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Competency schemes: a major feature of the future


“There is no doubt at all that competence and accreditation is going to be a major feature of the future.”- Dame Judith Hackitt, (BESA Webinar, essential industry changes needed post-Grenfell).

Strong words from Dame Judith Hackitt, who undertook the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety after the Grenfell fire tragedy, and who is uncompromising in her view that the industry must change.  And although a lot of her report focused on fire safety and unsafe building practices, it stressed the need for those providing services to be trained and competent.

This is something Elmhurst has advocated for some time; we believe that gaining additional competencies is a natural part of an assessor’s professional development as they look to gain additional skills and specialize in certain areas. However, just as energy assessors must undergo regular Quality Assurance audits, so must those who provide additional services to ensure they still adhere to best practices.

So why join a competency scheme?

Becoming a member of a competency scheme demonstrates quality and competence to clients and helps assessors to ‘stand out from the crowd’. As mentioned before, regular checks, either through auditing or completing annual test cases, demonstrates that members are both trained and capable.

Elmhurst operates a number of competency schemes and competent person schemes, many of which are currently free to join.

In most cases, in order to join a competency scheme you will need to complete a training course and successfully complete a number of test cases. If you have already completed a training course (even with another provider), you can go right ahead and apply for membership of an Elmhurst scheme.

To apply to join iATS, candidates must attend a training course at an approved centre and pass the exams, practical assessments and subsequent review of 3 unpaid tests.

Competency Scheme Training

  • Suggested training for OCDEAs.
  • Suggested training for DEAs.
  • Suggested training for NDEAs.

Competency Schemes

Name of scheme Why join?
Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Do you have two years’ experience as a Non-Domestic Assessor? If so you should consider training to become an ESOS Lead Assessor where you will carry out ESOS audits for eligible companies every 4 years. It’s a potentially lucrative area of work with exciting new possibilities!
iATS iATS is a recognised competent persons scheme that is dedicated to ensuring that Air Testers provide quality and accurate air tightness testing reports for developers and building control bodies.
Inventory Do you carry out onsite property assessments? If so, Inventory reports could be the perfect additional service to start offering clients! Our Inventory Competency Scheme has been created for property professionals looking to produce inventory reports as part of a recognised competency scheme.
Legionella Learn how to carry out Legionella inspections for domestic and simple commercial buildings. This will be of particular interest to assessors in Scotland where landlords are required by law to have a Legionella assessment before they can let out their properties.
Overheating As buildings become more insulated and airtight, overheating is becoming more of a problem in the UK, which is why from June 2022 it will become a legal requirement for developers to provide Building Control Bodies with evidence that shows they have mitigated the risk of overheating. This area of work will be of particular interest to SAP looking to provide a comprehensive service and Non-Domestic Assessors looking to offer additional services.
Psi-Value The introduction of strict new targets and removal of accredited Psi-Values means it will become harder to comply with building regulations without using calculated Psi-Values. Model your own bespoke junctions as a recognised Psi-Value Modeller with Elmhurst’s scheme.
Section 63 Do you work in Scotland? If you’re not accredited to carry out Section 63 reports, you could be missing out! Start producing professional Action Plans as an accredited Section 63 Adviser.
Thermography Thermography is a discipline in its own right, but many air tightness testers learn how to carry out thermography inspections to identify areas of high leakage.
U-Value Want to be a U-Value specialist? Increase your chance of winning corporate contracts and accurately model energy improvements with your enhanced knowledge of U-Values.


A good knowledge of ventilation is becoming increasingly important as the subject gains more focus PAS 2035, Part F of Building Regulations and even the mainstream news.

As a ventilation inspector you will commission and test fixed ventilation systems to ensure that they are compliant with relevant rules and regulations.