OFTEC's history - a leading voice in the heating industry for 30 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 industry through a trade association, which continues to this day to be exclusively focused on liquid fuelled heating.
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.
OFTEC is currently focussed on lobbying UK and Irish governments for the inclusion of HVO (a low carbon alternative to heating oil or kerosene) that would offer householders a much cheaper and convenient way to reduce CO2 emissions from home heating. This would support government net zero targets, potentially at a much faster deployment rate than conversion to heat pumps.
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. 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 a study in to the long term feasibility of liquid biofuels OFTEC wins award for most effective voice for lobbying activity
OFTEC starts field trials of liquid biofuels (HVO) across the UK and Ireland | TrustMark registration scheme launched | OFTEC solid fuel training courses receive UKAS accreditation
OFTEC has developed a range of Heat Pump assessments and training courses, working with manufacturers, certification bodies, technicians, training centres, and MCS. There are three options available: - Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) installation. - Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) installation. - Design of Heat Pump systems.
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