Joining Elmhurst's U-Value Competency scheme
“I was just providing SAP calculations for a client but one day I added that I can also do U-Values and now I get around 5 emails from them each week.”
Aine Murray is an accredited OCDEA for BPP Energy in Belfast. After six months of providing U-Values for clients she decided to take the plunge and join Elmhurst’s recognised U-Value competency scheme. We caught up with Aine to find out why she joined the scheme and how she found the process.
Hi Aine, first of all why did you join the scheme?
I’m an accredited OCDEA so I was already doing SAP calculations for apartments and providing advice on U-Values. I would (and still do) get lots of questions relating to U-Values, such as ‘how much insulation are we allowed?’
I think the Future Homes Standard has made builders and developers more aware of the changes happening in the industry and the affect that different components such as insulation will have on U-Values and overall compliance.
As a result, I thought it would be good to know more about U-Values as we were providing more and more advice to clients, which is why my manager suggested I join a U-Value scheme. When you type 'U-Value scheme' into Google Elmhurst is one of the first to come up because it’s such a reputable scheme, so I booked my place on a course. And a plane ticket!
U-Value Competency Training
What was the process like?
I went on the U-Value course in February (2020) which was led by Guy Fowler. It was only a day and Guy was great; he explained how to use the software step-by-step and how to provide U-Value calculations to clients. He was brilliant help and it was a really detailed course.
At the end of the course Guy said: “Right! You know about U-Values now, if you want to join you can take the 10 test cases home”. So I took them home, completed them and passed first time.
What are the benefits of attending training?
I’m definitely more sure of myself now that I’ve attended the course. I’m a qualified OCDEA so we did cover U-Values during training but not in so much detail. I went on the U-Value course thinking ‘I’ll probably already know this’ but I learned so much and it gave me more confidence when doing calculations.
It was also nice to talk to other assessors from different parts of the industry in the breakout area. You get to meet different people and find out about their line of work. I also love that we get to use the approved U-Value scheme member logo, which I’ve put on my email signature, as well as being listed as a an approved provider of U-Value calculations.
How was getting to grips with the software?
I’ve used a lot of online software for U-Values in the past but you have to select boxes and it’s a bit restrictive. With Elmhurst’s U-Value calculator software you can go in and define the thickness of insulation etc. It’s just more detailed.
You cover the software on the course and Guy walks you through how to use it.
What have been the main benefits of joining the scheme?
Now that I’ve done the course and joined the scheme I’m more confident in my abilities and gained more work as a result. For example there was a client who we were providing SAP calculations for and I happened to drop in that we also provide U-Value calculations and that I’m part of a recognised scheme. Now I get at least 5 emails from them each week asking about U-Values.
I'm also able to assist colleagues if a client hasn't included any information about U-Values, which means there's less back and forth.
Interested in joining Elmhurst's U-Value Competency Scheme?
If you'd like to become a member of the Scheme, you must first attend a U-Value training course. It's a live course, hosted online by one of our experienced trainers. Visit the Marketplace to book your place.