Scotlands' Micro Employer of the Year


Energy Efficiency Award - JBC


Energy Losses - Flue Gas Losses


Quick Step Boilerhouse Efficiency Guide


Benefits of CEA membership - CEA Endorsement


Industrial Gas Accreditation Scheme I-GAS


Case Studies


Lay up procedure - Byworth Boilers


The safe operation of boilers - who's responsible?


Emerson patented combustion solution


EMK - The first Dedicated Managers BOAS Training Course.


The first Dedicated Managers BOAS Training Course.

CEA approved training providers deliver pre-assessment training for the Boiler Operation Accreditation Scheme (BOAS) to a standard syllabus; Kiwa Gastec then carry out an independent assessment of the candidate and their test papers and CEA provide the certification and ID card for those that have achieved the required standard.

Many CEA members will know that the BOAS Working Group has been reshaping the BOAS offering which has been streamlined to meet industry’s needs.  Specific categories for the various types of boilers have been redefined along with the test papers that apply to each category:

Category 1. Hot Water Boilers.

Category 2. Shell Boilers (Steam).

Category 3. Water Tube Boilers.

BOAS was originally designed for the Operator to be trained and accredited, with the Manager accreditation being added at a later date.  Within the scheme there is now opportunity for both Operators and Managers to achieve the accreditation.  Managers who are responsible for overseeing the running of boilers, but who don’t actually do the day to day hands on activities, need to know and understand more about the overall operation of the plant than the Operators do. There may be Environmental permits to implement, emission regulations to understand and implement, insurance inspections to organise, repairs and maintenance, Written Schemes of Examination, Risk assessments and PSSR (Pressure Systems Safety Regulation) etc. to manage along with all the other day to day tasks of the Manager.

Mike Cogan, Head of Engineering Training at EMK, (Educational and Environmental Services Ltd) became concerned that Managers who had been trained with operators as part of the same course may not get the opportunity to gain as much knowledge and advice as they otherwise might; there is much more the Manager needs to know about boilerhouse management processes than can be covered during a standard course.

In developing an approach to a dedicated BOAS Managers Course after a few telephone conversations and some brief discussions at assessments, both Mike and assessor David Graham got together for a one-day workshop. They were able to thrash out what was needed to give these very vulnerable Managers what they needed to help them with their responsibilities when managing boiler plant.

EMK held their first dedicated Managers BOAS training course in January 2015.  Though the full CEA BOAS syllabus was covered, Mike has added a lot more pertinent information to his training course dedicated to training boiler house Managers.

During previous courses Mike had discussed the Manager issue with David as well as with other BOAS assessors.  David had commented that many of the newer Manager candidates he assessed found it difficult to assimilate, in detail, all aspects their job.  When involved in pressure plant such as boilers there is a great deal to know.  David said “It soon becomes evident during the Manager Interview that when going over their paper work submitted as evidence you can find numerous anomalies and so many areas that need to be addressed”. He continued “examining Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), for example, has proved to be beneficial; just reading them tells you they do not work, and that’s without going into the individual person’s boilerhouse.  BOAS is only part of the training they require but it has a great opportunity to help improve Managers’ knowledge and understanding. It must be designed to give the Managers exactly what they need: Knowledge and Understanding of the Processes”.  Which is why this bespoke course is now a part of the BOAS product range for EMK.


Feedback from the candidates both during and after the dedicated management course indicated that there were two different stages in the training.  The trainees were mostly experienced Managers and were particularly keen to improve their technical and operational knowledge of the boilerhouse, so that they could more effectively oversee and manage the running of the plant.  They were quite open about their lack of nuts, bolts and valves knowledge and clearly enjoyed learning this part of the BOAS syllabus and said so.

Throughout Mike’s many years of delivering boilerhouse training courses to groups of Operators, their Managers have often taken part.  Mike had never attempted to train the Manager to manage his boilerhouse but the Manager’s presence always helped make for a successful course; there are many good reasons for this.

He gets to carry out a first-hand quality control job on the training he is paying for and he can make sure he gets value for money.

  • His presence ensures his Operators take the course that much more seriously.
  • He experiences an unusual, almost informal forum with his Operators, which is to the Manager’s benefit.
  • The Manager is able to give valuable input due to his knowledge and experience.
  • And finally, he really enjoys the course for its technical and operational content; he re-learns a lot of useful old lessons and goes over a lot of material which he finds tremendously interesting.

One disadvantage is that because the Manager enjoyed the Operator course he felt that it was a benefit to him.  In some ways it was, but did it benefit him in those managerial aspects where he might be vulnerable and need more relevant and more focused training?

