Support for members

25 January 2017

In a busy start to 2017, BCAS (British Compressed Air Society) introduces its new Pressure and Leak Testing guide, considers what is meant by a 'competent person' when referring to the drawing up and certifying of written schemes of examinations under the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000, and a new president takes the helm

BCAS has produced its new 'Pressure and Leak Testing from Compressed Air Systems' guides, which can be downloaded from

Marion Beaver, technical officer at BCAS, explains: “Reducing leaks is one of the most effective ways to minimise energy consumption from a compressed air system. Leaks need to be monitored constantly and we recommend carrying out a leak survey at least twice a year to keep the problem under control. A 3mm leak, for example, could cost you £600 per year in wasted energy. “

Who is competent?

Exactly what is meant by a 'competent person' when referring to the drawing up and certifying of written schemes of examinations under the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000?

In Regulation 8 - Written Scheme of Examination - paragraph 100 (page 31) states that 'The written scheme of examination can be written and certified as suitable either by an independent competent person or by the in-house competent person'.

So who is deemed a Competent Person? In paragraph 99 Regulation 8 it states that 'At least one member of staff qualified to incorporated engineer level with adequate relevant experience and knowledge of the law, codes of practice, examination and inspection techniques and understanding of the effects of operation for the system concerned'.

This is for minor systems (into which most compressed air systems fall) defined in paragraph 98. Anyone can draw up a written scheme of examination, but only a person qualified to Incorporated Engineer (IEng) with the relevant pressure systems experience can certify (sign off) a written scheme. 

If the end user of a compressed air system has no such staff then they need to identify an external competent person, BCAS members being an obvious answer.

The Approved Code of Practice and guidance for Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 can be downloaded free from

New president

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) has appointed James Maziak, managing director of Maziak Compressor Services, as its 56th President.  

James takes over the role from Andy Jones, managing director of Mattei Compressors, who has held the position for the past two years. He will continue to ensure that the society evolves to meet the needs of both its members and compressed air end-users.

A board member for the last five years and chairman of the Distributors’ Committee for the last four, James’ business has represented different manufacturing brands over the years, giving him a broad range of experience within the industry, from manufacturing and distribution to the end user. 

James comments: “It is a great honour to take on the BCAS presidency and even more so as I am only the second distributor member to become president in its 85 year history.

“The next two years will see momentous change as the Brexit process starts. In the face of this, BCAS has a great responsibility to continue to deliver value to its members as the only technical trade association representing the compressed air industry in the UK. Most importantly we need to ensure that the end users of compressed air see the value of dealing with a BCAS member.”

Vanda Jones, executive director for BCAS says: “We are finding that customers are demanding more efficient and innovative compressed air solutions to help meet their environmental obligations and reduce cost of ownership. In this energy and cost conscious environment, BCAS fills an increasingly important role – not only in supporting its members’ interests, but also in advising manufacturers, distributors, service agents and end users on best practice and changes to legislation.”