Gas Certification Company

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 Gas Certification Company is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.gascert.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | GAS CERTIFICATION COMPANY
Managing Director GeorgeLoudon
A group of successful
apprentice trainees
Gas Certification Company Ltd, based in South
Lanarkshire, aims to promote a mature environment in
which engineers can train in various disciplines. Unlike
other training companies, in which the environment can often
feel somewhat like school, Gas Certification Company focuses
on creating a facility that is both personal and professional.
Managing Director George Loudon outlines what makes
GCCunique.
From the standard of faculties within our company premises, to the calibre of the
staff I employ, we always strive to create the perfect learning environment. This
attention to detail has enabled me to transform my company from a one-man
operation into a nationally known organisation, of which I am proud to call myself
the founder.
We are currently celebrating our 21st year in business, first opening our doors in
the summer of 1997. We are based in the South Lanarkshire region in the central
belt of Scotland, and we provide training and qualifications for engineers working
in the gas, oil, electric, plumbing and heating industries. In addition, we carry out
gas safety audits for local authorities and housing associations. Our staff base
boasts a large portfolio of qualifications within the domestic, commercial and
industrial sectors, exceeding over 100 years’ experience. In contrast to some of
the larger colleges that offer similar training, the combination of intimate learning
spaces and more one-on-one availability has created a strength in our teaching
methods that enables us to maintain a high standard of education.
FACTS ABOUT
GAS CERTIFICATION COMPANY
»Managing Director:
GeorgeLoudon
»Established in 1997
»Based in central Scotland, 12
miles south of Glasgow
»No. of employees: 7
»Services: Training and
assessment for engineers and
managers working with gas,
oil, water and electricity
Gas Certification
Company
31GAS CERTIFICATION COMPANY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
What makes us unique
When I founded GCC, it was
designed to be radically different
from the other gas sector training
organisations, which, I felt, alienated
a large proportion of the more mature
working professionals. I would often
visit these centres myself, whether
to re-qualify in a technical discipline
or to update on the latest training
methods. There would be a school-
like atmosphere of “bells ringing”
and young students creating “chaos
in the cafeterias”. As a mature family
man who has experienced such
surroundings in my youth, I did not
consider this an ideal environment
in which to learn. So our aim was
simply to provide a mature learning
environment conducive to our older
students: we consider this to be one of
our main selling points as a centre.
Our facility has been designed to meet
both the technical and theoretical
needs of our students, to allow them
to learn in a comfortable, user-friendly
environment. The practical facilities
at the centre allow us to create
realistic scenarios for our students
to work on, whether installing basic
domestic central heating or fault-
finding on specialist industrial burner
systems. We are also committed to
working with top manufacturers,
and this arrangement allows them
to showcase their latest equipment
while our students are able to receive
training on the very latest state-of-
the-art technology. Candidates know
that when they come to our centre,
they will be in an environment that
suits a working professional and that
they will be provided with the best
equipmentpossible.
As well as our high-quality centre, one
of the biggest draws of our company is
the flexibility and expertise of the staff.
As I have stated previously, we have
over 100 years’ experience between
us, which allows us a greater degree
of flexibility in both the presentation
and design of our courses. This enables
us to offer a more personalised service
to our clientele and create specialist
courses for larger organisations, as
well as the development of individuals
wishing to cross-skill. Training and developing
in association with BAXI,
one of the UK’s top
manufacturers
Our aim was
to provide a
mature
learning
environment
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | GAS CERTIFICATION COMPANY
National recognition
Another aspect of our business is
carrying out gas safety audit services
for local authorities and housing
associations, as well as providing a
technical helpline should the client
require it.
I believe that by combining our
specialised skillset, including technical,
management and financial expertise,
we have been able to demonstrate our
high standards to the industry. This
has been recognised throughout our
21 years in the form of the National
Corgi Award for Gas Safety and a
“Best Performing Business under
25 employees” award from Scottish
Enterprise in 2004.
In addition to being recognised for
our expertise in gas engineering and
training, we have been acknowledged
for our business acumen, having been
requested by Scottish Enterprise to
represent them in touring both the
west and east coasts of America to
promote Scottish business. This tour
included visiting such industry leaders
as Nike, Boeing, Hewlett Packard, MIT,
Starbucks and Stanford University.
I believe the exposure to such large
corporate companies, even if they
are out of my specific sector, was
a vital learning tool that has been
incredibly influential in how I run my
owncompany.
As well as providing high standards
of training facilities and education
throughout my centre, I also recognise
that it is imperative to promote the
gas industry and encourage people to
join our sector. In 2010, the Scottish
government created funding to help
encourage people to retrain if they
had been made redundant from
such industries as coal mining or
steel work. We submitted a bid and
argued that the work experience from
these industries could be beneficial
in the retraining process to become a
gas engineer. We created a training
programme that enabled people to
upskill and also awarded them a formal
qualification in a field in which there
were more secure job opportunities.
The Scottish government chose to
award their funding to us and in the
first 18 months we had upskilled over
250 people.
Overall, I believe my company
demonstrates a high level of expertise,
as well as the ability to translate that
into an educational environment. In
addition to this, we have set realistic
targets that have enabled us to steadily
improve and grow as a business. We
managed to minimise our debt as
much as possible while also creating
funds that get put back into our
business, meaning we can continually
improve our training programmes and
centre facilities. Furthermore, we are
a dedicated body of individuals who
are passionate about our industry, and
who believe in providing an excellent
level of service. Our future plans are
to continue to expand our staff base,
so we can keep our client retention at
its highest, as well as creating more
courses that focus on other aspects of
energy and engineering.
Flexible and
personalised
service
Training for Success

www.gascert.co.uk

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