Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Why is such a scheme needed?

The upstream distribution gas industry in the UK is large and diverse, employing many thousands of people. Whilst the vast majority of these individuals work to very high standards there are unfortunately a few whose standard of workmanship falls far below an acceptable level. These individuals not only place themselves, members of the public and colleagues at risk but also the long term integrity of the Industry’s assets.

The size and complexity of the Industry (in terms of the number of interested parties, e.g. gas transporters, employers, contractors, sub- contractors) makes managing this issue very difficult whilst protecting individual rights. The scheme, operated by the upstream Distribution Gas Transporters, will enable them to have an enhanced understanding of the skills and competencies of individual they authorise to work on their Networks.

Isn’t this a ‘black book’ scheme by another name?

Absolutely not. The scheme has been designed to ensure it is legally compliant. It has been designed with the help of expert HR employment lawyers and accepted by the Information Commissioners Office.

Isn’t this against my civil liberties or restriction of trade under EU law or against my human rights etc?

The scheme has been designed to ensure it is legally compliant and is not a mechanism for stopping individuals from working in the Industry.

Are all GDNs part of the scheme?

When the scheme was launched by EUSR on 1 May 2012 National Grid Gas were the only participants, though the vast majority of other key stakeholders have expressed their support, including WWU, NGN, and Association of Independent Gas Transporters. For further information, please see the list of participating Gas Transporters.

The HSE and GMB trade union have both welcomed the scheme.

What happens if someone whose name is on the list is found working on a DN?

The scheme will not operate retrospectively and therefore this scenario should not happen. If it does then the local independent senior manager will review on a case by case basis, which will include why the individual did not volunteer the information.

Do other utilities operate a similar scheme?

Other utilities have expressed significant interest in the scheme’s design and principles and it is expected that it will be used as a model across a broad spectrum of utility companies. National Grid is currently determining how it can be applied across all its UK businesses and not just Gas Distribution.

Individuals on the List

How will I know if my name is on the list?

The scheme is operated by Gas Transporters and is independent of any employer led disciplinary processes. An individual will only be considered for ‘flagging’ if they have either been:

(a) dismissed for a breach of technical standards or
(b) if as a result of disciplinary action the individually has been removed from a technical role

In all cases either the Gas Transporter’s safety investigation or disciplinary proceedings (if the employer and GT are the same organisation) will be considered by an independent senior manager to determine whether on the balance of probabilities the individual has fallen far below the standard of the reasonably competent engineer in breaching technical standards. The investigation(s) will be taken as the definitive account of the facts.

If the independent senior manager, after having sought to engage the individual, decides to create a reference, then a flag indicating that a reference exists will be placed on the EUSR, but will only be visible to a small number of people within each Gas Transporter.

The individual will see the flag when they log in to the EUSR website and view their registration.

How do I log in to the EUSR website?

Any individual registered on EUSR can view all their registrations, including those for the Competency and Capability Referencing Scheme, by logging into the EUSR website and searching for themselves. All individuals with a flag will be given access to the system automatically, and any registered individual may request this access at any time by contacting EUSR. For more information, please see the View my Registration page.

An email address is required for this functionality, as EUSR staff cannot issue a password over the phone. If an email address was not supplied at the time of registration, an individual will need to update their personal details.

Can I get any information over the phone or by email?

No. EUSR staff do not have access to any information regarding flags an individual may or may not have on their record.

How do I have the flag removed from my registration?

There are three ways an individual can have the ‘flag’ removed:

1.     Successfully appealing the decision

2.     Having the flag successfully reviewed by seeking to demonstrate to the satisfaction of an external review panel that they have achieved a level of satisfactory competence and capability. This could be by attending an approved training course for example. It is important to note that depending on the circumstances, attendance on a given course may not in itself be sufficient.

3.     By gaining permission to work on a Gas Transporter’s network, in circumstances which allows the recruiting Gas Transporter to remove the flag. These circumstances will be set out at the time of recruitment with the Gas Transporter by, for example, satisfactory completion of a period of increased levels of supervision

Appeal and reviews are subject to strict time limits and if either is sought, the Scheme Registrar for the Gas Transporter who placed the flag should be contacted immediately. Please see the details for each GT’s Registrar on the Participating Gas Transporter page.

How long does my name stay on the list? Is it like points on your driving licence?

The ‘flag’ will stay against the individual’s name until it is removed (see above) or after 10 years when the individual will be treated as a new entrant to the industry.

Can I appeal against my name being put on the list?

Yes. The scheme has allows for appeal both within the gas transporter and to an external panel of non-referring gas transporters senior managers. It also provides for a review on the basis that the previous issue no longer exists.

Find Out More

If you have any queries relating to this scheme or EUSR, please contact the EUSR Support team. We are available Monday – Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm via email or tel: 0121 745 1310.