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CLG announce enhanced Quality Assurance of Building Energy Certificates

New Standard Operating Requirements introduced to enhance credibility of reports

The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) have issued new Scheme Operating Requirements (SORs) for producers of Building Energy Certificates (i.e. Energy Performance Certificate, Display Energy Certificates and TM44 Air Conditioning Inspection Reports). These requirements, effective since 1 October 2010, are to be implemented by ALL Accreditation Bodies as of 1 April 2012 (in advance of the new The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012) to ensure and maintain consistency.

The new SORs require an increase of QA examination of the work of all Energy Assessors. The minimum requirements that have been set out by CLG are detailed below:

  1. All assessors must sign up to a revised code of conduct – which also describes actions all schemes must take if Code of Conduct failures are revealed during QA activity.
  2. All assessors must declare complaints received from customers and others to the scheme or schemes, who will be obliged to investigate.
  3. A minimum of 2% of all EPCs & DECs will be randomly selected for audit. In addition:
    - All assessors will be subject to a minimum check of 1 EPC or DEC per 6 months (unless no certificates have been lodged within that 6 month period)

- All new registrants will be assessed within 30 days of joining the scheme, or if no certificates issued within the 30 day period the first certificate will be assessed

  1. Assessors must provide the information requested within 3 working weeks of the request or have a clear reason for not complying with the request. Any energy assessor who fails to provide complete information will be suspended by their scheme.
  2. Any audit failures i.e. not within the 5% or 10% error boundaries will automatically trigger a requirement for the assessor to withdraw the faulty certificate from the register and to re-lodge a corrected version. It will also trigger a request for a further two certificates to be submitted for audit. There will be a charge for each additional QA check required subject, within reason, to the level of complexity.
  3. If either of the additional certificates fails its QA checks the energy assessor must be suspended or asked to complete further training.
  4. CLG now requires that every energy assessor must have at least £100,000 minimum indemnity insurance cover.
  5. Accreditation bodies are also require to impose additional QA audits for other reasons including, excessive use of helpdesks, complaints from clients, high lodgements or “where a scheme forms a view, for whatever reason, that a particular energy assessor may be at high risk of providing an erroneous certificate, the auditing of an energy assessors work should be brought forward the next available certificate, and depending on the level of risk the sampling rate of that persons work should be increased”.

Energy Assessors can be suspended or removed from the scheme at anytime for failing a QA audit – typically for not supplying requested audit information, transgression of the code of conduct, failing to replace an EPC, DEC or Advisory/Recommendation report when requested to do so, or as the result of an upheld complaint. In such cases the notice of suspension or removal from a scheme is required to be sent to all other scheme operators and CLG.

 

1 Comment to “CLG announce enhanced Quality Assurance of Building Energy Certificates”

  1. NACI welcomes the changes brought in by CLG. Although they may mean more time will be required for TM44 inspections, they will ensure that those not properly qualified or experienced are discouraged from becoming assessors. The changes should help to enhance the industry as a whole and lead to clients getting real value inspections as opposed to a meaningless box ticked report some assessors are currently providing.

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