OFTEC's history



This section of the website is for anyone wanting to find out more about OFTEC and what it does

OFTEC's history - a leading voice in the heating industry for over 25 years

OFTEC was formed in 1991 and replaced the former Domestic Oil Burner Equipment Testing Association (DOBETA), an organisation created after the enforced split of Shell-Mex and BP in the early 1970’s. The trade association continues to be exclusively oil-related, but OFTEC's competent person scheme now includes scopes of registration for renewable technologies - reflecting the more diverse off-gas heating industry of today.

OFTEC and the oil companies

During the 1990’s the oil fired heating engineers were mainly Shell, BP and ex-Shell-Mex employees. The original training infrastructure provided by Shell-Mex at Fulham was lost in the mid 1970’s, and industry costs were mounting due to poor quality work by technicians. The oil companies (and later, equipment manufacturers) supported OFTEC financially. OFTEC’s original role was to write new technical standards and training manuals, and to provide a focus for the industry. When this was achieved, OFTEC’s role extended into promoting the oil fired heating and cooking sector.

Key events in OFTEC’s history


1991 Launched as the Oil Firing Technical Association (a not-for-profit trade association). First certificates presented to OFTEC registered technicians

1995 Completes development of technical books, training and assessments, and industry product standards

2000 OFTEC licensed in Jersey as the first Oil Competent Persons Scheme

2002 Becomes first oil competent persons scheme licensed by government. Over 2,300 technicians registered. First OFTEC Awards for Excellence

2004 OFTEC Direct online shop begins trading

2007 Quarterly Oil Installer magazine launched



2008 Number of registered technicians reaches 10,000

2010 Completes successful bio-liquid research study with UEA. First national “Oil and Renewable Heating Show”

2012 Gains UKAS accreditation for competent person scheme

2014 OFTEC wins seven year battle for realistic ErPD NOx limits. Registration service launches renewable heating scopes

2015 OFTEC launches solid fuel registration with associated technical book, training and assessment material

2016 OFTEC launches biomass registration



See Also


oftec strategy

jargon buster