Plumbers, Gasfitters
and Drainlayers Board
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Disciplinary hearings

Disciplinary hearings

Plumbers, gasfitters, and drainlayers are regulated because of the risk that sanitary plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying poses to public health and safety. To carry out these types of work, a person must be competent and be able to do the work safely and compliantly. 


Disciplinary function 

Under the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006 (Act), the Board can hear complaints about registered plumbers, gasfitters, and drainlayers, and discipline them where appropriate. The purpose of disciplining practitioners is to identify and correct incompetent conduct in the individual, and sets standards for the wider industry as a whole. 


The Act sets out how the Board deals with complaints about registered people, including: 

  • how the Board must receive and consider complaints 
  • how complaints are investigated, and 
  • how disciplinary hearings are held. 

The Board must follow the processes set out in the Act. In order for the Board to accept a complaint about a plumber, gasfitter, or drainlayer, the complaint: 

  • must be about a registered person (complaints about people who are not registered are dealt with through a different process), and 
  • must be about work that is defined as sanitary plumbing, gasfitting, or drainlaying under the Act. 

For more about complaints and investigations, go to Complaints.


Disciplinary hearings 

Disciplinary hearings are held where an investigator has conducted an investigation into a complaint and determined that the complaint should be considered by the Board. The Board must then hold a hearing to consider whether or not the practitioner has committed a disciplinary offence or offences.  


Disciplinary proceedings are formal and are conducted like a court hearing. The hearing occurs before five members of the Board, at least three of whom are registered and licensed practitioners. A legal advisor sits with the Board to advise the Board on matters of law and procedure. In a hearing, the Board will hear from both the investigator and the practitioner and will have to determine whether it considers the practitioner is guilty of committing disciplinary offences in the case. 


The Board issues formal, written decisions following each hearing setting out the charges against the practitioner, the facts of the case, the evidence that the parties have presented (where a hearing is defended), the Board’s decisions, and any orders the Board makes. Those decisions are available in the decisions database below.  


The Board has produced a useful guide setting out the full disciplinary process. More information can be found below.