In 1968 Ronan Point, a 22 storey apartment block in Canning Town, London, was devastated by a massive gas blast that claimed five lives and injured many more. The explosion was attributed to unsafe gas work in one apartment, and led to a new determination to prevent similar incidents and to protect the public from unsafe gas work. The solution was the formation of CORGI (then standing for “Confederation for the Registration of Gas Installers”) in 1970, given the task of ensuring that gas work is carried out safely.
Registration with CORGI was voluntary at first, where gas installers could join to gain support and information on standards, legislation and show their customers they were associated with the growing CORGI brand.
In 1991 the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) changed legislation in Great Britain relating to gas work; introducing the requirement that anyone working on gas must be “a member of a class of persons”. This class of persons is defined as registration with a new mandatory gas safety scheme, which HSE asked CORGI to act as registrar of. CORGI became the “Council for Registered Gas Installers” at this time. Subsequently, CORGI has been approached by other governments to run gas schemes in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.
During the 1990’s CORGI introduced another business, CORGI Services, dedicated to supporting its members and the industry. Offering a broad portfolio including technical publications, tools, insurance, vehicle leasing, monthly magazines and events and exhibitions, CORGI Services has grown to be recognised as a leading supplier to the heating industry.
In 2005 CORGI Services introduced new registration schemes for competent trades people wishing to comply with Building Regulations, which are becoming more and more prevalent in trades peoples lives. CORGI’s electrical, plumbing and ventilation schemes allowed members to self certify work and be described as CORGI members. 2007 saw the introduction of a new scheme, Customer First, created for existing CORGI members wishing to define their commitment to giving good service to their customers.
2008 saw the GB gas scheme put in a public tender process with Capita announced as the successful bidder. From 1st April 2009 mandatory gas scheme started operating under ”Gas Safe Register” brand. However, CORGI remained to operate mandatory gas scheme in Northern Ireland and Channel Islands.
In 2009, CORGI introduced a new voluntary membership for registered gas installers in England, Scotland and Wales to benefit from. The memebers of new quality scheme are not only gas competent (members of Gas Safe Register) but in addition to this, committed to providing excellent customer service, which is what every home owner expects from a CORGI installer.
During its tenure as GB gas registrar, CORGI developed the brand to become the defacto name for gas safety, with an incredible 93% awareness.
The CORGI brand means something – through CORGI’s efforts and the work of its members over the years; trust, expertise and quality are the values the general public attach to the brand and its members.