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Becoming a Plumber without an employer

Starting out

The new qualification required to become a plumber is the City and Guilds 6189. This does present some difficulties as it is now a combined technical/performance qualification essentially meaning you have to complete all aspects of the qualification to get the full certificate.  Without access to a range of work in a realistic working environment, then you will be unable to get the full qualification. 

This leaves two options:

The 6189 unit route

There will be the opportunity, now that the qualification has changed to the QCF format, to complete individual units rather than a qualification as a whole. This option could be extended to people wanting to retrain.

Once you achieved the individial units, you could try for some experience on site to start to complete the performance units. Although the unitised approach has some drawbacks, it could also be leveraged to your advantage completing units on a as hoc basis.

The 6129 full cost route

For a limited time, the original C&G6129 has been extended until 31st December 2012.  The downside of this route is that there is no funding available to adults wanting to take the course.  It could however be studied as a full costs option, although it will be expensive. On completion, you could then consider the NVQ (6089) to get the site based aspect of the qualification and move onto the Level 3.


The main reason for the extension of the qualification was to allow a route for full time students to gain a qualification to take to prospective employers to get an apprenticeship.


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