OFTEC's history - a leading voice in the heating industry for over 25 years

OFTEC was formed in 1991 and replaced the former Domestic Oil Burner Equipment Testing Association (DOBETA), an organisation created after the enforced split of Shell-Mex and BP in the early 1970’s. During the 1990’s the oil fired heating engineers were mainly Shell, BP and ex-Shell-Mex employees. The original training infrastructure provided by Shell-Mex at Fulham was lost in the mid 1970’s, and industry costs were mounting due to poor quality work by technicians.

The oil companies (and later, equipment manufacturers) supported OFTEC financially to achieve a solution to this problem. OFTEC’s original role was to write new technical standards and training manuals, and to provide a focus for the industry. When this was achieved, OFTEC’s role extended into promoting the oil fired heating and cooking sector through a trade association, which continues to this day to be exclusively oil-related.

However, OFTEC's services for heating technicians have diversified significantly, first through the development of a competent person scheme, then by the creation of an online shop. The range of heating technologies we support has also expanded.  While liquid fuels remains a key priority, OFTEC now also offers scopes of registration for heating technicians working with solid fuel and renewable technologies - reflecting the more diverse off-gas heating industry of today.

Key events in OFTEC’s history

  • Launched as the Oil Firing Technical Association (a not-for-profit trade association). First certificates presented to OFTEC registered technicians
  • Completes development of technical books, training and assessments, and industry product standards
  • OFTEC licensed in Jersey as the first Oil Competent Persons Scheme
  • Becomes first oil competent persons scheme licensed by government. Over 2,300 technicians registered. First OFTEC Awards for Excellence
  • OFTEC Direct online shop begins trading
  • Quarterly Oil Installer magazine launched
  • Number of registered technicians reaches 10,000
  • Completes successful bio-liquid research study with UEA. First national “Oil and Renewable Heating Show”
  • Authorised for Full Scope Part P electrical
  • Gains UKAS accreditation for competent person scheme
  • Authorised to operate a PAS2030 / Green Deal scheme
  • OFTEC wins seven year battle for realistic ErPD NOx limits. Registration service launches renewable heating scopes. MCS registration scheme launched
  • OFTEC launches solid fuel registration with associated technical book, training and assessment material
  • OFTEC launches biomass registration
  • OFTEC's quality management systems certified by BSI to ISO9001:2015
  • OFTEC commissions study in to the long term feasibility of liquid biofuels. OFTEC wins award for most effective voice for lobbying activity