The BOAS Manager delegate often thinks he has been trained fully in boilerhouse management but he has only got a part of the overall puzzle.  It has been said by Manager Candidates: “We don’t know what we don’t know”.

As this bespoke course progressed it became very clear that the candidates were not doing their jobs correctly and they knew it. A part of the management section of the course was to review operating procedures as a group activity. The activity took on a life of its own and the group members burst into furious activity and actually wrote up several procedures which were in need of review together with the necessary risk assessments.  On Thursday morning the atmosphere was almost euphoric; the candidates were on a high.  They were actually learning something very important.  They also undertook a very critical review of their management systems in general.  In short Mike said “they got stuck into their job during the course once they learned what it was”. One trainee’s comment was “This has really opened my eyes”. David commented after his assessment of the trainees that “They tore their own management systems apart”.

This was the first dedicated management course delivered by EMK. There is clearly much to be done in developing the course to deliver that which the Managers need to protect their Operators, their plant, the public and themselves.  Mike and David are currently working on developing materials and training strategies which will meet the management trainees’ overall requirements.

Mike put the following question to the CEA BOAS Working Group:

“Should the current BOAS syllabus be modified to produce a special syllabus for Managers?”  Mike’s view is: probably but not just yet.  Many Managers still need to learn about nuts, bolts and valves up to a point, and also the technical essentials of the boilerhouse procedures.  The existing BOAS syllabus does this quite well.  The syllabus also mentions all the important aspects of boiler plant management; the core of the issue is: does boiler plant management need to be taught as a special case scenario?

For now Mike feels we need to deliver more dedicated BOAS Managers’ courses and obtain more feedback and experience to help create a more bespoke Managers course. As mentioned earlier, BOAS is only a part of that puzzle. “We don’t know what we don’t know”. 

David would like to see a more advanced course for Managers only, many of whom would enjoy the challenge and have already put their names forward, but it has to test them to the maximum in responding to questions from the Judge if the worst happens.

When the Judge says “Can you demonstrate what actions you have taken to have prevented this?”  a Manager could be asked: Under the PSSR 2000 Regulation 11 Operation (1) (b) did you provide adequate and suitable instructions for the action to be taken in the event of ANY emergency!!  It’s very open but still needs to be identified and dealt with.  David has seen some great attempts from major companies in addressing this issue and even they realise they may not have covered everything but at least they made a good attempt at addressing it.

David Kilpatrick Director of the CEA  thanked Mike and David for taking this action from a previous BOAS working group meeting, creating this very comprehensive look at the need for bespoke boilerhouse Managers training.  This has clearly been a great success.

Should anybody reading this article feel they would like to take a closer look at this training please contact David Kilpatrick directly.

Tel CEA on 01740 625538

or email



Scotlands' Micro Employer of the Year

Highland company Boiler and Valve Engineering was named as Scotland’s Micro Employer of the Year at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards 2018. The specialist engineering firm recruited two apprentices in one year because of its belief in the value they bring to the business. Managing Director Andrew Macdonald believes apprentices bring energy and enthusiasm that can only benefit his business, which provides maintenance services for major distilleries and public sector organisations across Scotland.

 Micro_Employer_of_the_Year.jpgPictured: Andrew MacDonald with apprentices Kenneth Murdoch, Connor Brown and Skills Development Scotland chairman John F McClelland CBE.

Nairn-based Boiler and Valve Engineering Ltd has been named Micro Employer of the Year at the 2017 Scottish Apprenticeship Awards.

The specialist engineering firm has recruited two engineering apprentices to its five-strong workforce since forming 18 months ago and both are studying towards a qualification at Inverness College UHI as part of its modern apprenticeship programme.

Second year apprentice Kenneth Murdoch has been with the firm since the outset and attends Inverness College UHI one day per week, studying for an HNC in Engineering Systems.

Connor Brown is a first-year apprentice who joined the firm this year. He attends Inverness College UHI two days per week and is studying towards an SVQ2 in Performing Engineering Operations.

Boiler and Valve Engineering Ltd, which specialises in industrial steam and hot water boilers for major distilleries and public-sector organisations, was nominated by the university in recognition of its strong commitment to the apprenticeship scheme and the belief in the value they bring to a company.

The awards took place at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery on Thursday 16th November.

Read More


Energy Efficiency Award - JBC

Prestigious Award for Energy Efficiency won by JBC!JBC2.jpg

JBC are proud to announce that they are the winners in the prestigious ‘Motion Control Industry Awards’ in the Environmental & Energy Efficiency Award Category with their Oilon burners and Ecosafe electronic digital control system.

