Immediate Past Master

Robert Burgon

Below is a biography of Robert Burgon.


Robert Burgon
Year of admission
My whole career was spent in the plumbing industry.

After graduating BA (Hons) (1977) and Master of Letters (1978) in Business Organisation from Heriot Watt University (where I specialised in industrial relations and vocational training), my first role was Assistant Industrial Relations Officer with the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF) in 1978. After various promotions, I became Director and Secretary of SNIPEF in 1988. At the same time, I was appointed as Secretary and Pensions Manager of Plumbing Pensions (UK) Ltd- the trustee company of the Plumbing and Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme.

I retired from my position as SNIPEF CEO in May 2016 and as Pensions Manager at Plumbing Pensions (UK) Ltd in November 2016.

In 1990, I was involved in the creation of the British Plumbing Employers' Council (Training) Ltd (BPEC) on the withdrawal of plumbing from scope to the Construction Industry Training Board and subsequently served as Secretary, Chief Executive and Director of the organisation. With the establishment of Sector Skills Councils to replace National Training Organisations, I participated in the establishment of SummitSkills and served as the first Company Secretary of that organisation. I was also Company Secretary of the Construction Licensing Executive Ltd, an overarching licensing organisation for the industry in Scotland, having being involved in the creation of that organisation. I was involved in the development of the WaterSafe Installers' Scheme and served as a Director until early 2016.

On the international front, I represented SNIPEF for many years on the European organisation for plumbing and heating contractors (GCI-UICP) and am a Past Chairman of that organisation's Secretaries General Committee. I was first appointed to the Executive Board of the World Plumbing Council in 2002 and completed my three year term as Chairman in September 2011. I have spoken at conferences in several countries including Australia, New Zealand, China, India, South Africa, Canada, USA and Germany.

Having been introduced to the Company in the early 1990s as a regular guest at the Annual Banquet of Past Master Robert Clephane (Master in 1972), I became a Liveryman in 2004 and was honoured to be invited to become a Court Assistant in 2010.

In addition to my plumbing industry activities, I was appointed as a Trustee of the Church of Scotland Investors Trust in May 2013.

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