VRQ qualification helps Building Services Surveyor Sophie Tuffin secure promotion


Sophie Tuffin of Raglan Housing has been promoted to Building Services Surveyor and believes that completing her Level 4 VRQ in Gas Safety Management in Social Housing, with CORGI Technical Services, helped her to secure the promotion.

Raglan Housing owns and manages 12,000 homes in 95 local authority areas across the South East, South West, Midlands and East of England.

Sophie has been promoted from a role her as Gas Maintenance Officer where she was involved in the daily running of the gas servicing and maintenance contracts within Raglan Housing to Building Services Surveyor. In her new role Sophie will operationally manage contractors responsible for gas servicing and maintenance, including contract compliance and performance management. She will be overseeing four gas contracts nationally, covering 6,500 properties as part of a team of three people.

Sophie commented: “A key requirement of my new role was to have a recognised technical qualification and the Level 4 VRQ gave me this qualification. The course length and subjects covered gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to progress into my new role. The course covered a range of subjects which included an understanding of safety and technical requirements and a knowledge of statute, which I use on a daily basis. The technical understanding I find particularly useful when communicating directly with operatives, while the management elements give a wider understanding of processes and procedures required to stay complaint and manage the day to day contracts.”

Sophie continued: “As a woman in a very male dominated environment, I feel that I bring a different way of working and a different approach to situations that would be directed differently if our team was all male. I feel a balance of men and women within gas management is important to introduce new ideas and new ways of working, which I feel has worked well in my current role.

“I can honestly say that I haven’t been dismissed because of being a woman. Although I think it is harder initially to get a break to get to the interview stage, I feel the VRQ Level 4 qualification has helped to close the gap.”

Sophie sees the key challenges within her new role to be seeking out where improvements can be made, whether this is addressing higher risk appliances, resident owned appliance or hard to access area’s for servicing.

“In becoming a member of the Association of Gas Safety Managers,” she concluded, “I have found the Inter-Authority Gas Forums useful in continuing my personal development and to help me to become aware of best practices within my role. The Forum also enables valuable discussions on the changes within gas safety and their affects within social housing.“

CORGI Technical Services, who have over 40 years of expertise in all aspects of gas safety, designed, wrote and awarded the Level 4 VRQ in Gas Safety Management in Social Housing. Claire Heyes, Joint CEO of CORGI Technical Services commented: “We are delighted that Sophie has been promoted and that the VRQ qualification has helped her in progressing her career. Employers are increasingly demanding a recognised qualification and membership of a professional body to ensure that their organisation is meeting the highest standards in gas safety.”