Elmhurst responds to the DCLG consultation on new Scheme Operating Requirements (SORs)
DCLG recently announced that they were consulting on an update to the Scheme Operating Requirements (SORs). These SORs are the rules from DCLG by which Accreditation Schemes such as Elmhurst shall operate in order to allow members to create Energy Performance Certificates. They lay down the rules and processes by which we have to ensure that EPCs are correct and that our members abide by a set of rules and guidelines.
Through the consultation DCLG want to “seek views on options to improve the current Scheme Operating Requirements. It sets out the proposals of a recent review undertaken by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Proposals centre around improving quality assurance systems to improve data quality, tackle bad practice and detect and prevent fraud.”
We very much welcome the fact that DCLG are open to amending these documents. They were created to ensure consistency amongst the Accreditation Schemes and allow third party auditing to take place to check each scheme in turn follows the same processes and applies the same standards.
Here at Elmhurst we have been open and honest with all the third party audits we have received by the DCLG appointed auditors. We believe through our history, integrity and standards, we have in many ways set the scene for quality EPCs undertaken by professional members across the board.
However we also believe that the current SORs are extremely bureaucratic and have been added to over time, and are therefore extremely prescriptive. We have long campaigned for the focus to be placed back on the EPC that is ultimately created, not the process i.e. is the EPC that the member of the public has is correct ‘yes or no’ – not necessarily on formulating complications around how this was achieved.
The Consultation focuses on the following areas:
- Smart Auditing
- Error Margins
- Unique Identifiers
- Clearer rules for strike offs (persistent, serious or malpractice behaviour)
- Third Party Complaints Process
- Access to Data
- Data Security
To continue our open and honest approach within our Industry, we have published our response to the Consultation Questions (see link below).
The deadline is this Wednesday 6th July and we encourage our like minded members to send in their views and opinions to DCLG (see link below for full details). We hope the answers build upon our drive towards an energy efficient society, working with likeminded individuals and companies.
Link to DCLG Consultation
Link to Elmhurst Response