Allen Inlow Executive Vice President, IAPMO
The plumbing industry has grown a strong voice and presence through IPA, and not just in the Construction sector but also in all of Indian industry and politics. IAPMO India has grown with it. What was just a dream only a few years ago has become achievable and, in many instances, a reality!
This Year In Review reminds me that the Uniform Plumbing Code – India started as just such a dream. Now working with IPA, IAPMO India has achieved a full set of Uniform Codes that are equal to or better than any other codes in the world and are recognized not only by the industry, but more and more political jurisdictions and entities throughout all of India and surrounding countries.
Previously, the quality of products coming into India and being sold were sometimes questionable. Now, however, there is a Product Certification process and mark that assures everyone that the certified products are what they should purchase.
India has been a true example to the world in energy conservation and the green movement. IAPMO India, working with IPA, stepped up and improved the water and energy conservation embedded within the codes by more than 30 percent. A look back can be rewarding. It can also show the way to the future. This Year In Review shows that amazing progress has been made and the future looks very bright indeed!
Another year gone by — it seems just yesterday that we last sent an update on activities in India. With the theme for this year’s report being “I is for International,” IAPMO India, established since 2007, faces a unique situation where nothing relating to plumbing, mechanical or air conditioning is mandatory — neither product nor personnel certification. This leaves us in a scenario where we are asking clients to enlist our services solely by choice. But India is a market where a majority only go by the existing mandatory requirements to be fulfilled. Nobody wants to spend any extra pennies unless they see benefit derived in long run.
We started by establishing ourselves as the key training providers in plumbing by offering customized training programs with the UIPC as a base document. We further went ahead by introducing the Additional Skill Acquisition Program (ASAP) of Kerala, implemented by general and higher education departments together. IAPMO India has designed a curriculum with 50 hours of theory, 150 hours of practical, and 24 hours internship for the Plumbing Apprentice Program, which is compliant with the National Occupational Standards of Plumbing General Assistant role (QP No. PSC/ Q 0102 NSQF Level :2) of Indian Plumbing Skill Council (IPSC). This course equips the students with knowledge in topics including “Introduction to Plumbing,” “Building Sewer (External),” “Drainage, Waste and Vent (Internal),” “Occupational Health & Safety,” “Water Supply (Internal),” “Engineering Drawing,” “Plumbing Fixtures,” “Uniform Plumbing Code – India,” and “Introduction to Plumbing Systems.”
We have delivered this program at all districts each year and have continued to do so to the point where more than 2,000 students, who chose this program out of their choice, a handful of them being women, were trained. Interested students are facilitated employment, too. A proposal on “Community Plumbing” has also been proposed to ASAP to support upgrading toilet facilities of centers where the classes are conducted. This will facilitate the internship attachment of students for site and practical experience and upgrading toilet facilities of the government school where the trainings are conducted. Once ASAP accepts this proposal, all centers where classes are conducted are sure to get better sanitation and hygiene facilities.
This has opened the gates to other institutions like Kohler, Sulabh International, etc., to take similar programs under their CSR activities and contribute to the nation at large by providing trained plumbers to the industry.
Our code-based education programs, both in plumbing and HVAC-R, have seen a big acceptance from engineering colleges and Universities, and Plumbing System Design, (PSD) and Mechanical System Design (MSD) have delivered trained personnel to the industry; a few students were picked up by the Middle East market, too. It may not be out of place to design a program for global placements if requirements are known in advance.
We also changed our certification strategies by approving in-house testing facilities of various manufacturers. Seeking certification from The IAPMO Group surely gives manufacturers a one-stop solution for third-party certification. The expansion over the years is evident in Charles Gross’ article.
The time is now ripe for IAPMO India to operate as a certification body beyond the UIPCI and UMCI. We have partnered with Water Quality Association, India, as a CB to operate their certification scheme. The first license is about to be granted. As a CB, IAPMO India should extend certification to other products, too; as mentioned above, none of the public health/ sanitary appliances are mandatory here. And by extending our scope, we are able to offer certification services beyond UIPCI & UMCI, where there is a need for third party certification, such as RMC (ready mix concrete) and other areas where IAPMO HQ have explored, such as electrical products and food processing units. There are manufacturers from other sectors who seek certification for export purposes and need to meet the requirements of other international standards.
Sudhakaran Nair President, Indian Plumbing Association
Since 2006, when the IPA-IAPMO Collaboration began in India, five codes, specially created for the Indian Plumbing Industry, have been published. This is indeed a first for any organization associated with the construction field in the country. An updated version of the flagship code – Uniform Plumbing Code-India (UPC-I) was released within just three years after publication of the first version in 2008 – again an unprecedented achievement.
2012 witnessed the establishment of testing and certification facilities for plumbing products for use in the Indian market through the IAPMO-Intertek partnership with IPA performing a supporting role. Twenty five educational and vocational Training Institutions have so far partnered with IAPMO and IPA on the Plumbing education to Mere statistics cannot adequately express the impact that this partnership has made in the Plumbing Profession in the country within a short period of six years! This would not have become a reality but for the sense of purpose and wholehearted commitment the two organizations have shared.
