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Understanding compressed air: Train to gain

20 July 2016

There are currently no formal accreditation schemes for designing, installing and maintaining compressed air systems. This means end-users could well be receiving poor advice and safety could be compromised. BCAS explains more and outlines some of the courses it offers

Compressed air is used in many thousands of applications across the globe, so widely in fact, that it is often referred to as the fourth utility.

As a result, it is essential that operators have a thorough understanding of its uses – and its risks – to ensure any compressed air system is operated properly, and safely.

In the absence of formal accreditation, BCAS offers a range of compressed air training courses for those who supply or service compressors and also for those who use compressed air on a daily basis. These are delivered either by self-paced, distance e-learning or through practical, classroom sessions.

BCAS leads the UK in specialist compressed air training, education and management.

Here is a small taster of the courses available:


The Working Safely with Compressed Air course enables anyone who works with compressed air as part of their daily duties to study for a qualification online, while the Compressed Air System Technology e-learning course is also relevant to anyone working with compressed who is looking to improve their understanding of its basic principles and uses, as well as the components that constitute a compressed air system.

Both courses provide a general introduction as well as explaining compliance with current legislation while working safely, resulting in BCAS accredited-certification that can be used as evidence to apply for a industry ‘competence assured’ card.

Diploma In Compressed Air Management (DipCAM)

This qualification is a self-paced learning course spread over a number of months, up to a maximum of six, and aims to provide a comprehensive technical grounding in the principles of compressed air system operation. It has been developed and produced to meet the needs of people who have responsibility for a compressed air installation and wish to attain a level of technical knowledge, making it particularly relevant to sales engineers and those who design or maintain compressed air systems.

The DipCAM course is relevant to manufacturers, distributors, managers, maintainers and installers of compressed air equipment and systems.

Classroom-based learning

Written Schemes

This one-day workshop provides candidates with knowledge of the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (S.I. 2000 No 128) and related standards and codes of practice, contributing to the knowledge and understanding required as a provider of a written scheme.  

This includes compressed air equipment related standards, in particular for pressure vessels, pressure relief safety valves and pressure gauges, including examples of specific equipment issues that are necessary when drawing up written schemes of examination.

Competent Examiner

BCAS developed this unique, three-day course to provide the basic knowledge and skills necessary to be able to offer examination services in accordance with the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations. 

This qualification, which leads to a BCAS certificate in compressed air testing and examination, assures customers that an approved standard has been achieved in order to carry out the function of a Competent Examiner. In the event of an accident, such a certificate would demonstrate to the Health and Safety Executive that duty of care obligations have been met.

ISO 11011

This half-day workshop details the requirements for conducting and reporting the results of a compressed air system assessment. It provides an understanding of the principles of ISO 11011 and how they can be incorporated into company procedures. It also explains how the methodology and procedures from ISO 11011 can be adopted to facilitate the delivery of assessment and audit services to the customer.  

BCAS website courses

BCAS members can now enjoy a wide range of other online courses available through the new BCAS website, which enable staff to plan their training at a pace and time to suit. Delivered by its training partner, Virtual College, there are more than 75 courses available ranging from productivity, to health and safety to business skills, with discounted rates available to members.

Further details of all the training courses from BCAS are available online. Visit http://www.bcas.org.uk/training