Heat Geek Certified
I recently completed the Heat Geek ‘Heating Mastery’ online course. I am now one of their certified ‘Heat Geeks’. But, what is a Heat Geek and what is the course all about?
The course is a two part programme certificated by BPEC. It's aimed at experienced heating engineers and those looking to boost their knowledge or move closer in to the renewables sector. The subjects cover the absolute essentials of heating, such as heat loss calculations, mass flow rates, pipes sizing and pressure loss. It also covers some of the less commonly known aspects of hydronics such as hydraulic separation. It also looks into buffers and controls, which is a must for budding heat pump installers.
Each course comes with a work book, and each subject has an accompanying video followed by an exam. You must complete the course in order before moving on.
So is it any good? Yes, it is…mostly good. Adam Chapman, the presenter and creator of the course is extremely knowledgeable and engaging. The subject matter is in depth and interesting and I certainly learned a few things. It is pretty tricky, and its not possible to trick your way through the exams, and its not advisable either. It definitely helped cement some essential heating knowledge, chemistry and fundamental physics. Information that separates good quality engineers from your bog standard plumber/pipe fitter.
Once you successfully complete the course you are listed on the HeatGeek Certified Map
On the downside, a lot if the course is very similar to the level 3 plumbing syllabus. Which isn’t bad in itself. It’s likely not all engineers have trained to level 3 and its always good to go back over the information to get a refresher.
The main issue for me was the peer-to-peer learning. It’s an interesting idea and is certainly interesting, but it’s not what I need from a course. It leave you relying on the good will and knowledge of other engineers. Some of whom know their stuff, but others won’t necessarily and most won’t engage. Personally I haven’t helped any other people on the course yet, and I quite like imparting knowledge
What could it do with is more course content. Perhaps more examples, more practise papers, more explanations. Adam goes over the subject matter at quite a pace and you have to pause and re-watch the videos many many times. Some of the earlier lessons have additional resources (YouTube videos mostly) that attempt to give you another perspective, or deeper understanding.
It’s also quite expensive,
I think what Adam and the Heat Geek channel has done (and is doing) is pretty remarkable. There is a huge knowledge gap in the UK heating industry and we’re in a time of rapid change…and we need to change. Plumbing and heating engineers need to up-skill and re-think about how we use energy efficiently. It’s going to be our job to not only educate ourselves, but to educate the British public. There’s a big change coming and the public need to know what’s going to be involved. Heat pumps and renewables are only part of the solution.
The course details can be found here