On behalf of all my colleagues at IPA and on my personal behalf, I sincerely thank my IAPMO-USA and IAPMO-India colleagues for joining hands with IPA in our pursuit to improve plumbing standards in India and to bring the recognition due to our profession. I look forward to many more years of our rewarding partnership.
Charles Gross Director of India Product Certification
IAPMO India’s mechanical and plumbing product certification program continues certifying products to performance standards and respective codes, e.g., the 2012 Uniform Mechanical Code - India (UMC-I) and/or the 2014 Uniform Illustrated Plumbing Code - India (UIPC-I), in accordance with the specifications within standard ISO/IEC 17065 “General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems.”
In 2006, IAPMO initially visited India to discuss a partnership with the Indian Plumbing Association (IPA) as well as to develop plans to jointly publish the first India plumbing code, namely the Uniform Plumbing Code – India (UPC-I), which was published the following year, 2008. It was in 2007 that IAPMO India formally established a successful partnership with the IPA, which continues today.
The 2008 UPC-I was the first known comprehensive new plumbing code in India, which become better known each day and used by architects, designers, engineers, and different industries. This 2008 UPC-I edition subsequently underwent update in 2011, again to its current version, the 2014 Uniform Illustrated Plumbing Code – India (UIPC-I). This latest version continues usage to evaluate and to certify new products, as well as to renew existing certified products. As such, certified products display the UIPC-I mark of conformity.
Seeing the fruitful results of the first published 2008 UPC-I to help educate industries, especially the plumbing sector, IAPMO India and the IPA continued joint efforts to develop other related and complementing industry codes, as follow:
• 2011 Uniform Swimming Pool Code - India (UPSC-I),
• 2012 Uniform Solar Energy Code - India (USEC-I),
• 2013 Water Efficient Products India (WEP-I), and
• 2013 Green Plumbing Code Supplement - India (GPCS-I).
All above documents are available on IAPMO India’s publications page.
Enhancing their efforts further, IAPMO India and the IPA continued working together to structure and initiate plumbing training and educational programs (known as Plumbing Education to Employment Program or PEEP) with interested academic institutions throughout India for designers, contractors, engineers, and students whose combined graduates now exceed 2,000 since the programs’ inception in 2009.
In addition to plumbing programs, IAPMO India also began partnerships with other professional organizations such as ISHRAE (Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) to develop the first 2012 Uniform Mechanical Code – India (UMC-I), used primarily for design, installation, maintenance and use of heating and cooling products used globally.
Beginning in 2016, a total of 18 different product certifications made up IAPMO India’s product listing directory website at http://www.iapmoindia.org/Pages/pld.aspx, but seven new certifications have been added to this directory since then, which raised the total listings to 25, as follow:
• Classified Water Efficient Faucet Products: 3 Classified WEP-I Certifications
• Metal Fittings: 2 UIPC-I Certification
• Metal Fittings: 2 UMC-I Certification
• Plastic Fittings/Pipes: 3 UIPC-I Certifications
• Plastic Pipes: 1 USEC-I Certification
• Plastic Pipes: 2 UMC-I Certifications
• Sanitary Ware Products: 4 UIPC-I Certifications
• Water Closet Trim Products: 4 UIPC-I Certifications
• Water Efficient Sanitary Ware Products: 4 WEP-I Certifications
Product tests intended for certification are to be made at an IAPMO recognized test laboratory, such as at one of two IAPMO R&T Laboratories (China or USA), or at a manufacturer’s IAPMO India recognized in-house test laboratory. This latter program was approved by IAPMO’s upper management for implementation of IAPMO India’s Manufacturer's In-House Test Lab Recognition Program to give manufacturers an option to test their own products for subsequent product certification. The feedback from manufacturers regarding this new program continues to be positive, as more welcome this opportunity that helps them in many ways and more primarily helps them save a lot of time when it comes to testing their products for quick product certification. Presently, five different manufacturers’ laboratories have successfully undergone audits to the standard ISO/IEC 17025 “General Requirements for The Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories” to obtain IAPMO India recognition of their in-house test laboratories. Within the latter half of 2016, we’re expecting the addition of new product certifications based on recent inquiries received from interested manufacturers of conventional plumbing products.
Water Efficient Product Certifications
IAPMO India’s Classified WEP-I product certification program was introduced to help manufacturers certify their water efficient consuming products addressed in the WEP-I specification (faucets, EWCs, shower heads, urinals, etc.) but not certified to a code such as the UIPC-I, UMC-I or USEC-I. However, their products do comply with other standards, such as an India Standard (IS) or an International Standard. These products can undergo evaluation for a Classified WEP-I star rating after having their water consumption measured at an IAPMO recognized laboratory. Manufacturers continue to express their appreciation for this Classified WEP-I program since it also helps to expedite the distribution of their products into their various markets.
