standards, and between
2003 and 2013 ours was the course
recommended by BESA. Aware of
the need to have outside registration
and certifications, I set about getting
CITB registered approved courses and
in 2007 my first course was certified.
This was followed in September 2012
by my second risk assessment course
also receiving approval. In 2013, CITB
courses were changed to CITB NI, and
in June 2016 I gained registration for
our fire damper course.
Drive for continual
In 2018, we gained CPD certifications
for the kitchen extract course followed
by the fire damper course. Aware that
we needed to expand coverage for
AEME training courses, we decided to
partner with PSS in Stirling and DCUK
FM in Hertfordshire to supply truly
national coverage for our courses.
We are currently in negotiations to
open a training centre in Dublin and
have been approached from Australia
and Dubai about setting up our first
international course regime. In March
2019 we became CITB ATO.
In 2015, Bill Benito, the President of
NADCA in the USA, flew over to open
our new training centre, which had
been launched with help from the BSB
and DCUK FM. Bill expressed envy at
the fact we had been able to develop a
National Training Centre of Excellence,
with the capacity for 4,000 students
across a 5,000-square foot complex.
The centre cost around £400,000, but
we now own the premises and have
avoided paying expensive rents in
Students under
I was training
so that the UK
could lead the
world in
indoor air
standards, and
between 2003
and 2013 ours
was the
To date, AEME have trained hospital
fire officers from the UK and fire
investigators from the FIA, including Dr
Peter Mardsen, a world expert in his
field. Over the past two years, we have
trained the LPC assessment officers for
the LPCB’s own insurance standards
and fire officers from Scotland. In
addition, we have welcomed students
from Moscow, New York, Iran,
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and many other
countries around the world. We are
also training personnel from major
companies in the UK, all of whom
recognise the importance of indoor
air quality for their clients and want
their personnel trained to the highest
standards possible. These companies
include the likes of Emcor UK and
Mitie, and we hope to work with
others of a similar stature in the future.
Centre of excellence
In 2014, I became a fellow of the
Institute of Consultants and in 2018 I
received a lifetime achievement award
for contributions to the industry. I was
even lucky enough to gain the personal
thanks of the Toshiba UK managing
director for my amazing teaching
abilities at the HVR awards. While
these accolades are a vindication of the
project that I started over 20 years ago,
I am not resting yet and remain eager
to seek out new opportunities and
areas in which we can innovate.
AEME is now recognised as an
approved centre of excellence by
NAADUK, a new association that
represents the interest of 350
members. The chair of NAADUK
Jonathan Brennan recommended that
anyone looking for a professional
approach to training should use AEME.
Having opened three years ago, the
association is looking to make changes
that will help improve the environment
for all, with new approaches, rather
than just giving old documents a
new twist. We are proud of what we
have achieved independently and in
collaboration with external bodies over
the years, and AEME is now considered
the jewel in our group of companies.
We will continue to strive to improve
standards of indoor air quality in the
UK, learning from our past experiences
and from future partners too.
AEME is now
recognised as
an approved
centre of
excellence by
represents the
interest of 350
NAADUK training centre

This article was sponsored by AEME. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.