There was some stiff competition as JBC was up against strong finalists such BOGE high speed turbo compressors, direct air and pipework compressor systems and X-Design Pheu-Saver compressed air recycling.

Numerous case studies, product information and testimonials had to be submitted to the judging panel, along with a strong evidence criteria and valid reasons to be considered in order to qualify as finalists. 

JBC scored highly in this category, showing substantial savings and efficiency in each case, as well as its excellent customer service levels. 

The winners were announced at the Plant & Asset Management Exhibition at the NEC on10th April and was presented to Pete Nicholls of JBC and Kari Palo of Oilon.


For information on how we can save you energy and money email or visit our website



Energy Losses - Flue Gas Losses

The fact is the number one area of energy loss is the stack. Flue gases leaving the chimney above ambient temperature waste huge amounts of energy. You don’t have to try hard to get a feeling for the scale of problem facing the user.

In every household there’s a hair dryer, usually rated at around 1.5 kW, producing a warm gentle breeze which adds up to 12,000kWh when run for 8,000hrs. This is miniscule when compared to the hot exhaust gases being discharged from the average industrial chimney. In comparison, the hair dryer hardly produces sufficient output to scare off a cabbage white butterfly from your prize runner beans!

Anyone standing near the top of a stack, or even at ground level, when the plant is operational, cannot fail to appreciate just how much energy is contained in the huge volume of hot air racing through the flue and into the atmosphere, thus costing the operator a small fortune.

Flue gases are a fact of life and the reasons for excessive temperatures are varied but much of the heat contained within them can be harnessed by a variety of different methods.

These will be dealt with in later bulletins but suffice to say there are enormous savings to be made in this area.


Using yesterday’s technology to burn tomorrow’s energy

The savings potential for flue gas energy losses is often gigantic.

Calculation example:

Flue gas losses from a 10 MW oil-fired combustion plant operating at 15 bar with a flue gas temperature of 250°C under 24hr operation:







Click here for tips worth consideration.


Quick Step Boilerhouse Efficiency Guide

Go greener and boost the efficiency of your boilerhouse with Spirax Sarco’s new quick step guide

In the current economic and political environment, businesses are under increasing pressure to save on fuel costs and reduce their carbon footprint. Spirax Sarco has launched a new guide that will show you how to increase efficiency and productivity whilst raising your company’s environmental profile.

In this guide, author and boilerhouse specialist Chris Coleman talks about five key measures which can help you lower energy consumption, reduce maintenance and carbon emissions, promote cleaner steam and ultimately lower your bottom line.

Learn the benefits of the magic five:

  • Reverse osmosis
  • TDS controls
  • Flash steam recovery
  • Exhaust gas heat recovery
  • Steam conditioning

Click Here to learn more about how these five key measures can help you save money and help the environment.


Benefits of CEA membership - CEA Endorsement

A retired industrial Engineer who is now working as a competent person inspecting Heritage Steam Plant and equipment.


I have found individual membership beneficial to myself along with BOAS accreditation. BOAS accreditation was an important part of professionally proving my competence to operate and look after steam plant. I found that maintaining membership was useful in assisting to keep me up to date with changes as they happened around the steam industry.

The Combustion Engineering Association Conference and workshop programme allows you to absorb legislation and your responsibilities with a group of likeminded people and together improve your knowledge and understanding of the subject. All the speakers know their subject and you get the chance to interact with them and get advice in plain English. The sessions are practicable and relevant with a chance to interact with others operating steam equipment where you can also share your experiences.

Membership also gives you the chance to get involved with the C.E.A. and help to make a difference. Their work on the Boiler Operator Accreditation, Boiler Feed Water (BG04) and Industrial Gas Accreditation Scheme (I-GAS) which needed members to get together and write and set up the system and documents. This needs input from experts in their respective fields as well as some input from the intended recipients. If we put nothing in ourselves to CEA we will get nothing out, so attending and taking part will help you, others and the C.E.A.


Keith Hawkins

Eng Tech MSOE MIPlantE



Industrial Gas Accreditation Scheme I-GAS

The CEA I-GAS scheme provides a comprehensive qualification for Maintenance fitters, Technicians, Engineers and Designers of Industrial Gas Systems.

People in factories often think they are exempt from the ‘Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998’ (GSIUR) but they are wrong, the paragraph in blue is key to helping people understand compliance with the regulations.