In an effort to distinguish WEP-I product certifications, the following two different WEP-I star rating marks of conformity are used:
• For UIPC-I certified products
• For products not UIPC-I certified but do comply to an India Standard or to an International Standard
IAPMO India’s product certification programs are efforts to help enhance and strengthen society’s health, safety and welfare whereby this increased awareness for production and marketing of more certified water conserving products is one of the main reasons that IAPMO’s upper management approved implementation of IAPMO India’s “Manufacturer's In-House Test Lab Recognition Program” along with the ‘Classified WEP-I’ product certification program.
Needs for society’s health and safety welfare continue to demand installation and use of more certified water efficient products to the 2013 Water Efficient Products India (WEP-I) specification. Using UIPC-I, WEP-I and/or Classified WEP-I certified products will help to promote and to enhance sustainable water conservation measures throughout India and other neighboring countries. As a result of both these WEP-I certifications, architects, consumers, contractors, engineers, plumbing instructors, plumbing designers, and inspectors alike continue to be assured that these certified products comply with every standard and code governing their use throughout India.
Now that you see where IAPMO India started and the progress made to date of our product certification services and programs, we kindly ask for your trust and opportunities to serve your entire product testing and certification needs, as we’re continually open to your ideas and suggestions of new ways to further enhance our services in an effort to serve you and society much more and better. There's never been a better time than today to join IAPMO India’s directory of certified products and begin marketing your products within India's rapidly emerging market via IAPMO India's new in-house product testing and certification programs. The installation and use of IAPMO India certified products help give all societies a greater level of assurance and confidence, which also help to protect and optimize the public's health, welfare, and safety as compared to the general uncertainties that exist in the use of uncertified products. Please peruse IAPMO India’s website and its product certification programs and let us know how we may help you to better market your products.
Abdul Matheen Director–Mechanical, IAPMO India
The need for establishment of skill development programs and continuing education systems will provide an institutional mechanism to facilitate greater and active participation of the industry, and to better link skill development with the country’s employment demands. Skills and knowledge are the engines of economic growth and social development in any country. The shortage of a skilled workforce across many industries is emerging as a significant and complex challenge to India’s growth and future. The growing skills gap is reflecting slim availability of high quality professionals in India and the galloping pace of the country’s construction and allied service driven economy, which is growing faster than most countries in the world. As businesses propose to double and triple their workforces and IAPMO India strives to maintain its position in the global marketplace, it has become imperative to prepare and plan for a world-class, competent, and innovative workforce.
IAPMO India is playing a pivotal role in nation building by introducing the cutting-edge concept of MEEP (Mechanical Education to Employment Program) training to university students at the entry level industry in order to tackle the impeding shortage of knowledge workers. This strategy will provide fresh graduates or diploma holders with dual-certification. This will mitigate the existing shortfall of trained professionals at entry level for which companies today have spent a lot. IAPMO India has firmly installed a plumbing education system and is now ready to offer mechanical education systems to Indian citizens. MEEP graduates of the multi-level education programs created will be given the option of obtaining professionally qualified certifications with the following credentials:
Mechanical System Design (MSD) Program: The objective of this program is to train and equip mechanical installation, commissioning and O&M engineers to equip with a code-based education program for imparting training on the latest knowledge in the related codes and standards applicable to the mechanical HVAC-R domain, keeping in mind the present and future global industrial requirements so that the country’s skilled manpower may compete in the global market.
Mechanical Supervisors Program (MSP): The objective of this program is to train and equip mechanical installation, commissioning and O&M Supervisors to equip with a code-based education program for imparting training on the latest knowledge in the related codes and standards applicable to the mechanical HVAC-R trade, keeping in view of the present and future global industrial requirement.
Mechanical Technicians (MT)
Academic Program: The objective of this program is to train and equip mechanical technicians to equip with a code-based education program for imparting training on latest knowledge in the related codes and standards applicable to the mechanical trade, keeping in view of the present and future global industrial requirements, so that the country’s semi-skilled/skilled manpower may compete in the global market.
Short-Term HVAC-R Technicians Programs:
• Certificate Course in Basic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning.
• Certificate Course in Repair & Maintenance of Refrigerators & Deep freezer.
• Certificate Course in Repair & Maintenance of Water Cooler & Bottle Cooler.
• Certificate Course in Repair & Maintenance of Air Conditioner.
• Certificate Course in Repair & Maintenance of Car Air-conditioning unit.
• Certificate Course in Servicing & Maintenance of Air Conditioning Plant.
• Certificate Course in duct design Installation and fabrication.
• Certificate Course in Mechanical HVAC-R Installation, Testing and Commissioning Technicians.
• Certificate Course in Mechanical HVAC-R Sales & Service Technicians.
• Recognition to International body
• Industry-Institutional interactions
• World class Mechanical-HVAC-R education and training
• Better mechanical installations ensuring energy conservation,
• Enhanced IAQ, safety of public and structures and reduced maintenance
• Energy efficient installations, increased efficiency and productivity, better reputation