Course overview

Plumbing Level 3 Apprenticeship City of Bristol College

This four-year, plumbing apprenticeship programme will give you a Level 3 qualification in Plumbing and Domestic Heating.

Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technicians plan, select, install, service, commission and maintain all aspects of plumbing and heating systems. Plumbing and domestic heating technicians can find themselves working inside or outside a property.

Customer service skills and being tidy and respectful are important qualities as they can often find themselves working in customers’ homes as well as on building sites.

You need to find your own employer as part of your application for an apprenticeship; you can search apprenticeship vacancies on


Start Your Apprenticeship Journey with City of Bristol College 

Start your apprenticeship journey with City of Bristol College

Additional information

Who is this course for?

This qualification allows apprentices to become competent to industry standards in plumbing and heating or domestic heating.

Apprentices are required to demonstrate the ability to perform the necessary skills and the knowledge required to plan, select, install, service, commission and maintain all aspects of plumbing and domestic heating systems including domestic gas water heating and domestic gas wet central heating appliances.

What you'll learn

As a competent Plumbing and Heating Technician, the installation of plumbing and heating systems includes accurate measuring, marking, cutting, bending and jointing metallic and non-metallic pipework.

Appliances and equipment can include gas, oil and solid fuel boilers as well as pumps, heat emitters, bathroom furniture or controls as part of a cold water, hot water, and central heating or above ground drainage and rainwater systems.

Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technicians are at the forefront of installing new and exciting environmental technologies like heat pumps, solar thermal systems, biomass boilers and water recycling systems.

It is important for a plumbing and heating technician to be able to work independently or as a team and use their knowledge and skills to ensure that both the system and appliances are appropriately selected and correctly installed, often without any supervision, and done so in a safe, efficient and economical manner to minimise waste.

Course entry requirements

To join this course, you must have at least 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths, or to have completed an alternative full Level 2 course with Level 1 Functional Skills. You must be employed or to have an offer of employment with an appropriate employer.

You must also have a strong commitment to working with your employer and College assessor and an excellent record of attendance at school or college.

You must also demonstrate a high degree of enthusiasm and a guarantee to succeed and prepare effectively for employment.

How is the course delivered and assessed?

The course is delivered over 4 years on a day release basis at college where the apprentices will be learning off the job knowledge, skills and behaviours.

The assessments for this qualification are divided into four phases:

  • Phases 1–3 cover core content
  • Phase 4 covers the natural gas content

The four phases roughly equate to the four years of the Apprenticeship. Phase 1 assessments being delivered at the end of Year 1, Phase 2 assessments being delivered at the end of Year 2, etc. Apprentices will complete a worklog as they progress through the core units (Phases 1–3) and another worklog linked to the gas units in Phase 4.

Each phase assessment will be made up of an online multiple-choice test and a practical performance assessment. The apprentices need to pass each phase before they can progress to the next stage.

  • Apprentices who fail an assessment are permitted one resit within 14 days
  • Apprentices who fail a resit are permitted to retake the assessment after 60 days
  • Apprentices who fail a retake are permitted one final resit within 14 days
  • Apprentices awaiting the outcome of their fourth attempt at an assessment may commence training for the next phase but if the fourth attempt results in a fail, the apprentice must repeat the training for that phase before taking the assess again.

Once the apprentices have passed the phase 4 assessment they will then be signed off for the final End Point Assessment to achieve their apprenticeship.

The End Point Assessment is made up of 5 assessments:

  • Multiple choice test (90 minutes)
  • Design project (7 hours)
  • Practical installation test (6 hours)
  • Practical Application test (3 hours)
  • Professional discussion (30 minutes)

Upon successfully completing the End Point Assessment the apprentice will receive a final grade (pass, merit or distinction) based on the grades from each of the 5 assessments.

View the full assessment plan.

Future career and study opportunities

Apprentices can progress into supervisory job roles and/or into areas such as design and planning.

As a fully-qualified plumbing and heating technician you could even run your own business

Additional costs

As a City of Bristol College student, you may incur additional costs to attend your course. For example, it is likely you may need to pay for travel and stationery.

You will also be required to purchase the City and Guilds text books and to wear safety footwear and work trousers whilst in the workshops.

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