Short courses


CLEAPSS: Safety Examinations of Autoclaves, Pressure Cookers and Model Steam Engines

  • 7 hours
  • 1 day


This one-day course will help you to carry out safety examinations of pressure vessels in a school environment to ensure they're safe to use under the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (2000).

In particular, the course will consider the role of CLEAPSS (Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services) in meeting the requirements specified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the 2014 Approved Code of Practice (ACOP).

This course focuses on equipment that is not thermostatically controlled. If you're in doubt about whether your equipment will be covered contact CLEAPSS before booking a place.

This course is run by CLEAPSS at UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

Who this course is for

The course is particularly suitable for whoever is responsible within a school for carrying out examinations of pressure vessels.

Course content

The course covers:

  • the basics of how pressure vessels work
  • safe operation of the range of autoclaves, pressure cookers and steam engines used in schools
  • the legal requirements, including an employer's duty to appoint a competent person for the examination of autoclaves, pressure cookers and model steam engines
  • the meaning of 'competent person' in the context of the CLEAPSS approach to pressure-vessel examination
  • reviewing the written schemes of examination included in CLEAPSS document L214
  • managing the statutory safety examination in the school context

You're encouraged to bring along your own autoclave and/or model steam engine.

      Course structure

      This one-day course is delivered as part discussion, part practical workshop.

      Learning outcomes

      By the end of the course, you'll have: 

      • learnt how to operate the autoclaves, pressure cookers and steam engines in your school
      • understood the legal requirements surrounding examination of autoclaves, pressure cookers and model steam engines
      • learnt to manage the statutory safety examination in your school context

      Course team

      Steve Jones and Mary Philpott for CLEAPSS

      Steve Jones and Mary Philpott for CLEAPSS

      Steve and Mary work as advisors for CLEAPSS. CLEAPSS provides advice and guidance on all aspects of practical work in science, technology and art. This guidance explores ideas for exciting and engaging practical activities that fire pupils' imaginations and then, unlike many alternative resources, goes on to show teachers and technicians (in detail) how to translate these ideas into safe and exciting classroom experiences.

      CLEAPSS' membership includes more than 28,000 schools and colleges, mainly in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where its advice is recognised by HSE, DFE and OFSTED as representing best practice in these areas. It's used by employers as the basis for carrying out their responsibilities under the H&S at Work Act, 1999.

      Course information last modified: 6 Apr 2020, 09:51