The pressure equipment regulations (PER) of 2009 require a certificate of conformity (COC) for every completed gas installation; whether fuel, compressed, refrigerant, industrial, or medical gas.
Upon completion of each installation, gas practitioners currently fill out and issue a physical form from a COC book. However, an electronic COC system will soon be introduced.
COCs are important for documenting and confirming compliance for each completed installation. However, the gas industry has seen an increase in fraudulent COC documents. Duplicated and fabricated COCs have become more prevalent, with gas COC books, allocated to a specific gas practitioner, sometimes filled out by someone other than the registered practitioner.
A registered gas practitioner will have access to a personalised, online system. COCs can be completed electronically and sent to the end-user, upon completion of the gas installation, repair or maintenance. Associations and practitioners will receive a duplicate copy of the completed COC for record keeping.
The electronic system aims to help curb fraud, with each gas practitioner requiring a secret code to log in to the system, allowing only authorised access to the COC.
The digitalised COC will also eradicate the risk of theft or loss of a physical COC book.
In addition, COCs will be accessible on mobile devices, offering additional convenience and security.
Only registered gas practitioners with a valid, current license will be able to access the system, improving regulatory compliance.
South African Qualification and Certification Committee (SAQCC) Gas has identified and appointed a service provider to design and implement the electronic COC system. It will be undertaking trial runs in the near future and hopes to launch the system before the end of 2019.
SAQCC Gas is non-profit company, constituted by its four member-associations to establish a central database that displays the details of registered and authorised gas practitioners to work on gas and gas systems. SAQCC Gas has been officially appointed and mandated by the Department of Labour to register gas practitioners on its behalf, in the following industries:
- Liquefied petroleum gas
- Compressed industrial and medical gas
- Air conditioning and refrigeration gas
- Natural gas