Home Information Pack operation delay fails to topple enthusiasm for energy assessor roles

The number of people training to become domestic energy assessors has not reduced despite communities secretary Ruth Kelly delaying the introduction of the controversial Home Information Packs (HIPs) by two months to 1 August.

Kelly’s announcement last month followed a judicial review by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which said there were not enough qualified assessors ready for the June date. The communities secretary admitted that only 520 of the necessary 2,000 assessors had been fully trained and accredited.

Mathew Culnane, communications executive at the National Energy Services, one of the chief trainers of domestic energy assessors for HIPs told Personnel Today: “Should HIPs be delayed, or even scrapped by the government, the implementation of Energy Performance Certificates is still required under EU Directive by 2008.”

Culnane said a number of trained energy assessors have vented their frustrations on having to wait for two months on industry online forums, attributing much of the blame to the RICS.

“However, there has not been a decline in people signing up for the course,” said Culnane. “To a certain extent, recent news coverage has stirred up more interest for the position from people who did not previously know it existed. This has made up the shortage created by those people put off by the government’s U-turn,” he said.

Stephen Callaghan, director of recruitment and training specialist Energy-assessors.com, said: “Consumers and industry must try not panic at this latest development. This is not the end of the road for those who have trained to become energy assessors.

“The new timetable will provide the opportunity for even greater numbers to qualify,” he added.

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