Guidance to Regulation 3 of the GSIUR states:

“Gas work for those working at premises that fall outside the scope of the Regulations should only be undertaken by a person who has successfully completed an appropriate full training course followed by an assessment of competence”.

The CEA’s Industrial Gas Operations Accreditation Scheme (I-GAS) was officially launched in March 2017 and has been created to fill this gap, it was created in collaboration with industrial gas training providers/centers, manufacturers of combustion equipment, and employers.

It is the only formal training and accreditation scheme currently available that is specifically designed for maintenance staff and technicians working with gas in industrial premises.

For further information on the I-GAS course please click here

I-GAS Training Providers

Level 1

Combustion Engineering Association – 01740 625538

NETPark, Thomas Wright Way, Sedgefield, Co. Durham, TS21 3FD


Level 2 & Level 3

Blue Flame Associates

Nick Evans, - 0845 1949 040 (if calling from mobiles 01782 576810)

Unit 8 High Carr Network Centre, Millennium Way, High Carr Business Park, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 7XE


Steve Johnston, - +44 (0)1253 697078

Unit 8 Broughton Way, Off Thompson Rd, Whitehills Business Park, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 5QN


Paul Nolan, - +44 (0)23 92333813

Langstone Technology Park, Langstone Road, Havant, PO9 1SA

Kiwa  - Level 2 only

Andrew Mathews, - T: +44(0)1242 508790 M: +44(0)7718 570566

Kiwa House, Malvern View Business Park, Stella Way, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham, GL52 7DQ, UK


Upcoming Courses

Click here for Level 2 & Level 3 courses


Case Studies

Watkins Hire have provided CEA with some interesting case studies, click on the links to view What they did, How they did it, the result and the equipment used.

1. End User: A Major Utility Company

The Challenge

Due to a unforseen breakdown, a major utility company working on strict timescales had the urgent requirement for a 15,000kg/hr steam boiler to operate at 8 barg working pressure.

Read More Here...


2. End User: Luxury Apartments in London

The Challenge

A call was taken via Watkins Hire’s 24/7 Emergency Hotline regarding the urgent need for assistance due to the failure of an existing boiler at a prestigious residential block of 134 apartments in London

Read More Here...


3. End User: Luxury Apartment Building Management Company

The Challenge

A management company required a temporary boiler installation to assist during the planned replacement of existing site boilers for a block of 330 luxury apartments and swimming pool in the centre of London

Read More Here...


Lay up procedure - Byworth Boilers



With many businesses closing for Christmas, Byworth’s Chief Technician, David Tilleard, discusses how to prepare a boiler for short term storage. David reports: “A boiler left idle for an extended period of time is likely to suffer corrosion as the normally low levels of oxygen scavenger are depleted. Any boiler that’s going to be left for a few days should be ‘laid up’.”

Read more of this story here. 

Visit for further case studies and news stories. 


The safe operation of boilers - who's responsible?

If you are reading this, then the likelihood is you're an engineer with responsibility of the boiler plant in your organisation. Now that could be a factory, a hospital, a chemical plant, a prison or in fact anywhere with a boiler.

So, is the boiler plant your responsibility? Yes; you say, it is my responsibility.

The fact is, the over-riding responsibility for the safe operation of the boilers within your organisation sits with the head of your organisation. It may be the MD or the CEO or some other such title but for this exercise we will call him/her the MD. The chances are, they're not from an engineering background and possibly don't even know where the boilerhouse is, but they cannot get away from it, in law, they are responsible.

So what are their responsibilities?

Read Derry's Article Here 


Emerson patented combustion solution

Take a look at this video which was the subject of the CEA's David Gunn Memorial Lecture, 19th October 2017, delivered in the House of Lords by Chip Rennie - Director, Global Industrial Energy Solutions. Whilst explaining "The "Art" of Combustion - Then and Now" Chip talked about the previous technologies of controlling fuel and air ratios and then discussed the modern way of controlling this air fuel mix and a new algorithm for controlling it, all of which is in the attached video just released by Emerson Process Management.


The CEA's Honorary President Dr Pete Waterman said "the presentation was extremely informative and has answered some very important questions for [him] and [his] guest Matt Conway, on recent developments in combustion technology". It was also very informative for many of the guests attending. For those that may not know, Pete Waterman has and still is very heavily involved in many aspects of Engineering from Heritage Railways rebuilding and renovation of steam locos through to the design, build and infrastructure for HS2 and all aspects of Engineering in-between, and it goes without saying, his passion for music.


Request for Membership Details

Membership is available in several categories. Please fill in the form below and full details of membership and costs will be forwarded to you.