HVP Magazine – Breaking down the recent changes to WRAS

IN SIGHT

BREAKTHROUGH THE RECENT CHANGES IN WRAS

Julie Spinks, Managing Director at Water Regs UK, explains what the recent changes at WRAS mean for plumbers and installers.

On April 1, 2021, the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) was split into two separate companies: Water Regs UK and Water Regulations Approval Scheme.

Prior to the changes, WRAS was one company with three different divisions: WRAS Subscriptions, Water Industry Approved Plumber Scheme (WIAPS), and WRAS Approvals. After an internal review and a series of in-depth investigations, WRAS has been relaunched as two new companies, one called Water Regs UK and the other called Water Regulations Approval Scheme. The Water Industry Approved Plumber Scheme (WIAPS) is part of the Water Regs UK company.

What do these changes mean for plumbers and installers?

Before the changes took effect, there was confusion among some stakeholders as to the difference between the WRAS subscription services and the WRAS approval departments and what the two offered. Therefore, the main goal of the launch of Water Regs UK and Water Regulations Approval Scheme was to help clarify the differences and outline the services offered by the two separate entities.

Water Regs UK will focus on protecting public health and boosting water efficiency by promoting compliance with the Water Adaptation Regulations and Byelaws. The information and guidance provided by Water Regs UK is designed to help consumers, building owners, designers, installers and manufacturers understand water regulations.

What’s more, Water Regs UK will also run the Water Industry Approved Plumber Scheme (WIAPS), which provides water industry backed accreditation to qualified installers on behalf of 14 water companies. WIAPS is also part of WaterSafe, a website that brings together all seven Approved Contractors Schemes in the UK, so consumers can search for a licensed installer in one place.

So if you want to be licensed as a plumber, you can visit the WaterSafe website to learn more about how to join any of the schemes, including WIAPS. Once you complete one of the schemes, you will be listed on WaterSafe.org.uk.

Becoming a licensed plumber means you are certified to work on all parts of a plumbing system, from the external supply line to the kitchen faucets.

Meanwhile, the Water Regulations Approval Scheme is responsible for approving products and materials to enable organizations and individuals to demonstrate compliance with the Water Supply Regulations. The approval process also helps businesses and consumers choose compliant products that keep water safe. There is also a new website where you can check if a product has been approved by the scheme.

Plumbers play a role in guiding their customers to use the right products. Products and fittings that have the status ‘approved product’ are of an appropriate quality and standard when installed correctly. The Water Regulations Approval Scheme is just one of several approval schemes available here in the UK. Others include kiwa.co.uk/waterproducts and nsf.org/certified-products-systems.

In short, Water Regs UK is responsible for promoting regulatory compliance and working with water utilities to help protect public health and encourage water efficiency. It is also responsible for WIAPS approving plumbers. Meanwhile, the Water Regulations Approval Scheme is responsible for approving products and materials.

These changes have made it much clearer and easier for plumbers to know who to turn to with their questions, and we are sure it will be welcomed across the industry.

Visit for more information wrasapprovals.co.uk and waterregsuk.co.uk.

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